Monday, October 30, 2006

Weymouth Sat 28th

I stopped at Ferrybridge for lunch under a leaden sky. There were 3 med gulls amongst c20 BH gulls, and a few hundred dark-bellied brent geese. c30 Ringed Plover and a solitary Little Egret.

Later I toured Radipole where high water levels produced a characteristically dull list. A Bearded Reedling by the centre, a few Cetti's warblers, herons, c20 Great-Crested Grebe, 3 Little egrets in a tree and c20 Long-tailed tits. I finished off by the centre going through the gulls - 4 med gulls (2 ad, 1W, 2W) and 2 Blackwits, so some respectability was salvaged.

Here's some Brent Geese for no particular purpose.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I got to Portland at 9ish sorry 8ish. There was some overhead movement of Wood Pigeons, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, with a Fieldfare shack-shacking, a few goldfinches and Pied Wagtails for variety. Enough to be noticeable but not record-breaking. A few goldcrests in Culverwell. plenty of Kestrels. Then something over unfamilar, larkish but not the loud fluting I have heard on Woodlark's home ground. Did I see a short tail as it drifted over?

On to west cliffs with a few stonechats for company, then a Peregrine flying around. A nice group of Shags on the cliffs, and a group of GBB gulls. Down to the bill and a few Kittiwakes, some BH gulls w and nothing else - not even a Gannet. Along the east cliffs there were plenty of Pied Wags, a "flock" of 4 Rock Pipits, a Seal (grey?), and a Northern Wheatear - possibly my latest. Up to the obs, and yes there was a Woodlark over at about the right time in about the right place. Sparv through, some discussion amongst the assembled about the ID of some dark ducks wizzing w, and then home.

I think some more homework on woodlark calls required ...

Weymouth weekend 28/29 Oct

I had some business in Weymouth on Saturday. Neither Mrs Dipper nor the Dipperettes wanted to come so I had a chance for some proper birding. Inevitably the weather was rubbish and all decent birds fled the area.

I blundered around the top fields at Portland Bill for a while this morning and ended up on the West Cliffs. Despite many visits I'd never been along the West Cliffs and was pleasantly surprised.

I'll note what I did see in upcoming blogs. You can't wait can you.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


No one goes to Venice for the birds. Only sights were lots of YellowLegged Gulls, some big white flappy things in the delta and a Hummingbird Hawk Moth (my first). Here's a picture with a bird in it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Stort Valley Oct 15th

Gaston Green - Thorley Wash 9am – 11am. Murky as only an Easterly wind can be. 1 Grey Wagtail at Spellbrook lock, 2 Kingfisher at Gaston Green and 1 at Thorley the highlights. Otherwise Little Grebe at Spellbrook, Heron, 2 Cormorant, c10 Mallards, Water Rail calling at Walbury, 2 Sparrowhawk including a ♀ female at Gaston Green. 2 GSW and 1Green Woodpecker, 4 Collared Dove, c200Wood Pigeon, 5 corvids including Jay shrieking at Walbury. C10 Chaffinch, c10 Goldfinch, c10 Meadow Pipits, c5 Reed Bunts and 4 Skylarks over in no specific direction. LBB Gull 1 over. Finally as I returned to the car and inevitably the sun broke through, 4 Redwing W over, some proper migration at last.

Although not technically birds, worth mentioning 10+ Chub between 1’ and 2’ in length, lurking by a bush under the far bank at Thorley, all pointing upstream (see pic for the bush).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Portland Bill Oct 8th

The usual early start and early finish (7:45-8:45). Highlight was a steady trickle of Pied wagtails and Meadow Pipits leaving the bill and heading south. Every scan of the sea seemed to have a few birds heading off across the channel. Last night had c50 Pied Wags flying round Weymouth town centre, and Lodmoor had Pied wags and mipits spread over the whole reserve too. Must be thousands in total heading off from the Dorset coast this weekend.

Otherwise, the Rosy Starling was with the bill flock of starlings, a scruffy brown shearwater was presumably one of the Balearic Shearwaters that's been seen recently, and a male Merlin was flying round the bill, no doubt attracted by the plentiful supply of food.

Then it was back to Weymouth for family entertainment.

Rarity chasing in Cambridgeshire part 2.

Last post left you on the edge of your seats as your intrepid birders ticked off the first of three potential rarities and headed off in sea...