This blog is about my birding exploits, which mainly take place in the Weymouth/Portland area, in Dorset. Will also include stuff from elsewhere, plus some other critters too. Hope you enjoy. All photographs are © Brett Spencer, unless indicated otherwise. The above image is of a Siberian Rubythroat, taken in Holland in 2016.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Something Fishy Going On Here

Two visits to Littlesea, The Fleet today produced flyover Little Ringed Plover and Osprey, plus my first Willow Warblers of the year, with over 20 present. Also, singles of Redstart and Swallow, plus The Hume's Warbler and Richard's Pipit were still present.

The Osprey carrying a very large fish. The bird was always very distant, hence the crap photo.

Another crap photo. This is the Little Ringed Plover.

A gorgeous male Redstart. My favourite summer migrant.

Willow Warbler. The flavour of migration time is seeing birds in unfamiliar surroundings.

Willow Warbler again.

You could almost imagine yourself on some remote treeless island with this Chiffchaff I reckon.

Yesterday evening at Littlesea also produced....

This single Whimbrel. here with it's much larger cousin, the Curlew.

And 2 Black-tailed Godwits.

A visit to Littlesea Thursday evening got me my...

First Redstart of the year.

And this partial albino male Blackbird.

And this is what he looked like from the other side.

Just one more photo to finish off, because I like it.

A 1st-summer Pied Wagtail. Note the contrast in the greater coverts, with the outermost ones being retained juvenile feathers.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Red Kite From Me Garden

The good thing about having lots of gulls around your house, is the fact that they often get you onto interesting raptors going over your house. This Red Kite appeared whilst I was out in the garden having a cup of coffee and some toast.

Plus this peek-a-boo Chiffchaff in the garden.

On The Fleet at Littlesea today, the Hume's Warbler, Richard's Pipit and Ring Ouzel were still in residence, plus 20 Sandwich Terns, about a dozen each of Chiffchaffs and Wheatears, several Blackcaps and singles of Sand Martin and Swallow.

On this slightly better pic of the Richard's Pipit of late, you can see  that it is in moult. Note the new adult tertial and inner greater covert. Pic taken in rather poor light this morning.

The Ring Ouzel, now present for it's third day.

Hopefully, the Ring Ouzel won't become Sparrowhawk food.

Monday, 26 March 2012

March Isn't So Bad

An evening walk around Littlesea, on The Fleet, came up trumps with a stonking male Ring Ouzel.  It later transpired that the bird was first found yesterday. Of course, I didn't go there yesterday, bloody typical. Still, at least I saw it.

What a beauty!

Mind that razor wire buddy.

Had the misfortune to meet a completely ignorant twit looking for the Richard's Pipit, who, no matter what I said, didn't care about flushing the Ring Ouzel. After we had exchanged verbal abuse, he went on his way. Mark gave me a good description of him, he called him a Twatcher. Thankfully, there were others who DID appreciate this bird.

The best of the rest were 10 each of Wheatears and Sandwich Terns.

A couple of photos from Abbotsbury yesterday.

A pair of Tufted Ducks.

"Do I look like a Wood Duck?"  No, sorry mate, you are a Mallard stupid!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

More Of That Hume's

At Littlesea, The Fleet today. Prepare for lots of crap pictures. Here we go.

The Hume's Warbler was showing well today, albeit still tricky to photograph. Here's a few images of the beasty.

Check out this awesome male Pied Wagtail.

What a crippler!

A newly arrived Goldcrest.

A few other migrants...

A Wheatear on horse poo.



Sandwich Tern. One of five seen today.

 Another couple of images from today.

Long-tailed Tit.

Another terrible photo of the Richard's Pipit.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Still Present Today

The Richard's Pipit is still in and around the Bridging Camp at Littlesea, The Fleet.

Check out that upright stance.

The Hume's Warbler at Littlesea, The Fleet. Easier to see than it has been, but still devilishly hard to photograph.
Otherwise it was quiet at Littlesea this afternoon, with singles of Black Redstart, Grey Plover and Goldcrest and about a dozen Chiffchaffs, plus 2 Sand Martins.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Blast From The Past (March)

This will be a regular monthly post for the next 12 months. This one, as the title suggests, is about March. I'm only going to do Dorset birds for now. See if you remember some of these.

The rather pink 1st-year Franklin's Gull at Radipole Lake in 2004. One evening, viewable from the visitor centre, there were 7 species of gull at one time on the gravel island alone, which included the Franklin's, Mediterranean, Little and Ring-billed. 2 Ring-billed Gulls were seen that evening. My count of 9 Mediterranean Gulls that same evening, was a good count at the time, how times have changed.

The drake Green-winged Teal, with it's Eurasian counterparts, at Rodden Hive in 2005. Oh look, a spring yank duck on The Fleet, now there's a surprise.

Male Hawfinch at Leigh in 2006. 1 of up to 20 seen in the village churchyard that year. An influx from the continent meant that the winter of 2005/2006 was particularly good for this species locally and nationally. Certainly the biggest flock I've seen in Dorset and providing some of the best views I've had of the species. One of the group included a partial albino bird. 

One of the best birds I've ever seen on the Fleet. This stunning adult drake Bufflehead, viewable from Herbury Gore, was a star attraction in 2010. In the sunshine, the glorious purple and green iridescent sheen on the head could be clearly seen. A truly beautiful duck. Shame I couldn't get a better picture.

Alpine Swift at Radipole Lake in 2010.

Hoopoe at Rodden Hive in 2010. The Alpine Swift was seen the very same day.

Another Hoopoe. This one was on Portland in 2011.

The same Hoopoe as above. Was very pleased with this photo though. Check out the grub that's about to be consumed.

The very confiding 1st-year Ring-billed Gull at Poole Park Lake in 2011. Such a shame this bird didn't reappear in the winter just gone.