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.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Wryneck Still

On The Fleet at Littlesea today, the Woodchat Shrike was still in residence. 19 Knot and 3 Whinchats were also noted. Nearby, on Tidmoor, the Wryneck was still showing, but was very unapproachable. Also, plenty of Wheatears were seen at both sites. 

This Wryneck was so skittish.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wryneck at Tidmoor Rifle Range, The Fleet

Found by Ian this morning.

Was elusive while I was there. Note the ring on the right leg.

Here is a better photo of it, after it had been trapped and ringed and just prior to release. © Ian Dodd

Monday, 27 August 2012

Cattle Egret At Abbotsbury

Cow twitches Cattle Egret.


Hello friend.

The tufty bits on it's head shows that this is a juvenile.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Woodchat Still Present

The Woodchat Shrike was too distant for a decent photo though.

Other birds seen at Littlesea, The Fleet this afternoon were....

30 Wheatears were in the Camp Road, Littlesea area.

Included this cracking male.

Several Yellow Wagtails.

And a couple of Whinchats.
Other bits and pieces.


Brown Argus.

In the morning went round Lodmoor, where the highlight was.....

3 Wood Sandpipers.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Check This Beasty Out

Male House Sparrow showing erythrism. © Ian Dodd.

© Ian Dodd
Now, I was in the pub, but wish I'd seen this bird. Ian trapped and ringed this bird in his Littlesea garden last Friday. What a little cracker. Thankyou Ian for sharing this with us.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

More Woodchat

The Woodchat Shrike was still present this evening at Littlesea, The Fleet. Yesterday, it showed very well, if a little frustrating when it came to trying to get a good photo.

Other migrants seen yesterday evening included 3 Pied Flycatchers.

Also yesterday at Littlesea, The Fleet.

Sedge Warbler.

And this Barn Owl came out early enough for me to get a snap.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Afternoon Update

Funny how a quiet day can sometimes turn into a memorable one isn't it. Well, today was one of them days. A text from Jill and Paul telling me they had found a Woodchat Shrike, was enough to send me scurrying down there in a hurry. Thankfully, the bird was showing well by the Bridging Camp, to the delight of the assembled observers.

Must admit, was expecting it to be a juvenile. On this occasion, it was a 2nd-calendar year male. Great find and thanks for the news Jill and Paul.

This Pied Flycatcher showed well in Ian's Littlesea garden late this afternoon. Note the pale tips on the inner median coverts.

Not Much To Report

Went down to The Fleet in the Herbury area in the week, the highlights being up to 4 Greenshank and 5 Knot.

2 of the 4 Greenshank, present on The Fleet in Works Cove on 14th.

My good friend Richard came down from Somerset today. Stayed misty all morning and it was generally very quiet where we went, but 2 Wood Sandpipers on Lodmoor saved the day. Stopped in at Granby Ponds on the way home, where Richard was able to savour the delights of his first ever Small Red-eyed Damselfly.

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A Splattering

Did a bit of birding on The Fleet today. All the usual suspects at Ferrybridge. Next, I decided to do the Moonfleet/Herbury area, as it's looks to have potential at the moment. There was a small selection of common migrants, which kept my interest going. As for waders, it was very poor with just 3 Common Sandpipers being of any note. Lots of gulls here at the moment though, but nothing of any note.

Young male Migrant Hawker.


Spotted Flycatcher.


Mediterranean Gulls are building up in numbers.

Sand Martin.

Swifts were still moving through.

On the way home, popped into see my friend Ian, who kindly invited me in for a coffee. His slowly maturing garden was attractive to migrants today, with a few Willow Warblers trapped and ringed whilst I was there.

One of the Willow Warblers in Ian's garden.

Something from the other day.

Juvenile Great Crested Grebe at Radipole lake. I just liked this image.

And now for a new section on me blog

Over Me House

This is where I get self indulgent and show stuff going, well, over me house. I've certainly had some good birds over me pad, like Black Kite, Honey Buzzards, Ruff, Waxwings, Snow Bunting, etc. So, let's see where this goes and what images I can capture. 
Buzzard. Regular over the house.

The Fleet Vs Portland Update

The Fleet = 48 points, with Buff-breasted Sandpiper adding to the total.

Portland = 29 points, with Melodious and Aquatic Warblers adding to the total. Now, I'd like to give 5 points for Aquatic, 'cause it should be a B.B rarity, but rules are rules.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Lesser Emperor Revisited

After the Buff-breasted Sandpiper and dropping my daughter off at work, I decided to try and get better views of the male Lesser Emperor at Radipole Lake. This was successful and the views, that were all flight views, were enough to clinch the following features of green eyes, contrasting with the brown thorax and bright powder blue base of the abdomen, contrasting with the remainder of the abdomen that was dark brown. Thanks to Luke for a brilliant find and letting me use one of his photos.

This record shot clearly shows the features I've already mentioned. © Luke Phillips

Plans Scuppered

Well, went to Ferrybridge first thing, hoping to get better photos of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper. On arrival, was greeted with a veil of thick mist. This quickly burned off and a single birder had just picked the bird up in his scope and then shouted over to me to say the Buff-breast was flying. It flew round once and was then off, flying high to the west. Bloody typical me thinks. Ah well, I did manage one distant flight shot.

This is heavily cropped. Still, you can see what it is.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Patch Tick At The End Of The Day

In fact, it was practically dark. Thanks must go to Paul and Ken, for giving me the gen, Duncan, for getting me onto the bird and Colin, for letting me look at the bird through his superb telescope. Of course, it was the finder, Charlie, who deserves all our thanks for finding a superb adult Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Ferrybridge. Talk about just scraping in on a Fleet tick.

Photo was taken at 9.10pm, hence the poor record shot.

Earlier on in the day, went looking for Honey Buzzards and saw one distant male. On returning home, a phone call from Luke telling me that he had found a male Lesser Emperor at Radipole Lake, was enough to send me scurrying down there. After a few hours and some frustrating moments, I did connect with it, but wasn't the best of views, so like the sandpiper, I hope that sticks tomorrow.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Blast From The Past (August)

Now, be prepared for some crappy photos. You have been warned.

Juvenile Montagu's Harriers somewhere in deepest darkest Dorset in 2003.

Ortolan Bunting on Portland, at The Verne in 2003.

Another pic of the Ortolan Bunting.

Adult Pectoral Sandpiper on Lodmoor in 2004.

Another pic of the Pectoral Sandpiper.

A terrible record shot of the Lesser Grey Shrike at Hartland/Middlebere area in 2008.

A Cattle Egret at Swineham Gravel Pits in 2008.

A Wryneck at Portland Bill in 2008.

Adult Semipalmated Sandpiper with Dunlin on Lodmoor in 2010.

Another pic of the Semipalmated Sandpiper.

The Fleet Vs Portland Update

The Fleet = 47 points, with Cory's Shearwater adding to the score.

Portland = Remains on 27 points.

The midsummer doldrums have officially come to an end. Let's see what the autumn brings. Can Portland catch up?