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, 29 September 2012

What A Lovely Day

I've got raging toothache, but that wasn't going to stop me spending time with my good friend Richard, who had come down from Somerset for the day. So, a blast of pain killers and we were away. First stop was Portland, where we eventually got good views of the juvenile Red-backed Shrike.



Next, the draw of The Fleet was too much to bare. At Ferrybridge, singles of Curlew Sandpiper, Sanderling and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits was the best we could do.

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper.

Yesterday evening I went in search of a Wryneck that my friend Ian had found at Tidmoor, The Fleet, but alas I didn't succeed in the time that I had. Did get a nice photo of a Wheatear at Littlesea though.


With the Red-backed Shrike still on Portland, I thought there would be a good chance the Wryneck would still be lurking on Tidmoor somewhere today. And sure enough we got lucky, because this is a place that has such a lot of good places for a Wryneck to hide in.



Otherwise, both Tidmoor and Littlesea were very quiet. Certainly, it seemed quality not quantity was the order of the day. We finished the day at Lodmoor, where we were treated to stunning views of the Short-billed Dowitcher, which is now moulting into 1st-winter plumage. I was so pleased with the following images of this bird.



Check out the scary Grey Heron reflection behind. I don't think the Short-billed Dowitcher was too happy about it either.

We finished the day with a Marsh Harrier, but I was so chuffed with the dowitcher pics, I forgot to photograph it.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Bits And Bobs

A Curlew Sandpiper and a couple of Sanderlings at Ferrybridge and a single Knot at Littlesea were Wednesday evenings highlights.




Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper.

Juvenile Sanderling.

This afternoon, I started off at Lodmoor and eventually managed to get some half decent images of the star bird.







The juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher.

Next stop Littlesea, where the highlight was a juvenile/1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull.


Yellow-legged Gulls seem to have been in short supply this autumn. This individual has almost completed it's moult into 1st-winter plumage.

Yellow-legged Gull (right), with a juvenile Herring Gull that has just started it's moult into 1st-winter plumage.

A slight distraction from the gull, was my first wild goose of the winter.

A Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

The Yellow-legged Gull, with the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Littlesea Strikes Again

Yesterday evening Geoff, who owns one of the holiday caravans at Littlesea Holiday Camp, found a Wryneck. So, first thing this morning found me at the Bridging Camp, hoping to connect with Littlesea's latest goody. And sure enough...


The Wryneck didn't disappoint.



It always excites me seeing one of these beauties. A real birders bird.


Some more photos from this morning at Littlesea, The Fleet.



Chiffchaff.

Sedge Warbler.

Spotted Flycatcher with big ass bug.

A couple more images of Spotted Flycatcher.



Male Migrant Hawker.

Earlier in the week, I managed to improve slightly on the images I already had of the Short-billed Dowitcher on Lodmoor.



Sunday, 9 September 2012

A Request

Firstly, I think it's time to update the scores for.....

The Fleet Vs Portland.

The Fleet = 52 points with Woodchat Shrike, Cattle Egret and a couple of Wrynecks adding to the scores.

Portland = 36 points with Hoopoe, 3 Wrynecks, Long-tailed Skua, Grey Phalarope and Sabine's Gull adding to the score.

Now, I thought, what if we bring the Weymouth Reserves into the competition. Thought it would be interesting to compare. So, what is the score for Radipole and Lodmoor reserves? Well, it's a whopping 79 points.

Now for that request.

As you know, each month I do a blast from the past. I'd like others to get involved, so this is where I need your help. I'm looking for photos of the following birds for Blast From The Past (October).

Siberian Stonechat on Portland in 1987.
Rustic Bunting on Portland in 1987.
Northern Parula on Portland in 1988.
Desert Wheatear on Portland in 1991.
Red-flanked Bluetail at Winspit in 1993.
Desert Wheatear on Portland in 1994.
Sociable Plover near Poxwell in 1995.
Northern Waterthrush on Portland in 1996.
Siberian Rubythroat at Osmington in 1997.
Rustic Bunting on Portland in 1998.
Siberian Stonechat on Portland in 1998.
White-rumped Sandpiper on Lodmoor in 2000.
Western Sandpiper on Brownsea in 2004.
Arctic Warbler on Portland in 2005.

If you don't know my email address, there are people that do, so if you could contact them, as I don't want to put my email address on this blog. Obviously, you'll be credited for the photos, so if you could help, I'd be very grateful.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A Day Out With Friends

Spent the day with Fred and Ashley today. Before picking up Ashley from the train station, Fred and myself checked out Ferrybridge. A lot of waders, but nothing of any great note, but there were some nice photographic opportunities. I liked the reflections and the light was amazing.




A juvenile Dunlin that has just started it's moult into 1st-winter plumage.





My favourite plumage of this species. An exquisite juvenile Sanderling.

After Ferrybridge, it was off to pick up Ashley from the train station and our next destination of Lodmoor. Obviously, our aim was to help Ashley connect with the star bird, the Short-billed Dowitcher. This we duly did, to the delight of Ashley.



Still distant for the camera though.

A few Green Sandpipers and a Garden Warbler were also noted.


Garden Warbler

News that the Monarch was still showing on Portland, meant that I had to pack me passport, that was duly stamped by Fred, grit me teeth and take a ride to that infamous isle. But it was worth it.





Because this male Monarch put on a brilliant performance, much to the delight of the assembled admirers. Shame it was a bit tatty though.

Our route off Portland was delayed by stopping off at Portland Castle to look for a Wood Warbler. We weren't to be disappointed either, because it was a cracker.




A beautiful bird.

We finally made it off of Portland and made our way to Littlesea, on The Fleet. Very quiet here, so one more look at that dowitcher before dropping a very happy Ashley back to the train station and the end of a memorable day.