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.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Two-barred Crossbill

A lifer in the bag.  Something I should have seen by now in my years of birding, but have been too much of a lazy ass about it. Having said that, it does incorporate doing something I truly hate, birding in conifer plantations. You can compare it to seawatching at Chew Valley Lake. Yep, that's right, apart from the odd goodie it's shit. Our motley crew set off in the early hours and arrived at Hemsted Forest in Kent. Yeah, I know, fucking long way to go for a poxy crossbill. These places can seem so devoid of life and although I did wander quite widely looking for the bloody thing, after 4, yes, 4 long hours the bird appeared in it's favoured perch, announcing it's presence by it's trumpet call. Relief swept over me and then I was able to enjoy this cracking male Two-barred Crossbill. Worth the effort in the end. Other birds noted were Common Crossbills obviously, though only one was seen perched, Peregrine and perhaps most unusually, a juvenile Marsh Harrier. Much appreciation goes to Pete for doing the long drive, thanks buddy.

Present for only a few minutes and so the only image that's any good. The flank feathers were all fluffed up and so covered the upper wingbar. After dipping on the Hermit Thrush the other Friday, this bird certainly salvaged my week off work. Back to work Tuesday though.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Dusky Warbler At The Bill

Required some effort to see well, as it was an elusive little bugger. Thanks to the finder John Lucas, without his help, I may never have got these record shots.
The Red-necked Grebe was still showing from Portland Castle.

Raven at the Bill Quarry.

Thanks for the texts from peeps today and sorry I didn't text anyone, but as you are all aware, the signal is terrible at Portland Bill and I was out of signal most of the day.

Adult Mediterranean Gull at Radipole Lake yesterday. Not rare I know, but this one was right next to the car, so just felt obliged to take it's photo.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Dorset's Bird Of The Month (October)

Whilst we may have our favourites, be it the Pallid Swift at Christchurch or the obliging Short-toed Lark on Portland, the honour must go to the Thrush Nightingale at Portland Bill. Shame that I only heard the damn thing call. Anyway, well done to the finder who pulled it out of a mist net, so maybe, I should be congratulating the net itself. Certainly yet another contender for bird of the year in Dorset.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Sorry, More Sabine's

Showed brilliantly at Cogden Beach today.

And now for some other birds from today.

Black Redstart at Chesil Cove.

A late Willow Warbler at Portland Castle.

Terrible record shot of the Red-necked Grebe in Portland Harbour.

I love this shot. A Wren at Portland Castle.

And below, the Yellow-browed Warbler at Abbotsbury Swannery.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sabine's Revisited

Super views of this long staying bird, this time at Cogden Beach.

A stunning bird.

Check out that forked tail. Also, the black orbital ring is visible in this shot.

The only shot I managed with the wing open.

At Radipole Lake, there was this Mediterranean Gull.

A 3rd-winter bird perhaps? On size and structure, a presumed female.