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.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Dorset's Bird Of The Month (November & December) and BIRD OF THE YEAR.

Dorset's bird of the month in November was the Penduline Tit at Longham Lakes. Well done to Jackie Hull who found the bird.

Dorset's bird of the month in December was the Brunnich's Guillemot in Portland Harbour. Well done to Debbie and Pete Saunders for bringing it to everyone's attention. 

Which brings me on nicely to Dorset's  BIRD  OF  THE  YEAR.

At the beginning of the year, I was going to put this to a vote, but a certain bird on Boxing Day put that idea in the bin.

Being the 1st record for Dorset and only the about the 3rd record for England, this exceptionally confiding Brunnich's Guillemot is Dorset's  BIRD  OF  THE  YEAR  2013. Added to that, this is the furthest south that this high arctic species has been recorded in Britain and is only the 4th twitchable one ever, the other 3 all being in Shetland. A quite exception record.

Here's hoping 2014 is as good as this year and may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy New Year.

My Highlights of 2013 (July - December)


Honey Buzzard in Dorset.

Little Bittern in Somerset.

White-rumped Sandpiper at Lodmoor.

Red-crested Pochard at Radipole Lake.

Great White Egret at Lodmoor.

Little Tern at Ferrybridge, The Fleet. This species enjoyed a productive year at this site.

Icterine Warbler at Portland Bill.

Osprey at Portland Bill.

Ortolan Bunting at Portland Bill.

Wryneck at Portland Bill.

Red-backed Shrike at Lodmoor.

Semipalmated Sandpiper at Abbotsbury Swannery, The Fleet.

Nightingale at Portland Bill.

Ortolan Bunting at Portland Bill.

Wryneck at West Bexington.

Wryneck at Portland Bill.

Melodious Warbler at Portland Bill.

Rosefinch at Portland Bill.

Red-backed Shrike at Littlesea, The Fleet.

Red-breasted Flycatcher at Littlesea, The Fleet.

Short-toed Lark at Portland Bill.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Reap Lane, Portland.

Glossy Ibis at Radipole Lake.

Dipper at Lyme Regis. My best views ever of this delightful species.

Black Brant on The Fleet. One of Two seen this winter.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Portland Bill.

Pallid Swift at Christchurch. A British tick for me.

Sabine's Gull at Cogden Beach.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Abbotsbury Swannery, The Fleet.

Dusky Warbler at Portland Bill.

Two-barred Crossbill at Hemsted Forest, Kent. A lifer for me.

Two-barred Crossbill in Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

Great Grey Shrike in Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

Snow Buntings at West Bexington.

Cranes at Puddletown Water Meadows.

Scandinavian Herring Gull at Radipole Lake. One of two so far this winter.

Black Guillemot in Portland Harbour

Glossy Ibis at Radipole Park.

Brunnich's Guillemot in Portland Harbour. A lifer for me and my highlight of the year.

Glaucous Gull at West Bexington.

Red-necked Grebe in Portland Harbour.

Monday, 30 December 2013

My Highlights of 2013 (January - June)

Snow Bunting at Ferrybridge, The Fleet.

Siberian Chiffchaff at Littlesea, Weymouth. Identity confirmed by DNA.

Waxwing at Lytchett Matravers. One of 26 seen that day.

Iceland Gull at Radipole Lake.

Siberian Chiffchaff in my Weymouth garden.

Siberian Lesser Whitethroat at Lanehouse, Weymouth. Identity confirmed by DNA.

Snow Bunting at West Bexington.

Hawfinch at Bruton, Somerset.

Pied-billed Grebe at Ham Wall, Somerset.

Iceland Gull at Radipole Lake.

Great Grey Shrike at Wyke Down.

White-spotted Bluethroat at Portland Bill.

White-spotted Bluethroat at Suckthumb Quarry, Portland.

Kentish Plover at Ferrybridge, The Fleet.

White-spotted Bluethroat at Chesil Cove, Portland. The influx of White-spotted Bluethroats on Portland was one of the highlights of the year. This one, hopping around on seaweed covered rocks, was my personal favourite of the three males seen during the Spring.

Spoonbill at Lodmoor.

Stone Curlew between Butterstreet and Moonfleet, The Fleet. This was one of a flock of 5.

Long-eared Owl at Portland Bill.

Turtle Dove at Abbotsbury Swannery, The Fleet. Sadly, now a rare bird.

Red-rumped Swallow at Lodmoor.

Wood Warbler at Radipole Park.

Roller at Broxhead Common, Hampshire. 

Eastern Subalpine Warbler at Portland Bill.

Caspian Tern at West Bexington.

Wilson's Phalarope at Yarmouth Ponds, Isle Of Wight. An exquisite bird and my personal highlight of the first half of the year.