Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Yellow-browed Warbler-Pen Mill Sewage Works Yeovil

Little Bunting-Chiswell-Portland

Went down to see the confiding 1st winter Little Bunting that has been present at Chiswell-Portland, giving mega views on Pebble Lane. The Little Bunting showed extremely well coming to within a couple feet at times feeding on seed blown onto the lane from the strong sea-winds.
The Bunting preformed very well during the hour I was present while a male Black Redstart was feeding on the Chesil Beach nearby.
After the Bunting, a quick look at Portland Harbour from Sandsfoot castle produced nice views of a Red-necked Grebe, 8+ Black-necked Grebe, 50+ Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Guillmeot and lots of Med Gulls passing by.

Red-footed Falcon-Isle Brewers-Dorset May 2018

Pallid Swift-Chiswell, Portland Nov 15th 2018

During the month of November, strong southerly winds hitting the south of the Uk brought a large influx of Pallid Swifts to the UK. This individual turned up at Chiswell, Portland, Dorset on 15th November giving great views in very murky grey skies, hawking insects over Chesil Cove. This is my 1st British Pallid Swift record. These birds have been blown northwards due to the winter storms where they should be migrating south into Western Africa. 
Despite poor light and weather conditions I managed a few record shots showing some of the key Identification features of Pallid Swift compared to the Common Swift.

Lesser Yellowlegs-Lodmoor 14th Nov 2018

Lesser Yellowlegs-Juvenile showing well at RSPB Lodmoor on 14th Novemeber 2018

Winter plumaged male Ruff at Lodmoor

Drake Teal in flight showing off it's amazing colours 
Large numbers of Mediterranean Gulls present out in Weymouth bay

Thursday, 11 October 2018


Went down to Thurlestone, Devon this morning in search of a very rare vagrant Isabelline Shrike, which should be in South East Asia!! This magnificent bird has been blown all the way across Europe in torrential rain & winds and landed right on the coast path!! 
1st winter Shrikes in autumn can be difficult to seperate to species, race and subspecies levels. This Isabelline Shrike is a 1st winter male of the "Daurian race".

Despite pour weather forecast, it brightened up and the Issy Shrike gave some outstanding close up views along the coast path, favoring a few hawthorn bushes and a small patch of brambles, happily feeding on beetles. My 1st UK Isabelline Shrike and a long waited addition species to see..... A fantastic day's birding was had along the South Devon Coast.
Other sightings, 100+ Linnet, 3 Kestrels, 2 Raven at South Huish Marsh.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Grey Phalaropes- Lyme Regis

Over the past few days, Storm Ali has swept gale force winds and torrential rain and weather across the south coast of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, bringing a fine selection of seabirds blown close inshore. Many Grey Phalaropes have turned up in sheltered harbours and inlets at many locations right along the south coast with over 100+ reported over the past two days.
Two Grey Phalarope were showing extremely well close in off the Cobb wall this morning and were joined by a 3rd bird that dropped in briefly further out at sea.
These stunning scarce autumn waders should be miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, rarely coming close to land (Normally high Arctic Circle, on breeding grounds), have been blown into Lyme Bay to seek shelter from the rough seas. Once the weather calms down, these tiny delightful, exquisite autumn waders will be making their way to winter out in the open Atlantic Ocean off Western Africa before returning to Arctic Norway to breed in Spring. A real privilege to see several close up again this year and watch them at close quarters. With these strong South-westerly winds coming across the from North America, it's only time that a few mega rare American waders and chance of a few passerines make it to Dorset and Devon coastline in the coming 24hours. Watch this space..................