Thursday, 13 February 2020

An hour with some Purple Sandpipers

Today took a visit after filling up the feeders on patch to have a look around Lyme Regis, given the wind had died down a tad. Still a bit breezy around the Cobb wall, no sign of the drake Eider but a nice little flock of 6 Purple Sandpipers feeding close to the aquarium on the rocky beach was great to watch as they feed close to me while I sat on the beach in the afternoon sunlight!

Always a joy to watch Purple Sandpipers at close quarters, especially when they can be so confiding of peoples presence which makes the moment more enjoyable.

It was fascinating to watch them pick small morsels of crustaceans and molluscs from under the small pebbles and rocks as they foraged along the receding shoreline as tourists, dog walkers and every day people passed by.  A few images below of some of the birds taken in the afternoon sun.

Other observations include dozen Rock Pipits, 10 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover on Monmouth Beach and female Black Redstart briefly on rooftop of the Bowling Club.

Weymouth RSPB

A super days birding with Hannah around Weymouth and Portland Harbour during the week. First stop-off was to Radipole RSPB where we had great views of Bearded Reedlings, Mediterranean Gulls, Pochard, Tufted Ducks and several Marsh Harriers. Nice to see a adult winter Sandwich Tern in the car park. Over to RSPB Lodmoor and a little windy but nice views of Marsh Harriers, the resident Avocet, 100+ Lapwing, calling Water Rail, Pochards and an escaped Black Swan.
Portland Harbour proved quite productive in the prevailing winds with several Great Northern Divers and Red-breasted Mergansers close in off Osprey Quay. A great days birding despite the poor weather 😊

Bearded Reedling

An escaped Black Swan

Great Northern Diver sheltering in Portland Harbour by the Castle/Osprey Quay

Mediterranean Gull-Coming into summer plumage with black hood forming

Marsh Harrier


Sandwich Tern


Drake Shoveler

Angry looking Tufted Duck

A sleeping drake Teal

Wednesday, 25 September 2019


Earlier this year Hannah and I spent a fantastic two weeks at the Ponza Island Ornithological bird-ringing study centre. A truly fantastic place to witness spring bird migration of many species. Commonest species seen/ringed include Icterine Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler and Wood Warbler during big fall days numbers in their 100's to 1000+ across the Island. Large numbers of Golden Oriole, Bee-eater, Hoopoe seen daily migrating through along with many familiar species in the UK including Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchat and Nightingale present in large numbers. During the 2weeks several fall days saw Pied Fly, Redstart and Whinchat numbering 200+ each across the Island. Extraordinary numbers Other highlights , large numbers of migrating Honey Buzzards, Great Reed Warblers, Wryneck, Collared Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Short-toed Eagle, Elenaora's Falcon, both Western and Moltoni's races of Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warblers, Serins, Audouins Gull and Red-footed Falcon all recorded during our visit to the Island. Looking forward to returning again next spring! :)