Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hume's something or other...

Went over to Little sea Holiday Park this afternoon to have a peak at the Hume’s leaf Warbler, or should it be called a Hume’s Warbler or even a Hume’s Yellow-browed Warbler. No idea…
Anyway, it was expectedly elusive though luckily it was calling frequently giving away its location briefly. Got a few good views but only for a second or two at a time and by the time the camera had been aimed towards the bird it duly disappeared. You’ll just have to Google it so see a picture of the species but basically it’s a washed out Yellow-browed Warbler which has features a few times on the blog over the last month or so.
Another rarity I’ve failed to photograph recently is the juv Rose-coloured Starling that’s frequenting Lodmoor at present. Seems quite settled there so will have to get back over the camera and try harder!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A bit of bird spotting at Lyme

Today started with a visit to clouds hill where my bird feeders had hopefully been attracting plenty of customers. On arrival the feeders were empty which was encouraging as obviously something had been using them. Filled them up and after about an hour and large flock of Greenfinch, Linnet and Goldfinch turned up. The Greenfinch were keen to jump into the net and one round produced 12 of them plus a few Goldfinch.

 By mid morning Fred (who was ringing with me) and myself started to feel the urge to go twitching. Probably should have been heading up to Chew Valley where a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper plus a host of other goodies (though not Bill Oddie) are in residence. Instead we stayed a little more local and landed up in Lyme Regis where a juv Spotted Sandpiper has decided to spend the winter. Unfortunately the bird stayed pretty distant which meant photos came out like this.

Shame it wasn’t as obliging as the Purple Sandpipers.

Whilst back at the car park having Sandwiches and Coffee this young male Black Redstart performed on nearby buildings. There seems to be quite a few around Lyme Regis with another three being seen on the other side of town near the museum.

Must quickly mention that Radipole’s been back on form with several 'nice' Gulls including this superb Little Gull which was about last weekend.

And finally I can’t not post a picture of a Yellow legged Gull. Sorry! Taken during the week at Radipole.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The coots are back in town

Coot catching commence this morning at Radipole with a short session to see how keen the birds were to come in for food. There has definitely been an arrival over the last week so hopes were fairly high. We caught three in quick succession then the birds wised up and remembered not to come anywhere near me. The temperature is still stupidly high for the time of year so hopefully things will cool down soon and the birds will get a bit more peckish.

As with last year, we are colour ringing the coot with a white ring with a green code consisting of two letters. Obviously, sightings are most welcome!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A rather interesting 'Phyllosc'

This morning’s visit to clouds hill wasn’t particularly an exciting one. Got there extra early in the hope of a few grounded Redwing and Fieldfare but numbers of each were very low and none were caught. However a few Song Thrush and Blackbirds were caught including a re-trap Song Thrush from the start of October which I presumed to be a migrant but perhaps not? The morning just got quieter and drizzle made me pack by about 9am but whilst furling the nets a ‘phyllosc’ jumped into the net. Extracted it a presumed it was a Chiffchaff but when I took it back out of the bag for processing, I could see that it wasn’t! Getting excited? Portland bird obs caught a Dusky Warbler yesterday and this time of year can produce all sorts. So what did I get?

A Willow Warbler!

This is obviously very late for a Willow Warbler to be still in the UK and its the latest I’ve seen by far.  Just as proof here is a shot showing the primary feathers where number 6 is clearly isn’t emarginated. Chiffchaff (and infact Dusky Warbler I think but thats irrelevant) have emarginations on the 6th primary.

Monday, 7 November 2011

As Dorsets getting colder Blandfords getting Otter

Nearly every Dorset naturalist will have either been to see or have heard about the Blandford Otters. It’s ridiculous how bold they are! They just parade back and forth in front of large crowds of spectators. There must have been about 70 people watching them whilst I was there and the animal wasn’t the slightest bit concerned. Not sure how many Otters there are at Blandford but locals have been suggesting up to five all around the blue bridge over the Stour. After a while it became a little like watching an Otter in a zoo as the animal was in constant view feeding on small fish that it was catching at the base of the weir. Obviously I took some photos so here they are.