As you may have noticed, It’s been quite a while since my last post. Since then and now some pretty crap things have happened, crappest of all was my friend, house mate and colleague past away back at the start of September. Nick Quintrell was an amazing bloke confirmed last night at a memorial evening held at Radipole last night where nearly one hundred people turn up to pay their respects. There’s a cracking blog post on the RSPB blog which contains memories and tributes to Nick, its well worth a read. www.rspb.org.uk/weymouthwetlandsblog
Birding was almost non-existent through September and ringing was pretty much limited to a goldcrest and a blue tit one morning in my garden but life is starting to get back on track and I got back Saturday from having a week on Lundy. I went for the first time last autumn and had a great week though we saw nothing amazingly crippling. This visit was quite different, full of hope after seeing a forecast for stiff easterly winds for much of the week. In reality this ended up preventing us from ringing and birding was quite tricky at times with near gale force winds doing their best to unsteady my binoculars. However a few goodies did show up. A Little Bunting was skulking around in a field behind the church, Lapland Bunting and Snow Bunting added a bit of interest however the biggy of the week unfortunately was one that got away. I flushed a very grey looking thrush from some juncus one afternoon. Instantly I thought Black-throated Thrush. It quickly went back down into cover but out of sight. A few minutes later it flushed again but this time with some redwings which resulted in it flying off with them. Views were limited to flight views as it went away from me except for a moment when I saw some rather white flanks. But frustratingly no other features were seen so this one will have to fade away into a distant memory.
Ringing was a little quiet but was great to catch a reasonable number of Redwing which I rather stupidly managed to not take any pictures of! Did take a picture of this Redstart though.
This eastern type Chiffchaff was nice to see. Showed quite a few tristis features but it decided to keep its beak shut on release and every other time I saw it in the field.
Possibly the highlight for me was my first Brambling in the hand! About time…
Whilst away I’ve managed to miss a Portland purple patch with the likes of a Durian Shrike, Subapline Warbler, Barred Warbler, Siberian Stonechat showing up and a mystery warbler which remained a mystery to many birders during its short stay in a garden in Southwell.
Yesterday morning I went out to clouds hill for an early morning ringing session which got me just under 30 birds. Mainly Robins, Goldcrests and Blackbirds. Three Ring Ouzels were about but not near any of the nets!