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 Wallcreeper, taken in Spain in 2010.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Woodchat Shrike

On Friday, went out to look at this 1st-summer female just North of Martinstown. Didn't know who had found it at time and went to check it out, to rule out Balearic Woodchat. This bird was in the middle of bloody nowhere, so was an excellent find. The finder, I found out subsequently, was Dave Chown. What a birder he is, just top notch and a true gent to boot.




Thursday, 9 June 2016

Montagu's Harrier

A graceful beauty.



Monday, 6 June 2016

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Red-backed Shrike At Radipole Lake

This was the fourth Red-backed Shrike I've seen at Radipole Lake, but the first one there in Spring. A stunning male too.



Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Dalmatian Pelican In Cornwall

Finally went to see this impressive bird of unknown origin on Monday 16th May. I picked up Tim White, from Seaton, on the way and arrived at Drift Reservoir, with the bird on view. Panic over. Now it awaits the decision of the BOURC to see if this bird can be accepted as the first for Britain.

It was never close, so heavily cropped record shots.



Check out that gob.


Fully winged.

Unringed.




After the pelican, we went in search of Bowhead Whale and Serin nearby, but failed to see either.

So, off home we headed, until we got to Dartmoor, when news broke of the Lammergeier. Alas, it was like chasing shadows and we duly dipped. Still, did see some nice Whinchats.


Males do this wing quivering when singing. Wonder where he was ringed?

Friday, 13 May 2016

1st-summer Great Spotted Cuckoo On Portland

For those who remember the suppressed St. Aldhelm's bird, 25 years of pain came to an end today, thanks to Anthony Bentley.








Safe to say, that this was a Dorset tick for everyone today.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Caspian Stonechat In Hampshire

My first new bird, well, taxa of the year. A stunning male Caspian Stonechat at Titchfield Haven. I wrongly aged it as a 1st-summer on the basis of the worn primaries. It is in fact a 3rd-cal year/adult on the basis of the uniformly black wing coverts. Adults commonly show a brownish hue to the primaries. Thanks to Grahame Walbridge for clarification on this.







Only the sixth record for Britain and so, an excellent find by Amy Robjohns.

I think the amount of white in the tail favours the Northern form S.m.hemprichii being about 50% of tail base being white. There is obviously some overlap though between the Northern form and the Southern form S.m.variegatus, but there would have to be less white in the tail for this bird to be considered of the latter form.

Some more pics of this beauty.