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 Siberian Rubythroat, taken in Holland in 2016.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Fleet Vs Portland 2012

Sadly my wife is unwell, so no birding for me today. So, I thought I'd have a bit of fun.

Ok, it's competition time. No, there aren't any prizes. Yes, there's total rivalry. Also, any cheating will be dealt with seriously by way of death. Also, I make the rules and I promise you, I will be fair. Stop laughing! I will be fair.

Now, everyone knows I love The Fleet, as it is truly a beautiful place. Likewise, everyone knows I detest the Isle of Portland, from an aesthetic point of view. It used to be lovely of course, but the hand of man has been ruthless to this place and it's not somewhere that I like to go birding as a result. Having said that, Portland happens to be a brilliant place for birds. Now, I could start ranting about some of the people who live there, but I'm not going too. I don't want to lower myself to their standards. Oops, that was a slight rant wasn't it? Ah well.

I'm thinking Portland could win this by years end, because it gets more birders and some of them have too much time on their hands. Plus, it has that lighthouse thingy. Oh, now what's it called? They molest birds there, you know, fondle them? Anyway, it escapes me, but they have that place.

Here's how the scoring goes.

1st for Britain = 30 points
1st for Dorset = 20 points
1st for respective area = 10 points
B.B rarity = 5 points
Scarcity = 1 point

The Rules

Ferrybridge is The Fleet and as a result, doesn't get counted on Portlands's scores. Stop arguing, I make the rules, not you. I choose what gets counted and what doesn't, so there. Also, for the seriously rare stuff, evidence is needed for it to count, 'cause there's a few stringers out there. Remember, the punishment is death if you start cheating. I'll fart in yer face, yeah, that'll do it. Perhaps death is a bit harsh. Ah well, we'll review that at some stage.

Results so far (up to end 20th April)

The Fleet = 26 points
Shit Rock = 9 points

Species involved

The Fleet

Black Brant = 1 = 1 point
Smew = 1 = 1 point
Black-winged Stilt = 1 = 5 points
Long-billed Dowitcher = 1 = 5 points
Glaucous Gull = 1 = 1 point
Iceland Gull = 2 = 2 points
Richard's Pipit = 1 = 1 point
Hume's Warbler = 1 = 10 points, as it was 1st for The Fleet.

Shit Rock

Red-necked Grebe = 2 = 2 points
Glaucous Gull = 1 = 1 point
Iceland Gull = 3 = 3 points
Black Guillemot = 1 = 1 point
Hoopoe = 1 = 1 point
Snow Bunting = 1 = 1 point

Species explained

Certain species will not be counted, for example, Balearic Shearwater, Pomarine Skua, Spoonbill, etc, because they are frequent enough visitors. Red-necked Grebe is counted as it has become much scarcer in recent years, as has Puffin to be honest, but I have decided not to count Puffin in this case.

I'll try and update the points as and when I can be bothered to do it.

Had a house tick last Sunday. A Tawny Owl seen from the bedroom window. It was heard calling and was seen perched on top a neighbours roof, before flying off.

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