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.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Great Northern Diver At Littlesea

Finished work early today, so went to Littlesea, The Fleet. Highlight was a Great Northern Diver on The Fleet. Other birds of note included a Black Brant, up to a dozen Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Barn Owl. Firecrest had also been seen, but I failed to connect with any. 

The Great Northern Diver.

Black Brant with Dark-bellied Brent Geese.

And here showing the extent of the neck band.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Great Grey Shrike

This morning I decided to visit Morden Bog, in the hope of seeing and photographing the wintering Great Grey Shrike. Unlike my last visit, I was soon rewarded with some views, albeit at some distance. Perseverance paid off though, with good close views in the end, as it flew in and perched on top of a close tree. My fourth species of shrike for the year.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Blast From The Past (November)

The male Bluethroat at Church Ope Cove, Portland in 2002.

The male Red-breasted Flycatcher at Pennsylvania Castle, Portland in 2002.

1 of 4 Little Auks at Abbotsbury Swannery on one day in 2003.

Here's another one of those Little Auks, with Great Crested Grebes.

A Pallas's Warbler that had been trapped and ringed at Portland Bird Observatory in 2003.

The 1st-winter Laughing Gull in Weymouth Harbour in 2005.

A male Ring-necked Duck at Lodmoor in 2006.

The adult Red-breasted Goose on The Fleet in 2006.

Check out the neck band on this Black Brant that was at Middlebere in 2006.

A few images of the Leach's Petrel wreck of 2009.

One of many seen in The Narrows of The Fleet.

This one was found flying over a field by Camp Road.

And here it is heading out to sea.

And finally, one in Portland Harbour.

And finally

The Crane on The Fleet at Herbury in 2011.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Portland Thrashes The Fleet

A well overdue update of....

The Fleet Vs Portland

Up to end of October.

The Fleet = 55 points, with a Wryneck and 2 Yellow-browed Warblers adding to the score. It has certainly been a quiet spell on The Fleet, though I expect that a lack of observer coverage has a lot to do with that. It wasn't going to compete though, with the amazing purple patch that Portland had in October.

Portland = 132 points, with Pale-legged Leaf Warbler (30 points), Isabelline Shrike (5 points), Siberian Stonechat (5 points), 3 Ortolan Buntings, 2 Little Buntings, 4 Lapland Buntings, 4 Wrynecks, 2 Red-backed Shrikes, 2 Honey Buzzards, 2 Great White Egrets, 4 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 2 Continental Coal Tits, a massive haul of 24 Yellow-browed Warblers and singles of Stone Curlew, Grey Phalarope, Barred Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Red-necked Grebe, Sabine's Gull and Little Auk adding to the score.

Portland still really hadn't produced by the end of September, but October put Portland, well and truly, back on the ornithological map. I did say that Portland would probably surpass The Fleet's score by the end of the year, I just wasn't anticipating it would do it in quite the superb fashion it has.

I'm Surprised There Are Any Birds Left On This Planet

Shocking. With trapping and shooting happening on a large scale in Europe and Asia, what chance have birds got to survive.

I  Hate  The  Human  Race.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Brents and Meds


Dark-bellied Brent Geese flying up The Fleet.

2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, with a Dark-bellied Brent Goose in the foreground.

The Brent Geese are feeding in fields very early this winter, which possibly indicates a lot less eel-grass available. These fields will be well worth keeping an eye on through the coming winter. There are 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese in this flock, can you spot them?


Mediterranean Gulls flying up The Fleet. It seems incredulous now, but as little ago as the winter of 2004/05, my best count on the Fleet was 9. In the 2005/06 winter, this had more than doubled to 26. Now, we get over 800.

2nd-winter Mediterranean Gull.

Adult winter Mediterranean Gull.

Advanced 2nd-winter, or perhaps a 3rd-winter Mediterranean Gull.