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, 19 January 2013

Plover Fest

After yesterdays cold snap, I went straight to Littlesea, on The Fleet, to see what may have turned up as a result. The most obvious arrival was of huge numbers of Golden Plovers, followed by winter thrushes. Otherwise, it was very quiet, especially for ducks.

A pair of Gadwall, the male shown here, on the flooded field by Camp Road, were the only displaced ducks seen.

On it's own, a Golden Plover is a beautiful bird.

In numbers, they provide quite a spectacle. Note the Mediterranean Gull and Lapwing in the flock.

How the wing pattern should look.

But check out the wing pattern on this beauty.

Part of the flock of at least 2,000 Golden Plovers, in the fields by Bridge Farm.

Redwings and........

Fieldfares, here with a Redwing, were also very much in evidence.

Also, Song Thrushes were involved.

My feeling is that these are Continental Song Thrushes T.p.philomelos. Any comments on this would be welcome. To my eye, they looked a colder brown on the upperparts than British Song Thrush T.p.clarkei.

All these birds were attracting the attentions of this Sparrowhawk.

Gulls, like this 2nd-winter Mediterranean Gull, were also finding lots of food in the fields.

The Slavonian Grebe was still present and a lot closer than last time.

Next stop on The Fleet was Butterstreet, to see if the Dark-bellied Brent Geese, which are now mostly feeding in the adjoining fields, had attracted in anything different.

Nothing new in, but finally got close enough to the wintering Black Brant to be able to get a piccy.

Winter thrushes were very much in evidence here too. Here, a Redwing is flying down The Fleet.

As were Fieldfares. Check out the wing tip pattern, not something I've noticed before.

I finished off at Chickerell Hive area, which often gets Golden Plovers in cold weather. I wasn't to be disappointed.

Also, a lot of Redwings and Fieldfares here.

A very enthralling mornings birding, with a few thousand Golden Plovers and hundreds of Redwings and Fieldfares being the highlights. Lapwings only numbered over a hundred, which I thought was odd, but thinking about it, I suppose they would be less affected because of the amount of water everywhere, which might also explain the lack of ducks as well.

My 10km square photo year list is now on 49.

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