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.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Dorset's February Bird Of The Month


Firstly, one of the viewers of this blog, through one of their comments, highlighted this for me and I thought I'd share it with everyone.

Anonymous said...
Sadly, the hen harriers appear to be suffering from repeated disturbance by low-flying Army helicopters using Wyke Down as a practice landing area. I complained using the MoD's very efficient low-flying complaints service, explaining the importance of the area for nationally rare species, but received only a generic reply which was worded as if I had been complaining about a low-flying helicopter over my house.

I think greater numbers of complaints might help draw attention to the problem, and so would urge anyone reading this to complain to:

Ministry of Defence Air Staff
Complaints and Enquiries Unit
Low Flying Operations Squadron
RAF Wittering
Peterborough
PE8 6HB

Telephone: 0845 600 7580

Thankyou for highlighting this problem.  So, birders out there, please start complaining, in order to educate the Army about this special place.

Now back to other stuff. Well, February didn't produce much in the way of new arrivals, so there will be no poll for Dorset's bird of February. I think it will be agreed though, that the bird of the month was the Green-winged Teal in Poole Harbour. So, well done to the finder Nick Hopper. 

Dorset's bird of the year candidates so far include the following:-

The Hoopoe at Hamworthy. (Dorset's January bird of the month as voted for by you)
The Rosefinch at Broadstone. The bird that I think deserved the title of bird of the month in January.
The Green-winged Teal in Poole Harbour. (Dorset's February bird of the month)

And Finally

Preliminary DNA results have come back for this bird that was trapped and ringed in Ian's Littlesea garden on 5th January 2013.

Thanks to Martin Collinson of Aberdeen University for the information provided below.

Just done a quick run of 665 bp through BLAST and this comes out unambiguously as tristis. 100% identity to tristis Z73482.1 from the Mirnoye Biological Station,Yenisey River, western Siberia, 1-3 bp different from the other Sibe Chiffies we have sequenced from Britain and Ireland, 14 bp different from any abietinus or nominate bird.

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