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.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Little Terns

Went out a couple of times in the week to Lodmoor, where the best I could manage were singles of Little Ringed Plover and Mandarin.

The Mandarin on Lodmoor.

Today we (myself and Fred) started at Ferrybridge, where the highlight was a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.

Dunlin, Sanderling and Ringed Plover coming in on the tide.

A dozen Sanderling was the best we could manage amongst the waders.

This flock of Gannets looked like they were going to head over the Chesil Beach Centre at one point, but carried along the Chesil Beach towards Portland.

The Little Terns at Ferrybridge have had a brilliant breeding season at Ferrybridge and the RSPB staff and all the volunteers are to be congratulated for all their hard work. As a result, it gave me the opportunity to photograph fledged juveniles.

First off, a couple of adults.



And now the juveniles.

Super cute stunning little things.





We ended the morning at Lodmoor, which could only offer up a single Whimbrel amongst the small number and selection of waders. A very tame adult Mediterranean Gull entertained us in the area where people feed the ducks.


Friday, 19 July 2013

Enjoying The Summer

Over the last couple of days have made 3 return visits to Lodmoor. Couldn't get any closer to the White-rumped Sandpiper and after dipping on the Great White Egret this afternoon, I managed to jam in on it this evening as it flew up from the reedbed and departed north-north east over Horse Lynch Copse. Also, checked into Radipole Lake where the drake Red-crested Pochard was still in residence. With the selection of other birds on Lodmoor including Marsh Harriers, Little Ringed Plover, a couple of Green Sandpipers, a few Greenshank, an Arctic Tern and a Yellow-legged Gull.


Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on Lodmoor yesterday.

Greenshank.

The eclipse male Red-crested Pochard at Radipole Lake. This is a good time of year for a genuine wild one to turn up.

It certainly looked good.

Another photo of the White-rumped Sandpiper.

Mediterranean Gulls have arrived in force. This is an adult summer.

2nd-summer.

And my first juvenile of the year.

A terrible record shot of the Great White Egret. After seeing it fly off, it came back later after I had left.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

White-rumped Sandpiper

This bird was a good find for Stan. Lodmoor seems to be getting a reputation for turning up a July rare.

A lucky flight shot.


The two shots above show it with Dunlin. Sadly, it was always distant for photography.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Not A Lot To Report

Photographed this Ringed Plover whilst hoping to get some shots of young Little Terns at Ferrybridge.

Sadly, the young Little Terns were far to distant, but the good news is, is that they seem to be having a good year, which is brilliant. Hopefully, this colony has a good future now.

More good news now. The Marsh Harriers have 3 young up and about on one of the Weymouth reserves. Hopefully, I will be able to get some better photos than what I have at the moment.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Dorset's Rare Bird Of The Month (June)

Don't think there will be many arguments with this one. This Caspian Tern could be a contender for bird of the year. Well done to the finder Dave Chown, when it was first seen at Radipole Lake and Mike Morse, who relocated it later the same day at West Bexington.

Now back to yesterday. I bottled it on a trip to look for the Bridled Tern and instead opted to go look for a couple of other things. Started off somewhere in England.

A pale male Honey Buzzard. Sadly, it was always distant for photography, but I'm sure I'll revisit this site in the hope of getting better images of this stunning bird.


The afternoon was spent in Somerset, at Ham Wall RSPB reserve, in the hope of seeing the now famous pair of breeding Little Bitterns.

Connected with both the male and the female, but both sightings were brief. Here is the male. Note the red bill, showing that he is in breeding condition. Will certainly be making a return visit to this fabulous site to get better images.
Great White Egret, 2 Marsh Harriers, 3 Hobbies and a Bittern were also observed.

3rd-calendar year Marsh Harrier.

This Bittern flew over our heads calling.
Also, some stunning Brown Hawker dragonflies showed well.


Both images depict males.