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, 31 August 2013

Red-backed Shrike

A juvenile showing well at Lodmoor today.






A terrible flight shot.

Now, what's for munchies.

A bush cricket.

And a bee. Mmmm, nice.

Blue-headed Wagtail? And Dorset's Rare Bird Of The Month (August)

Went to Abbotsbury Swannery last night in the hope that the previous days Citrine Wagtail would put in a repeat appearance. Sadly, there was no sign, but did see the following interesting Yellow Wagtail.



Surely this has to be a Blue-headed Wagtail, though ruling out a hybrid "channel" wagtail would be a problem, one would guess.

On the subject of the Citrine Wagtail, Dorset's bird of the month for August goes to this individual, so, well done to Luke Phillips who found it.

I don't see many of you attempting the mystery photo, what's the matter with you all?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Mystery Photo

The following bird was photographed at Ferrybridge on 10th August 2013.

Answers in the comments part please. No prizes, it's just for fun.

I'll give you the answer at the weekend.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Another Day, Another Goodie

Another thrash of Portland yet again paid dividends. First off, picking up an Osprey circling over the Bill and later on, co finding an Ortolan Bunting with Julian, who'd joined me on the East Cliffs at the Bill. Other birds noted included Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Greenshank, Garden Warbler, a few Tree Pipits and a single Sedge Warbler, plus plenty of Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears. Also connected with the Wryneck that had been found in the Obs Quarry, around the time Julian and I were watching the Ortolan.




The star of the day was this Ortolan Bunting. It didn't linger, sadly, and was only seen by it's finders.



This Osprey was always into the sun for me. Still, you can see what it is.


This Garden Warbler gave us a bit of a fright on the East Cliffs. Shame it wasn't a Barred Warbler.

My first Wryneck of the autumn.


I'm guessing that's why they call 'em Wrynecks.


A Little Owl on the East Cliffs.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

About Time Too

Well, I've been suffering from a drought when it comes to finding rare birds. Thankfully, that drought came to an end today. Yesterday, went up to Portland with high hopes, but came away with nothing other than 35 Balearic Shearwaters. A Yellow-legged Gull at Radipole was the only other bird of note seen yesterday. Back to today and back up to Portland. Barleycrates and Reap Lane were pretty crap, then did the Hump/Suckthumb Quarry area, where 40 Willow Warblers and a single Garden Warbler gave me some hope. Then it was off to the Bill. Eventually after a walk up through Culverwell and around part of the top fields, I found myself at Eight Kings Quarry. Let's be fair, after seeing pretty much diddly squit, my hard work finally paid off with views of a Hippolais warbler. After a short wait, it came out into the open, revealing it's identity as an Icterine Warbler. After the east coast stealing the show today, it was good to finally bring Portland into the game. 3 Redstarts and a couple of Spotted Flycatchers were the only other migrants of note seen after finding the Icky. So, what could have been a incredibly disappointing day, was salvaged by one bird. And now for a few pics.







Friday, 23 August 2013

The Young Ones

Lodmoor produced very little of interest, as did Ferrybridge this afternoon. Did take some photos at Ferrybridge though.


Juvenile Sanderling.



Juvenile Common Terns.



Juvenile Little Terns. How gorgeous is this little beasty.

This Little Tern is in 1st-winter plumage already.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A New Bird For Me Garden

Whilst at work, my wife Karen sent me a text with a photo of a bird on my daughter Tiana's hand, and asked me what it was. To my astonishment, it was a Treecreeper. It had flown into one of our windows. After having some time to recover, it flew off unharmed.


© Karen Spencer

© Tiana Spencer

An unexpected bird for our garden, just a shame I wasn't there to see it.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Dorset's Bird Of The Month (July)

Dorset's bird of the month, for July, goes to the White-rumped Sandpiper that was at Lodmoor. Well done to the finder Ian Stanley.

And now, a couple of bird photos to bore you with. Both taken at Ferrybridge in recent weeks.

A juvenile Mediterranean Gull. This image does have a certain ambiance I reckon.

A juvenile Dunlin, just at the start of it's moult into 1st-winter plumage. Note the new scapular.

Whilst on the subject of Ferrybridge, the other day I noticed this.

What could have made such marks in the sand? A turtle perhaps?

What the ....?

Bloody hell Pete, what are you doing man?

Well, he was trying to get up close and personal to these Knot. What people will do for their art, eh?

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The General Public Should Be Shown This

http://focusingonwildlife.com/news/massive-bird-slaughter-around-the-mediterranean-shocking-photos/


It's disgusting and should be stopped by any means necessary.

DECLARE  WAR  ON  THESE  SICK  PEOPLE  AND  KILL  ALL  HUNTERS  NOW.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Curlew Sandpiper 1 Little Stint 2

Lodmoor produced a moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper this evening.

It was always distant.

Meanwhile, at Ferrybridge, 2 Little Stints were seen very last thing.



The light was absolutely dreadful.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Give Us That Crab, You Bastard

1st-calendar year Yellow-legged Gull chases after a 3rd-calendar year Herring Gull at Ferrybridge.

The Yellow-legged Gull claims it's prize.



Happy as larry, or should that be larid?

Also at Ferrybridge.


Turnstone. Their summer plumage gives them so much character.

Also saw a few Balearic Shearwaters and a couple of Arctic Skuas off Portland Bill this afternoon.