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.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Continental Coal Tits

Really pleased to finally connect with Continental Coal Tits this autumn. The 2 at Portland Castle were the first ones I've seen in 19 years. And always good to self find one too.

The first one I saw was this rather bedraggled individual. Note colour of back and slight crest.

Wow, that looks meaty. If you like Garden Spiders, I do apologize.

The other individual was much better looking.

Note the blue grey back and clean looking flanks. Nape patch is also more extensive than British birds and, along with the cheeks, tend to look whiter.


Even without seeing the upperpart colouration, this can be identified as a Continental. Note the extensive black throat that extends onto upper breast, the blackish blotches on breast sides and the clean looking underparts.

Note the little crest and how the black of the throat meets the shoulder and upper breast and blackish breast side blotch.

Little stunners and rare. Not even annual in Dorset. This is a good autumn for them, so get out there and look for them. And, if you find one, take your time and enjoy it.

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