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, 24 October 2017

Dorset Blockers Finally Unblocked

Thought I'd revisit a couple of past blog posts today.

Since I wrote those articles in Spring of 2014, quite a few of those species have finally given themselves up. The most recent of which is the drake Lesser Scaup, currently residing at the fabulous Longham Lakes. The last one was in 2004, so this will be well received by many.

Red-footed Falcon - The Wareham water meadows bird of 2015 ended a 20 year wait. Since then, we've had the opportunity to connect with a couple of others.

Temminck's Stint - The Lodmoor bird of 2014 was the first twitchable bird since 1987.

Baird's Sandpiper - The Brownsea bird, this year, started what would be an unprecedented Autumn arrival of American shorebirds into Dorset. This bird was the first since 1998, but was soon followed by another twitchable bird on The Fleet.

Lesser Yellowlegs - Poole Harbour and the brilliant Lytchett Fields hosted a wintering bird during 2016/17 and ended a 16 year wait for many. We've even had the opportunity of two more to look at this Autumn.

Bonaparte's Gull - This was an odd one. Eventually though, the species finally gave itself up at Ferrybridge in 2015. That was incredibly a 34 year wait. 2017 has provided a couple more opportunities to connect with this lovely gull, with the Longham Lakes bird being particularly noteworthy, being a rare inland record.

Great Spotted Cuckoo - 27 years of pain finally ended on 13th May 2016, with the brilliant long staying bird on Portland. The suppressed bird of 1989 can now, at long last, be forgotten.

Greenish Warbler - The obliging bird at Portland Bird Observatory this Autumn, was the first twitchable individual since 2001.

Western Bonelli's Warbler - A bit like buses this species. You wait for ages, 1984 to be exact, and then 3 come along all at once. Singles at Portland Bird Observatory in 2014, 2015 and 2016 gave many the chance to add this one to their Dorset lists.

Aquatic Warbler - The bird at Lytchett Fields, in 2016, was an awesome find and the first twitchable bird in Dorset since 1997.

Hooded Crow - Portland provided the first twitchable Dorset bird since 1997, in 2014. It has since been followed by a couple more, for example, the one at Studland this year.

Cirl Bunting - West Bexington became the venue for this species to be unblocked. The last twitchable individual was in 1991, so the birds of 2014/15 were certainly appreciated, though they were somewhat dogged by suppression at the time.

What will be the next one to fall? I'm hoping it's gonna be Asian Desert Warbler. We can but dream, I suppose.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Lesser Vs Greater Yellowlegs

A couple of the Lesser Yellowlegs on Lodmoor from yesterday.

And now the Titchfield Haven Greater Yellowlegs, from 2015, for comparison.

Tried to find pics in similar pose and this is as close as I got.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

An Update From The Demise Of Radipole Lake Post

Well, I am told by somebody within the RSPB that my blog post about Radipole is helping. Hmmm? It seems rather odd to me that nobody within the Dorset RSPB team, especially the new reserves manager, has not taken the liberty to either comment or get in touch with me personally. Is this arrogance on their part? 

By certain members of the local RSPB team, when I have spoken to them, I have been spoken back to in a patronising manner. I have also been accused by a member of staff in the visitor centre at Radipole of making an intern quit their internship, something that I have subsequently found out to be untrue. Yet, no apology is forthcoming. 

And what about the future for Lodmoor. Again, there is no transparency as to what future management plans are on the table to improve the site for both birds and people. Oh, did I mention people? People are very important when it comes to urban reserves like Radipole and Lodmoor. If you make the sites good for birding potential, you know that non birdy people will see stuff and might just get inspired. Leading on from that is RSPB membership, which then equates to revenue. Also, it'll attract more people to Weymouth, thus contributing to the local economy. 

So, people out there, if you have any comments, I'd like to hear from you. I'm on about anyone, not just RSPB staff. The comments can be posted where it says comments below this blog post. Have your say, as it is extremely important.