18 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

On the way back from the Obs I walked along the lane and lower horse paddock. Just the one Chiffchaff in a very windy lane, whilst in the lower horse paddock there were several Meadow Pipits and singles of Stonechat and Wheatear.

The lone Chiffchaff in the lane.

Meadow Pipit

Also in the lower paddock a lone Wheatear.

Portland Bird Observatory and Crown Estate Fields

The Little Bunting looked as if it might be a long-stayer, certainly as it was seen on Tuesday and then Wednesday. Sadly by the time I got there this morning it was no longer about.

What was noticeable though were the flocks of Skylarks streaming up over the Obs and Crown Estate Fields. Earlier this morning I had noted 30 over Weymouth Railway Station. Here though there wasn't the odd flock of 30, but dozens.

Still plenty of Meadow Pipits around and I also had a Yellow Wagtail and at least 2 Reed Buntings. A couple of Wood Larks had been seen, but yet again another good bird was missed by me.

Other birds of note were 1 Grey Heron, several Stonechats, a Wheatear and 2 Chiffchaffs.

Here are a few images from this morning:

One of the many Meadow Pipits in and around the Crown Estate Fields

Also here a few Stonechats........

.......which are continually flitting about in the fields.

One of the few Wheatears still lingering.

A Skylark makes its way north along with hundreds of others.

An unusual sight on Portland a Grey Heron just west of the Crown Estate Fields.


.......absolutely hundreds in the Crown Estate Fields.

A trio of Goldfinches outside the Obs Garden wall.

And a charm.

One of two Kestrels keeping their eye open for lunch. This one is on a mist net post.


Alas not the Little Bunting but a female Reed Bunting.

Birds Recorded: 1 Grey Heron, 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 1 Pheasant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, 100+ Skylark, 5 Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 1 Yellow Wagtail,  Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, Blackbird, 3 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 800+ Linnet, 1 Siskin, Goldfinch and 2 Reed Bunting.

17 Oct 18



Around 10:30pm my first Redwings this Autumn, calling as they flew over the cottage.


Not a nice day here on Portland as the intense drizzle just keeps falling. It's one those days here, where even the most impenetrable of rain coats would see you getting wet.

So the only bird watching to be had today was looking down the back garden at the feeders and whatever the peripherals can pick up from my view point in the conservatory.

The feeders are actually drawing the birds in quite well, with at least 5 individual Great Tits, 2 Blue Tits, a pair of Chaffinches, a male Greenfinch and 4 House Sparrows.

Elsewhere from my advantage point I recorded 1 Dunnock, 1 Blackbird, a Wood Pigeon, 1 Robin and a fly-by Grey Wagtail.

Here are a few of probably the worse photos I have taken, from a dismal day here on Portland.

From left to right Great Tit, female Chaffinch, Blue Tit and female House Sparrow.

Possibly the same male Great Tit as the one above with a peanut.

A Blue Tit checks out the garden for insects.

On the near-by Sycamore a Greenfinch (left) and a male Chaffinch.

Above the finches a Robin in full voice.

16 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Grove Sports Field, Young Offenders, Governors Garden and back down Broadcroft Quarry Lane

A walk I've not done before and one which I did hope would see me at least find 1 of the 3 Yellow-browed Warblers reported along this walk. As it was I didn't see any, nor did Graham, Richard and Charles-Richards who I bumped into by the Sports Field woods.

However Richard and I did at least catch glimpses of a Firecrest to the east of the Sports Complex, so at least there was something of interest to see.

Other highlights on my walk were the hundreds of hirundine flying south down the east coast of Portland, mainly Swallows with a few House Martins in amongst them.

Still huge numbers of Linnets about with one flock of 200+ moving south. There is also an increase in the number of Chaffinches about, and also Goldfinches.

The only warblers about were Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, with one or two Chiffs singing. My first "large" flock of Long-tailed Tits were seen down Broadcroft Quarry Lane with 10 birds being followed by 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Great Tits and 5 Blue Tits.

In the lower horse paddock a lone male Stonechat.

Here are a few images:

Wakeham to The Grove and return. (Map courtesy Google Earth)

Along Broadcroft Quarry lane there were 6 Chiffchaffs here, 3 with the Long-tailed Tits and 3 more further north.

A Kestrel overlooks Portland Football Ground

Over East Weares a Buzzard being followed by a few Jackdaws.
A Goldfinch in the Autumn sun.

Birds Recorded between 12:30 - 15:45 were: 5 Cormorant, 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 10+ Skylark, 20+ House Martin, 80+ Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Stonechat, Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 6 Blackcap, 20+ Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 10 Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, 2 Siskin and Goldfinch,

Butterflies recorded: 1 Small Copper, 8 Red Admiral, 10 Large White, 2 Speckled Wood.


A busy back garden this morning with Greenfinches, House Sparrows, Great Tits and Blue Tits on the feeders. Along the stone wall both Dunnock and Wren feeding in amongst the , whilst in the Cherry Tree a Chiffchaff was picking off insects. Also about 2 Blackbirds and a Wood Pigeon on the lawn.

Overhead several Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtails and a Song Thrush.

An interesting Chiffchaff feeding in the Cherry Tree.

As it was picking off the insects.........

......I noticed it had straw coloured legs.

The leg colour is often used to identify Chiffchaffs from Willow Warblers.

Dark legs for Chiffs and straw coloured for Willow Warblers. Fortunately this "straw-coloured" Chiff started to sing as the sun came out briefly.n Otherwise!!

It wasn't just the Chiffchaff singing but this Robin as well. This male was letting others know that this is his Winter Patch.

Ships Today

This is the Japanese Vehicles Carrier "Pegasus Ace", on its way from Setubal, Portugal to Sheerness. More on this vessel Here.

This is the Cypriot Cargo Carrier "BG Emerald", on its way from Dublin to Rotterdam, Holland. More on this vessel Here.

This is the Danish Cargo Carrier "Magleby Maersk", on its way from Sines, Portugal to Bremerhaven, Denmark. More on this vessel Here.

15 Oct 18

Portland Bird Observatory and Huts.

Another late afternoon visit to the Obs. No Yellow-browed Warblers, but dozens of Chiffchaffs, several Blackcaps and 800+ Linnets were the main highlights. A Ring Ouzel was hiding away in the Hut Field close to the Obs garden, but try as I could I couldn't locate it.

Here are a few images:

One of the many Blackcaps in and around the Obs. This male has his eyes on a Blackberry.

Mainly male Blackcaps at the Obs, it was nice to come across a female with her brown cap.

A Goldfinch poses for the camera.

Birds Recorded: 2 Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, 200+ Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 5 Blackcap, 20+ Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, RavenStarling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 800+ Linnet and 100+ Goldfinch.

Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

A quick walk around the lane and fields this afternoon, before heading down to the Obs. Main highlight was 6 Wheatear in the lower paddock. Also about were 4 Stonechat, 60+ Meadow Pipit, several Pied Wagtails and 200+ Linnet.

In the lane just 2 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.

A few images from this afternoon:

One of the Meadow Pipits in the lower horse paddock.

And another.

After a long flight this Meadow Pipit is having a good preen.

Quite a few Robins setting up their winter territories.

A Stonechat takes off.

Also in the lower paddock a Wheatear, five others are close by.

The Wheatears were in the south-east corner of the paddock today. Bumpers lane is just to the right.

Birds Recorded: Kestrel, 3 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 4 Stonechat, 6 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 200+ Linnet and Goldfinch.


Greenfinches are a rare sight nowadays, so it was great to see two on the feeders this morning. Also taking an interest in the sunflower seeds were 3 Great Tits and 2 Blue Tits.

The number of Greenfinches seen in the UK today are well down since the disease Trichomonosis, began to have a devastating effect on a number of garden bird species, especially Greenfinches since around 2006. More on this disease here.

14 Oct 18

Portland Bird Observatory and Culverwell

A late afternoon trip to the Obs was rewarded with a Firecrest in Culverwell, where there were also 3 Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff. On the way to Culverwell from the Obs there were roughly 200 Great Black-backed Gulls in the paddocks to to the east of the main road. Also in amongst them at least 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull.

At The Obs I saw at least 3 Chiffchaffs and 1 of the 2 Yellow-browed Warblers now in the gardens. 

In the Crown Estate Fields the Linnet numbers are really growing now with in excess of 500 birds. Also noted a large flock or should that be charm of 50+ Goldfinches.

Here are a few images from afternoon.

Just a handful of the Linnets over the Crown Estate Fields.

Great Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls

Great Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls and a lone Lesser Black-backed Gull

Birds Recorded: 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 1 Pheasant, 30+ Herring Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 200+ Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 2 Raven, Starling, 23 House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 500+ Linnet and 50+ Goldfinch.

Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks.

Another windy day, but at least the overnight rain moved away by lunchtime. The lane was pretty quiet with just 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Robins and a Great Tit. However 400+ finches in two flocks of 100+ & 300+ was an unexpected surprise. The larger flock headed off towards Rufus Castle whilst the other towards Easton. From what I could make out the smaller flock was made up of Linnets.

Just a Herring Gull and 3 Jackdaws in the upper horse paddock.

The lower horse paddock is proving to be very popular with wheatears and chats at the moment, with 3 Wheatears (1 male, 2 females) and 3 Stonechats (2 males and a female) feeding in amongst the horses.

Whilst I was was watching them a Yellow Wagtail passed over, along with Grey Wagtail and 2 Siskins.

Here are a few images from today.

The lower horse paddock, just north of Bumpers Lane is proving to be a great spot at the moment for Wheatears and Stonechats.

One of the male Stonechats.

And another.

The female Wheatear at the southern end of the lower horse paddock...........

........whilst to the north of the paddock this male and......

......and female.

One of the 11 Herring Gulls in the lower paddock, this one I believe is a 3rd Winter whilst...............

........this is an adult Winter.

This is a juvenile Pied Wagtail with the slight yellowish face.

Now this is another Pied Wagtail, which appears to be going through a moult. The grey back and wings have a few black feathers coming through.

Birds Recorded: 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 11 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 20+ Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 3 Stonechat, 3 Wheatear, Blackbird, 3 Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 400+ Linnet and possibly other finches, 2 Siskin and Goldfinch.

Ships Today

This is the Liberian Container Ship "YM Express". Its on its way from London to Brixham. More on this Hazard A (Major) Cargo vessel Here.

This is the Container Ship "Venice Bridge" flying the flag of Panama. Its on its way from Antwerp, Belgium to Savannah , USA. More on this vessel Here.