15 Apr 18

Portland Bird Observatory, Crown Estate Fields and Hut Fields

A break in the weather and the miserable rain from this morning drifted away to leave a warm sunny afternoon. I couldn't resist a visit to the Obs and spent a couple hours walking around the local fields and hut area.

One of the Hoopoe's from yesterday was still about and I had amazing views of it feeding in the hut field. Close-by a male Pied Flycatcher had been sighted and I managed a fleeting view of it as it flew along the edge of the Obs Garden wall.

In the Crown estate Fields a Common Redstart had been sighted, but despite my best efforts I couldn't locate it. However, scanning the hedges and fields it was great to see a Short-eared Owl quartering the rough grass area above the horses field. It was doing quite well catching voles, which didn't go unnoticed by a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls, and eventually it ended up losing a vole to a very persistent gull. Poor vole having been caught by the owl it was quickly dispatched by one of the Great Black-backed Gulls.

As I crossed back over the main road, I thought I'd have another look for the Pied Flycatcher. I didn't find it again, but I did watch a Hawfinch fly over my head and into the Obs car park. Needless to say I shot back round to the Obs, only to watch it fly towards the patio area. As I got to garden area I realised it had flown into the mist nets, where within seconds it was bagged up for weighing and ringing.

What a great afternoon.

Here are a few images and a video from this afternoon.

A flighty bird this Hoopoe couldn't make up its mind where it wanted to feed.

Eventually it flew back to its favourite field......

.......and started feeding again.

This very obliging Hoopoe was feeding in the hut field close to the Observatory.

Why not here's another video......

The top right Wood Pigeon had an almighty escape from.....

......this Peregrine Falcon. As the "woody" came into land the Peregrine narrowly missed catching it.

This female Hawfinch was originally in the hut field, but flew into the Obs car park before ending up in the mist net.

This is one of those birds where a bird ringer uses all their skill and expertise to handle a large finch with bone crushing mandibles. Scientists have measured the crushing force of a Hawfinch bill and found it to exceed 50kg.

Birds Recorded: Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Pheasant, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, 1 Short-Eared Owl, 1 Hoopoe, Skylark, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Stonechat, Blackbird, 2 Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and 1 Hawfinch.

Also 1 Small White butterfly