30 Apr 18

Bumpers Lane, Rufus Castle, Church Ope Cove and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

Well if anyone was wondering where the 2000 Willow Warblers recorded at the Portland Bird Observatory yesterday went, well I think most of them ended up in Pennsylvania Castle Wood today. Nearly every branch had a Willow Warbler on it. Also here were several Blackcaps.

Elsewhere there was a Common Whitethroat along Bumpers Lane, a bit further on than the one seen yesterday.

Down the steps from Rufus Castle to Church Ope Cove in the little copse half-way down there were 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 male Blackcaps and dozens of Willow Warblers all feeding here.

At Church Ope Cove a pair of Cormorants were feeding close in, whilst in the bushes behind the beach a pair of Magpies were decimating a Blackbirds nest, with a tell tell sign of a chicks leg on the steps.

Also of interest was a Bristly-legged Seaweed-fly or Kelp FlyCoelopa frigida which should have been on the beach at Church Ope Cove but was up on the cliff top. Well it has been quite windy!!

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

The Cuttings and Wallflowers in bloom.

They certainly add a bit of colour to the Portland Stone.

The resident Carrion Crows

I thought this might be an Empididae but in fact I wasn't anywhere close. This is a Bristly-legged Seaweed-fly or Kelp Fly, Coelopa frigida and really should have been on the beach. Instead it was a good 300 metres away and 100 metres up on the cliff top. Perhaps it got blown up there!!

The copse below Rufus Castle and a hive of activity with Spotted Flycatchers, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers all feeding away.
Here is one of the Spotted Flycatchers.

No matter how many times it took off....

.......it always came back to the same perch. A typical trait of a Spotted Flycatcher.

Also here a few Blackcaps.

On the beach at Church Ope Cove a Sandhopper, Amphipoda

It wasn't until I edited this Cormorant diving, that I realised I could see its head below the surface in the clear water.
The grounds of St Andrew's Church

And Pennsylvania Castle Wood in all its greenery and absolutely alive with Willow Warblers. A bit different than a month ago........

.........26 Mar 18 or even........

............26 Oct 18.

Obs Quarry, Hut Fields and Crown Estate Fields

Late morning I headed off to the Obs for an hour, though with the wind now coming from the NW I wasn't expecting to see the masses of bird we had here yesterday. News was that a Hoopoe was in the Crown Estate Fields and that yesterdays Golden Orioles were still about in the Top Fields. My trip today though was to see if there was anything in the Obs Quarry and Hut Fields.

In the quarry I found absolutely nothing, other than 2 House Martins and 2 Swallows passing overhead. So it was off to Hut fields were there were quite a few birds sheltering from that biting north-westerly. East of the obs garden wall here, where it was very sheltered, I had 3 female Common Redstarts, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 male Blackcap, 2 Wheatears, 3 Whinchat, 2 Willow Warblers and a possible Lesser Whitethroat which only gave me a fleeting glimpse as it disappeared across the fields.

Apart from that it was very quiet and as I headed back to the main road to have a look across the Crown Estate Fields, the only 4 species I found were a single Stock Dove, a pair of Linnets, another Willow Warbler and a Kestrel which caught a large sized Vole (or was it a small Rat) by the roadside grass verge.

Here are a few images from this morning.

A Common Whitethroat........

.......in the hedgerow behind the Obs garden wall.

A bit further along one of the 3 female Common Redstarts gets ready to take off.

Across from the Obs entrance........

......this Kestrel has caught a rodent........

.......possibly a vole or a.......

......small Rat.

Birds seen today: 4 Gannet, Cormorant, 1 Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, 1 Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, 2 House Martin, 2 Swallow, Dunnock, 3 Whinchat, 3 Common Redstart, 2 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Common Whitethroat, possible Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, Wren, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch.

Note As a follow up from yesterdays treat with the Golden Orioles, here is a sound track of a Golden Oriole singing: Click Here. Also my long distant shots really didn't do them any justice so here's one from Wikipedia 

Ships Today

This the Dutch general cargo vessel Hathor on its way from Bilbao, Spain to Ijmuiden, Holland. More on this vessel Here.

The Border Force Patrol out again.