16 May 18

Portland Bird Observatory, Obs Quarry and Hut Fields

Its been awhile since I paid the Obs a visit and with the Tree Sparrow into its 3rd day there it seemed a good idea to have a look for it before it moves on. The forecast was rain by 12:00 and so it was off to the Obs before it arrived. After parking up I headed towards the quarry and then took one of paths into the hut fields. No sooner had I walked into one of the fields I could hear the Tree Sparrow calling from a bush in front of me.

I managed to get into the next field for a better view and it seemed quite happy in this location, even with birders and dog walkers walking close-by. Also in the hedges here were singles of Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wren and Dunnock. There were also 3 Goldfinches and 2 House Sparrows. What a great little spot.

Overhead were several Swallows passing through and in the Obs Garden I managed a Willow Warbler and a single Spotted Flycatcher. Word was there were at 3 other Spotted Flycatchers about.

Here are a few images from this morning.

In the bushes here behind the Obs quarry there Goldfinches, House Sparrows, a Tree Sparrow, Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Dunnock and Wren. What a great spot.

The Tree Sparrow in its 3rd day here.

And for a comparison a male House Sparrow in the same hedgerow.

Also here a Goldfinch.....

......and another.

Skulking in the hedge was this Chiffchaff.......

........which very briefly showed itself in the open.

In the Obs garden one of the 4 Spotted Flycatchers here. Note the flies buzzing about its head.

A Kestrel over the Crown Estate Fields.

Its so easy to overlook things. There are so many Brown-tail moth caterpillars about that you almost ignore them. I'm so glad I photographed this larvae tent because these are Lackey moth caterpillars. Brown-tail moth caterpillars are renowned for causing skin irritation. On the other hand Lackey caterpillars are completely harmless.

Birds Recorded: 1 Gannet, Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Swallow, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler, 7+ Common Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, 1 Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Also seen Lackey moth caterpillars and Brown-tail moth caterpillars

Ships Today

A poor quality photo I know, but it was miles out to sea in very gloomy conditions. However this the French Training Ship the Belem on its way from Oostende, Belgium to St Malo, France. More on this vessel Here.