5 May 18

Ferrybridge and The Bill


Great to catch up with Richard Williams, Matt Pringle, Nigel Sluman and Corinna from Swindon this morning at Ferrybridge. And thank you to Nige for giving me a lift back to Portland when having parked up at the Billy Winters, my back brake seized up. The acrid smoke and glowing brake drum was a bit scary to say the least. Managed to get the car into a local garage, but being a Bank Holiday its not going to fixed until Tuesday at the earliest.

So having dropped the car off I headed back to Ferrybridge by foot and carried on bird watching. Main highlights were a Hobby over Chesil Beach and 2 Whimbrel feeding on the sand. Great to see more Little Terns about, with at least 11 birds counted. I'm sure there were more. 2 Shelduck and a Brent Goose flew down The Fleet whilst also on the mud flats there were Ringed Plover, Dunlin and 2 Sanderlings. Overhead we had at least 4 Yellow Wagtails, and several Swallows & Sand Martins.

Here are few images:

Two Sanderling are dwarfed by a Herring Gull

Two Shelduck make their way up The Fleet.

One of the Little Terns which have returned to their nest site on Chesil Beach.

You can see why its called a Great Black-backed Gull.

One of the 2 Whimbrel on the mudflats next to a Oystercatcher.

And here's the other close to the Chesil Beach Visitors Centre.

A Brent Goose makes its way down The Fleet.

A beautiful Little Egret feeding under the road bridge.

Not sure whats going on here, but two Herring Gull practice a bit synchronised dancing. A bit more work needed. I'm not a 100% certain, but I'm guessing this is actually part of a courtship display.

Birds Recorded: Cormorant, 1 Little Egret, 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Shelduck, 1 Hobby, 1 Kestrel, 15+ Oystercatcher, 11 Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 11 Little Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, Wood Pigeon, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, Linnet and Goldfinch.

The Bill

Having spent a good couple of hours at The Fleet, it was off to the Observatory and then onto to the quarry. Not a lot here apart from a couple of Chiffchaffs in the brambles close-by. So it was off to The Bill for a sea-watch.

On the way down to the Obelisk there were several Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins coming off the sea and right over us. On the rocks were a few Wheatear, plus both Meadow and Rock Pipit. The Wheatears were of interest as most appeared to be Greenland Wheatears.

At the Obelisk, the sea-watch was very poor, which wasn't surprising I suppose, as there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the wind was very light. Apart from 2 Manx Shearwaters, the only other sea birds about were Razorbills, Guillemots and Gannets. What was of interest though, were the butterflies coming off the sea with a pair of Clouded Yellows, Large Whites and Small Whites.

From here we headed up the slope and along the west cliff to the Higher Lighthouse. Along here we had a male Stonechat in the grounds of Qinetiq and 2 Wheatear. Up the slopes Skylark, Meadow Pipit and lots of hirundines with Swallow, House Martins and Sand Martins. With a Red-rumped Swallow seen early this morning by another birder, every bird which passed by us was scrutinised. Also here more Large & Small Whites and a Silver-Y moth.

We walked along the west cliff for a short distance where there were 2 Willow Warblers and lots of St Mark's Flies and 7-spot Ladybirds, with the latter probably being migrants just flown in.

Turning right towards the Top Fields we had a brief glimpse of female Whinchat, which we never relocated again. At the end of track we took a right again and headed back to the Obs via the Crown estate Fields, where there were a few Wheatears in the ploughed field.

As we made our way down I picked up the call of a Coal Tit coming from the direction of the Obs Garden. When we got there it was confirmed that a Continent Coal Tit was newly arrived. Also here a Broad-bodied Chaser over the Obs Pond.

Here are few images:

Today there were several Greenland Wheatear (Saxicola Oenanthe Leucorrhoa)

A male Linnet and a bit of a reflection.

Here he is joined by a female.

Hmm a male Clouded Yellow in flight. Moving on.........

Lots of 7-spot Ladybirds around the Bill. Most likely flown here from the continent.

Another Wheatear looks on..........

........whilst Matt looks back.

Guillemot egg shells

A Meadow Pipit

Kestrels around the Bill are really obliging and seem to have no fear of man. This one here and another in the Top Fields were allowing us to approach within a few metres.

The past few days I have come across Fever Flies, but this is the very similar looking St Mark's Fly (Bibio marci). and is normally found around St. Marks day on 25th April. Well Spring is late this year.

A Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina)

Birds Recorded: Fulmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Shag, Cormorant, Kestrel, Pheasant, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Razorbill, Guillemot, Wood Pigeon, Skylark, Sand Martin, House Martin, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, 1 Stonechat, 1 Whinchat, 4 WheatearGreenland Wheatear (Saxicola Oenanthe Leucorrhoa), Blackbird, Garden Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Continental Coal Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Also seen 2 Clouded Yellow (m, f), 2 Large White and 3 Small White all off the sea. Lots St Mark's Flies, mining bees, Silver-Y mothCommon Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) and 7-spot Ladybirds