30 Sep 17

Bumpers Lane, East Weares, Church Ope and Pennsylvania Wood

The same walk as yesterday.

In Bumpers Lane Quarry at 10:00am 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff. Overhead 1 Peregrine, 100+ Meadow Pipit, 20 Pied Wagtail and 2 Siskin. Also in the quarry a Fox again.

East Weares from 10:15 - 11:45am 1 Firecrest, 11 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, 150+ Meadow Pipits, 30+ Pied Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail. Also 9 Robins, a Great Black-backed Gull on the sea, a Raven on the cliff and 6 Swallows through.

In Pennsylvania Wood still several Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs. Also here Long-tailed Tits, Great Tits and Blue Tits foraging.

Here are a few images from this morning.

Seems to be just one Fox left in Bumpers Lane Quarry.

A Light Brown Apple Moth.

The unmistakable silhouette of a Raven

And it came into land. Can you spot it.............

.........in case you can't I have pointed it out.

Love the zoom on my camera!

Looking east towards the Isle of Wight. It's out there somewhere.

The Border Force out at sea again.

A lone Great Black-backed Gull.

If I've got this right I think this is Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria). It is is similar in appearance to Field Scabious but with smaller flowers and is better suited to lighter drier soils such as those containing chalk or lime.

An Ivy Bee. I will endeavour to photograph one everyday, until they hibernate. Or do they on Portland!

A Wren popped up............

......for a couple of shots. I just wish the Firecrest which was close-by had been a bit more obliging.

A Crab Spider, Misumena vatia. Just look at those markings.........

........looks like a scary face

Pennsylvania Wood looking up from Church Ope. The birds in here are prolific with Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Great Tits, Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits all foraging in the Sycamores. It was here the Yellow-browed Warbler pitched up along with a Spotted Flycatcher a few days back. A good bird spot.

Birds Recorded: 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Kestrel, 3 Herring Gull, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 6 Swallow, 250+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit, 50+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, 12 Robin, 1 Wheatear, 8 Blackbird, 4 Blackcap, 20+ Chiffchaff, 7+ Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 2 Raven, Chaffinch, 50+ Linnet, 2 Siskin and Goldfinch.

Butterflies seen: 3 Red Admirals.

Moths seen: 1 Light Brown Apple Moth.

Also seen Ivy BeesSouthern Cuckoo Bumblebee (Bombus vestalis), Honey Bees, Common Droneflies and a Crab Spider (Misumena vatia).

Also seen : 1 Fox and a Grey Squirrel

29 Sep 17


A bit of late night shopping in Weymouth, so a great opportunity to have a look at the waders coming in at Ferrybridge as the tide receded at 6:45pm.  And they were certainly there in good numbers with 150+ Ringed Plovers, 20+ Dunlin, 5 Sanderling, 4 Turnstone and 1 Little Stint.

A Sanderling with a bit of before bed preening.

I could think of better places to rest....

.......but it seemed quite happy to settle down in a puddle, with one eye on me.

East Cliffs and Pennsylvania Castle

A long walk to the WW1 Pill Box and then back to Church Ope Cove and up to Pennsylvania Castle before heading back to the cottage.

Very quiet, though I did record 3 Whinchat, 4 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Swallows along the coast path. Elsewhere a small flock of Long-tailed Tits under Rufus Castle and in Pennsylvania Castle woods, several Goldcrests and 3 Chiffchaffs.

In Bumpers Lane Quarry a Fox, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap.

Birds Recorded were: 1 Cormorant, 1 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, 10+ Robin, 3 Whinchat, Blackbird, 5 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff, 7+ Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Butterflies recorded: 6 Red Admirals.

Also several Ivy Bees, Honey Bees, a Common Dronefly and a hoverfly sp.

A few images from this afternoon:


Another view

And another

And again

A robin with an "odd" pose. We always see them as "round" and often puffed up. This one is very alert for some reason.
A few seconds later he was off. The Whinchat on the other hand didn't seem to concerned.

A Carrion Crow taking a "short-cut" over the sea.

One of the juvenile foxes in Bumpers Lane Quarry

A Common Dronefly

Yep my favourite an Ivy Bee

And another

A beautifully marked bee

I'm sure this is a Hoverfly. Will have to check.

A Garden Spider. Plenty of these about. 

A fishing boat pulling in its pots.

The Coralwater a dutch Chemical Boat making its way to Falmouth More Here

A few shots of the coast here.

The sea isn't always blue.

Or the sky, but still very beautiful.

28 Sep 17


Lots of gardening today, so just a garden watch to report. Main highlight was late afternoon when a Hobby flew over the house heading towards Church Ope Cove. Also about a large charm of 30+ Goldfinches, several Meadow Pipits over and the "resident" Chiffchaff in the Sycamore at the back of the Garden. I say resident, he's been here now for 6 days calling and feeding.

Also about 2 Red Admirals.

27 Sep 17

Church Ope Cove

Before the rain came down this afternoon a quick walk became a very long walk (time-wise) as myself and 3 birdwatchers from Wales came across a Yellow-browed Warbler in Pennsylvania Castle woods above Church Ope Cove Here.

I'd been in the woods for a good 20 minutes or so watching the Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs and Long-tailed Tits foraging in the canopy above me. I was joined by chap called Colin who had travelled down with friends from Wales. After watching the birds for a little while longer, I headed off down to St Andrews Church and then Rufus Castle.

As I was photographing the Ivy Bees (Colletes hederae) at Rufus, Colin suddenly appeared at the top of the steps, to tell me there was a Yellow-browed Warbler at the spot where I had left him. I quick dash back and Colin's 2 friends were looking into the trees where it was last seen.

There are a lot of Sycamores and other very leafy trees in this wood and only by luck did I manage a fleeting glimpse of it high in the tree tops. As the rain came down it dropped into a Fig-type tree with large leaves, where only fleeting glimpses of it were seen. As the rain came down heavier I left at 3:15pm and headed home. Thank you to Colin, Paul and there other friend for going out of their way to tell me.

To hear what a Yellow-browed Warbler sounds like Click Here.

Also here were many Goldcrests, Chiffchaff and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Sadly no photos of the Yellow-browed Warbler but a few of the Spotted Flycatcher etc.

Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Grey Squirrel

Ivy Bee - More on this bee Here

Common Drone Fly - Eristalis tenax

26 Sep 17

Bumpers Lane and Quarry

What a difference a day makes, where the Blackbirds outnumbered the warblers with at least 12 recorded against 4 Chiffchaffs and 5 Blackcaps. Eight of these Blackbirds were in Bumpers Lane Quarry.

Having just seen a tweet from the Portland Bird Observatory, it looks like all the Chiffchaffs from here yesterday, have made it to the southern tip of the island, with 50+ ringed by early morning.

An interesting sighting was 6 Goldcrests in a Sycamore tree, sadly no Firecrest in amongst them, just a single Chiffchaff.

Also about in the fog a Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtails and a few Swallows passing through.

25 Sep 17

Scrub at Victoria Place

There was a tweet to say there was a Common Rosefinch in the Sycamores at the end of Victoria Place. I joined 4 others there but to no avail.

Only birds here were Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 2 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

Also seen here a male Migrant Hawker and several Red Admirals.

The scrubland at the end of Victoria Place.

Tout Quarry

My first trip to Tout Quarry, just in case there were any Ring Ouzels about. No Ouzels but a few Blackbirds and a Song Thrush. Also about a Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps and both Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler.

There were a few Red Admirals on the Ivy Flowers where I also came across a few Ivy Bees.

A few Images Here:

Tout Quarry Information Map

Tout Quarry

A huge drop.

Looking towards Portland Harbour

Cliff erosion. There was a coastal path here!

One of the 3 Kestrels here.

This Kestrel has caught something....

.......its green and fairly fat and long.........

........it looks very much like a caterpillar possibly one of the hawk-moth family.

Once eaten it was off to look for more.

A lone Wheatear keeps its beady eye on me.......

........same bird different perch.

A Chiffchaff

Another shot

and again.

A Common Whitethroat one shot and it was gone.

A Song Thrush. There are a few starting to appear on the island. It wont be long before the Redwings and Fieldfares start appearing.

One minute this Common Buzzard was sat on the branch minding its own business when all of a sudden.......

.......it was spooked by something. A couple of flaps and it was off. Going back to the previous image was it attacked by a bee which is just above its head. Who knows, but whatever it was it gave it an almighty fright!

Just love these little bees........

.........my favourite an Ivy Bee.

Birds Recorded Here: 1 Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Wren, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Bumpers Lane

A couple of hours (8:00 - 9:00am) spent walking around Bumpers Lane and some great highlights with 1 Curlew over, 10+ House Martin, 30+ Swallow, 30+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 12+ Blackcap, 30+ Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler and my first Siskins of the Autumn, with 2 flying north of Bumpers Quarry.

Judging by the number of warblers in Bumpers Lane this morning there must be a huge number of them on Portland. And as the "tweets" keep coming in, unsurprisingly there have been at least 2 Yellow-browed Warblers reported so far.

The main bulk of the warblers were in the sallows along Bumpers lane and also in most of the Sycamores around the quarries.

Here are a few images from this morning:

One of many Sycamore trees that the Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff are feeding in.

Another Sycamore....

......and this one by Bumpers Lane Quarry was also alive with Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs.

Willow or Chiffchaff.......

.....I actually found it very difficult to tell them apart, apart from one Chiffchaff that burst into song.....

........."Normally" you would find that Chiffchaff legs are darker than Willow Warblers, but that is definitely not the case with a lot of the birds I saw this morning, with several "Chiffchaffs" with light coloured legs.

Another flies up to catch an insect.

So many about.

And another.

And a more yellowy individual.......

......and off to another bush.

And another.

A male Chaffinch

A record shot of a House Martin overhead.

Birds Recorded: 1 Curlew, 3 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 10+ House Martin, 30+ Swallow, Meadow Pipit, 30+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 12+ Blackcap, 30+ Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, 2 Siskin, Goldfinch and 1 Greenfinch.