31 Oct 17

Quarry Lane

An hour or so spent in Quarry Lane and the pool area, was rewarded with 2 Firecrests and a Yellow-browed Warbler. Other birds here were a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 1 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 7 Goldcrest, 2 Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, 26 Starling, Chaffinch. Also 2 Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, 3 Siskin and Goldfinch overhead.

Quarry Lane great for Autumn migrants such as Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Firecrests and Yellow-browed Warblers.


And another

And a very poor record shot of the Yellow-browed Warbler

HMS Queen Elizabeth moored just off Portland this morning before heading off to Rosyth. More Here

Birds recorded were: 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 3 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 1 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 7 Goldcrest, 2 Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 26 Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, 3 Siskin and Goldfinch.

Also about 3 Red Admirals.

30 Oct 17


Not much today as I was out and about. This morning though a male Bullfinch in the back garden and 2 Redpolls over.

Quarry Lane

I managed an hour along Quarry Lane and then across to the pool area before making my way towards Penn's Weare and then back to the cottage via Bumpers Lane.

So glad I went out otherwise I'm sure I would have missed the green flash phenomena as the sun set. Definitely a first for me and what an absolutely amazing sight.

In Quarry Lane just a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, with a couple of Song Thrushes in the bushes. By the pool a female Reed Bunting, I managed one shot before she disappeared over the back of the brambles. This area is definitely my little patch now, with an ever growing list of birds including Radde's Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest to name but a few.

Nothing much above Penn's Weare, apart from dozes of Robins all singing away.

Here are a few images including the Green Flash:

A female Reed Bunting at the Quarry Lane Pool.

The sun setting over Wakeham

Nearly gone......

......and then as the sun dropped below the horizon I saw my first ever Green Flash phenomena which I wasn't expecting to see.. More on this here

The Lighthouse at The Bill

Tonight's moon.

29 Oct 17

Quarry Lane

Lots of confusion as to which is Bumpers Lane and Quarry Lane. Having said that Quarry Lane isn't actually marked on any map as such but is the lane that leads you to Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve and is apart from being accessible from Bumpers Lane Here is also accessible from Grove Road Here.

Bumpers Lane however leads you off towards Penn's Weare and passes Bumpers Lane Quarry Here

Bumpers Lane looking east.

The lane to the left is known as Quarry Lane (though not on any map!) and Bumpers Lane continues to the right.

If you were coming from Grove Road, this is the entrance to "Quarry Lane" which takes you to Broadcroft Quarry.
The recycling centre is down this lane

One of the old signs for Broadcroft Quarry

Now the sightings from this morning

Dave Foot tweeted he had seen 2 Yellow-browed Warblers along Quarry Lane and within 5 minutes I had joined him. As I arrived Dave told me that the two birds had had a dispute and one had flown off. The one remaining bird was working its way back and forth along the Sallows and Field Maples, with some great views at times.

Also here were 2 Firecrests, a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests. Overhead there were quite a few winter thrushes which also included my first Fieldfares on the island. Other migrants were Meadow Pipit, 12+ Blackbird, 8+ Redwing, 10+ Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Siskin and my first Bullfinch here. The latter was a female which landed on a Sallow in "Quarry Lane" and then flew east.

When Dave left I went up to the Pool area here to see what was about there and met a chap called Nick Smith. Turns out we were both at RAF Coltishall, Norfolk together in 1995, small world. Any way as we stood there reminiscing we heard a Yellow-browed Warbler (which we presume was the second bird from "Quarry Lane") and saw a Firecrest here.

Here are few images from this morning.

This morning there were 2 Yellow-browed Warblers along Quarry Lane. When I arrived the second one had flown off but Nick smith and myself located it at the back off the Pool area Here.
Good views of the Yellow-browed Warbler

A rear shot

and another side shot.

This Chiffchaff was one of a few flitting about in the sallows.

Birds Recorded here this morning were: 1 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 12+ Blackbird, 4 Fieldfare, 8+ Redwing, 10+ Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, 2 Yellow-browed WarblersGoldcrest, 3 Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Siskin, Goldfinch and 1 Bullfinch.

Also about 3 Red Admirals


A moth night, the first for a couple of months. Just 15 moths of 6 species. Will ID them later

Moth 1: Common Marbled Carpet, Dysstroma truncata. (1)
Moth 2: The Mallow, Larentia clavaria (6)
Moth 3: Feathered Ranunculus, Polymixis lichenea (1)
Moth 4: moth sp. (1)
Moth 5: Light Brown Apple Moth, Epiphyas postvittana (1)
Moth 6: Rusty Dot Pearl, Udea ferrugalis (5)

Note: Thank you to Steve Covey for helping me ID these moths.

Moth 1: Common Marbled Carpet

Moth 2: The Mallow

Moth 3: Feathered Ranunculus

Moth 4

Moth 5: Light Brown Apple Moth

Moth 6: Rusty Dot Pearl


Another trip to the boatyard this evening and a bit more painting to Tiki, and then a walk across the main road to view the Brent Geese and waders coming in as the tide dropped. There were around 150 Brent Geese along the shore-line, but after a short spell here flew off towards Abbotsbury. Also here 1 Oystercatcher, 30+ Dunlin and around 15 Ringed Plovers with a couple of juveniles in tow.

A few of the 200+ Brent Geese and a Great Black-backed Gull.

This photo really does show how small these Brent Geese are compared to the Great Black-backed Gull.
It wasn't long before the geese took off and headed off towards Abbotsbury.

Quite a few Dunlin about and Ring Plovers to.

Here are two Dunlin with different winter coats.

And here's another.

Ringed Plovers with one coming in to land.

This youngster is just that......

....a juvenile Ringed Plover.

Just the one Oystercatcher here this evening.

And talking about the evening, here's the setting sun.

And this is looking east across Portland Harbour

Portland in the distance.

28 Oct 17


I spent the afternoon cleaning the hull on our new fishing boat, but managed 10 minutes on the other side of the bridge to watch the Brent Geese. Well all 2 of them that is, as the main flock took off and headed off towards Abbotsbury.

Other birds by the bridge were 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Oystercatchers, a Cormorant and 6 Great Black-backed Gulls. On the sand further south towards Chesil Beach Centre there were a dozen or more Mediterranean Gulls and 10 more Ringed Plovers.

Two Brent Geese in the foreground.....

....not sure why they didn't join the main flock of 1000+ birds that flew off towards Abbotsbury.

One of 3 Oystercatchers feeding in amongst the sea weed.

Here's number 2....

....and the third bird.

Two Ring Plovers

Great Black-backed Gulls and if you look carefully a Cormorant bottom centre.

27 Oct 17


A lovely day here on Portland, still a bit of a chill, but the sun was out and so were a few butterflies including a pristine Painted Lady in the back garden.

Quarry Lane, Penn's Weare, East Weare, Rufus Castle and Bumpers Lane

A late afternoon walk at the back of the cottage and with the sun out it wasn't surprising to see so many butterflies on the wing. Apart from the Painted Lady in the back garden earlier, all the other butterflies I came across were Red Admirals, with at least 30 seen.

The pond just east of Quarry Lane is still drawing the birders, in the hope of seeing the Radde's Warbler, but that is well gone now. What has moved into the local area here are two more Water Rail. As one called from the reed bed so 2 others responded one to the north and another to the south.

Apart from the finches overhead the most numerous birds on the ground were Stonechats with at least 12 recorded. Overhead it was different with lots of Linnets and Chaffinches heading south, plus a flock of 8 Lesser Redpolls. Going in the opposite direction though I had 3 Siskins heading north!!

There are still small parties of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks going through, plus a few Pied Wagtails.

Local birds were, lots of Robins, Blackbirds, several Chiffchaffs and Goldfinches. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the Sycamores along Bumpers Lane, where there was also a Wheatear close by.

The only other warbler recorded apart from the Chiffchaffs was a Blackcap in Bumpers Lane.

Here a few images from this afternoon:

A female Stonechat

As above

And again

A different perch this time.

A different female Stonechat having a stretch

And another female Stonechat.

A male this time

And a better shot as I moved a few feet to my right.

A lone Wheatear

There are very few passing through now.

Two Kestrels

A Raven just 20 metres away from me. This was right next to Church Ope Cove.

A very photogenic Robin.

Definitely deserves another look.

A flock of Linnets landed right next to me.

This was all of them/

A Rusty Dot Pearl.

Not for the first time that I've seen this moth out in the daytime. Its actually triggered me into putting my moth trap out tonight.
A Common Drone Fly soaks up the sun. 

Looking across to Durdle Door

The Dorset coast in the back ground and the WWII Pill Box. 

Sunset over Wakeham

Birds Recorded were: 1 Cormorant, 2 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 12 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 1 Blackcap, 12+ Chiffchaff, 15+ Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 2 Raven, 12 Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 8 Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Siskin and Goldfinch.

Also recorded: 30 Red Admiral, 1 Udea ferrugalis (Rusty Dot Pearl), Ivy Bees, Honey Bees, White-tailed Bumble-bees, Wasp sps. and Common Drone Flies.