31 Oct 18

North Screen, Radipole RSPB Reserve

I had a good hour at the North Screen this afternoon, watching a Great White Egret, a Lesser Yellow-leg and a Marsh Harrier. Also on the south pool here were 3 Black-tailed Godwit, which took off, only to be replaced by 17 and a "white-headed" Ruff.

As the godwits landed so the Ruff joined the Lesser Yellowlegs. It appears these two have a bond which started at Lodmoor last month. The two would feed close together and so it appeared today, that is until the godwits took off and the Ruff with them.

Also about a Chiffchaff, lots of Teal, a few Grey Herons and 1 Snipe.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

One of the 2 Great White Egrets at Radipole today.

17 Black-tailed Godwits drop in.........

........for a quick feed.

With them the "white-headed" Ruff joins the Lesser Yellowlegs.

A few minutes later the godwits and Ruff were gone just leaving the Yellowlegs.

Broadcroft Quarry Lane

Another quiet walk with just 2 Song Thrushes, 3 Blackbirds and a Great Spotted Woodpecker around the lane. Overhead 2 Common Buzzards, sadly not the Rough-legged Buzzard which passed over 40 minutes earlier and I missed. A photo of it Here on Twitter

Sadly not the Rough-legged Buzzard, but one of the local Common Buzzards.

Molly is going to miss Holly's freebies when she returns home on Friday.

30 Oct 18


My first confirmed Tawny Owl on Portland. I say confirmed as I did think I heard one last year on 1 Sep, but it was so distant I couldn't really say whether it was or not. I think I can safely say that I have recorded one on Portland now.

I first heard it at around 11:00pm and it continued calling from the roof of a house across the other side of the road. At around 11:30pm it took off and I could hear distant calls from the direction of Bottom Combe Quarry.

Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks.

Another lovely sunny but cool day. Holly and I took the dogs up the lane and across the lower horse paddock, via Molly the pony.

Birds recorded today were 4 Blackbirds in the lane, a Stonechat in the upper horse paddock where there was also a very obliging Linnet which gave us several nice poses as it moved from gate to wall and then on the path next to us.

In the lower horse paddock just the 2 Herring Gulls and 3 Carrion Crow.

Here are a few photos from our walk.

A male Stonechat in the upper paddock......

........where there was this Linnet flitting from gate to........

.......to wall and then back..........

........onto the path to carry on feeding.

A 1st Winter Herring Gull.

Holly has her hands full with Benji and Ted

Time for a break and a carrot for Molly.

More ponies and a lovely photo taken by Holly.

29 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane

A quick walk up the lane and back with my Granddaughter Holly.

A few Blackbirds here with 5 counted. Also recorded a Song Thrush, 1 Dunnock, 2 Great Tits and a Robin. Overhead 2 Meadow Pipits and in the lower horse paddock 11 Herring Gulls.

A single Red Admiral was the only butterfly seen.

Highlight was Holly feeding Molly the pony and using my camera to take an amazing silhouette of Molly.

The local Herrings taking a break in the lower horse paddock.

Holly feeding Molly the pony.

And Holly's lovely silhouette of Molly

28 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Fire Station Woods, Upper Horse Paddock and Lower Horse Paddock

Another cold and blustery day. There were reports on Twitter that there had been an influx of Winter thrushes. Well I had 5, so I reckon most made there way to the Bill rather than stay in the middle of the island.

The thrushes I had were 4 Blackbirds and a Song Thrush. Not much else about, apart from 19 Herring Gull in the lower horse paddock, where there were also 21 Starlings.

Starlings in Winter Plumage

On the Grove Sports Field there were a few very intimidating looking Herring Gulls.

Here's another.

And another one on the prowl.

A Carrion Crow going through a bit of a moult.

Birds Recorded: 1 Kestrel, 23 Herring Gull (19 + 4), Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Robin, 4 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 12 Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 28 Starling (21 + 7), House Sparrow and 2 Chaffinch.

Ships Today

This is the Cypriot Cargo Ship "BG Sapphire" on its way from Rotterdam, Holland to Cork. More on this vessel Here.

Note: On 26 Apr this year I came across an Oystercatcher on The Fleet Here, which had two coloured leg rings and a metal ring. It's taken awhile but I finally tracked down where this bird originated from.

It turns out this individual was part of a ringing project at Dawlish Warren and ringed on 28 Jan 97. It is a regular wintering bird at the Exe and has been noted there recently.

Originally I had the coloured leg rings down as Blue and the other Black & White. However the white is actually a faded Lime, which is no surprise after 21 years. The metal leg ring which I couldn't identify at the time turns out to be BTO ring number FC51110.

So if you come across any Oystercatchers with leg rings, it might be worth contacting Exe Oystercatchers Here.

27 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Pools, Bumpers Lane, The Cuttings, Rufus Castle and Museum

Wow that was some cold biting wind. The sun was out all day, but that northerly blast of cold wind was very raw. However out of the wind on the more sheltered eastern side of Portland saw a few drone Flies, wasps and a Red Admiral on the few remaining Ivy flowers.

Bird wise, the best I could do today was 2 Chiffchaffs in Penns Weare just below The Cuttings. Elsewhere nothing! In fact in the lane and pools all I recorded was Dunnock and a Blackbird.

Out to sea there was a party of 6 Great Black-backed Gulls heading north, whilst in the lower horse paddock there were 12 Herring Gulls resting up. Apart from that very very quiet.

There were a few Drone Flies about...........

........these Common Drone Flies were at Rufus Castle and by the Museum respectively.

A Red Admiral by the Museum, soaks up the Autumn sun.

Ships Today

This is the Maltese Tanker "Patricia", carrying a Hazard D cargo. She's on her way from Portland to Stanlow. More on this vessel Here.

On the left is the General Cargo ship "Stad" flying the flag of Vanuata. It's on its way from Vlaardingen, Holland to Belfast. More on this vessel Here. The ship ahead of it, is the Maltese Ro-Ro Cargo vessel "Amandine" on its way from Rozenburg, Holland to Dublin. More on this vessel Here.

Note if you are like me and have never heard of a country called Vanuata well its Here. It does beg the question why would an island in the South Pacific Ocean own a Cargo Ship operating in the northern hemisphere.

Way out in the English Channel was this Russian General Cargo Vessel "Serdolik" which is on its way from Riga, Latvia to Portbury. More on this vessel Here.

This the Bulk Carrier "Star Hyperion" flying the flag of Panama. Its on its way from Odessa, Ukraine to Portland. More on this vessel Here.

26 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Pools, Bumpers Lane, Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrew's Church, Penns Wood and Bottom Combe Quarry.

Another sunny day, but a lot lot colder. Not a lot around with just 2 Chiffchaffs heard and several Robins recorded along my walk. A large flock (charm) of 50+ Goldfinches was a bit of a surprise, as they flew over me and landed in the trees on Bumpers Mound.

Elsewhere a Kestrel over Penns Weare and just two butterflies seen a Red Admiral and a Peacock in the back garden.

Here are a few images from my late afternoon walk.

A Goldfinch

There's always an annoying leaf in the way. A female Chaffinch

Vessels Today

This is the British Buoy-laying vessel "Patricia" on her way from Southampton to Torbay. More on this vessel Here.

25 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Pools, Bumpers Lane, Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, Penn's Weare, St Andrew's Church and Penn's Wood.

You would think that covering all this area I would see or hear at least one of the Yellow-browed Warblers reported around Wakeham, but as my walk proved for the 4th day I seem to be the only one not finding them.

Only highlights this afternoon were a Chiffchaff in Broadcroft Quarry Lane, 1 in Bumpers Lane where there was also a Blackcap and another Chiffchaff in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.

Apart from that there wasn't anything else to report other than a solitary Ivy Bee at the top of Penns Wood by the road and a Common Drone Fly at Rufus Castle.

Here are a couple of images:

The view over Wakeham from Broadcroft Quarry Lane pools.

Church Ope Cove

A Kestrel overlooking The Cuttings.

Just the one Common Drone Fly seen today.

24 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Pools, Bumpers Lane, Rufus Castle, Penns Weare, S Andrew's Church and Penns Wood.

Another really warm and sunny day, which brought out the butterflies with a Clouded Yellow along Bumpers Lane and a Small Copper on Penn's Weare.

On the birding front lots of different finches recorded with 2 Redpoll over the lane, small flocks of Linnet and Chaffinches in several locations, 2 Siskins over Wakeham and in my back garden both Goldfinch and Greenfinch on the feeders.

Not much in the lane with just 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock and 2 Robins. Close by on Bumpers Bump the Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling again.

Along Bumpers Lane there was a small flock of 5 Long-tailed Tits with 3 Chiffchaff in tow. Also here were 2 Song Thrushes.

Penns Weare was very quiet with just Great Tit, Blue Tit and Dunnock. On the beach at Church Ope Cove there were 3 Rock Pipit.

St Andrew's Church sounded a bit more hopeful with another small flock of Long-tailed Tits, with 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrests keeping up with them. Also here 5 Wall Lizards and on the ivy a few Red Admirals.

Penns Wood was where I was hoping to catch the Yellow-browed Warbler which was here for the past 2 days. But as usual it was gone today. Just a few Goldcrests, a Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaffs were noted here.

Here are a few images from today:

A few Linnets in a Sycamore.......

........along Bumpers Lane..........

..........where this Kestrel was keeping an eye on them.

Further down Bumpers a small flock of Long-tailed Tits.

And great to see a few Chiffchaffs with them

In the grounds of St Andrew's Church a Wall Lizard..........

.........and a few more.

Birds Recorded: Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 9+ Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 2 Redpoll, Linnet, 2 Siskin, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

Butterflies Recorded: 4 Large White, 1 Clouded Yellow, 2 Speckled Wood, 4 Red Admiral and a Small Copper.

23 Oct 18

Horse Paddocks and Broadcroft Quarry Lane

In the paddocks several Meadow Pipit, Linnet and 40+ Starlings, whilst along the lane just 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Robins and a Song Thrush.

Meadow Pipit

Birds Recorded: 2 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 3 Skylark, 8 Meadow Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Chiffchaff, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 40+ Starling, House Sparrow, 10+ Chaffinch, 9 Linnet, 5 Goldfinch and 4 Greenfinch.

22 Oct 18

Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

If I thought the lane was quiet yesterday, then I was very much mistaken. Today's species list was just 1 Chiffchaff and a Robin.

However I did fair a bit better in the lower paddock with a late Wheatear. Also here but flying through were 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Linnet and 3 Siskin.

The only other bit of excitement was when I returned home to find 3 Goldfinches and 2 Greenfinches on the feeders.

Here are a few images from this morning.

Just this side of the big white house a Wheatear was taking shelter from the north-easterly wind.

First stop the brambles.

Then a bit of a balancing trick on the fence.

A quick look to see what's around.

And then back in the lower paddock to continue feeding.

Birds Recorded: 1 Kestrel, 4 Herring Gull, 8 Wood Pigeon, 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, 6 Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 5 Starling, House Sparrow, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Linnet, 3 Siskin, Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch.

Butterflies Recorded: 1 Red Admiral