28 Feb 19


In the back garden this morning were 2 Chiffchaffs, possibly early migrants!!

Unfortunately that was it for any more bird watching as I ended up helping the builder make a new stud wall and framework for the bathroom wall and ceiling, to replace the one that collapsed yesterday.

Oh nearly forgot. In the early hours of the morning around 3:00am a vixen was calling continuously for a good 30 minutes.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here

27 Feb 19


Apologies for the lack of postings over the past few days, but the roof in the bathroom needed a new joist and in the process of fitting it, the ceiling above the stairway gave way. Best I could do on the wildlife front today was a Peacock butterfly in the back garden.

Shame I've not been out, as there have been a number of reports of 2 Large Tortoiseshell Butterflies at Tout Quarry on the island. Last year I was fortunate to see one at Bottom Combe Quarry, but this year the two at Tout are showing very well. A real treat for a butterfly now extinct in the UK.

A few photos Here.

Sadly not a photo of the Peacock Butterfly, but the sad sight of the ceiling on the staircase.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here

26 Feb 19

Radipole Lake

Still lots of work being carried out on the cottage and a quick trip into town to get materials gave me a quick chance have a look down the 'canal' at Radipole for the Ringed-necked Duck. There was no sign of it but at least I managed a couple of Bearded Tits to add to my year list.

Other birds recorded from the fishing pontoon, across from Carpet Right were: Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Carrion Crow, Cetti's Warbler, Blackbird, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Reed Bunting.

The 'canal' at Radipole.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here

25 Feb 19


More work being carried out on the cottage, so the only bird watching today was confined to the garden and car trips to the tip.

There wasn't much to report, with just a handful of birds on the feeders which included, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Great Tit and Blue Tit.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker dropped into the neighbours garden very briefly and overhead a Raven passed through along with a couple of Meadow Pipits and a Pied Wagtail.

Shame it was on an aerial but a smart looking Goldfinch.

Just needs another Herring Gull to balance the photo.

One of the many Great Tits in the back garden.

And a Raven, which sadly didn't come any closer.

And not for the first time, when I have been unable to go for a walk, a good bird turned up on my patch. This time an early Ring Ouzel behind the cottage on Penns Weare. Such is life, but there will be many more I'm sure.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here

24 Feb 19

Penns Wood, Church Ope Cove and Rufus Castle

Another sunny day, a bit on the cool side with the wind coming off the sea, but warm enough for a few butterflies to be out on the wing and for the Wall Lizards to be out basking.

Sadly and not unexpectedly there were no Black Redstarts at the cove. The beach was packed with holidaymakers and though the Rock Pipits and wagtails are pretty tolerant, the sheer number of people clambering the rocks, cliffs and walking up and down the beach has taken its toll on the two female Black Redstarts. Hopefully they have just moved around the point and will return soon.

The pair of Common Buzzards were back again circling over Penns Wood and the local Herring Gulls were voicing their disapproval. A Sparrowhawk shot across the cove and flew up and over Penns Weare, where I found the remains of a fresh pigeon kill mostly likely from a Peregrine Falcon along the cliff path.

At the back of the cove there was a single Chiffchaff and once again the Hebes here were alive with dozens of Honey Bees, a few Buff-tailed Bumblebees, 1 Red Admiral and 2 Peacock butterflies.

Elsewhere there were more Peacock and Red Admiral butterflies on the wing plus a few more Wall Lizards at Rufus Castle.

Here are a few images from this morning:

This Common Buzzard and .......

.......its mate here are becoming regular visitors to this part of the island.

The sun has brought out the Wall Lizards from every nook and cranny.

An adult and last years offspring in the grounds of St Andrew's Church

This one was behind the benches at the top of the steps by Rufus Castle.

And the same Wall Lizard maybe from a couple of days ago, by the archway.

On the beach the Rock Pipits are still picking off those Kelp Flies.

They are also pairing up, with males chasing off other males.

The male Pied Wagtail and..............

.......the female.

The ever present Grey Wagtail.

There have been a few butterflies out recently, but this is the first time I have seen them on the Hebes.

A bedraggled Peacock Butterfly and........

......a rather better looking specimen.

Lots of Honey Bees about.

The remains of a Pigeon on the cliff path above the cove. I suspect the work of a Peregrine.

Birds Recorded: 2 Common Buzzard, 1 SparrowhawkHerring Gull, 3 Great Black-backed GullWood Pigeon, 12 Rock Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey WagtailMagpieCarrion CrowWrenDunnockChiffchaffRobinBlackbird, Great TitBlue TitChaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also Recorded: 12+ Wall Lizards, 3 Peacocks, 2 Red Admirals, Dozens of Honey Bees, 4 Buff-tailed Bumblebees and 2 Common Drone Flies.

Ships Today

Through the sea mist you can just make out the Tanker 'Gerakas' flying the flag of Panama. Its on its way from Ijmuiden, Denmark to Portland Harbour. More on this vessel here.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here

23 Feb 19

Penns Wood and Church Ope Cove

Wow, what a difference it makes when the fog disperses. After yesterday evenings fog which drifted through most of the night, it eventually lifted by early morning. The fog horn was still blaring away at 10:30am at The Bill, but further up the island at Church Ope Cove the sun was shining very brightly.

Main highlights from the cove were both the female Black Redstarts, the pair of Pied Wagtails (she has returned), the 'resident' Grey Wagtail, 4 Wrens and this morning 12 Rock Pipits with at least two males singing.

Other highlights were the 'Hut' Robin singing away at the back of the cove, a Fulmar which passed overhead and at least 9 Wall Lizards just coming out to bask in the very warm sun.

The Hebes at the back of the cove were covered in Honey Bees, Buff-tailed Bumblebees and at least 1 Common Drone Fly.

Here are a few images from a very pleasant morning.

The 'Hut' Robin is becoming quite approachable.

And he even had time to sing a few bars.

One of the 2 female Black Redstarts still present on the cove.

And the second female keeping her distance.

The male Pied Wagtail.............

...........and the female

Still here the overwintering Grey Wagtail

Not for the first time a Fulmar heading back over the cove towards the nesting site at Grove Cliffs.

One of many Honey Bees on the Hebes this morning.

Despite coming across several Wall Lizards, this one at Rufus Castle was the only one to be out basking.

The sea off Church Ope Cove is still quite rough, with waves crashing onto the beach.

And finally Penns Castle from the grounds of st Andrew's Church.

Birds recorded: 1 Fulmar, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 12 Rock Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Black Redstart, Blackbird, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also recorded: 9 Wall Lizards, 12+ Honey Bees, 2 Buff-tailed Bumblebees, 1 Common Drone Fly.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here

22 Feb 19

Wakeham Wood, Penns Wood, Church Ope Cove and Bumpers Lane

Another murky day, which saw the fog linger until about lunchtime when the sun came out briefly. Later the fog returned and as I write up this blog, it doesn't look like its going anywhere fast.

The beach was very quiet and with a few holidaymakers clambering over the rocks in the northeast corner of the cove, it took awhile before I found the 2 female Black Redstarts. They were really close to the bottom of the cliff face, but eventually moved up and then around the headland.

The Rock Pipits were back, albeit just 4 of them and the only missing bird today was the 1st Winter female Pied Wagtail. The Grey Wagtail was still here and it looks like the male Pied Wagtail is going through a bit of a moult himself.

There were 4 Wrens busy bombing about on the beach, whilst out to sea a pair of Oystercatchers crossed the bay.

Elsewhere there were singles of Chiffchaffs at Wakeham Wood and by Rufus Castle.

At the corner of Bumpers Lane and Broadcroft Quarry Lane there were 2 Greenfinches in the buddleia bushes and close-by a female Sparrowhawk gave concern as it flew right over the bush they were in.

Here are a few photos from a murky day.

Regardless as to how many people are on the beach the 2 female Black Redstarts will be on the cliff here somewhere.

Black Redstart number 1 on top of the cliff.

And number 2 directly below on the rocks.

The 'resident' Grey Wagtail

And just the male Pied Wagtail here today. Looks a bit scruffy today, moulting maybe!

The sun did come out briefly.

One of the local Kestrels along Bumpers Lane.

The berries of the Japonica are really ripe now.

I believe this mass of green foliage is Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum)

Here is a close up of  it. The guide books suggest it flowers in March. Well it is very mild!

Birds Recorded: 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 4 Rock Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Black Redstart, Blackbird, 2 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here

21 Feb 19

Penns Wood and Church Ope Cove

A very cloudy day and the sun only came out when I had returned from my walk. Sadly no Wall Lizards today and for only the second time this year there were no Rock Pipits on the beach. The two female Black Redstarts were still present as were the pair of Pied Wagtails and the Grey Wagtail. Only 2 Wrens seen today and there was no sign of any raptors. This was a very quiet day.

The only other highlights were 2 Goldcrest in Penns Wood, a pair of Oystercatchers flying across the bay with a Cormorant and 'resident' Herring Gull was back on the rocks today.

Here are a few images from today:

Black Redstart number 1

Black Redstart number 2

The male Pied Wagtail and.................

.......judging on the grey back a 1st Winter female Pied Wagtail

A pair of Oystercatchers make their way across the bay.

And the 'resident' Herring Gull was back today.

On the Hebes behind the toilet Block a Buff-tailed Bumblebee

One of the local fishing boats making its way back to harbour

And finally Benji having a rest.

Birds Recorded: 1 Cormorant, 2 OystercatcherHerring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Black Redstart, Blackbird, 2 Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also recorded: 1 Buff-tailed Bumblebee.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here