19 Nov 19

Pennsylvania Castle Wood

This morning at 10:00am, I headed back to Penns Wood and it wasn't long before the Lesser Whitethroat (presumed Sylvia curruca halimondendri by its song) was showing well an evergreen tree, just beyond the Japonica's on the left.

I managed a few shots and a video, and then after about 40 minutes it disappeared into the private gardens.

Later I came back and this time it was heard singing (sub-song) from the private gardens. A few times it showed well in the Cypress at the top of the slope and on a Sycamore up until midday when I left.

Here are a couple of videos and some images. Unfortunately taken in very poor light

For the third day running the eastern Lesser Whitethroat was still present in the wood. On song alone it does seem to be the form: Sylvia curruca halimondendri

A short video of the Lesser Whitethroat


Obviously there is no way of ID'ing this as a Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca halimondendri) without scientific evidence i.e. DNA analysis. But I am pretty sure that this bird isn't a Sylvia curruca. The bases of my thoughts is the song (which I have heard 3 times now) which bares no resemblance to S. curruca.

Recently one was trapped at Dungeness (30/11/2019) and even in the hand and with all the measurements made, they still have to await the DNA results. Their report Here.

So it looks as if it will have to remain an "Eastern Lesser Whitethroat" of unknown origin.

Here is my final report from the rest of my walk this morning:

Penns Wood: 2 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 3 Firecrest, 20+ Long-tailed Tit, 1 Brambling and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. Overhead 1 Raven and a Grey Wagtail

Church Ope Cove: 6 Rock Pipit and 1 Pied Wagtail. Out to sea 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese heading south and heading north 3 Oystercatchers. Overhead a Buzzard

Church Ope Cove Wood: 2 Firecrest and 8+ Long-tailed Tit

Here are a few more images from today:

Just as you enter the wood on your left hand side is the row of Japonica's. Behind them is a private garden with a Walnut Tree and an evergreen tree possibly a Holm Oak. This area has seems to be the favoured spot for the Lesser Whitethroat.

Also in the same area were this female Blackcap and close by a male.

This is proving to be a good Autumn for Firecrests. And in the wood were 3 today.

This is the back of Church Ope Cove where you will also find 2 more.........


Over the beach this Common Buzzard was passing through when from nowhere it was dive bombed by this..............

.............Carrion Crow. Both birds are in there somewhere.

On the cove just 6 Rock Pipits. Yesterday there were 35!!

No sign of the 1st winter Pied Wagtail, but at least an adult was present.

Out to sea I had 3 Oystercatchers heading north and then shortly after these 2 Dark-breasted Brent Geese heading south. No doubt just doing a circuit of the island before heading back to The Fleet.

This is a Lance Fly and has the most amazing black sheen to its Thorax and Abdomen.

Always good to find new invertebrates and this is another new fly for me on Portland.

Mammals Recorded: 3 Grey Squirrel

Birds Recorded: 2 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 3 Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 6 Rock Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 5 Firecrest, 28+ Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, 1 Brambling, Chaffinch and Goldfinch

Wasps Recorded: German Wasp (Vespula germanica) and Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

Flies Recorded: Kelp Fly (Coelopa frigida) and a Lance Fly (Lonchaea tarsata)

Ships Today

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

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

Today's Sightings Here.