Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A Quick Update

Not had much time since my last blog post as have been working day shifts. Am back on nights now so hopefully will be able to get out a bit more (although have got weeks worth of laptop work to catch up on too!).

Last Friday, this is what the start of the nightly Portland Bird Obs update read: 

"With any luck today's dismal showing will represent something of a low point in this autumn's birding..."

Sadly this was also the day I woke up at 5am and headed to Beer Head with my mist nets!  It was dismal, the bushes were empty as were my nets. I did manage to catch two migrants, singles of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, and they were the only migrants I saw whilst up here so that's a migrant catch rate of 100%! I knew I would have duff sessions up here sooner or later, and am glad it took so long to come - still disappointing though. Especially when considering that during a quick walk up here a few days before (Wed) the bushes were full of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and even two Garden Warblers right by my net rides...

One of the two Garden Warblers

I have managed a couple of early morning visits to Black Hole Marsh since my last blog post, lovely views and sights but nothing better than a couple of Ruff, a Little Ringed Plover and the usual array of other waders, gulls and ducks...

Little Egrets at dawn

It's not just been Little Egrets about, as last Friday a Great White Egret spent most the day in the valley. There's some cracking photos about of it, all I managed was a distant view from the Farm Gate.

There's still good numbers of gulls about, with a sweep of the Estuary last Thursday giving two lovely juv/first-winter Yellow-legged Gulls. One was a big classic one, the other a small and slighter individual but so contrasty and pale - it was a stunner.  There was also this thing that I scratched my head about for a while, but have decided it can only be a Herring Gull...

Heavy-billed and strikingly pale headed
Just a Herring Gull though.

I think the biggest surprise though was seeing the last two air-worthy Lancaster Bombers fly low east over the patch on Saturday evening. I'm not into planes like many I follow on Twitter, but they took my breath away and I felt very privileged to see them...

Pity it took me so long to get my camera out!

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