The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Friday, 26 September 2014

It's Gold! Vitrealis is Ours.

Things are ticking over nicely, with a single Ruff flying through Ferrybridge being the highlight on the 19th.  A Portland tick for me as well as a patch one.  Also 2 Little Stint still there as well as a Yellow-legged Gull.

The moth trap I'm tending at the moment has had a view highlights.  Namely, the scarce and beautiful migrant, Olive-tree Pearl Palpita vitrealis.

Some of the other migrants including a few Dark Spectacle.

Amongst the best of the residents were another Red Underwing, and a fresh Oncocera semirubella.
My wanderings around the island looking for passerines has been largely uneventful.  Quite a few Spotted Flycatcher about though, including interesting behaviour observed, as I've noticed Chiffchaff following them around (catching disturbed insects?).
A lot of these Spot Flies have been at Portland Castle, and on the morning of the 20th, I was looking through the trees here, when I happened to glance out onto the water to find the Black Guillemot that I found last winter had returned!  A bit of a surprise!  Showing quite well too. 
Also an unseasonal Common Guillemot and 2 Kingfisher there.

On the 21st, I was in Southwell when I heard the calling of a Yellow-browed Warbler in the distance.  I attempted to see it, but failed, as it was deep in gardens.  Just half an hour later another was found at the Obs. 

My first Ring Ouzel of the autumn was also found in the hedge along the edge of the village.

Birding in the last view days has been pretty poor quite frankly, with a clear-out of the birds at Ferrybridge, and a total lack of migrants on the land, bar Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

I spent the whole of the morning of the 23rd searching for birds around the island, including Ferrybridge, seeing nothing of note.  Then, in the afternoon I took a very quick look out at Portland Harbour, and found two Portland ticks from the same spot!  The dynamics of patch birding (and birding in general) can be so weird at times!

These were an eclipse male Wigeon out in the middle, and a juvenile Golden Plover on the edge.

The bird was ridiculously tame!

Now, I'm back off to Tice's for the weekend, then I'll be playing at the bird guide next week, as I lead my former RSPB group round Portland!  I hope the birds perform for us!

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