The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Heavy Plant Crossing

I think it's fair to say I was suffering a little with post-holiday blues as I started the week.
It didn't help when I began the morning after Fair Isle with no sign of any Phalaropes offshore at Chesil Cove.
However, things started to look up when I was able to see the Reap Lane juvenile Rose-coloured Starling, with little trouble.

Here, it appeared to be regurgitating a pellet.

Then, on the 14th, I'd already heard the Avalanche Road hump Yellow-browed Warbler again, when I walked along Watery Lane. 
I looked up towards Easton, only to be greeted by two huge birds lumbering their way cross-island. Crane!  I immediately called the Obs, as the birds were heading in their direction.  After a bit of a struggle with the reception, the guys there were able to get onto them, but only after the birds had travelled miles out to sea!  Unfortunately, they had reached as far south as the East Cliffs, then decided to spiral up high before moving east, out to sea.  Quality birds for Dorset.
The next few days of Portland birding never got near that for excitement, though on one day I found a few Ring Ouzel, here in the Chesil Cove bushes.

There were at least 2 on the ground, and another 3 probables overhead.

On the same day, I saw a Humming-bird Hawk-moth, a Snipe flying over Barleycrates Lane, and I flushed a Pipit from a bush which I only saw flying away, that I can only assume was my latest ever Tree Pipit, but with a call like that, you never know I suppose!

On another day there was quite a grey-looking Chiffchaff at Avalanche Road, which lacked the call or brownish ear-covets of Siberian, so was probably another 'Eastern-type' bird.

And, then we've got the perplexing Lesser Black-backed Gull to mention.  Varying shades of back-colour among these at Ferrybridge on the 17th, including 2 (one on the right) with very dark backs, dainty build, and long wings.  At the very least, birds of the Scandanavian race, intermedius.

Today, I went looking to bury an old hatchet.

My only previous sniff of this species was of a very dubious one at Cley once, that I swear in flight had black armpits (but that those around me were satisfied to tick).

So, imagine my delight when I took the 2 and a bit hour drive to Davidstow Airfield, Cornwall this morning, only for the juvenile American Golden Plover to be immediately in view.

Not just in view, but showing at close range, without the need to leave the car.  It put on quite a performance, including plenty of preening and bathing.

 What a great bird.  It would be nice to have one a Portland at some point.

Notice its reaction to an over-flying Buzzard.

We are in a period now which produces plenty of quality birds.  Will I be able to continue to tap in on it on patch?

No comments:

Post a Comment