Tuesday, 20th April 2021.

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Dorset Birds

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Long-tailed Duck - 1 Silverlake.
Ring-necked Duck - 2 Longham Lakes.
Cuckoo - 1 Lytchett Fields, 1 Morden Bog, 1 Rempstone, 1 Trigon estate.
Avocet - 1 past Portland Bill.
Grey Plover - 5 Herbury (The Fleet).
Little Ringed Plover - 8+ Lytchett Fields.
Whimbrel - 27 Herbury (The Fleet), 6 Lytchett Fields, 5 Stanpit.
Common Sandpiper - 2 Lytchett Fields.
Green Sandpiper - 3 Lytchett Fields.
Spotted Redshank - 1 Lytchett Fields.
Greenshank - 2 Lytchett Fields.
Arctic Skua - 6 Portland Bill.
White Stork - 5 over Lower Bockhampton (late afternoon), 5 over Longham Lakes (afternoon).
Red Kite - 1 Abbotsbury, 1 Bridport, 1 Sydling St Nicholas.
Hobby - 1 Herbury (The Fleet), 1 Lytchett Fields.
White Wagtail - 2 Lytchett Fields, 1 St Aldhelms Head.
Yellow Wagtail - 2 Hengistbury Head, 8 Portland Bill.
Black Redstart - 1 St Aldhelm's Head.
Common Redstart - 1 Throop (Bournemouth).
Wheatear - 300+ Portland Bill.
Pied Flycatcher - 1 Westbourne.
Whinchat - 10 Portland Bill, 1 Studland (Greenlands Farm).
Wood Warbler - 1 Hengistbury Head.
Grasshopper Warbler - several Portland Bill, 1 Rodden Hive reeling.
Ring Ouzel - 1 Hengistbury Head, 1 Barleycrates Lane (Portland), 3 The Verne (Portland).


Red Kite, Abbotsbury © Sue Wingett




















Dunnock, Wimborne © Roger Peart

Song Thrush, Wimborne © Roger Peart

20th April

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Portland Bird Observatory and Field Centre

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A totally different kind of fall today with fewer Phylloscs but fields full of Wheatears - conservatively estimated at 300 - across the Bill and up the west side of the island; joining the hoards of Wheatears on fence posts and fields were, amongst others, 10 Whinchats and eight Yellow Wagtails. The Bill is really starting to come alive with the sounds of migrants singing on their way to the breeding grounds as multiple Whitethroats, Grasshopper Warblers and a lone Corn Bunting were tempted into stringing a few notes together. All of this was accompanied by a constant stream of Sand Martins and Swallows up the West Cliffs. At the north end of the island, three Ring Ouzels appeared at the Verne moat to add to the lingering bird at Barleycrates Lane. The sea ticked over all day, with 6 Arctic Skuas and an Avocet the pick of the quality amongst the routine fare.

 Just a small selection of the stunning spring migrants we are treated to at this time of year © Debby Saunders (Whinchat and Yellow Wagtail) and Joe Stockwell (Whitethroat and Redpoll): 





Sometimes it's difficult to avoid distraction with birds on the land but also on the sea. The constant acrobatics of breeding Fulmars complemented by a fly-by Arctic Skuas © Joe Stockwell:


Monday 19th April 2021

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Dorset Birds

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Ring-necked Duck - 2 females at Longham Lakes (one on each lake)
Garganey - pair Longham Lakes (on South Lake)
Little Ringed Plover - 7 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Spotted Redshank 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Green Sandpiper - 1 over Hengistbury Head
Purple Sandpiper - 15 Christchurch Harbour sandspit
Wimbrel - 40 Littlesea/Tidmoor, 9 past Hengistbury, 2 Ferrybridge, 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Cattle Egret - 13 Abbotsbury Swannery
Little Gull - 1st winter at Lodmoor RSPB, 1 over Ferrybridge
Arctic Tern - 5 past Portland Bill
Arctic Skua - 1 over Chesil Beach
Glossy Ibis - 1 Christchurch Harbour
Osprey - 1 Middlebere, 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Grasshopper Warbler - 5 Littlesea/Tidmoor, 2 Barleycrates Lane, 1 Wears Hill above Abbotsbury, 1 Ferrybridge
Ring Ouzel - 1 Portland West Cliff
Pied Flycatcher - 1 Cogden Beach
Whinchat - 3 Barleycrates Lane, 3 Littlesea/Tidmoor,  2 East Bockhampton, 1 Morden Bog, 1 Coombe Valley, 1 Swyre Head, 1 Canford Heath
Redstart - 4 Barleycrates Lane, 2 Littlesea/Tidmoor
Yellow Wagtail - 3 over Hengistbury Head, 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB

19th April

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Portland Bird Observatory and Field Centre

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This is getting repetitive - in a really good way. Cloudless skies and the merest hint of a northeasterly breeze resulted in a very broad fronted arrival across the island although the west side was certainly favoured for variety. Dawn saw the now customary rush of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps at the Bill, including another 250 of the former, whilst variety was to the fore elsewhere: both Whinchat and Redstart reached double figure totals for the first time this season, with Grasshopper Warbler falling only just short of this mark; 3 Ring Ouzels, a Little Ringed Plover and a Short-eared Owl were the best of the rest. The sea was well-watched but missing all the numbers reported from further up the Channel: 80 Common Scoter, 63 Bar-tailed Godwits, 25 Sandwich Terns and 15 Red-throated Divers provided what numbers there were, with 2 Shoveler, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Little Gull the best of the quality. 

The Bill Purple Sandpipers are beginning to look decidedly less than purple © Mike Trew:



The Ferrybridge Little Terns are well and truly back for another, hopefully, successful season, with some passage of them also evident today © Pete Saunders


Wheatears were abundant all the way round the Bill and up the west side of the island to Ferrybridge today © Pete Saunders:


On a day when some dozens of Little Gulls were logged at points eastward, this one sneaking the shortcut over Chesil during the evening was Portland's only record © Joe Stockwell: