3rd August

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Portland Bird Observatory and Field Centre

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Under a big moon and with a tail breeze to assist it was no surprise that quantities of migrants were on the move and, with plenty of inexperienced youngsters in the mix, also no surprise to find a decent little spread of grounded arrivals at dawn. Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler topped the tally with a good 30 apiece at the Bill, where singles of Little Ringed Plover, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Spotted Flycatcher provided some variety; on the downside, the likes of Wheatear and Pied Flycatcher remained oddly under-represented - indeed the latter has still to make its first appearance this season. A trickle of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and hirundines were on the move overhead, where a likely Honey Buzzard was a surprise sight over Easton. The only other reports concerned a handful of Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoter through off the Bill and 2 Redshanks and a Sanderling amongst the few waders at Ferrybridge.

Sightings - Monday 3rd August 2020

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Dorset Birds

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Manx Shearwater - 21 off Cogden Beach
Balearic Shearwater - 4 Cogden Beach
Cattle Egret - 1 juv Rodden Hive
Great White Egret - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Honey Buzzard - 1 west over Easton
Osprey - 1 Morden Bog, 1 Middlebere.
Little Ringed Plover - 1 Portland Bill, 1 Lodmoor RSPB, 1 Priory Marsh
Whimbrel - 6 Stanpit Marsh
Common Sandpiper - 5 Lodmoor RSPB, 3 Rodden Hive, 3 Lytchett Fields RSPB 1 Sturminster Marshall GP.
Green Sandpiper - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Wood Sandpiper - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Spotted Redshank - 1 Lytchett Bay, 1 Stanpit Marsh
Arctic Skua - 1 Cogden Beach
Great Skua - 3 Cogden Beach
Yellow-legged Gull - 3 Cogden Beach
Willow Warbler - c30 Portland Bill
Sedge Warbler - c30 Portland Bill
Pied Flycatcher - 1 Ballard Down 
Wheatear - 3 Cogden, 1 Stanpit Marsh

Stonechat Hengistbury Head © David Wareham

















Green Sandpiper Lodmoor RSPB © Will Bown

A melodious warbler at Portland today and wood and curlew sandpipers elsewhere

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Weather

Sunny intervals and a strong breeze

Diary Date
A selection of records for this day (go to 'sightings' for all the records):Records Source
PeterMo03067857: A good raptor day: two Peregrines at Durlston first thing and an Osprey at Morden Bog this afternoon @DorsetBirdClub https://t.co/5U38h11xJ9Peter Moore
PortlandBirdObs: Melodious Warbler trapped at the Obs Portland Bird Observatory
DWTBrownsea: The lagoon may seem quiet now the terns have gone, but the winter waders are moving in... 285 black-tailed godwit;… https://t.co/ltsz3BxYHbDorsetWildlife Trust
alison_copland: Osprey just flew over Sherford Pool going towards Lytchett. @harbourbirds Alison Copland
ornisobscura: Cogden seawatch/walk exceeded expectations: 4 Balearic & 21 Manx Shear W, 3 Great & 1 Arctic Skuas W, 35 Med. Gulls… https://t.co/LoLI7kbs7xOrnisobscura
MartinAdams: Holes Bay N. About 130+ Blackwit. Good nos of Redshank, calling loudly as they flew past in ones & twos. 8 Curlew.… https://t.co/80qeWWMvlXMartin Adams
PortandWey: RT @jillpr223: Curlew Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper, West scrape, Lodmoor RSPB @DorsetWildlife @DorsetBirdClub Port and Wey
SwannerySteve: Wood Sandpiper Meadow Pool this morning -- @Joe_stockwell @cwphoto11 @kbutler1978 @dorsetbirdclub @DorsetSwannery https://t.co/BJD6UWFY35Steve Groves
GoadPhotography: Osprey flying over Holton Lee and back (viewed from Lytchett Bay) at approximately 11:45 @harbourbirds R Goad Photography
_James1Phillips: Wow Autumn 2020 is arriving super quick with a female Merlin hunting across Wyke Down yesterday afternoon - 1st August -- @DorsetBirdClub James Phillips
Diary Photograph
white-legged damselfly
White-legged damselfly are often seen along the river Stour [Photo: Peter Orchard]

Six barn owl chicks have hatched on Dorset Council farms

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SIX owl chicks have been found in barn owl boxes on farms.

 

11 barn owl boxes have been installed in trees and barns on Dorset Council farms over the last two years and now 25 per cent of Dorset Council farms have an owl box. When the boxes were checked last month, six chicks were found in four boxes.

 

Barn owls have additional protection against disturbance while nesting. It is an offence to disturb a barn owl while it is building a nest or is in, on or near a nest containing eggs or young. It is also an offence to disturb a barn owl's dependent young.

 

The Dorset Council barn owl boxes were checked and ringed by volunteers under a British Trust for Ornithology ringing and disturbance license. The information gathered from putting these specially designed rings on birds' legs means the council can understand more about them including their survival and the condition of the birds

 

Dorset Wildlife Trust's Kingcombe volunteers have made trough floats which have been installed on the farms to prevent owls from drowning when they use the troughs to

Scrapbook Date

2nd August

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Portland Bird Observatory and Field Centre

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Sometimes we think the birding Gods read this blog and purposefully prove us wrong. After stating that birding was as unpredictable as weather, a blind call from one of the locals today proved splendidly prescient: "I think you should go and look in the nets, there'll be 12.7g of Melodious Warbler hanging in there", and so there was - give or take 0.1g! Common migrant-wise, it was pretty uneventful, with a thin spread of Willow Warblers just about lending a veneer of respectability to proceedings  Elsewhere, sea highlights included 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 11 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and a single Arctic Skua. The sea also provided some mammalian interest with 15+ Common Dolphins distantly offshore, as well as the regular lone male Bottle-nosed Dolphin.

With the all-time island tally standing at something like 227 we can hardly gripe that just lately we've been a little hard done by on the Melodious Warbler front but there's no getting way from the fact that with just one August record during the last four years things haven't been quite what they used to be © Martin Cade:


In a year without any predator mishaps the Ferrybridge Little Terns will have often departed by early August but this year there are still young from some replacement clutches keeping adults busy...


...Little Egret and Redshank were also on the shoreline at the colony today © John Dadds (photos taken under NE license):



At this time of year when they're at their busiest for temporary residents we tend to give the beach hut fields at the Bill a miss coverage-wise, so it was nice to receive a photo of the Long-eared Owl that evidently pitched up there briefly this morning - it had a mob of gulls in hot pursuit and had presumably been inadvertently disturbed from its daytime roost in the vicinity © Ann Campbell:

Sightings - Wednesday 29th July 2020

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Dorset Birds

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Great White Egret 2 - Lodmoor
Spoonbill 1 - Brownsea Island NT
Little Ringed Plover 1 - Lodmoor
Sanderling 4 - Ferrybridge
Common Sandpiper 6 - Lodmoor
Green Sandpiper 4 - Lodmoor
Greenshank 1 - Lodmoor
Wood Sandpiper 1 juv Jurassic Pool, 1 juv Lodmoor (1 or maybe 2 birds?)
Swift c130 - over Lodmoor
Yellow Wagtail 6 - East Bexington
Garden Warbler 2 - Durlston
Pied Flycatcher 2 - Durlston

Dartford Warbler Hengitsbury Head © David Wareham

Sightings - Thursday 30th July 2020

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Dorset Birds

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Red-breasted Merganser - 3 Ferrybridge
Quail - Maiden Castle - 'singing' occasionally from field adjacent to and north of castle car park.
Osprey - 1 Lytchett Bay
Hobby - family on Arne Moors
Sanderling - 19 Ferrybridge
Whimbrel - 5 Stanpit
Wood Sandpiper - 1 West Knighton, Silverlake, on western shore of west lake.
Wheatear - 1 Stanpit

Sightings - Friday 31st July 2020

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Dorset Birds

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Shoveler - 10 off Chesil at Ferrybridge
Red Kite - 1 over Christchurch Priory
Ringed Plover - 28 Ferrybridge
Sanderling - 5 Stanpit, 1 Ferrybridge
Knot - 1 Stanpit
Black-tailed Godwit - 3 Stanpit
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1 Stanpit
Whimbrel - 12 Stanpit, 1 Ferrybridge
Dunlin - 45 Stanpit
Curlew - 1 Stanpit
Common Sandpiper - 2 Stanpit
Arctic Tern - 1 Stanpit Marsh
Common Gull - 1 juv Stanpit
Yellow-legged Gull - 1juv  Stanpit
Whinchat - 1 Crouch Hill, Stanpit
Wheatear - 3 Crouch Hill, Stanpit

Song Thrush in Christchurch Priory grounds © Clinton Whale
Song Thrush in Christchurch Priory grounds © Clinton Whale














    

Sightings - Saturday 1st August 2020

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Dorset Birds

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Grey Plover - 1 Stanpit
Dunlin - 35 Stanpit
Black-tailed Godwit - 3 Stanpit
Whimbrel - 7 Stanpit
A variety of passerine migrants today including:
Yellow Wagtail - Durlston CP
Redstart - 1 Durlston CP
Wheatear - 4 Ringstead
Grasshopper Warbler - Durlston CP
Garden Warbler - Durlston CP
Lesser Whitethroat - Durlston CP
Whitethroat - 11 Wick
Willow Warbler 5 Wick
Spotted Flycatcher - 1 Maiden Castle, 1 Durlston CP
Pied Flycatcher - 1 Pymore

Dippers on the Lim  © Roger Boswell

Sightings - Sunday 2nd August 2020

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Dorset Birds

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Balearic Shearwater - 4 off Cogden Beach
Great White Egret - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Osprey - 1 Morden Bog, 1 Lytchett bay
Whimbrel - 4 Stanpit Marsh
Curlew Sandpiper - 1 sum/plumage Lodmoor RSPB
Common Sandpiper - 3 Stanpit Marsh
Green Sandpiper - 1 Wick
Greenshank - 2 Stanpit Marsh
Wood Sandpiper - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Yellow-legged Gull - 1 juv Stanpit Marsh
Merlin - 1 fem Wyke Down
Melodious Warbler - 1 Portland Bill Obs
Pied Flycatcher - reported from a Broadstone garden
Wheatear - 1 Hog Hill