Friday, 13th September 2013
Those of you who know me will be well aware of the fact that I don't routinely go looking for 'other peoples' birds. I only tend to do that if they are either very close to home, I'm passing by, or on the spot when they turn up, and of course, if it's species I haven't seen before. This isn't meant as a criticism against those who like to do this, it does though account for the fact why I don't have as many photos of scarce migrants etc. as other local blog writers.
Anyway, rest assured that our, (Jon and my) 'Mega Trudges' along and over our own 'patch', the East Weares at Portland, continue. We record every species on every visit and note them on the Bird Track website. Sightings of general interest again now, after a brief lapse, being re-tweeted by Martin, at Portland Bird Observatory, so you should get to hear about these quite quickly. You can of course follow here more directly.
More background news will be commented on here in an attempt to encourage other birders to visit this ornithologically fascinating and beautiful stretch of coast.
As the summer passes into autumn we are now recording about thirty species during our three and a half to four hour coverage. Yesterday saw an influx of Blackcaps and a movement of Willow Warblers and a few Chiffchaffs. Whitethroat was also present. The highlight of the day was the long-awaited further sighting of Long-tailed Tits. We had a flock of eight or more birds at Grove Point. This is only the third time we have seen the species here this year... which is alarming to say the least. Those who know better than we, but who never venture there nowadays, insist L.t. Tits still / breed in the area. I suspect that's true, but there is no supporting evidence for this. Another interesting circumstance yesterday concerns Dunnocks. I arrived back at the Obs to report our list to be told of an influx of the species at the Bill that morning; I hadn't even mentioned the species but soon pointed out that we had failed to see even one, in four hours, on the Weares, barely a mile down the road!
A further point of note is that the 'Bomb Pool' is well worth a careful look if you are passing by there. Viewed above from the old railway line track / path even a Whimbrel almost escaped attention the other day. Birds are so well camouflaged among the rocks on that shoreline it never ceases to amaze us. The small, tidal pool that we have named after the remnants of a World War II mine, have provided Mallard, Shelduck, Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Little Egret and Grey Heron lately, and promises I believe, great things for the future!