Sunday, 31 August 2014

Birds & Boats!

Sunny, 20º, light to moderate SSW.

Arrived around 16:30 at Portland today to a distinct lack of migrants, a walk in the top fields later found 7 Wheatear, 1 Redstart, 1 Willow Warbler and a couple of Chiffchaff.

Other than that there were a couple of Raven around, 2 Buzzard, at least 2 Kestrel, and a Sparrowhawk flew through as did a Merlin and a Ringed Plover flew up the east cliffs.

The only movement on the sea noted were a few Gannet.

Some excitement off the bill as a motor yacht or should I say a non-motor yacht, as they had presumably lost power had to be rescued by the RNLI Weymouth lifeboat and towed into Weymouth.


Friday, 29 August 2014

KingSpot FlyFisher..........!

Overcast, light rain showers, 18º, breezy SW.

7 Buzzard (including 2 juvs) on the south side of the hill today gathered around a dead Rabbit also 2 Redstart present in a nearby hedgerow and a Sparrowhawk on the hunt passed through.

Nearby at least 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 5-6 Chiffchaff, 1 Common Whitethroat and a Blackcap, the Tit flock still present in the vicinity, 2 Kingfisher, a Kestrel and 3 Red Kite, also 12+ House Martin flew south.

TW noted 2 Redstart on the hill yesterday morning and also 2 Raven flew towards the Downs.
Pair of Stock Dove regular in garden again.

Dragonflies; 3 Common Darter.

Butterflies; a few Small White, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Why does it always rain on me!

Sunny, showers, 20º, breezy SSW.

Changeable weather again on the hill and trying to dodge all the rain showers or nearly all!

Up to 6 Spotted Flycatcher present, 2 Wheatear, 1 Redstart, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 17 Swallow flew over moving south.

A Tit flock on the north side of the hill comprised at least 21 Long-tailed Tit, 12 Blue Tit, 3 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler and a couple of Great Tit and a few others that escaped my attention.

Also 6 Yellowhammer noted and the Linnet flock still present.

Dragonflies; 2 Southern Hawker, 1 Brown Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies; several Small White, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood, 1 Red Admiral.

 Distant shot of one of the Spotted Flycatchers

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tits and other stuff!

Overcast, 17º, rain showers, light NNE.

A cool and damp few hours on the hill today.

2 Redstart still on the hill, the ad , assuming it is the same one it has been present now for 6 weeks!

At least a dozen Long-tailed Tit working along the hedgerow, 4 Chiffchaff a single Yellow Wagtail flew over and landed with the cattle, a Raven flew south towards the downs as did a single Hobby and 2 flocks of Martins flew over, predominately House Martin, 100+, with at least 3 Sand Martin and a single Swift all drifted south.

C50 Linnet in the area, 3 Red Kite, 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and c300 Lesser Blackback Gull, c50 Black-headed Gull, c200 Rook and c50 Jackdaw scattered around fields to the south.

A single Small White butterfly noted.

Long-tailed Tit

Buff Tail (Loren)
Brown-lipped Snail ? (Loren)
22-spot Ladybird (Loren)

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Eastender news

On Thursday I was out in our meadow all day whilst haymaking. During the day and had great views of Hobby. Firstly there were two that seemed to be hunting together, then later in the day had two further sightings of a single bird. The impression was that they came in from the Hillgreen/Hithercroft direction and moved away towards the Thames.

Rachel Seymour tells me that the second broods of Swallows at her East End Farm failed this year. Our local Hobbies are usually after these birds. Also I noticed our local Swifts left rather early this year - last ones noted on 31st July.

Now we are hearing Tawny Owls most evenings and by day Yellow Wagtails flying over. Today heard both Willow Warbler and Whitethroat singing briefly beside the Bunk line.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Cooler & Quiet!

Cloudy, 14º, a few light showers, breezy SSW, a cooler day than of late.

Very little of note today other than 2 Redstart on the hill and a few Chiffchaff.

A nearby field was being worked and had attracted c100 Black-headed Gull and c50 Lesser Blackback Gull.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter & 3 Southern Hawker.

Butterflies; several Small White, Small Tortoiseshell & Speckled Wood.

 Lesser Blackback Gull

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hobbies on the move?

A few sunny spells, 16º, light to fresh WNW.

A few hours spent on the hill today, the walk out was uneventful with a few Yellowhammer and Chiffchaff present and a Hobby flew past me heading south. This was the first of 4 that appeared as on the hill a couple of hours later 2 more Hobby flew in from the east, caught a thermal, gained altitude and the flew off south over the downs then around 40 minutes later another Hobby flew over the hill again heading south.

The Redstart still around and calling frequently still, 2 Common Whitethroat and a few Chiffchaff also several small parties of Swallows moving through totalling approx 35 in all and 2 Yellow Wagtail also flew over.

Several Red Kite, a Buzzard and c4 Kestrel in the area.

TW had a Wheatear a few days ago, the first of the autumn.

Dragonflies; Several Common Darter, 2 Migrant Hawker, 2 Southern Hawker and a Brown Hawker.

Butterflies fewer; Several Small White and Speckled Wood, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Common Blue and another Clouded Yellow.

The Clouded Yellow was difficult to track down as it kept disappearing when it clouded up, eventually tracking it down in a field of stubble. When the sunshine appeared it flew off strongly south!

A Southern Hawker hunting in the garden late afternoon and the Tawny Owls active in the garden tonight. 

 Clouded Yellow
                                           Common Darter 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Sunshine & Showers

Sunny with showers, 17º, light to breezy WSW, cooler.

A walk out to the hill today and a juv Green Woodpecker near the garden, a 20+ strong Tit flock in the Millennium wood with at least a dozen Long-tailed Tit present and a couple of Chiffchaff, also a family party of at least 5 Wren and a Blackcap at the Bullshole.

A flock of c40 Chaffinch feeding in a recently harvested field along with a few Yellowhammer.

The Redstart still present on the hill and calling frequently, also 5 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Kestrel and a juv Green Woodpecker working along the top fence line.

A lot of (c300) Lesser Blackback Gulls around the pig farm area.

Nearby 8 Yellowhammer, 2 Hobby, a Jay, a Grey Heron and a Kingfisher.

Fewer insects around today.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter.

Butterflies; 1 Small Skipper, several Small White, Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Red Admiral, 1 Meadow Brown and 1 Comma.

The garden dominated by finches at the moment with 6 Greenfinch, 7 Goldfinch and 10+ Chaffinch at least and fewer House Martin and Swallow overhead.

 Green Woodpecker
 Redstart again!