Tuesday, October 27th

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Dorset Birds

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 Whooper Swan - 4 Abbotsbury Swannery
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - 1 with 27 Dark-bellied at Hamworthy
Green-winged Teal - 1 Longham Lakes
Scaup- 2 Abbotsbury Swannery
Great Northern Diver - 2 Weymouth Bay, 1 flew west at Charmouth, 1 Jerry's Point, Poole Harbour
Black-necked Grebe - 1 Jerry's Point, Poole Harbour
Western Cattle Egret - 18 Abbotsbury Swannery, 15 in field at start of Portesham to Abbotsbury disused railway, 1 Longham Lakes
Great White Egret - 4 Longham Lakes
Red Kite - 2 Wyke Down
Marsh Harrier - 1 Wyke Down
Avocet - 32 Holes Bay
Grey Plover - 4 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Curlew Sandpiper 2 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Spotted Redshank - 6 Middlebere, 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Grey Phalarope - 1 still at Bride Valley Fish Farm, Chilcombe
Pomarine Skua - 1 flew past Weymouth Bay
Swallow - 1 Longham Lakes
Black Redstart - 2 Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth
Fieldfare - 60 Wyke Down, 20 West Lulworth
Dartford Warbler - 1 on gorse bushes Tidmoor Point firing range, Chickerell
Rosy Starling - juvenile still at Channel View Road, Easton, Portland

Grey Phalarope, Bride Valley Fish Farm © Steven Carey




27th October

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Portland Bird Observatory and Field Centre

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Quite often on Portland we watch the rain alarm threatening us with heavy showers and we watch smugly as the rain passes by us, straight onto Weymouth. Today was quite the opposite as the radar showed little to no rain whilst we were pelted with wind driven sheets that soaked through even the toughest of waterproofs. This left the day list for the obs area looking a little on the sad side, in fact three Fieldfares, two Redwings and singles of Merlin and Chiffchaff were about as much as we could muster. The sea only fared fractionally better with singles of Bonxie and Pintail of note. Away from the obs (in the relative shelter from the wind), large flocks of Long-tailed Tits were joined by a single Firecrest at Church Ope Cove, where the lingering Black Redstart also remained. In terms of long-stayers though, the Rosy Starling at Easton reached its 43rd day. 

Perhaps the strangest sighting of the day came in the form of a Golden Pheasant in a garden in Southwell, one of a plethora of escapees on Portland currently with a rouge flock of Grey Partridges also on the loose © Pete Saunders:

Sightings Monday, October 26th

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Dorset Birds

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Whooper Swan - 4 Abbotsbury Swannery
Black Brant - 1 Ferrybridge
Scaup - 2 Abbotsbury Swannery
Western Cattle Egret - 6 Sturminster Marshall (towards White Mill Bridge),
Great White Egret - 1 Lodmoor, 3 Longham Lakes
Ringtail Hen Harrier - 1Milborne St Andrew
Merlin - 1Stanpit Marsh
Grey Plover - 1 Stanpit Marsh
Curlew Sandpiper - 2 French's Pool, Lytchett Fields RSPB
Black-tailed Godwit - 70 Longham Lakes
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3 Stanpit Marsh
Grey Phalarope - 1 still at Bride Valley Fish Farm, Chilcombe
Great Skua - 1 Ferrybridge
Sandwich Tern - 2 Swanage
Woodlark - 1 Durlston CP
Swallow - 15 Swanage
Water Pipit - 1 Stanpit Marsh
Black Redstart - 2 Blacknor, Portland, 1 West Bexington, 1 Church ope Cove, Portland, 1 Swanage, 
1 Durlston CP, 1 West Bay Bridport
Ring Ouzel - 1 Durlston CP
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery, 1 Littlesea
Rosy Starling - 1 juv. still Channel View Road, Easton, Portland



Great White Egret, Longham Lakes © Roger Peart


Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Kingston Lacey  © Brian Smith



Sunday 25th October 2020

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Dorset Birds

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Whooper Swan - 4 Abbotsbury Swannery
Scaup -2 Abbotsbury Swannery, 1 Goathorn Point
Long-tailed Duck - 1 near Green Island (Poole Harbour) 
Eider - 1 Brand's Bay
Black-necked Grebe - 5 Jerry's Point, 1 Studland Bay
Red-necked Grebe - 1 Jerry's Point
Curlew Sandpiper - 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Grey Phalarope - 1 Bride Valley Fish Farm
Great Skua - 1 Portland Bill
Great Northern Diver - 2 Jerry's Point
Red-throated Diver - 1 Hengistbury, 1 Portland Bill
Cattle Egret - 17 in evening at Lodmoor RSPB, 8 Buckland Ripers/Nottington, 2 Lytchett Fields RSPB, 1 Goathorn Point
Great White Egret - 3 Longham Lakes, 1 Brand's Bay, 1 Moors Valley CP
Hen Harrier - 1 Milborne St Andrew
Short-eared Owl - 1 flew across Wareham Channel to Arne RSPB
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1 Chard Junction GP in area with no public access
Firecrest - 2 Knoll Beach Studland
Rose-coloured Starling - 1 Easton Portland
Black Redstart - 1 Church Ope Cove Portland

26th October

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Portland Bird Observatory and Field Centre

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With turbulent, Atlantic conditions seemingly now firmly established and prospects for the land looking pretty bleak it was nice to begin the day with some stronger than expected visible passage: Goldfinches and Chaffinches dominated, with a sample one hour count at the Bill revealing totals of 359 and 140 apiece; additional variety was limited but did include an attendant Merlin, whilst a lone Brambling was the pick of a few laggards later in the day. The returns from the ground were indeed sparse, with singles of Snipe, Wheatear and Reed Bunting among the very few new arrivals at the Bill; the long-staying Rosy Starling at Easton and 2 Black Redstarts at Blacknor provided interest elsewhere. Two Great Northern Divers and 2 Great Skuas passed through off the Bill, with another sickly Great Skua grounded at Ferrybridge; one of the Black Brants also pitched up at Ferrybridge, whilst 3 Mute Swans were nearby at Smallmouth.

The Ferrybridge Great Skua did make it far as Chesil Cove at least once but it was always looking distressed and was eventually picked up and taken into care © Angela Thomas:


Winter fare on the shoreline at the Bill included a Purple Sandpiper along with the ubiquitous Rock Pipits © Roy Norris: