Lighouse attraction

Typically, when Glen visits most evenings end up in some way debauched, sometimes early in the evening allowing for a nice recovery, though sometimes it goes on to the small hours I we all wake feeling hideous the next day. Fortunately though I might have grown up a little bit and do seem to be able to sneak off to be before ending up too rotten! Yesterday evening was no different, though when Peter popped outside and alerted us to a Lighthouse attraction I sobered up very quickly. My first impression of the flashing lights in the beams were of aircraft, we were all soon told that they were in fact birds buzzing around the main light, dazzled by the beams! Martin and I shot down the bill to observe it a little better, Loads of Robins, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, LRP, Greenshank, Dunlin, Song Thrush, Yellow Wagtail and Snipe were all heard calling in the gloom, One bird even perched up on the railings! An incredible experience, and fortunately what looked like no fatalities. Once tucked up in bed I thought I was dreaming when someone exclaimed "I just caught a Wheatear in the porch"... Turns out I wasn't as it's sat next to me this morning!

Also from last week I managed to continue my run of garden form with a nice Juv Common Rosefinch ringed on Thursday...

Recently it's been rather quiet...

Not been up to much, a few seawatches have resulted in a couple of Long-tailed Skuas, quite a number of Balearics but not too much else. The land has been equally as quiet with virtually no scarce migrant of note. I popped over to Devon yesterday evening to Black-hole Marsh for this Spotted Crake...


Keeping a blog is almost as hard as keeping a notebook.

Before I came to Portland I always kept a notebook, Okay a pretty scruffy thing which I could decipher but not anyone else, my first couple of months it kept going nicely and then, without any thoughts of it I just stopped filling it in. I still have a rough notebook for fieldwork but that's all, the Black and Red no.2 is now gathering dust in my room, strange really. The same can be said for my blog, It's not as though there's nothing to write about, I'm birding everyday and this is a birding blog!

Anyway, enough rambling, what have I been up to? Corncrake was added to my British list on Saturday, it took 4 hours work and numerous attempts but it finally decided to have a fly around just before dusk. A bird which should be seen in Scotland but I'm sure this was just as exciting if not more so! Amazingly it was a tick for quite a few of us that evening including Alan and Nicky Pomoroy who are currently staying with us, an Ortolan Bunting was nicely pinned down for us to enjoy in the afternoon too. Semipalmated Sandpiper was also a new addition last week, It was seen at Abbotsbury Swanery, a very pleasing and confiding bird.

 Ortolan Bunting

 Semipalmated Sandpiper and Dunlin (2)
  Semipalmated Sandpiper
 Semipalmated Sandpiper and Dunlin (2)

This autumn is already starting to shape up nicely, with Corncrake, 6+ Ortolan Bunting, 4+ Icterine Warbler, 10+ Wryneck and loads of common migrants with Whinchat being particularly well represented, the sea by contrast has been rather disappointing apart from the huge Balearic day count of 384! It's getting on for that time now, fingers crossed...

I know it's not THAT rare... but another self-found tick

11AM: It's pretty hot, the sun is shining and there really isn't much going on, net round after net round drew blanks and I'm getting close to giving up, a quick cuppa and a hot sausage sarnie got me going again and decided another hour or two wouldn't hurt.

11:55AM: The penultimate net, I flushed a Warbler from the low bushes, and it dived head first into the net, Result! Taking it out I realized it's Identity down to 2 species but actually they seem so much harder to separate in the hand, especially with a nice amount of adrenalin about to kick in! In the comfortable surrounds of the Ringing hut though it was straight forward, Wing of 78, enormous projection and a pale panel much more visible. Icterine Warbler! Ageing was simple, still fresh feathers with no real ware so a bird of this year, and technically a Juvenile due to Icterine Warblers only beginning post-juvenile moult when they reach their wintering grounds. Exciting Huh!