Monday 24th October – Weymouth and Portland   Leave a comment

Too windy for ringing, I decided to go to Weymouth and Portland to try and see a few of the scarce migrants that have been seen in recent days.

This Snow Bunting was found in the Army Bridging Camp last week. It is very tame and can be seen down to a few feet through the wire fence. However it can go missing behind a small wall for short periods, as I found on my first visit this morning. Snow Buntings are regular winter visitors to eastern Britain (mainly from Iceland) but very few are seen in Dorset each year.



The Bridging Camp adjacent to the Fleet.



Snow Bunting



This confiding bird was photographed through the boundary fence of the camp



This is a species I have seen in Iceland, Norway and Siberia, but most of my British sightings have been from coastal Norfolk.



At nearby Ferrybridge a large flock of about 1500 Brent Geese had gathered. I had just got onto the rare but annual Black Brant when the whole flock was flushed by dog walkers. Black Brants are the eastern form, breeding in the Arctic from the east of the Taimyr Peninsular to Western Canada and are considered a full species by many, although the taxonomy of the Brent goose complex needs more study (one form, the so-called Grey-bellied Brent, has not even been formerly named).


Part of the Brent Goose flock at Ferrybridge



After being flushed, most of the flock headed up the Fleet.



I later visited Portland Bird Observatory, where in the gale force winds few birds had been seen on land or sea, however I did get directions to a Yellow-browed Warbler, a scarce but regular autumn visitor from Siberia.



Lancridge, the sheltered north-west corner of Portland.




Yellow-browed Warbler ........




...little bigger than a Goldcrest, these birds fly enormous distances between Siberia and wintering grounds in South-east Asia ......




...and as this picture shows are highly energetic and mobile.




Posted October 24, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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