Saturday 17th December – The Fleet   Leave a comment

For several weeks now a Hume’s Warbler has taken up residence near Littlesea holiday camp on the Fleet. This is a much rarer relative of the Siberian breeding Yellow-browed Warbler and is considerably rarer in a British context. The two species only differ slightly on plumage but considerably in voice. It took about an hour before the bird was located and I was fortunate to hear it call several times and get good, if somewhat brief views.

This is the third time I have seen this species in the UK and the second time in Dorset. there have been about five previous records in Dorset. Unfortunately, on arrival I found I had left the memory cards from both my SLR and pocket camera attached to this PC, so the following photos are taken from the internet.

Aerial photo from the internet. The Hume’s Warbler was in sallows beyond and to the right of the Bridging Camp.

Closely related too, but much rarer than Yellow-browed Warbler, this was about the fifth record for Dorset. Photo from Wikipedia by JM Garg

Whilst at the Fleet I heard about a Great Bustard that had been found at Ringstead Bay, to the east of Weymouth. I called in and saw it well on the way home. The bird has wearing a satellite transmitter and was clearly from the Sailsbury Plain re-introduction scheme. The last native Great Bustards were shot in 1832 and over the last six years or so birds from Russian stock have been re-introduced to Sailsbury Plain. This has resulted in successful breeding in the last two years and hopefully will result in a self-sustaining population. Not all birders approve of this scheme but I think it is an excellent idea and it has my full support.

In recent years the odd bird has been seen in winter in Dorset, usually near the Fleet. True to form the Ringstead bird was seen flying in that direction over Upwey in Weymouth late on the 17th and was relocated at Buckland Ripers on the Fleet on the morning of the 18th.

Great Bustards from the Sailsbury Plain re-introduction scheme are being seen in Dorset on a annual basis.

Posted December 18, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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