Saturday, 7 May 2011

All Quiet On The Western Front

Despite an early start, there is little in the way of news as the birds remained scarce and the overnight thunder, lightning and rain persisted. So much so that I only made it to the bus stop before the heavy rain continued but at least there were some having a 'good time'.

Copulating Herring Gulls at Weymouth Inner Harbour.

After the news and confirmation of the first breeding record for Portland of Canada Goose on the Middle Arm Breakwater, Portland Harbour, I hear news from my former drinking mate Andy Alcock that there was a Snowy Owl at Chickerell during the severe weather at the beginning of the year. Never one to pooh, pooh anyone's claim, it is most doubtful that this would be the 'first Dorset record' but Andy maintains there is a photograph to support the claim so I await with baited breath.

Goldfinch, Sweethill

To say there were NO birds at Portland would be unfair, but after the Golden Oriole and Bee-eater of yesterday there were many at the Observatory this morning waiting in anticipation of another 'goodie'! It came in the shape of an adult male Red-backed Shrike, and the return of the Bee-eater, but by that time I was back in Weymouth and shaping up for the Oasis Cafe and lunch with my daughter Julie, son out-law Nigel and grandson Lee.

The following photos are reproduced by kind permission of Martin Cade, the Warden of the Portland Bird Observatory.

Red-backed Shrike


The only saving grace at the Obs was the privilege of seeing a Moth that is thought to be only the 'forth' to grace the British Isles. This Patton's Tiger-moth was caught in one of the Obs moth traps overnight.

Here's hoping for a little more action tomorrow!