Sunday, 12 April 2015

Back to Purbeck

After the excitement of yesterday's Greater Yellowlegs twitch, I spent a couple of hours closer to home this morning looking for migrants at the excellent Durlston Country Park. I didn't have to go far before stumbling across a cracking male Redstart. After that it proved to be harder going, though plenty of Blackcap were in evidence and I also heard my first Whitethroat of the year.
Male Common Redstart
Male Blackcap (#147)
Having checked the meadows and scrub it was down to the cliff edge where I knew I could guarantee adding Fulmar to the photo year-list. Several duly obliged and a Raven also gronked past a few times as I watched.
Fulmar (#148)
As I studied the Fulmars a dark shape came out of the sun, momentarily casting a large shadow over me: Peregrine. It stooped towards the Guillemot colony, honing in on a small party of birds which were flying out to sea, and appearing to grab one in mid-air. Ultimately, it could not hang on to the auk which wriggled free and dropped to the safety of the water.
Peregrine Falcon
The Peregrine's legs straddle an apparently prone Guillemot...
...but it managed to turn and get away
A short but productive stop at Soldiers Road on the way home added two photo-ticks to the year list without leaving the car, Dartford Warbler and Woodlark - both Schedule 1 species so photographed from a respectful distance (see here for some sensible advice and a summary of the law on photographing Schedule 1 species). If only some respect had been shown by the two different parties of dog walkers who arrived during the time I was there and ignored the polite but prominent signs asking them to keep dogs on a lead, precisely to protect ground nesting birds such as these.
Dartford Warbler (#149)
Woodlark - a good species to bring up #150 for the photo list in 2015
Male Stonechat


  1. Thanks for putting up these excellent pictures. Much appreciated!

  2. Thanks for putting up these excellent pictures. Much appreciated!