Sunday, 27 March 2016

A stuttering start to Spring

I said in my last post that I refused to believe it was spring until I had seen my first Wheatear, Sand Martin and Brimstone of the year - well now I've seen all three, and photographed two (the Brimstone was seen from a moving car, photographing it would probably have been frowned upon by my passengers and fellow users of the A351 as I was driving). The Wheatears were trickling in to Portland last weekend, while the Sand Martins were at Lodmoor. More are arriving all the time, and while Good Friday's fine weather provided the opportunity to get out and about to look for them, Storm Katie has put a halt to the fun for now.
Northern Wheatear, Portland Bill
Small parties were arriving on Portland last weekend
This pristine individual showed a neat black pencil line between the mask and the wing panel
They weren't hanging about though - all hurrying north
Showing the black 'T' on the tail here
As well as one of the earliest and longest-travelled spring migrants, this is also one of the smartest
Meadow Pipits were also giving song flights on Portland
Sand Martin at Lodmoor - another early spring migrant
Sand Martin - like the Wheatear, a sub-Saharan migrant
A ringed male Stonechat on Portland
Good Friday saw us at Kingston Lacy, where I thought the sunshine and flowers might produce the first butterfly photos of the year - unfortunately not, but a Firecrest was a bonus
Firecrest singing its heart out at times
At least two birds were present, this the most vocal
Earlier in the day a morning walk around Morden Bog produced an unexpected Great Grey Shrike
Possibly the same bird I saw earlier in the winter at Sugar Hill?


  1. Great Grey Shrike is definitely the same bird.

  2. I continue to enjoy your excellent photographs. Quite a gift.
    Keep up the good work.
    Also I trust the high winds don't destroy anything.

    1. Thanks Bill, Storm Katie certainly downed a few trees, some heavy showers following in her wake - typical English spring really!