Sunday 6 September 2015

Late news from Portland

The Dorset Youth League under-13s (Division 2) football season started today (a 2-7 away win for newly promoted Wareham Rangers, since you ask, son George being responsible for only one of the opposition goals, trying to dazzle his way out of defence when simply getting rid would have been advisable), so we're back to that time of year when the scope for birding at the weekend becomes even more limited. So I'm already reminiscing about last weekend, when the kids were still away camping with their mum, leaving three days free for wall-to-wall birding.

Having thrashed Poole Harbour pretty thoroughly on our birdrace on the Sunday, after a lie-in on Bank Holiday Monday I fancied a change of scene and headed to Portland. A Rose-coloured Starling had been around the same houses as the one I saw last year, but when Dave Foot re-found a Wryneck at the Bill, I gave up on the Fawn Yawn and headed there instead. Rather like Greenlands the previous day, the bushes by the Pulpit Inn were buzzing with a similar cast of migrants - Wheatear, Whinchat, Tree Pipit, Whitethroat, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and, best of all, the Wryneck - my second in 2 days. This one showed a bit better and for longer than the star of the birdrace, and it was interesting to see one of the battered ant nests into which it had been poking its bill.
Wryneck on Portland
It's still there a week later
The cryptic plumage really is stunning
The wind is catching the crown feathers here creating a crested appearance
Note the striping under the chin
This Tree Pipit perched up nicely after flushing from almost underfoot
A smartly plumaged bird
Whinchat is another favourite migrant - always good to see one of these
Spotted Flycatcher in the Pulpit Bushes
This bird was keeping quite a low profile...
...perhaps trying to avoid the attentions of the local Kestrels
Before heading to Portland, the day had started wet but well with a Hummingbird Hawkmoth on lavender in the garden

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