Sunday, 30 October 2016

Net migration

Four visits to Portland this half-term may have failed to deliver the hoped for Dorset mega - several rare migrants being netted and ringed but not seen again after their release - but in addition to the raptors featured in my last post, there were still some other attractive birds to photograph. Perhaps most widely appreciated by birders dipping on the Red-flanked Bluetail and the Pine Bunting was the Reap Lane Turtle Dove. The precipitous reduction in the number of this once commonplace species in Britain is well documented so I won't bang on about it here. Suffice to say if the depressing combination of factors which have contributed to its decline could be reversed we could all look forward to spring, and the sight and sound of this handsome bird, a little more.
Turtle Dove, Reap Lane
This bird seemed unperturbed by people, dogs and even the local cats
A few years since I last saw one in Dorset
I lay down to get these photos, doing well to avoid the obvious hazards of Reap Lane, a favoured area with dog walkers
When not on the ground it was roosting in a small Sycamore yards from the path
Stonechats always seem quite obliging on Portland
This the female of a pair
With the Siberian Accentor invasion still ongoing, Dunnocks have been getting a bit more scrutiny lately
A few Redwings were in evidence on Portland this week
A pair of Ravens on Portland
A small crowd of fellow Bluetail dippers at the Bill
West Cliffs, Portland
I also managed a visit to Durlston this week - Blackcaps were the most conspicuous warbler
This a female Blackcap
Skylarks were on the grasslands...
...and a late Small Copper was in the gully  
Evening mist in the Frome Valley
Turtle Dove
Turtle Dove

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