Thursday 13 May 2021

Getting Up to Date

Just after writing the last post, a bit of news came through on the local birding WhatsApp group: Pom Skua E from Seaton. This is where a local message group really proves its worth. When birds are picked up flying along the coast, any observers downstream can hurry to their nearest watch-point with a realistic hope of scoring. I was at West Bay very quickly, but for whatever reason the Pom was unfortunately a no-show. Never mind though, because I enjoyed cracking views of a light-phase Arctic Skua, and more distant views of a dark-phase bird. Well worth the effort.

So, what else has been happening these last few days?

The inscription on this buoy, which is directly in front of the West Bay shelter, reads (as far as I can make out): West Bridport Bay Long Sewer Outfall. A bit of googling tells me it marks the far end of the sewer outfall (nice...) and lies approximately 0.8 miles offshore. Handy to know.

Apart from acquainting myself with useful seawatching markers, I have also been seeing birds...

4 Whimbrel at Cogden

A few pics from today...

Wheatear at Cogden

Barely a record shot! Whinchat at Cogden.

When it comes to Med Gulls, you'll always hear me speak in glowing terms. However, it is true that some first-summer birds gradually acquire a scragginess that only a mother could love. This one might be well on the way...or maybe it's just the pose.

Mind you, it looks pretty swish in this shot.

Spotted Flycatcher at West Bexington this evening.

Apart from another Med Gull, two more Wheatears and three Swifts, those photos depict every single noteworthy bird I've seen today. It has not been hectic. Still, last night it rained non-stop, and I was a bit surprised to see any passerine migrants at all this morning. I did think there would be loads of waders though, and saw none!

Last night's nocmig was several hours of solid rainfall, which sounds like so much white noise, varying in volume with the intensity of downpour. Even so, bird sounds do cut through, and are perfectly visible on the spectrogram. A single Moorhen was no trouble to pick out and, to be honest, the only thing I needed to! The heap of waders that weren't visible in the field this morning had definitely not flown through during the night. So here is a short clip of one that featured a couple of nights ago - my clearest Ringed Plover yet...

A single Painted Lady at West Bex yesterday was the first local indication I've seen of what sounds like quite an influx along the south coast. And today I came across this rather photogenic Orange Tip there too...

Orange Tip underwing is pretty cool.

Once in a while, an NQS post serves no more purpose than to bring the blog up to date. Like this one.


  1. A perfectly good post Gav, with interesting snippets about your patch birding. Keep them up.

    1. Cheers Stewart. There'll be plenty more in that vein! :)