Sunday 12 February 2023

Bits & Bobs

Too much work last week, plus a hectic weekend of this and that, equals minimal birding. Still, I did manage to add two species to my West Bay & Eype Patchwork Challenge list: Collared Dove and Mute Swan, both fly-overs. Hardly epic. And while on an errand in town yesterday I came across a lovely bit of Firecrest-y habitat which, sure enough, soon coughed up a stripy gem. That's my fifth Firecrest in the Bridport recording area this winter.

A quick pictorial catch-up...

Sunset last Sunday, and four Purple Sandpipers feeding together at the far end of the West Bay harbour wall.

Black-spotted Longhorn Beetle Rhagium mordax, found in a friend's log pile over in Lyme Regis yesterday. Impressive. I could easily get into beetles...

One of two Purple Sands this afternoon. Love the Limpets and tiny Barnacles on that rock.

The confused ducks today. I wonder what's going to become of these two...

What a surprise! Two 10lb+ Carp in the River Brit by Rise restaurant in West Bay this afternoon.

In angler's parlance, the two Carp are a Common Carp and a 'Ghostie'. I always check the river for fish here, but have never seen anything bar the occasional Mullet. Seeing these Carp was unexpected enough, but a few minutes later a smaller fish swam past from the right, quickly dropping out of sight in deeper water. It looked a bit odd, but I was rather slow to get my bins on it. If I had been peering into the Hampshire Avon or Dorset Stour, I would not have hesitated to call it a small Barbel. With its snouty head shape, greenish hue and coral-tinged pectoral fins, I honestly could not think of any other species which fitted, but my view was so brief...

So there we are. I'm stringing fish now.

As far as I can tell, my Rock Pipit photos now depict eight different birds. And finally, we have a bit of pre-breeding moult! I've just discovered that I came across Rockit 2 again on Thursday afternoon...

Rockit 2 on 9/2. Note missing centre-left tertial!

Same bird on 30/1. I last saw it on 2/2, with centre-left tertial still present.

This is the Rock Pipit that I confidently (or recklessly) called littoralis when first encountering it on 29/1. Well, at least it's doing the right things so far...


  1. You should get into beetles… and definitely catch those carp and barbel…

    1. Too many beetles by far, but I'll make an effort with them this year. And I shall certainly keep an eye on the Lower Brit angling possibilities... 😄

  2. I think you need a couple more lifetimes Gav, but beetles are really cool.

    1. Yep, not enough time to do it all justice. But I can have a little dabble... 😊