14 Jun 2014

14 June 14 - Portland Welcomes A Scottish Tourist

Following my recent light-hearted posting on Scottish Independence & the impacts on our bird lists, it is great to report that a Scottish visitor seems to have taken up residence on Portland. In the long run, if it stays this will help the Dorset birders keep their fuel costs low for a year tick, but in the short term it pushed up the same fuel bills as many of us travelled to see it once it arrived. The visitor in question is a Hooded Crow. Just have to hope for the rest of the Scottish goodies (Ptarmigan, Crested Tit & Capercaillie) to also move to England ahead of the vote on Scottish Independence (see earlier post).
Hooded Crow: A long hoped for, but not expected Dorset Tick. Not a brilliant show but it looks pretty pure
The Hoodie had been found the previous morning, but was only around the Portland Bill area for around an hour or so, before departing North not to be seen again. I had assumed it would go the way of many of the Portland rarities of quickly moving through this excellent migration point. But the good news was it was back the following morning & associating with the local Carrion Crows. By the time I got there, it had been seen coming & going a couple of times to a Carrion Crow flock in the Top Fields, so it was a case of waiting to see if it would return again. Fortunately, for me, it was only a few minutes after I arrived that it was seen flying back in again, before dropping out of sight in the field. After another brief flight view, it then decided to fly right down & around the Bill area, before setting into a field there. 15 minutes later it was back with the Carrion Crow flock & the next time it flew, it headed to towards the North Eastern part of the island. Clearly, a mobile bird, but it does now seem to have settled down around a pig farm at The Grove in the North East of Portland.
Hooded Crow: It does like to fly
Hooded Crow
Carrion Crow: Complaining it wasn't getting the same interest as the visitor 
As the Hoodie didn't reappear in the next half hour, it was time to check out the temptations in the Obs book shop.
Buzzard: Over the Top Fields. This is a species that has got commoner here since I first started visiting Portland in 1978 
Swift

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