10 Oct 2021

10 Oct 21 - Goodbye To The Hobby

I was doing an Isle of Purbeck Year List in 2021, albeit I was hampered by the Covid lockdowns which helped to restrict my movements at various points in the year. I was back at St Aldhelms for the full morning as it was a weekend, rather than trying to cover the site in a quick dash before work. The Force 2 Northerly winds with initially cloudy skies and mild conditions seemed hopeful. But I hadn't seen that much on a fairly fast walk to the Coastguards. I tried a ninety minute seawatch from 08:30 from one of my favourite viewpoints known as the Delpinus Seat: this viewpoint is named after the pod of twenty-five Short-beaked Common Dolphins I found in Dec 20 from the stone seat. The seawatch had been uninspiring, except for two Harbour Porpoises about a quarter mile offshore.
Harbour Porpoise: Note the rounded head with no beak and the broad triangular dorsal fin
My look around Quarry Ledge relocated a Dartford Warbler which had been around for a few weeks and had moved from Trev's Quarry to the back of Quarry Ledge.
Dartford Warbler: They are less than annual at St Aldhelms
I decided on a final look from my other more traditional seawatch site, above 'The Garden'. Fairly quickly I picked up a juvenile Hobby which appeared to come in off the sea. But I think it had probably headed out, before losing confidence and returning. It circled then went West. As I walked back to the coastguards lookout, I found it sitting on the big rock stack near the steps. It took off, flew around a few times and then slowly drifted out to sea. I lost it about a mile out when I was distracted by some House Sparrows flying over.
Hobby: Juv
Hobby: Juv. I only see one or two a year at St Aldhelms, so this was a nice record
Hobby: Juv
Hobby: Juv
Hobby: Juv
The walk back produced the first two Black Redstarts of the Autumn on the roof of Trev's Quarry workshop. The final highlight was when a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew West over the car park. This my 150th species for the St Aldhelms patch. Overall, it had been a good morning for St Aldhelms in the end.
Black Redstart