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Recording Diary

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Displaying 1 - 12 of 28 records

These are summaries of species sightings in previous months. Click 'read more' for the full text and for access to species lists, charts and maps:

  • February 2019

    Submitted by PeterOrchard on Fri, 01/02/2019 - 07:02

    Records for February are currently being collected and a review will appear here at the end of the month 



  • November 2018

    Submitted by PeterOrchard on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 18:40


    Weather-wise it was a month of two halves; the first two weeks were pleasant and more like September than November but then mid-month storm Callum came along and from there on the weather became much more unsettled and we had rain at last. The settled weather though made for a fairly quiet month for the bird watchers in Dorset.

  • October 2018

    Submitted by PeterOrchard on Tue, 02/10/2018 - 08:19


    October was something of an Indian summer with generally clear, sunny skies and warm temperatures. This regime was interrupted briefly for a couple of days by the arrival of storm Callum, the effects of which were far more severe further north than down here in Dorset. This fine settled weather meant there was little activity on the birding front with migration seeming to be almost at a stand still on some days and with only the one Atlantic storm there were few notable records. Words used to describe 'birding' this month included dire, dead and dismall! 

  • September 2018

    Submitted by PeterOrchard on Sat, 01/09/2018 - 18:48

    September turned out to a bit of a storm sandwich! A settled spell with some lovely days suddenly gave way to a week of westerly storms before the calm returned with more sunny skies and gentle breezes. The coming of the autumn storms quickens the pulse of 'twitchers' hoping for a series of exotic stray birds coming in on the strong westerlies but this time it was not to be with just a lesser yellow-legs showing up and staying a while at Lodmoor.

  • August 2018

    Submitted by PeterOrchard on Wed, 01/08/2018 - 16:18

    August turned out to be the proverbial "game of two halves"; the first two weeks saw the baking heatwave continue and then, suddenly, the weather changed, turned cooler and the breeze and cloud returned. Despite the change there remained a serious lack of rain. The first two weeks also saw little bird movement and then, in the second two weeks there were visible signs that the autumn migration was beginning in earnest.

  • July 2018

    Submitted by PeterOrchard on Sun, 01/07/2018 - 11:43

    July turned out to be something of a heatwave; after a timid start the sun really got into full gear by mid-month with temperatures reaching 28 here in Dorset and it was even hotter elsewhere. As far as nature reports went it was like July in mostyears I suspect, quiet on the bird fron but lots of insect records with some being quite notable.

  • June 2018

    Submitted by PeterOrchard on Fri, 01/06/2018 - 13:11

    June was an unsettled month for weather, sometimes cold for the time of the year and then turning more like summer eventually ending quite hot. What becomes apparent from the tweeted nature reports bird activity declines and butterflies and dragonflies start to take centre stage. This June, though, it seemed something was wrong. Migration is over by June with the birds going north to breed long gone but this June there signs of returning birds that would not normally reappear in Dorset until August at the earliest. This was most notable amongst the waders with species like black and bar tailed godwits, whimbrel, grey plover, common sandpiper, even wood sand piper appearing around our coasts, often still in breeding plumage.

  • May 2018

    Submitted by PeterOrchard on Tue, 01/05/2018 - 16:13

    At last the weather improved somewhat in May and the on-off bird migration in April started to pick up with more visible signs of movement. It was the larger birds that were most evident and brought the most reports with the red kite being the stand-out species. Not normally considered a migrant species there were 61 reports of incoming kites this month with large groups coming through together. It seems that being carrion feeders they found the going tough during the 'beast from the east' and some had drifted south into Europe so the improved conditions saw them returning to their home grounds in Wales and the Chilterns.

    On top of the red kite movement a number of ospreys were seen moving north as well as the usual movement of wheatear, whinchat and other smaller passage migrants. Of the local breeding birds there were first reports of nightjar from the heaths and little terns from Chesil beach.