Thursday, 2 January 2014

Starting our Year List

With a lull in the weather today, it was much better for birding and we went over to Weymouth and Portland.  Jess joined us and we started at Radipole Playing Fields with the Glossy Ibis, also ducks including Pochard and Gadwall on Radipole Lake and a Cetti’s Warbler gave it’s burst of song.  In the car park we had a bit of a ‘gull fest’ with Mediterranean, Black-headed, Common, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls.  

Then on Castle Cove, looking over Portland Harbour finding Slavonian, Black-necked and Great Crested Grebe, as well as Red-breased Mergansers, Great Northern Divers, Guillemot and Razorbill.  At Ferrybridge a Wood Lark was pointed out with three Skylarks but it was very elusive.  On the tideline were Brent Geese, a few Bar-tailed Godwits and Dunlin.  Off Hamm Beach we found a Black-throated Diver, while watching this bird I was surprised but delighted to see a Red-necked Grebe pop up.  From the Aqua Hotel we had our closest views of the winter plumage Black Guillemot.  It was also here I saw a bird plunge dive into the sea, putting my binoculars up I saw a Gannet, Nick and Jess looked up and there were actually three of them flying across the harbour.

At Portland Bill we added Kittiwake, Kestrel, Raven, Turnstone and pleased to see the Little Owl in the Obs Quarry from the car as we stopped opposite it on the road.  Next was the Bridging Camp with a male Stonechat looking very smart, a small charm of Goldfinch were nice additions on the Fleet a single Curlew and two Little Egrets.  We then heard the Velvet Scoter was being seen from Sandsfoot Castle so we finished our day there with brilliant views of the Velvet Scoter.

Rainbow over Portland Harbour today

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