|Bird Observatory on the right, the lower lighthouse|
|Pair of linnets bathing in the observatory garden pond|
|1 of 100's of guillemots at The Bill|
|shag heading back to the cliffs|
|diving razorbill, note use of wings.|
|crashing waves at The Obelisk|
|Common buzzard over the Crown Estate fields|
A good start. From here, I checked local wood at Culverwell, but nothing noteworthy so off to The Hump and Suckthumb Quarry. Here, I scored with another year lister, spotted flycatcher. From here, I thought I would give the reported purple heron half an hour to show. It didn't and was seen leaving Lodmoor at 9pm that evening.
|male kestrel at Ferrybridge|
|little egret and shelduck: Ferrybridge|
|common terns; Lodmoor|
No further reports as far as I am aware. Another check en route of Ferrybridge before heading back to the obs, where I got a drive by view of a whinchat near Culverwell. Year lister again. The rest of the day was spent at The Bill and around the fields near the Obs as my feet are still recovering from Dengue Fever caught last month in Sri Lanka. Very swollen big toe made walking uncomfortable. I finished off with a sea watch from the patio, where more Manx and gannets were noted.
The following morning broke bright, warm and much calmer and a sea watch from The Bill at 5.45 added fulmar to the year list as well as more of what was seen yesterday. I then checked Culverwell again, coming across 2 spotted flycatchers and a magpie robbing a blackbird nest. From here, over to Top Fields and the west cliffs. Stonechats, meadow pipits and ravens showed well, as did more fulmars and several kittiwakes. 2 of the male stonechats were ringed but I couldn't get a clear enough photo to read these.
|meadow pipit: Top Fields|
|Ringed male stonechat: West Cliffs|
A bag of chips at The Bill and then back to the obs for a check to see if anything was new; there wasn't, so off to The Hump again and another Ferrybridge check. Here, a summer plumaged sanderling out paced some rapid ringed plovers whilst 2 turnstones decided it was quicker to fly the 50 metres covered by the sprinters. It wasn't! Little egret, gulls got on to the trip list but little else of note. I always think the area around Suckthumb Quarry, with its overgrown buddleia and red valerian looks great for warblers and flycatchers and I wasn't disappointed. 2 more spotted flycatchers and then a surprise. I looked to the side of a buddleia bush and there was another spotted flycatcher. On 2nd look I noted white wing patch and the 3 white lines emanating from a the patch; a female pied flycatcher, another year lister and a pleasing bird to find so late into May.
|Spotted Fly: The Hump|
|checking for insects to its right|
Tweets were sent off and then back to the obs. I slowed down as a bird was perched in exactly the same spot as yesterday's whinchat and, I thought, a photo opportunity. However, as I approached, it was clearly a whitethroat, so back to the patio for a sea watch before a doze as I planned to be out with the net for moths. I had tried this on the previous night and scored a disasterous blank apart from a good view of the resident little owl. However, once again, the night turned cold, breezy and bright, so after some food, a quick trip to the Pulpit pub over the road.
|hunble house sparrow in superb plumage near the Pulpit pub|
|Solitary guillemot and shag: West Cliffs|
|many more guillemots|
This morning, Sunday, I awake to fog and heavy rain, so a lie in. Eventually, I was up for coffee at 6.15 and very little on the sea apart from gannets and a couple of common scoter. 2 flocks of swift and a swallow came in off , but by 9.30 it looked like nothing was going to be new, so I headed home, with a brief check at Ferrybridge and Avon Country Park where I heard a few regular warblers, but nothing else. M3 was chockablock, so a 4 hour journey home!
Cracking weekend, always great to stay at Portland and with a holiday camping in Weymouth coming up at the end of June, I am sure I shall pop in on a few occasions. Thanks to warden Martin and assistant warden Glen for making it such an enjoyable weekend. Cheers.
great northern diver, fulmar, manx shearwater,gannet, shag, little egret,grey heron, mute swan, canada goose, shelduck, (10 sp) mallard, gadwall, shoveler, tufted duck, common scoter, red kite (M25) marsh harrier, common buzzard, sparrowhawk, kestrel, (20 sp) red legged partridge, pheasant, moorhen, coot, oystercatcher, ringed plover, sanderling, turnstone, black headed gull, herring gull, (30 sp) great black backed gull, kittiwake, sandwich tern, common tern, guillemot, razorbill, wood pigeon, collared dove, little owl, swift, (40 sp) skylark, rock pipit, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin, wheatear, house martin, swallow,(50 sp) whinchat, stonechat,song thrush, blackbird, garden warbler, blackcap, whitethroat, sedge warbler, reed warbler, cetti's warbler, (60 sp) chiffchaff spotted flycatcher, pied flycatcher, great tit, blue tit, magpie, jay (A31) jackdaw, carrion crow, raven, (70 sp) starling house sparrow, chaffinch, linnet, goldfinch, greenfinch, bullfinch,
77 species with 9 year listers. Considering very few migrants were arriving, a pleasing result.