Sunday, 26 October 2008

Portland Bill

We left Southampton around midday and, armed with a food stock to rival those on deadliest catch and a epic playlist for the short journey, made our way to Portland bird obs.

The obs with choppy sea behind and the paddocks in forground:

Thinking it would be worth going for the plastic/real hooded merganser at Radipole we stopd there on the way, allowing our traditional McDonalds aswell! But no bloody sign of it with lovely afternoon light..oh well payed for an hours parking may aswell have a look about. Few nice things: chettis warb being the best but managed a few nice shot of some of the common birds there...

Blue tit:
When we got to the obs weather was lovely and it looked like it was going to be a good evening to see the short eared owl that has been there for a while, adding another lifer to Robbies 'slowly' growing list!!

Well after a short search we found the owl and enjoyed lovely views of it in the evening light. Also a few photos of one of the local Kestrels:

Mobbing a common buzzard:

Looking proud on its post after the 'mobbage':

and the SEO:

Nice end to the first day and great time at the pulpit inn with the home made pies and Ales!! getting to bed slightly later than planned we wondered if we would make it up in the morning, but luckly we did..

The day started slowly but after going to a new place for us (pennsylvania castle) we connected with two firecrests in with a flock of lotties. 4 each of both goldcrest chiffchaff there too.

There was a mini-fall of goldcrest with lots seen and photographed at culverwell:

Another firecrest was seen in the hand later after it was rung by Peter the head ringer there. Lovely little birds and I will never get bored of them!!

A black Redstart then gave us the run around between the beach huts but we finally got prolonged views of it when it dropped into the nearby quarry. I managed one distant shot of it:

Lifer for Sam and Robbie and only my second, first being in Beds!

Now I need a lifer but with the sea producing nothing but a few gannet and lots of gulls it wasn't looking good, nevermind still lots of other goodies about to keep me entertained.

Rock Pipit:

Great Black-backed Gull:


Despite a few cheeky cows it was a great time at the Obs, just think we will go in either May or September next time and hope for some more rareties!

Cheeky Cow:

On the way back we gave radipole one last shot, and in the rapidly failing light finally got sight of it. A potentially great lifer but not proven to be wild. But it turned up in a storm drain at dates corresponding with other hooded mergansers turning up in the Azores, it can fly and it is not ringed..looks like a winner to me, we'l have to wait and see though!

Either way a nice bird and a good end to the trip!

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