Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Portland Bill and white throated sparrow

Eddie and I left Stotfold at 5am feeling very tired but excited! Next stop off was Sam’s house in Mere to pick him and Robbie up at 7. We arrived at Radipole Lake about 9 were we pick up lots of year ticks and saw the much talked about hooded merganser and nice views of Cetti’s warblers:On to the Obs at Portland bill to hear we had missed a good morning sea watching :-(, which was made worst as sea watching was dreadful for the rest of the weekend despite the auks and some scoter moving about:Fulmar:On the second day after a heavy night at the pulpit inn I was feeling like death but there was a small fall of redstarts and we saw around 7:Lots of 'willow-chiffs' were rung aswel when we were there, this is a chiffchaff showing the pollen which is sent to labs to track the route the bird has taken on migration:There was also a small fall of wheatear so Sam, Eddie and I were trying to get close for some pics but they ended up coming to us where one male performed nicely:Skylarks and Rock Pipits were, as usual, showy and with some rock climbing I got some pics I’m happy with of the Rippit:This is a rock pipit/grey seal hybrid :-P, well my girlfriend said it looked like a seal, I can see what she means with how it is lying, but don't worry she knew it was a rock pipit really ;-).News broke of a White throated Sparrow near Winchester so we decided to endure the 1hour 45min drive to see it where there were lots of twitchers frantically searching for it.

After about an hour it showed briefly at the top of some hawthorn, what a lovely bird and I will defiantly be going back to see it!!:So now I have see white crowned (Cley) and white throated sparrow, two GREAT birds and GREAT lifers., here’s a pic of the white crowned:On the way back we popped in to Blashford Lakes to see the greater redpoll of suspected Greenland origin, also to see some mealies and lessers:
Mealy(above) lesser(below):
Lesser eyeing up a gnat for lunch:
The monster greenland greater redpoll, It's huge and a lovely bird:On our last day we were expecting some good wind for sea watching but it didn’t happen :-( so we headed off to radipole where we saw reed warbler, marsh harrier and lovely views of bearded tits:After dropping Sam off at home we had to drop Robbie in Southampton so thought we would pop over to the new forest and it really was worth it!

We had great view of Dartford warbler and a displaying tree pipit, in the same ‘binfull’ at one point!I almost trod on an adder too when watching them. We went on to see grass snake and common lizard and singing redstart.

When back at the car park we saw crossbill putting us on 89 species for the holiday

On the drive home we were hoping for ring-necked parakeet to bring us to 90 and were not disappointed with one flying over the car!!

Great holiday and looking forward to some early mornings in Bedfordshire now, hoping for something nice :-)
Few extra pics:
Shag showing the extreme life they live with the wave crashing in the background:Dunnock at the bill:
And the Obs little owl:
Lovely time and such a friendly environment at the Obs with the experienced birders and ringers at the obs always willing to help and show us things, many thanks to them!



Mark Thomas said...

Dan and Ed,

Great trip report and pics - this is the stuff that birding when you are young is all about - days you will never forget.

As for Broom !! - well........


Daniel Trim said...

Cheers Mark,

It was a great weekend.
hmm broom...I'm still waiting for that exciting morning, hopefully putting in the hours this week will pay off, only time wil tell...