Portland and Weymouth (Leaders: Lucy & Phillip Delve)
was a joint coach excursion with Bath Nats and Bath RSPB local group. We
arrived at Ferrybridge at 10.30, in time for the1.5 metre high tide, intent on
viewing wading birds from the Visitor Centre. In the distance, veiled by light
mist there were both Little and Sandwich Terns. On the harbour shore, a wreck
of jellyfish and in all directions beautiful swaths of pink Thirft, but no
wading birds on the shoreline! However those people who ventured along the
Chesil bank, towards the Little Tern colony, were rewarded with reasonable
views of Wheatear, Linnet, Skylarks, Little Tern, along with some 60 Dunlin and
10 Ringed Plover at roost on the shingle.
Gannet. photo by Tim Lock
coach parked at Portland Bill at 12.30 and while a few people chose to eat
their lunch on the coach, most joined us on nearby rocky ledges from which we
could view the seabird colony on West Cliff and the sea below. Bird species seen included Guillemot, Razorbill,
Gannet, Shag, Cormorant, Rock Pipit, Herring and Great Black Backed Gulls. A
few lucky people also saw a Puffin on the sea, a scarce breeding bird along the
party of 34 formed two groups, which proceeded in opposite directions on a
circular route. Those who walked to the Upper Lighthouse on West Cliff saw
Stonechat, Peregrine Falcon, Raven and Fulmar. The other group walked down to
the Obelisk where Peter Basterfield, who had spent 30 minutes sea watching with
a telescope, had seen a Great Skua well out to sea. All afternoon we could see
the steady passage of Swallows and Martins moving inland off the sea.
Observatory we were permitted to examine moths caught the previous night in the
warden’s light trap and held back for release later that evening. Species
included, Knot Grass, Flame Shoulder, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Heart & Dart and
Rustic Shoulder-knot. The bird ringers were also busy processing migrants
caught in mist-nets, prior to release. Some of us were shown a Garden Warbler
in the hand, while those arriving later were shown a Common Whitethroat.
Little Owl, photo by Tim Lock
groups were treated to good views of the Little Owl, which lives in the quarry
near the Observatory. Birds in nearby
fields included Kestrel, Skylark,
Dove, Wheatear, Whinchat, Tree Pipit and Turtle Dove.
the Bill at 3.30 we headed back to Weymouth where we spent 45 minutes at
Radipole Lake. While on the lake there were typical waterfowl and gulls, the
reed bed was alive with the song of Reed and Cetti’s Warblers. Overhead there
were Martins and Swallows. Further along the reserve path a distant Marsh
Harrier was seen by a lucky few.
inevitable that by taking varying routes at different times, each personal
experience would differ, but hopefully everyone enjoyed their day by the sea.
us, we encountered a total of 61 bird species, enjoyed sunshine, magnificent
scenery and a few interesting Moths!