Sunday, 15 October 2017

Portland and Lodmoor - 15th October

Another morning at Portland saw me arriving in the car park at the Bill at 07:30 just as the sun was rising. Overhead passed large numbers of 'Alba' Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Goldfinch while three Siskin and two Reed Bunting also passed over. In the grassland beside the Quintiq compound were two Firecrest. I wandered a short way northwards along the West Cliffs and around the back of the Pulpit Inn recording another four Firecrest with another two in the scrub infront of the Old Boat House building. It was evident that there had been an overnight fall of Firecrest. I wandered over to the Observatory Quarry where there were another two Firecrest and a Hawfinch calling from the bushes before flying east over the observatory garden. Wandering through the scrub at the Hut Fields I recorded a Chiffchaff, Blackcap and another three Firecrest while overhead there was a continuoosu stream of Alba Wagtail, Linnet and Meadow Pipit. Walking along the East Cliffs, the paddocks were full of Alba Wagtail and Meadow Pipit while two Wheatear showed well. In the scrub along the East Cliffs there were further Firecrest, another Hawfinch, three Blackcap and two Chiffchaff. Heading towards Culverwell I bumped into some birders who reported that a Radde's Warbler had been heard in the scrub, the nets had been opened and I waited around to see if it was caught. Three Firecrest, two Blackcap and a Whinchat were here but no sign of the Radde's so I gave up and headed over the Top Fields where the highlights were a Yellow-browed Warbler and further Firecrest. News broke that the Radde's had been captured in the observatory garden soon after I had left Culverwell.

I decided to head to the observatory and spend my last hour or so here as the Radde's had been released into the observatory quarry but other than more Firecrest, a Snipe and a Mistle Thrush flying north I saw little. I was time to head off but a total of 54 Firecrest for the morning was amazing - the Portland Observatory blog reported around 150 birds in the Bill area and an account of the day can be read here.

Firecrest - Hut Fields, Portland

Wheatear - Paddocks along East Cliffs, Portland

Chiffchaff - Culverwell, Portland

Blackcap - Top Fields, Portland

'Alba' Wagtail were abundant at Portland today but all those that I had decent views of 
were Pied Wagtail - Top Fields, Portland

Pied Wagtail - Top Fields, Portland

Pied Wagtail - Top Fields, Portland


I had around an hour to spare so popped into Lodmoor for a Lesser Yellowlegs that had been present since 5th October and I eventually caught up with it along the western side of the reserve but it wasn't sowing especially well. Also here were three Little Stint, four Ruff, two Green Sandpiper and a Great White Egret.

Ruff - Lodmoor RSPB

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lodmoor RSPB