Dorset Walks

Thursday March 16th
Portland Bill

list of species seen

Trip Report

Starting near the lighthouse we didn't have far to walk to see the star bird of the afternoon - a beautiful male Wheatear recently arrived from the continent. A little further on into the Bill Quarry we found another excellent sighting in the shape of a male Black Redstart. Unfortunately this bird was less obliging than the Wheatear and we had to be content with watching the bird in flight and a brief view on the Admiralty fence.

The sea was cold, grey and windy but we did manage to find a few seabirds including some distant Gannets and Fulmars. Closer in we saw a number of Shags and Cormorants with a few Kittiwakes in the middle distance.

Sheltering in the lee of the Trinity House obelisk we were lucky enough to spot a small flock of duck on the sea not far off the coast. Through the telescope we could make out that it was a mixed flock of Eider and Common Scoter - 3 of each. Another 3 or 4 scoter could be seen further out. The passing fishing boats were examined for any arctic gulls that might be following them but we could only find Great Black-backed, Herring and Common Gulls.
By now we were pretty well frozen and decided to retire to the Lobster Pot for tea and hot chocolate. We were still birdwatching though and added Razorbill and Rock Pipit to the list.

We finished off with a walk out to the raised beach - one of Dorset's most unique geological features. Here's an excellent reference by Ian West -

The day's list...


Common Scoter
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Common Gull
Rock Pipit
Black Redstart

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