Saturday October 20th
Weather: Mostly overcast with occasional sunny intervals in a cold northerly breeze.
Westcliffs - Tout Quarry 0900
From the start there was plenty of overhead migration with numerous flocks of birds flying north including mostly Wood Pigeons, Starlings, Linnets, Siskins, Goldfinches and Chaffinches with singles of Brambling and Redpoll. Now and again a late Swallow would appear, also flying north.
Portland Bill 1100
A short sea-watch here produced little more than a few Gannets and a single Common Scoter but we were extremely fortunate to see a group of Bottle-nosed Dolphins pass close inshore. Walking on to the Bird Observatory we were in luck again, being just in time to see a Goldcrest in the hand. The wardens moth trap produced a fascinating variety of specimens including a fine Beautiful Gothic. See the Portland Bird Observatory web site at www.portlandbirdobs.org.uk for news of the latest sightings.
Radipole RSPB Reserve 1400
Mediterranean Gulls were again the star turn here with at least 12 being seen. A walk around the Buddleia Loop to the North Hide showed us a few new species including Shoveler and Gadwall and a fleeting glimpse of a pair of Bearded Tits flying over the reeds.
After lunch we walked out to Middlebere Lake where we were treated to the sight of 100 or more Avocets feeding in the bright sunshine. A group of Roe Deer out in the reed beds were an interesting comparison to the Sikas seen earlier. Settling down in the hide we found a few more waders including some Grey Plovers and a pair of sleepy Greenshank.
Our final walk back to the car park was made in near calm conditions and in warm afternoon sunshine, with the added bonus of an adult Dartford Warbler sat up on a gorse bush with a youngster. A fitting end to a most enjoyable weekend!
Hoping to see you all again soon,