Dorset Walks

Walks on Portland - wildlife highlights for 2013

last year's walks . . .

Friday December 27th
Portland Castle

We joined in with a major twitch today as a Brünnich's guillemot turned up in the southern corner of Portland Harbour, much to the delight of the local birders on Boxing Day and every other birder in the country today.

Amazingly there was also a black guillemot nearby as well as great northern and black-throated divers. Someone even saw a kingfisher!

More on my video blog at

The day's list:
Brünnich's guillemot, black guillemot, razorbill, great northern diver, black-throated diver, red-breasted merganser, little grebe, great crested grebe, stonechat, oystercatcher

The photo below shows just a few of the assembled crowd of birders, with the Brünnich's guillemot just visible hiding behind the boat on the right!

Friday December 20th
Penn Weare

The afternoon started with a quick look at the Bill where gannets were fishing very close inshore and a Balearic shearwater was a flying backwards and forwards a bit further out.

After this we walked along the Eastcliffs to see if the fulmars were back. They were.

The day's list:
Balearic shearwater, gannet,fulmar, guillemot/razorbill, kittiwake, sparrowhawk, buzzard, peregrine, kestrel, goldfinch, raven, oystercatcher, weasel

Friday December 13th
Portland Harbour & Ferrybridge

Lack of any birds from the Sailing Centre (apart from a few mergansers) gave us a good excuse to call in for a coffee at Ferrybridge. Here we did see a few more birds but the video on the right is from last year.

The day's list:
little egret, kestrel, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, raven, red-breasted merganser, ringed plover

Friday December 6th
Duncecroft Quarry

Our first-ever visit to this very quiet and secluded corner of the island.

See my my video blog for more on this quarry.

The day's list:
little egret, kestrel, magpie, herring gull, great black-backed gull, guillemot/razorbill, rock pipit, robin, red admiral

Friday November 22nd
Portland Bill

The cold north-easterly allowed us a few minutes sea-watching before we were forced to repair to the Lobster Pot cafe for coffees and hot chocolates. Afterwards we searched the area around Pulpit Rock for purple sandpipers, which were not forthcoming.

The day's list:
gannet, guillemot, rock pipit, pied wagtail, raven, red admiral

Friday November 15th
Bowers Quarry

Much better weather this week but still a cols easterly to avoid so we took to the Westcliffs and attempted the exhilarating cliff-top walk to Blacknor. Unfortunately the path was still closed due to the dangerous condition of the cliffs here so we took the detour inland skirting the southern edge of Bowers Quarry.

Finding a large amount of Hard Slatt dumped here we took the opportunity to search for dinosaur footprints and were delighted to find the one pictured on the right.

The day's list:
peregrine, kestrel, buzzard, sparrowhawk, raven

Friday November 8th

In the awful weather we decided that the best place to view the brent geese from was the Fine Foundation cafe. So we had a very comfortable hide this morning and a very productive one too, as we not only had several hundred dark-bellied brent geese to look at but one of them turned out to be a black brant from North America. There was also a good selection of waders here this morning and the first mergansers of the year.

The photo on the right is a black brant from a couple of years ago.

The day's list:
black brant, dark-bellied brent goose, red-breasted merganser, raven, dunlin, ringed plover, redshank, bar-tailed godwit, grey plover, mediterranean gull

Friday November 1st

We dropped in here to see a rare red-necked grebe which had been blown in by the recent storms. After finding it almost immediately we decided to walk off towards the 'Fisherman's Harbour' to see if there was anything sheltering there. There were no seabirds but we did find a very nice black redstart.

Returning to the castle area we were just about to pack up when the final bird of the afternoon put in an appearance in the distance - a kingfisher!

The video on the right is a red-necked grebe that was off Sandsfoot a couple of years ago.

The day's list:
red-necked grebe, cormorant, shag, grey heron, oystercatcher, kingfisher, black redstart, rock pipit, pied wagtail, shore crab, red admiral

Friday October 25th
Grove Point

A return to my old stamping ground to see hoe many of the introduced flock of British Primitive Goats still remain. We soon found all ten - sat on the top of the old firing range!

Not many birds about, apart from wood pigeons but a late painted lady was a welcome sight this far into October.

The day's list:

Kestrel, buzzard, oystercatcher, goldfinch, chaffinch, chiffchaff (heard)

Friday October 11th
Portland Bill

A real surprise today when a glossy ibis appeared flying over the Bird Observatory - only the second record for Portland and the first for the Observatory!

Our search for the short-toed lark at Portland Bill produced just a little owl in the observatory quarry - but an excellent view it has to be said.

The day's list:

GLOSSY IBIS, gannet, wheatear, skylark, linnet, goldfinch, buzzard, kestrel, little owl, stonechat

Friday October 4th
Church Ope - Perryfields

The second walk for Dorset Bird Week.

With a fresh south-west wind blowing we sought the shelter of the east side of the island. In fact once we had reached the ruins of St Andrews Church above Church Ope Cove we could have done with a bit more breeze!

Just one or two chiffchaffs were found here with some interesting insects and a lovely little wall lizard on the steps up to the view point. Out at sea a distant gannet could be seen flying past and several flocks of linnets and goldfinches flew overhead, presumable on migration.

We then searched the Wakeham area for migrants and found very little. So we tried the Windmills area and finally found a group of migrants - about 10 wheatears and a stonechat in a field.

The day's list:

gannet, goldfinch, linnet, chiffchaff, wheatear, stonechat, kestrel, wood pigeon, magpie, blue tit Insects: comma, speckled wood, red admiral, small white, dark bush-cricket, bloody-nosed beetle
Mammals: grey squirrel Reptiles: wall lizard
Plants: elm, sycamore, ash, horse-chestnut, marjoram, Fuchsia magellanica

Monday September 30th
Kingbarrow & Admiralty Quarries

An extra Portland walk this week as part of Dorset Bird Week.

Our aim was to find migrating birds and we did that without leaving the car park, with plenty of swallows overhead and a meadow pipit within the hotel grounds. We soon started finding kestrels too, with two or three seen from the hotel. Quite how many we saw during the afternoon I'm not sure but certainly between five and ten birds altogether.

Out in the quarries migrants were never numerous but in the end a good variety were seen with most being concentrated in Admiralty Quarry just north of the Grove Stadium.

The day's list:

chiffchaff, blackcap, whitethroat (?), wheatear, swallow, sand martin, house martin, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, kestrel, wood pigeon, stock dove, carrion crow, jackdaw, raven, magpie, herring gull, great tit, robin, dunnock, wren, goldfinch, chaffinch
Insects: comma, speckled wood Mammals: bunny Plants: olive-leaved willow

Friday September 27th
Lodmoor RSPB Reserve

Very occasionally we leave the island to explore Weymouth or the Fleet. Today it had suddenly got very windy on Portland so we decided to have a look at Lodmoor.

Arriving at the reserve the first thing that struck us was the number of dragonflies - mostly migrant hawkers but a few common darters as well. A few butterflies were about too including two very handsome commas. Birds were few and far between but we did just about manage to glimpse a distant green sandpiper as well as the usual range of ducks and geese.

The highlight came right at the end when a stoat dashed across the path.

The day's list:

green sandpiper, lapwing, teal, shoveler, gadwall, swallow, sand martin, meadow pipit
Insects: comma, speckled wood, migrant hawker, common darter Mammals: stoat Plants: Echinops

Friday September 20th
Kingbarrow Quarry

Walking down Easton Lane we had not even entered the quarry before we found 2 species of bush-cricket and a lovely hummingbird hawk-moth.

In the quarry we found a good range of interesting species and plenty of geology to look at including the great dirt bed and the only tree bowl with fossilised wood still in situ. The star find however was a redstart perched up on a rock just in front of us.

The day's list:

redstart, buzzard, kestrel, chiffchaff, raven
Insects: hummingbird hawk-moth, dark bush-cricket (click to see iSpot page), speckled bush-cricket Plants: lesser centaury, autumn gentian, autumn ladies tresses

Friday September 13th

A trip to the Eastcliffs at Southwell to look for a wryneck proved predictably fruitless but did turn up a few interesting sightings:
  • The male peregrine was on his usual perch but the female was nowhere to be seen
  • It was particularly pleasing to see that the rare fern sea spleenwort is spreading along the cliffs here.
  • The micro-moth pictured right looks like it might be a silver-barred sable but this will be confirmed (or not!) on iSpot at "

The day's list:

peregrine, kestrel, goldfinch, blackcap, raven
Insects: silver-barred sable, large white, small white, wall, common blue, red admiral
Plants: rock samphire, sea spleenwort (click to see iSpot page), winter heliotrope, common toadflax

Friday September 6th
Penn's Weare

An absolutely glorious start to our new time-slot of 1.00 pm with a walk along the old railway line in crystal clear visibility. In such beautiful conditions we hardly noticed that there were virtually no birds to see at all!

The day's list:

gannet, chiffchaff, large white, small white, wall, common blue, chalkhill blue, speckled wood, red admiral, clouded yellow, small heath, meadow brown

Friday August 30th

It's always risky to go on a single-species hunt and today's mission to find a yellow wagtail looked as if it was going to fail when we discovered that Barleycrates Lane was pretty well birdless. But we carried on to the Windmill fields where after much searching we found a nice group of at least six birds. The photo on the right is of some French birds found on one of Kay's trips to the south of France.


The day's list:

kestrel, sparrowhawk, goldfinch, meadow pipit, linnet, willow warbler, yellow wagtail, pied wagtail, raven, swallow, house martin

Insects: large white, small white, wall, common blue, small tortoiseshell, speckled wood, light brown apple moth

Friday August 23rd
Broadcroft Quarry

After a couple weeks away from Portland I was itching to get out and see some butterflies. Here's what we saw: (each photo is linked to iSpot)

The day's list:

kestrel, linnet, whitethroat, yellow wagtail (heard), swallow, sand martin
Insects: great green bush-cricket, grey bush-cricket, large white, small white, green-veined white, meadow brown, wall, gatekeeper, marbled white, common blue, chalkhill blue, red admiral, six-spot burnet, chalk carpet, shaded broad-bar, silver Y, Jersey tiger
Plants: carline thistle, autumn gentian, golden-rod, japanese anemone, blue fleabane, hawkweed oxtongue, lesser centaury, restharrow, pyramidal orchid

Friday July 26th
New Ground

A search for the elusive grayling turned up a blank but we did see a very wide range of insects.

The day's list:

meadow brown, small skipper, gatekeeper, marbled white, ringlet, common blue, chalkhill blue, six-spot burnet, garden chafer, soldier beetle, nursery-web spider
Plants: carline thistle greater knapweed, red valerian, rock stonecrop, viper's bugloss

Friday July 19th
High Angle Battery

With the recent heat wave continuing into its third week it was good to have a fresh easterly cooling us down today. Since last week the chalkhill blues had emerged in good numbers and the marbled whites have become incredibly abundant. It has good to see a family of kestrels on the wing at Nicodemus Knob too.

The day's list:

meadow brown, small heath, gatekeeper, marbled white, ringlet, small tortoiseshell, silver-studded blue, chalkhill blue, small skipper, six-spot burnet, garden chafer, soldier beetle
Birds: kestrel, linnet, whitethroat, stock dove
Plants: black knapweed, everlasting pea, greater knapweed, red valerian, rock stonecrop, viper's bugloss

Friday July 12th
Westcliffs at Bower's Quarry

College work has kept me away from Portland for a couple of weeks so it was nice to get back and see how the butterflies are getting along.

We started off in cool and cloudy conditions but luckily the sun soon came out and with it the butterflies - eight species in all. Also lots of garden chafers today, with the first one seen while we were still in the hotel car park.

The day's list:

speckled bush-cricket, meadow brown, small heath, marbled white, ringlet, small tortoiseshell, silver-studded blue, common blue, large skipper, six-spot burnet, silver y, garden chafer, thick-legged flower beetle
Birds: gannet, fulmar, raven, kestrel, linnet, skylark, meadow pipit, greenfinch, goldfinch, whitethroat, swallow
Plants: autumn gentian, birdsfoot trefoil, carline thistle, common centaury, Cotoneaster integrifolius, horseshoe vetch, Lesser centaury, mouse-ear hawkweed, ploughman's spikenard, portland spurge, quaking grass, self-heal, stemless thistle, viper's bugloss, wild thyme, wormwood, yellow-wort

Friday June 21st
Portland Bird Observatory

Today we parked in Southwell and walked along the Bill Road to the Bird Observatory, hoping to bump into the quail on the way. That didn't happen of course but we did bump into 4 ravens and a kestrel as well as plenty of linnets, skylarks and meadow pipits.

At the Bird Observatory we had a look at the night's moth catch, in particular both of Europe's smallest hawk-moths - the small elephant and this hummingbird hawkmoth.

The day's list:

cinnabar, small elephant hawkmoth, hummingbird hawkmoth, cream-spot tiger, drinker
Birds: raven, kestrel, linnet, skylark, meadow pipit, swift, greenfinch, goldfinch, whitethroat, chiffchaff, swallow

Friday June 7th
Tout Quarry

It's the time of year when we stop looking up for birds and concentrate lower down where the flowers and butterflies are. Today was just about warm enough to do that, once we got out of the wind, and we were rewarded with an excellent list containing many firsts for the year.

We also took the opportunity to explore a few nooks and crannies in Tout that we had not looked into before, such as the strange fireplace-containing hole near the tunnel under Wide Street.

The day's list:

Slow-worm, Common Blue, Wall Brown, Cinnabar Moth, Oak Eggar caterpillar, Lackey caterpillars
Plants: Birdsfoot Trefoil, Carline Thistle, Cotoneaster integrifolius, Hairy Rockcress, Horseshoe Vetch, Ivy-leaved Toadflax, Male Fern, Meadow Vetchling, Milkwort, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Pear, Portland Spurge, Rock Stonecrop, Stemless Thistle, Viper's Bugloss, Wall Rue, Wall Speedwell, Wayfaring Tree, Whitebeam, Wood Spurge, Wormwood

Friday May 31st
Admiralty Quarries

At last a few butterflies to see on the warmest day of the year so far - at least on Portland.

No sign of the adder we were looking for but we did find a couple of reptiles: a slow-worm and a very friendly common lizard.

The day's list:

Raven, Buzzard, Kestrel, Common Lizard, Slow-worm, Common Blue, Small Blue, Holly Blue, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood, Small White, Large White

Friday May 10th
Fancy's Farm

Rumours of some very unusual wildlife sent us off to the very top of the island where we found some unusually large "long-eared mutton". See photo on facebook.

Afterwards we explored the High Angle Battery, where we found a good variety of plants including this wall rue. Continuing on to Kingbarrow we stopped to look at the "fossil forest".

The day's list:

Whitethroat, Great Tit, Swallow, Stock Dove, Kestrel
Plants: Wall Rue, Horseshoe Vetch, Herb Robert, Red Valerian, Common Sorrel, Common Wintercress

Friday May 3rd
Broadcroft Quarry

A special trip to the Butterfly Conservation reserve to see the rare Widow or Snakes-head Iris that has been found there recently.

We also saw all 10 of the inroduced flock of British Primitive Goats on the East Weares when we went to look at the landslip across the bay. For a video of the landslip see

The day's list:

Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Swallow, Great Tit, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Raven, Fulmar
Insects: Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell, Ashy Mining Bee, Tawny Mining Bee
Plants: Widow Iris, Cowslip, Primrose

Friday April 26th

A major "fall" of migrants today, with the fields between Southwell and the Bill literally crawling with migrant birds. Most were wheatears, with well over a hundred seen, but there were also good numbers of blackcaps and whitethroats.

The best sighting was just as we started - a beautifully close cuckoo!

The day's list:

Cuckooo, Wheatear, Redstart, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Swallow, Great Tit, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Kestrel, Peregrine

Friday April 19th
Kingbarrow - High Angle Battery

A good hike round the North Portland quarries today on a walk which took us first to Kingbarrow, then through the gully to the Merchant's Railway, on to the Verne Glacis and finally the High Angle Battery before returning via New Ground. Birds were in short supply but we did see a few wheatears near the hotel in Kingbarrow. After the walk we made a brief excursion to Grove Point in the hope of seeing the peregrines but sadly the coast path was closed due to landslips. We did see a couple of rare plants though, listed below.

The day's list:

Wheatear, Swallow, Great Tit, Linnet, Goldfinch, Raven, Kestrel, Wild Parsley, Hoary Stock

Friday April 12th
Reap Lane - Barleycrates Lane

After another bout of wet weather we had the unprecedented opportunity of looking for waders on Portland - in the flooded fields between Weston and Southwell. In the event there were no waders to be seen but we did find our first common redstart of the year, although the photo I've included is one from a previous trip.

The day's list:

Redstart, Wheatear, Stonechat, Swallow, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Pied Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackbird, Song Thrush (continental), Redwing

Friday April 5th
Chesil Cove

And another cold day but we found relatively warm conditions down below the crumbling Westcliffs. After much searching we found the white-spotted bluethroat that has been here for several days. A wheatear and a stonechat were not far away and over the beach two sandwich terns were circling around.

The photo on the right is of a similar bird Kay photographed in France - just picture it on weedy rocks on the seashore instead of up in a tree!

The day's list:

White-spotted Bluethroat, Wheatear, Stonechat, Greenfinch, Robin, Great Tit, Sandwich Tern, Green Hellebore

Friday March 29th
Tout Quarry

Yet another day of cold easterlies so we tried to warm ourselves up by looking for ring ouzels on the Westcliffs. We failed miserably on both counts but we did have a good look round Tout and eventually found a few things of note, listed below, including a lovely patch of bright primroses across the road in Inmosthay.

The day's list:

Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Bloody-nosed Beetle, Primrose

Friday March 22nd
Chesil Cove

In a vicious easterly wind we really didn't know where to go today, but the most sheltered spot is always favourite so we headed downhill to Chesil Cove.

As soon as we got there we could see flocks of meadow pipits heading north. Some were overhead, others low over the sea and some were running around the coast path and on Chesil Beach. These must have been birds caught out by the weather during their spring migration. With them were one or two wheatears at first, then a flock of 5 wheatears flew past along the beach. We watched them land on the pebbles amongst a patch of another ten or so, and before long we had counted in excess of fifty of these smart summer visitors.

The most lively area was around the waves sculpture, where there were scores of pipits and dozens of wheatears with a few chiffchaffs. A single black redstart flew past but could not be re-found.

On the sea were two great crested grebes and a more distant bird that turned out to be a slavonian grebe in full summer plumage. We weren't entirely surprised when a pair os sandwich terns flew past heading for Ferrybridge.

The chiffchaffs on the right were filmed last March - we were too busy today to take any photographs!

The day's list:

Great Crested Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Black Redstart, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Goldfinch, Great Black-backed Gull, Dunnock

Friday March 15th
Penn's Weare

We often use the old railway line along the Eastcliffs to seek shelter from a westerly wind. Today we did the same but decided to drop down into the wild landscape of the East Weares instead of taking the easy path under the cliffs. It wasn't quite as sheltered down here but we were walking amongst huge ancient boulders left over from prehistoric landslides from the cliffs above. The rocks here are covered with a multitude of lichens and stunted plants growing from the bare rock itself. Very few birds showed themselves but we did see the resident Fulmars and Peregrines up on the distant cliffs.

The day's list:

Fulmar, Peregrine, Rock Pipit, Great Black-backed Gull, Dunnock
Insects: Bloody-nosed Beetle
Plants: Alexanders, Laurestinus, Portland Spurge, Wood Spurge, Stinking Iris, Bracken, Maidenhair Fern, Salad Burnet

Friday March 8th
Westcliffs - Southwell

Thinking we would avoid the fog we walked along the clifftop path between Weston and Southwell, but soon the fog rolled in and we had to peer through the murk to see anything. This proved to be a bonus though as we noticed a Peregrine sat on a rock just in front of us. It then flew right past us giving us probably the closest view we have ever have of this lovely raptor. This experience was then repeated with a male Kestrel, and finally a male Sparrowhawk carrying a small prey item.

The day's list:

Fulmar, Peregrine, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Redwing, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Robin, Dunnock
Plants: Alexanders, Black Mustard, Coltsfoot, Crow Garlic, Duke of Argyll's Tea

Friday March 1st
Westcliffs - Inmosthay

A walk that took in a number of quarries, both active and inactive, including (in order) Bower's, Goslands, Westcliff, Trade, Tout, Inmosthay and Jordan.

Bower's produced a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a distant Raven that was very busy in some sort of display. Reaching the cliffs we had good views of the Fulmar colony plus a few Shags and Great Black-backed Gulls out at sea.

Tout Quarry was interesting but fairly birdless apart from a Buzzard that flew over.

At Inmosthay we found some freshly-cut blocks of roach stone full of fossils including the Portland Screw picture (click on the image to go to its iSpot page for more information.

Walking through Jordan Quarry we found a Stonechat and several Stock Doves.

The day's list:

Fulmar, Stonechat, Pied Wagtail, Raven, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Shag, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Stock Dove, Wren, Dunnock

Friday February 22nd
Portland Bill

From the warmest day of the year to the coldest day in one week! Today's vicious easterlies had us seeking immediate shelter in the Lobster Pot cafe, which as all birdwatchers know is actually a very good vantage point to watch seabirds moving off the Bill.

Today there were hundreds of auks, dozens of Gannets and one or two Kittiwakes - all streaming east quite close in. The Admiralty Slopes held a few birds as well including a Stonechat and several Skylarks. Overhead an enormous Raven glided past.

The day's list:

Gannet, Kittiwake, Stonechat, Skylark, Raven, Meadow Pipit, Guillemot, Razorbill, Great Black-backed Gull, Shag

Friday February 15th
Eastcliffs - Southwell

On what must easily have been the warmest day of the year so far we walked in bright sunshine along the Eastcliffs and were not at all surprised to see the wall lizards out basking on the rocks.

The day's list:

Wall Lizard, Dronefly, Raven, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail

Friday February 1st
Tout Quarry - Inmosthay - Kingbarrow

We struggled to find many birds today but were very pleased to see a Little Owl in Kingbarrow not far from the hotel.

The day's list:

Raven, Kestrel, Little Owl

Friday January 25th
Portland Bill

A trip out to the fields around the Bill on a very cold day to see the birds forced south by the recent cold spell.

The most numerous species was probably Redwing, with Fieldfare a close second followed by Skylark and Song Thrush. The Kestrel on the right was one of 3 seen this morning.

The day's list:

Gannet, Kestrel, Buzzard, Lapwing, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Razorbill, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, Redwing, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Fieldfare, Stonechat, Raven, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch

Friday January 18th
New Ground

A rare snowy day on Portland so I've added a few more photos to show those that stayed at home what they missed!

Very few birds were out, apart from the hundreds of Golden Plovers and Skylarks were flying south to escape the bad weather.

Friday January 11th
Rodwell Trail

Another look at Portland Harbour today taking advantage of the beautifully calm conditions. This time we started near Sandsfoot Castle and walked south along the Rodwell Trail. In spite of the difficult light conditions with most birds sillhouetted against the bright water we managed good views of a number of species including Great Northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe.

The video on the right is of Slavonian Grebes off Sandsfoot Castle on Boxing Day.

The day's list:

Great Northern Diver, Great Crested Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Shag, Cormorant, Razorbill, Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Mediterranean Gull, Oystercatcher, Brent Goose, Raven

Friday January 4th
Portland Harbour

Starting at Portland Castle we initially saw very little so decided to walk towards the Sailing Academy to get a better look across the harbour. I was just saying what a shame it was that as soon as the Navy moved out their fences were replaced by even more Sailing Academy ones when we were invited by a van driver to enter the yacht area. This allowed us to walk around the shore of the marina where we found a single Red-breasted Merganser.

A short detour through the Academy headquarters and we had uninterrupted views across the harbour. Here we saw two species of duck that were completely new to our Friday list - Eider and Shoveler.

The video on the right was taken last winter.

The day's list:

Heron, Great Northern Diver, Shag, Cormorant, Razorbill, Shoveler, Eider, Red-breasted Merganser, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Oystercatcher, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Chiffchaff

Full list of species seen since 2005

Birds (136 species)

Great Northern Diver
Black-throated Diver
Red-throated Diver
Little Grebe
Great-crested Grebe
Slavonian Grebe
Storm Petrel
Leach's Petrel
Manx Shearwater
Balearic Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Glossy Ibis
Little Egret
Dark-bellied Brent Goose
Pale-bellied Brent Goose
Black Brant
Red-breasted Goose
Mute Swan
Velvet Scoter
Red-breasted Merganser
Long-tailed Duck
Red Kite
Marsh Harrier
Wood Pigeon
Stock Dove
Collared Dove
Great Skua
Great Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Herring Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
Little Gull
Bar-tailed Godwit
Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Ringed Plover
Purple Sandpiper
Little Owl
Short-eared Owl
House Martin
Sand Martin
Meadow Pipit
Tree Pipit
Rock Pipit
Pied Wagtail
White Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail
Grasshopper Warbler (heard)
Sedge Warbler
Reed Warbler
Garden Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Willow Warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Long-tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Black Redstart
White-spotted Bluethroat
Song Thrush
Carrion Crow
House Sparrow

Mammals (10 species)

British Primitive Goat
Common Shrew
Grey Squirrel
Brown Rat
Oryctolagus cuniculus
Brown Hare
Red Fox
Roe Deer (prints)
Grey Seal
Bottle-nosed Dolphin

Reptiles (4 species)

Common Lizard
Wall Lizard

Amphibians (2 species)

Common Frog
Common Toad

Fossils (6 species)

Lopha gregarea
Nucleolites clunicularis
(sea urchin)
Titanites giganteus (ammonite)
Trigonia gibbosa (oss's head)
Butterflies (28 species)

Adonis Blue
Chalkhill Blue
Clouded Yellow
Common Blue
Dingy Skipper
Green-veined White
Holly Blue
Large White
Large Skipper
Lulworth Skipper
Marbled White
Meadow Brown
Painted Lady
Red Admiral
Silver-studded Blue
Small Blue
Small Copper
Small Heath
Small Skipper
Small Tortoiseshell
Small White
Speckled Wood

Moths (25 species)

Cream-spot Tiger
Dark Arches
Heart and Club
Heart and Dart
Jersey Tiger
Knot Grass
L-album Wainscot
Large Yellow Underwing
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Light Brocade
Marbled Minor
Mother Shipton
Oak Eggar
Poplar Hawk-moth
Portland Riband Wave
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Six-spot Burnet
Speckled Yellow
Treble Lines
Vine's Rustic
White Ermine
Yellow Shell

Other Insects (14 species)

7-spot Ladybird
Dark Bush-cricket
Harlequin Ladybird
Honey Bee
Ivy Bee
Meadow Grasshopper
Oil Beetle
Roesel's Bush-cricket
Rose Chafer
Speckled Bush-cricket
Summer Chafer
Swollen-thighed Beetle
Volucella zonaria

Marine Life (28 species)

Ray spp (egg-case)
Greater Spotted Dogfish
Lesser Spotted Dogfish
Goose Barnacles
Spider Crab
Edible Crab
Blue-rayed Limpet
Flat Winkle
Rough Winkle
Toothed Topshell
Beadlet Anemone
Snakelocks Anemone
Dead Man's Fingers
Pink Sea-fan

Knotted Wrack
Channeled Wrack
Spiral Wrack
Bladder Wrack
Sea Lettuce
Laminaria saccharina
Laminaria digitata
Saccorhiza polyschides

Fungi (6 species)

Dryad's Saddle
Field Blewits
Field Mushroom
Honey Fungus
Velvet Shank
Shaggy Inkcap
Plants (195 species)

Annual Beard Grass
Annual Meadow Grass
Annual Mercury
Annual Wall Rocket
Autumn Gentian
Autumn Ladies Tresses
Bastard Toadflax
Bee Orchid
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Biting Stonecrop
Black Medick
Black Mustard
Black Spleenwort
Bladder Campion
Brackish Water Crowfoot
Bristly Ox-tongue
Broad-leaved Dock
Broad-leaved Eyebright
Bulbous Buttercup
Bulbous Meadow Grass
Burnet Saxifrage
Bush Vetch
Carline Thistle
Common Broomrape
Common Centaury
Common Elder
Common Gromwell
Common Ragwort
Common Storksbill
Common Toadflax
Cotoneaster microphyllus
Cotoneaster simonsii

Cow Parsley
Creeping Buttercup
Creeping Cinquefoil
Crested Dogstail
Crow Garlic
Dwarf Elder
Early Gentian
Early Purple Orchid
English Bluebell
False Brome
False Oat-grass
Fern Grass
Field Penny-cress
Field Speedwell
Fodder Burnet
Germander Speedwell
Golden Samphire
Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil
Greater Plantain
Great Hairy Willowherb
Great Mullein
Grey Willow
Hairy Bittercress
Hairy Rockcress
Hard Rush
Hartstongue Fern
Hawkweed Ox-tongue
Hedge Bedstraw
Hemp Agrimony
Herb Robert
Hoary Plantain
Hoary Ragwort
Hoary Stock
Holm Oak
Hop Trefoil
Horseshoe Vetch
Ivy Broomrape
Ivy-leaved Toadflax
Japanese Knotweed
Kidney Vetch
Lady's Bedstraw
Lady's Mantle
Lesser Centaury
Lesser Reedmace
London Plane
Maidenhair Fern
Maidenhair Spleenwort
Male Fern
Meadow Vetchling
Mouse-ear Hawkweed
Musk Mallow
Olive Willow
Oxford Ragwort
Pendulous Sedge
Portland Rock Sea-lavender
Portland Spurge
Prickly Sow-thistle
Purple Toadflax
Pyramidal Orchid
Quaking Grass
Red Fescue
Red Valerian
Ribwort Plantain
Rock Samphire
Rock Sea Lavender
Rock Stonecrop
Rough Meadow Grass
Round-leaved Cranesbill
Round-leaved Fluellen
Rue-leaved Saxifrage
Rye Grass
Sea Beet
Sea Holly
Sea Kale
Sea Lavender
Sea Mayweed
Sea Radish
Sea Spleenwort
Shining Cranesbill
Slender Thistle
Soft Brome
Soft Cranesbill
Slime Mould
Small Scabious
Smooth Sow-thistle
Spanish Bluebell
Spear Thistle
Spindle Tree
Spotted Medick
Square-stemmed Willowherb
Stemless Thistle
Stinging Nettle
Stinking Iris
Strawberry Clover
Tall Fescue
Tor Grass
Toothed Medick
Upright Brome
Upright Hedge Parsley
Viper's Bugloss
Wall Barley
Wall Rocket
Wall Rue
Wall Speedwell
Wayfaring Tree
Welted Thistle
Western Polypody
White Stonecrop
Wild Cabbage
Wild Carrot
Wild Clary
'Wild' Gladiolus
Wild Leek
Wild Madder
Wild Privet
Wild Thyme
Winter Heliotrope
Wood Sage
Wood Spurge
Yellow Horned-poppy
Yellow Oat-grass
Yellow Vetch
Yellow Vetchling
Yorkshire Fog

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