Open University Seabirds Workshop

Saturday December 12th 2009

Portland Harbour

list of species

With the wind in the north and the water getting choppier by the minute it was not a good day to find seabirds in Portland Harbour. From Sandsfoot Castle all we could manage were a couple of distant Great Crested Grebes, so we moved on to a point above the Sailing Centre.

From here we could get the telescope on a few more birds but we could still only find the same grebes and a few Cormorants and Shags. Off to the south were a couple of Razorbills so we moved off again to get a closer view.

From our next stop opposite Dover Road we managed to 'scope the Razorbills briefly but then they decided to start feeding, spending more time underwater than above it, so we moved on again.

Walking through the cutting we came across a very handsome pair of Stonechats, which might hopefully stay to breed next year.

From the southern end of the trail we at last managed to find a few more birds. Best was a Great Northern Diver that gave reasonable views in the telescope but didn't want to stay up for very long. A Great Crested Grebe surfaced just off the rocks in front of us and a few Red-breasted Mergansers could be seen further out. In Smallmouth a couple of Little Grebes could just be seen hiding behind the boats.

Our final stop was the other side of the Portland Road were we could find a bit of shelter from the bitterly cold wind. Little Egrets were much in evidence here as were the Black-headed Gulls that were following a group of fishing Cormorants. A group of gulls close to use proved to contain at least one adult Mediterranean Gull - a satisfactory end to the morning's birdwatching.

List of species seen


Great Northern Diver
Great Crested Grebe
Little Grebe
Little Egret
Red-breasted Merganser
Great Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Black-headed Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Common Gull
Collared Dove
Wood Pigeon
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Carrion Crow
House Sparrow

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