22nd March – Portland and Radipole   Leave a comment

This morning I made my first spring visit to Portland. I have only been there once this year and that was a whistle-stop visit on the January bird race. It was nice to visit the Bird Observatory again and find that the activities and conversations hadn’t changed much since my last visit in the autumn. Unfortunately I hadn’t chosen a day when early spring migrants were arriving in numbers, about five Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears, a Black Redstart plus the expected Little Owl, Rock Pipits, Gannets and Fulmars were all I saw. Although it was often sunny the easterly wind was strong and it was surprisingly cold.

On the way back I called into Radipole where this time I saw the Glossy Ibises. The view was brief though as they shot out of cover by the North Hide and headed off up the river valley. A Marsh Harrier was also quartering the reeds. Lets hope they breed again this year.

 

The Pulpit Rock at Portland. There was nothing on the sea and just the eponymous pipits and a single Purple Sand on the rocks.

 

This Little Owl can often be seen sunning itself in this gap between the rocks of the Obs Quarry.

 

Although often dismissed as the archetypal 'seagull', adult summer Herring Gulls are really quite smart birds.

 

Black Redstarts are both passage, migrants, winter visitors and summer breeders, in all case in small numbers. This male has taken up temporary residence in the hut field.

 

To many the first Cuckoo heralds the spring, but I think the sight of your first Wheatear, one of the earliest trans-Saharan migrants, is every bit as significant.

 

The steep footpath at Pennsylvania Castle can be good for migrants, but not today.

 

It must be great to have a house overlooking Radipole and be able to watch Marsh Harriers from your window.

 

The two Glossy Ibises flew out of cover and away behind the hide so quickly that I only managed one half decent photo. It is rumoured that this recent influx will lead to them being removed from the official rarity list.

Posted March 23, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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