May 24th – Portland and Holt Heath   Leave a comment

After a meeting the previous evening I had some urgent business to deal with, so I got up early went the gym with Margaret and then settled down to get the paperwork done. However over the next twenty minutes message after message came in about goodies in the Weymouth area. Icterine Warbler (in the hand), Common Rosefinch and Golden Oriole were seen at Portland Bill, whilst those watching the Great Reed Warbler at Radipole saw a Black-winged Stilt fly overhead.

It was clear that I should have been at Portland not at home, but by the time I arrived I found the Golden Oriole was long gone, the Rosefinch had only been seen by one person and the Icterine Warbler had only been glimpsed since release. After a couple of hours of searching I gave up and headed home.


The ‘top fields’ at Portland Bill, the last known location of the Golden Oriole.


Now that we have long warm evenings we thought it would be nice to go looking for Nightjars. Nightjars breed just up the road from us at Upton Heath but we went much further, to Holt Heath north of Wareham, in the hope of seeing roding Woodcocks. I saw one Woodcock during the winter, but the view was very brief, so i was keen for a better view. The roding (or displaying) bird flies just over the tree tops making a ‘twisk twisk’ noise. If it passed close enough to you a deep frog like call can be heard as well.

Listen here for recordings of Woodcock.


We saw a roding Woodcock, had great views of displaying Nightjars and saw several Cuckoos, it was a lovely evening marred only by the emergence of countless midges.


Dusk at Holt Heath


A roding Woodcock. Photo from the Internet


A Nightjar displaying at dusk. Photo from the Internet


Click here for recordings of Nightjars.



Posted May 25, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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