Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Wike Regis + Portland (25th August)


I joined Sh4rpy, Brendan Glynn and Paul Frost for a shared transport day trip down to Portland.  Our first port of call was the long-staying Woodchat Shrike at Wike Regis, a short walk from the Bridging Camp.  We arrived and almost instantly had the superb WOODCHAT SHRIKE in our scopes.  We remained glued for about fifteen mins before news came in that seabird passage past Portland Bill was hotting up.  I also noted 2 Yellow Wagtails before we left.

 Woodchat Shrike, Wike Regis at the Bridging Camp


We arrived at the Bill in light stormy conditions, a strong onshore wind wobbling our scopes making the sea-watch even more difficult.  However, through the difficulty I managed to get brief views of my second lifer for the day, 3+ BALEARIC SHEARWATERS!  They were milling around, tending to stay as a loose group amongst Gannets, Fulmars and other gulls.  The rocky slopes also hosted a Rock Pipit braving the braking waves.  After an hours staring out to sea, the sun came out and sea-watching became more difficult, as the reflection of sunlight from the water made IDing even more difficult.  With this as our queue, we decided to do a short round walk at the southern end of the Isle.  Very few migrants unfortunately, 9+ Wheatear, 2 Ravens being the only highlights.  I did get one British butterfly year tick, Wall Brown.  The only other butterflies about included 1 Meadow Brown and a single Small Tortoiseshell.

 Sh4rpy, Brendan and Paul at the lighthouse at Portland Bill

 The Bill

 west coast of the Isle of Portland


Another short sea-watch from The Fleet yielded 1 Gannet.  Waders at the ferry Bridge included 6 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plovers.

 Chesil Beach


Our last stop for the day.  Soon after getting out of the car, rain started to pour down, we sheltered ourselves in a nearby woodland, waited for it to pass before returning.  Unsurprisingly, no birds chose to show themselves in the torrent, only a few Stonechats and a small flock of Willow Warblers came out following the down-pour.  Needless to say we got drenched.

Acres Down

Thanks again to Sh4rpy for inviting me and Brendan Glynn for the driving.

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