An introduction to Portland and Weymouth - 2 Days Guiding

With birds pouring in, seabirds moving in huge numbers and the weather showing no let up in allowing migrants to move, I was very excited sat in The Portland Heights' car park waiting to pick up a guest booked for a mornings introduction to Portland. We set off at 8am in search of newly arrived migrants at the Bill, arriving at the Observatory we were immediately greeted by a stunning adult male Redstart in the hand, an excellent bit of timing there! A little scan around the bushes revealed Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and the odd Blackcap so a small fall had occurred and it was time to get in among the birds. The Bill area provided us with nice views of Wheatear, Rock Pipit and Swallows, with a short viewing offshore adding Guillemot, Razorbill, Fulmar and Sandwich Tern. A little jaunt around the top fields was sadly less productive, a few more Wheatears, White Wagtail and a Redstart, We dipped on a Pied Flycatcher though! A coffee and biscuit stop allowed us to see a Goldcrest in the hand which was lovely as always, several Gannets passed offshore along with some more Fulmar. A session around the middle of the Island added another Redstart but we failed to find the Hoopoe, it did show up later in the day though...

Day 2 Dawned very clear with an east wind blowing, things looked promising, we started by looking for the Hoopoe straight away and re-found it within 10 minutes! A British tick for both of my guests.


Two Short Eared Owls were seen further to the south near the bill, both roosting so allowing good views, sadly there appeared to be very little in the way of new migrants arriving though, we managed to see all of the routine birds with relative ease so we headed into Weymouth - After a cup of tea obviously! 


Our first port of call was Radipole RSPB in the hope of adding Beared Tit to the day list, it didn't take long for me to locate two from the viewing platform, sadly I was the only one to see them so we had to find some more, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and Cetti's Warbler were also added. Further into the reserve we managed to find a pair of Bearded Tits showing nicely along one of the dykes! I tried to get some photos of them but failed miserably! Lunch was had on the patio at the visitor center, we added Hooded Merganser and Great Crested Grebe while enjoying Brie and Grape sandwiches, thanks to my lovely fiance we had a nice big slab of coffee cake too, Lovely! 

A visit to Lodmoor provided yet another yeartick in the for of Lesser Whitethroat, yet again I've seen this species before Common Whitethroat - which I still haven't seen! Several Teal showed superbly along the path edge allowing lovely views of this super duck. We ended the day with some Sandwich Terns at Ferrybridge showing nicely by the oyster farm. A lovely couple of days with some really nice company, sadly we didn't tap into the rarer birds which have turned up in the last few days but I hope it was enjoyable nonetheless.

I hope you'll be joining me for a day tour soon, great birds, great company and really good cake!