Guiding Weymouth and Portland

Today I was joined by two Lovely ladies from Sussex. They had joined me for a guiding session to find what Weymouth and Portland have to offer, with the Great-spotted Cuckoo being a principle target. Starting out at 9am Immediately we were treated to a female Marsh Harrier hunting the adjacent farmland, before she dropped down onto something tasty!

 Arriving at Reap Lane on Portland the weather seemed as though it had changed from early summer the day before to late Autumn, It was windy, cold and grey. Sadly it didn't look all the good for the Great-spotted Cuckoo, we spent 20 minutes looking here, joined by juvenile House Sparrows and Starlings. Top fields wasn't any better and the Cuckoo continued to avoid us, although a Swallow flycatching between our legs mad up for it, Raven and Kestrel were also noted here. A little stop at the obs found some Homemade flapjack showing well, sadly it was eaten soon after! Manx Shearwater was another target for the day, although distant at least 5 birds were seen along with Gannet, Fulmar, Kittiwake and both the Commoner auks. 

Our next stop was to view the Little Tern Colony at Ferrybridge, somehow we saw Common and Sandwich Tern before Little, however Little numbers were way beyond 20 albeit at distance. 

Our final stop of the morning was Radipole Lake RSPB, we wanted to find Bearded Tit, although a tall order at any time of year, summer can be really tough due to the thickness of the reedbed. Our quest did provide some stunning views of Swifts hawking low overhead and at times below us! Reed, Cetti's and Sedge Warbler were all ticked off quite easily with two latter showing really nicely. A Bearded Tit finally put in an appearance though sadly only seen by myself and one of my guests, they really are tough especially if you're not looking the right way. Reed Bunting, Oystercatcher, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron and the common ducks were also seen here, sadly we couldn't find any Bee Orchids though. All in all a little quieter morning than we could have had but great company and some really nice birding around some local sites.  

 If you fancy joining me for a half or full day's guiding check out -  Come and Join me in the autumn for some of the best south coast migration!