Sunday, 23 March 2014

Portland - 22.3.14

The Iceland Gull
A nice weekend away with Carey was planned but the drive down Friday night nearly ruined it all before it began. We had planned to leave home about 4.30pm but due to an accident in the country lanes meant Carey didn't get home till just gone 5. Once on the M25 good progress was made for all of about 4 junctions when we hit traffic all the way down to the M3. Then it really got bad! We reached Whinchester services at 9pm and then the thunderstorms started! Eventually we reached the hotel on Portland at 10.30pm totally shattered but before we could go to bed the bulb in the loo blew so the hotel manager had to come and replace it!

The next day dawned sunny with a brisk wind. First port of call was down to the bill for a nice wander in the fresh air. 2 Raven flew over the car park and on the rocks by the lighthouse the first Wheatear of the year was seen. a couple of Fulmar were out at sea and 2 Little Owl were in the obs quarry again. I then bumped into Chris Sharp, Paul Frost and Ephraim Perfect to whom I got onto one of the owls. I said goodbye to them and went for a drink in the café. Next stop was Ferrybridge where a quick scan of the mud saw a few Ringed Plover and Turnstone but then I came across a lovely 3rd winter Iceland Gull. I'd received a text from Chris that he'd seen the same bird at Chesil Cove after I'd given them directions and so I thought I'd call him to let them know it was here. They arrived quickly and got onto it. Shortly after I picked up a smaller and paler looking plover in with the Ringed Plovers. I got the others onto it and we were in agreement it was a Little Ringed Plover our first of the year. They headed off home and we went to Lodmoor hoping for a Sand Martin but only a Cetti's Warbler saved the visit becoming my 133rd species of the year.

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