Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Final Countdown

A trio of Twitchers - Me, Tess and Paul Lifton at the Portland Bird Observatory

Tess & Paul atop the Lower Lighthouse, Portland - apart from birding P & T are serious Lighthouse Twitchers, and while the 3 at Portland were not new, their venture up this one was a first

An 07-00 start saw us in the Longcroft cemetery, where we quickly added Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Song Thrush and extremely lucky Redwing to the list. A drive to Littlesea for low water allowed us to add Knot and Curlew to the list, while also on the Fleet at Ferry Bridge the 2 big misses of yesterday, Turnstone and Ringed Plover were recouped. At the Observatory things seemed bleak, although an excellent 'spot' by Paul had Little Owl booked, but there was little else of note especially as we 'dipped' Grey Partridge and a Barn Owl. Our final call was Lodmoor, where once again our luck prevailed, adding Willow Warbler, Bearded Tit and a final Kingfisher to a total of 89. Paul's predicted 90 won the weekend count, with Tess at 86 coming second. The 'local lad' sent them packing to Hampshire without tea, and a threat never to darken Dorset's door again, magnanimous in defeat as ever. P & T returned home to add a creditable 4 species to their GB List while yours truly was content with a Year Tick. Their message to mutual friends being good luck, until we meet again.

2 Turtle Doves, but no Partridge - these 2 obligingly flew into the Obs garden as we arrived

a few more Off-shore birds

Moorhen - infrequent, but a bit of a heart stopper when a crew member reports a 'red billed' bird swimming with the Guillemots!

Little Auk - frequent and sometimes numerous winter visitor

Little Auk - this individual sat on top of our satellite dome for a full 2 days

Common Scoter - not as frequent as might be thought

Eider - annual and occasionally long staying