Naturelog: Tuesday 29th April

Away for a few days last week birdwatching around Weymouth in Dorset on England’s south coast.

The morning started off wet and very unpleasant so I walked down to the reserve centre at Radipole Lake, which has an observation window onto the reserve. Despite the now torrential rain there were good sightings of Reed Bunting and Bearded Tit.

After about an hour the rain started to ease off so I decided to go to Ferrybridge. This is on the spit of land which joins Portland Bill to the mainland.

The Fleet
The Fleet

Chesil Beach
Chesil Beach

On arrival a group of Sandwich Terns were on the Fleet (a large body of tidal water separated from the sea by Chesil beach). I noticed a smaller Tern fly past with a pale bill – a Little Tern. A Whimbrel was on the opposite side of the Fleet together with a group of Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

After returning to Ferrybridge from the seaward side of the Fleet I returned to Weymouth and went to Radipole Lake. A little Egret was present near the reserve centre. A walk around the reserve added Sedge Warbler and a distant view of Marsh Harrier were new sightings for the trip. Large White, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were flying in the late afternoon sun

Returning to the centre, the warden said that a drake Garganey had been seen on the lower lake. A few minutes walk and this normally shy and reclusive bird was located on the lake as people walked past unaware that this attractive bird was even there. A couple of local birders joined us and great views and photos were obtained.


Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Little Tern [sp] (Sternula albifrons)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)

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