Naturelog: 26th April

Posted: May 3, 2016 in Birds, Dorset, Natural History, UK
Tags: , ,


Day 2 of our trip to Dorset and we set off for a visit to Portland, famed for its building stone. Portland is a long isthmus of land which projects south from the coast into the English Channel and which is often the first landfall for migrating birds.

Portland coastline

Portland coastline

We can hear that many Common Chiffchaffs have arrived overnight together with a few Blackcaps and Common Whitethroats.

Reaching the southern end of the isthmus, known as the bill, we are able to view the nesting colonies of birds on the cliff face – Guillimots. Razorbills and European Shag along with Fulmar and Raven.

Razorbill (foreground) and  European Shag

Razorbill (foreground) and European Shag

After lunch we return north along the coastal path and had wonderful views of a Sparrowhawk.



As we arrive at the narrow spit of land which connects Portland to the mainland, the weather begins to turn. Making our way through the rain we come to the Chesil reserve centre and a welcome stop at the excellent coffee shop. As we sat drinking our coffee and sheltered from the rain, we were delighted to see a Northern Wheatear and a Whimbrel just outside on the edge of the Fleet.

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear




Later, once the rain had stopped we found a flock of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, together with a single Sanderling.

Returning to Weymouth, we made a brief stop at the reserve centre at Radipole, where a single Common sandpiper on the island was the only bird of note.

Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper


Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Northern Fulmar [sp] (Fulmarus glacialis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
European Shag [sp] (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Sanderling [sp] (Calidris alba)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Guillemot [sp] (Uria aalge)
Razorbill [sp] (Alca torda)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Northern Raven [sp] (Corvus corax)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)


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