All Round Improvement

Friday, 12th April 2013

We did four hours and fifty minutes on the East Weares this morning - our usual walk plus the new 'Tour Extension' that takes in the old swimming pools, Folly Pier and the tidal pools at 'ground level' - i.e.. as seen from beside the pools and not just at a distance looking down from the old railway line footpath.

Willow Warbler - East Weare, Portland - April 12th 2013

Between us we totted up forty five species, which is a day record for the Weares for us. (No birds were seen on the Extension that we didn't get on the usual route.) We also chucked away two more species - we didn't count them because of  'dodgy' views, but both were highly likely: Firecrest and something else... I'll think of it in a minute (no doubt)... oh yes, a partly heard Linnet.

We heard a Whimbrel, which was a new bird for the patch; again a likely addition to the list. Birds new for the year were belated Wheatear, Swallow, House Martin and Willow Warbler. Rain overnight meant an overnight fall of the latter species and Chiffchaffs. There were hundreds of these warblers present - the most I have ever seen at the site by far.

Today also witnessed an exceptional number of gulls off Little Beach for a while. About one hundred and fifty in all. Most were Herring Gulls, then a couple of dozen Greater black-backeds, about three each of first winter Mediterranean Gulls and Common Gulls and a single Lesser black-backed. I am still pouring over photos of the flock, checking everything out.

Also of interest this morning was the reappearance of the pair of Mallard that flew in and allowed some nice pictures. I will be chuffed to bits if we get some ducklings.  Anyway a big thanks to Jon for dragging me out on a truly memorable visit: no scarcities, but extremely interesting anyway.

Mallard - East Weare, Portland - April 12th 2013

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