Patching Up Portland (today's Sunday Sermon!)

Sunday 21st April, 2013

There can't be much to discover about Portland ornithologically, can there?  After all dozens and more birders spend endless of hours in the field here, mainly around the Bill, every month. Except for the odd trip to Ferrybridge though, rather few go anywhere else... or that's how it seems.

I always argue there is, still one hell of a lot to learn. Our (Jon and my own) main area alone comprises of about a square mile of otherwise totally unbirded terrain, where 'anything' might, and most likely does, lurk unseen. So, once again, I've been out from dawn this morning combing the 'undercliff' at Penn's Weare and Grove Point, searching for migrants, and with the most basic of amateur methodology, trying to patch up some of the holes in Portland's ornithological knowledge.

After walking hundreds of miles around the area last year and this, we still don't know if even some of the most obvious, 'black-and white' species like Oystercatcher, Shelduck Great-spotted Woodpecker and Long-tailed Tits (re. yesterday's post) breed here!

Today's visit turned up a GSW that flew in from over the Portland Port fence. The species is never normally seen at this time of year. A pair of Shelduck flew around and around calling over the 'Bomb Pool' area. This is the second time we have seen them, so who knows what to expect?

Shelduck - East Weare, Portland - April 21st, 2013

Great-spotted Woodpecker - a would-be Weares resident?

Finally for now: 

Here's a picture for Jon, who was unable to attend this morning, and who will never believe this without a photo. The Great-spotted Woodpecker landed... in the 'Useless Tree'!

GSW - in the 'Useless Tree'!

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