Sunday 30 May 2021

Dorset (22-29 May)

Megan and I took Cookie to Weymouth where we stayed in a pleasant cottage in the centre of town for a week.

Saturday 22 May. Twenty-five Swifts over Chichester Gravel Pits and a Buzzard over the A31 were the highlights of the journey down. Most traffic, including many caravans and campervans, was heading east and we made good time to Lodmoor where the first-summer Bonaparte's Gull was on view when we arrived but distant and remained at the back of the lagoon. 

first-summer Bonaparte's Gull at Lodmoor

it remained at the back of the pool while I was there

Sunday 23 May. A morning visit to Radipole produced 2 Gadwall, 5 Pochard, 18 Tufted Duck, 55 Swifts, 3 Great Crested Grebes, Sparrowhawk, 2 Sand Martins, 15 Swallows, 45 House Martins, 3 Cetti's Warblers (with more heard), 3 Reed Warblers and 2 Reed Bunting. Later we walked around The Nothe seeing 11 Turnstones on the beach. 

Monday 24 May. An early visit to Radipole produced 35 Mute Swans (8 showing colour-rings), 2 Gadwall, 10 Tufted Duck, 40 Swifts, 2 Sand Martins, 8 Swallows, 15 House Martins, 3 Cetti's Warblers (with more heard), 7 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Sedge and 4 Reed Warblers and 2 Reed Bunting. Later we walked to the Sea Life Centre and while Megan went in I took Cookie to nearby Lodmoor. There I saw the Bonaparte's Gull (no closer), 8 first-summer Mediterranean and a first-summer Iceland Gull, 20 Common Terns, Spoonbill and a pair of Marsh Harriers.

Iceland Gull at Lodmoor
quite a solid looking individual

very worn too
I didn't see it fly
the first-summer Bonaparte's Gull was still present
still at the back of the pool

after half an hour the Spoonbill suddenly appeared
it was very active

Tuesday 25 May. We drove to Cerne Abbas, saw the giant and walked up on the nearby hills seeing 15 SwiftsBuzzardRaven, 4 Sky Larks, 6 SwallowsChiffchaff, 2 WhitethroatsNuthatch (at nest hole), 2 Bullfinches, 10 Linnets and 2 Yellowhammers. We had lunch in the car park at Maiden Castle where a walk around produced 4 Swallows, a pair of Stonechats and 3 Corn Buntings but didn't get us back to the car before the heavens opened.

Cerne Abbas Giant
Yellowhammer at Cerne Abbas

Corn Bunting at Maiden Castle

Wednesday 26 May. An early visit to Radipole produced 35 Mute Swans (7 showing colour-rings), Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, 23 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 35 SwiftsMarsh Harrier, 6 Bearded Tits, 25 House Martins, 4 Cetti's Warblers (with more heard), a Sedge and 6 Reed Warblers, 2 Greenfinches and 4 Reed Bunting. We visited Corfe Castle and then on to the National Trust car park above Dancing Ledge for lunch. A pleasant walk took us down to the coast at Dancing Ledge where we saw 4 Kittiwakes, 80 Guillemots, 6 Razorbills and 6 Shags but no Puffins while we were there. Walking down and back we saw 2 Sky Larks, 3 Whitethroats, male Stonechat, 2 Meadow Pipits and 6 Linnets. In the evening 4 Common Terns were seen while viewing the cruise ships in Weymouth Bay.

showy Cetti's Warbler at Radipole

Wren at Radipole
juvenile Robin at Radipole
Corfe Castle railway
Dancing Ledge

Thursday 27 May. An early visit to Radipole produced 30 Mute Swans (just one colour-ring as most were on the water), Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, no Swifts, 8 Bearded Tits, 15 Sand Martins, 4 Cetti's Warblers (with more heard), a Sedge and 4 Reed Warblers and a Reed Bunting. We drove to Southwell and walked along the east coast to Portland Bill, returning along the west coast. We saw 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 40 Guillemots, 12 Razorbills, Fulmar, 4 Shags, 2 Swallows, 2 Whitethroats and 3 Meadow and 6 Rock Pipits. Late afternoon we all went to Radipole seeing nothing different.

Bearded Tits at Radipole
most of those photographed appeared to be juvenile males

The Fleet from Portland
Megan and Cookie at Portland
Portland panorama
skulky Cetti's Warbler at Radipole

Friday 28 May. An early visit to Radipole produced 35 Mute Swans (just one colour-ring), Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Bearded Tits, Cetti's Warblers (heard), a Sedge and 4 Reed Warblers and a Greenfinch. We drove to the car park at Durdle Door and after walking down to see it headed east along the coast to Lulworth Cove and back. Few birds were seen with Buzzard, 4 Sky Lark, a Swallow, 3 Whitethroats, male Stonechat and 2 Rock Pipits.

Sedge Warbler at Radipole
most mornings this bird greeted me at the entrance to Radipole

Bearded Tits weren't so obliging
Portland and 4 of the cruise liners lying up in Weymouth Bay
this one was off somewhere
Durdle Door

Durdle Door panorama
first view of Lulworth Cove
Stair Hole
Lulworth Cove panorama

last view of Lulworth Cove after a steep climb
Durdle Door, Weymouth Bay and Portland
P&O Aurora in Weymouth Bay - 270m/1875 passengers
Cunard Queen Elizabeth - 294m/2092 passengers
Norwegian Escape - 326m/5218 capacity!

Saturday 29 May. An early visit to Radipole produced 30 Mute Swans (3 with one colour-rings), 2 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 40 Swifts, 3 Bearded Tits, 6 Sand Martins, 3 Cetti's Warblers (with more heard), the same Sedge and 6 Reed Warblers and a Reed Bunting. Driving home traffic was again heavier in the opposite direction with only minimal delays at Chichester and Worthing.

Carp at Radipole?

Mute Swans at Radipole