Sunday 11 October – Portland

Eleven club members met at Ferrybridge in a cool breeze to study the birds on the end of The Fleet. The highlights for me were the 25 Mediterranean Gulls having only seen them in ones and twos before. Also in attendance were 500 Black-bellied Brent Geese, four Red-breasted Merganser (the first report of the autumn on this site) and some waders – Sanderling, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Turnstone and Ringed Plover. There followed a drive to the Lighthouse on Portland for a sea watch (quiet – just Gannet, Shag and Rock Pipit) before a walk round to the Bird Observatory via the quarry. Two Wheatears were seen near the chalets and one lucky member had a good view of the resident Little Owl which unfortunately popped back between the stones before the rest of the group arrived. The Observatory gardens provided Stonechat, Goldcrest and other common warblers before we went to the usual lunch spot at the Southwell Industrial Estate. Here the same (not so) lucky member managed to lock the car keys in the boot so had to wait for the AA while the rest of the party went to search a bush for a Yellow-browed Warbler with limited success. A further two sites were visited with failed searches for Wryneck and Ring Ouzel before the day ended with two juvenile Swallows. Overall 41 species were seen. Thanks to Jane for leading. Keith Williams