Sunday, 14 April 2013

Wet and Windy

Saturday 13th April 2013. A trip to Portland with Samuel and Paul.
The weather on the drive down was pretty good but as has been the case in recent months it soon got worse, much worse! First up was a spot of seawatching. Visibility was quite poor but not as bad as it was about to get. Guillemot, Razorbill, Shag, Fulmar, Gannet, Rock Pipit about the best we could do. We were given some info of a Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel close by so as it had started to rain we aborted our seawatch and went off to look for the Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel. We soon found the Whimbrel but no luck with the Common Sandpiper. By now it was raining hard and the wind was whipping the spray in off the sea. We decided to head back to the car for some shelter. When we got back to the car we received news of a Redstart at nearby Reap Lane.  So we headed off to Reap Lane but could not connect with the Redstart. Only a pool of water that approaching 10 Chiffchaff were flycatching over was of interest. So back to the bill and a hike around the "Top Fields" produced 2 Raven and a fair number of Wheatear but little else. Nothing in the Observatory Quarry either. A search for the Long Eared Owl was in vain. All this time it was raining hard. To be honest our spirits were severely dampened. However, Samuel had a plan up his sleeve or should I say in a Tupperware box. He had baked some student style chocolate brownies. Soon after sampling one the rain started to look beautiful man and all of a sudden the rocks had arms and legs and were smiling at me WOW!
After I had come down from my "trip" we decided to head over to Radipole. An Iceland Gull and some Garganey had been reported from here. We called in again at Reap Lane but again no luck. The pool in the field had now attracted 3 Swallows.
At Radipole we had a good look for the Iceland Gull but as is the theme of late drew a blank. We then headed up the North Hide where after about 20 minutes a nice pair of Garganey emerged from the reeds on the far bank. So back to the visitor centre to have another look for the Iceland Gull and again no luck. At the visitor centre or close by we did manage; Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Little Grebe, Shelduck and all on it's own near the marina a dapper looking escaped Hooded Merganser. From here we headed for home hoping maybe the weather would improve along the way so we could stop off somewhere Hants or Surrey perhaps? Of course as it had done from about 09:30 it poured down all the way home. 
I was of course joking about the brownies thanks Samuel same again next time!
Samuel's account of our trip

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