30 Apr 21

Magazine Source

MRA

Magazine Author

Martin Adlam

Magazine Date
30-04-21
Magazine Article
Portland Castle

After dropping the car off at the car dealer, I was going to walk back home with Ted. The route would have been along Portland Beach Road, Portland Castle, The Verne, Fancy's Farm and Broadcroft Quarry Lane. But as I arrived at Ferrybridge I realised it was high tide, so there was going to be very little chance of seeing any waders. So instead Dawn dropped me off at Hamm Beach and I headed towards Portland Castle via Portland Marina.

The weather was looking promising, but as I looked back towards Weymouth, I could see some really black clouds appearing over the town. So it was just a brief visit to the castle grounds, followed by a lift home by Dawn, who just happened to be driving by on one of her delivers. It was perfect timing as the rain began to fall.

Before the rain arrived there were dozens of Swallows and House Martins making their way northwards as I walked along the esplanade from the marina to the castle.

However the best of the birding occurred when I arrived at the castle, with a dozen or more Willow Warblers, a few Chiffchaff, a Garden Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatchers and 2 female Common Redstarts feeding in the grounds.

Oddity of the morning though went to a Goldfinch with a white head!!

Unfortunately our stay was brief but it was very enjoyable

Here are a few images and videos from this morning:

This part of the Portland Castle grounds was alive with migrants, especially.........

.............Willow Warblers with numbers well into double figures. There were also a few Chiffchaffs about as well.

Here are 3 Willow Warblers feeding in the garden until something disturbed them

One of the 3 Spotted Flycatchers I spotted here today.

Here is another and brings my yearly bird species list to 101. 

As far as I could make out there were just 2 female Common Redstarts here.

Here is a brief video of the female Common Redstart.


And here is an even shorter video of the second bird.

A Wren looking intrigued by the number of birds in his garden.

And now that white-headed Goldfinch

Another side on shot.

And one compared to "normal" looking adult Goldfinch

This white head is caused by leucism which is a condition characterised by reduced pigmentation found in animals and humans. 

And another video of it feeding, though it wasn't impressed when the Starlings barged in. 

Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, House Martin, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Common Redstart, Blackbird, Garden Warbler, 5+ Chiffchaff, 12+ Willow Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch

Bees Recorded: Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Ships Today

This is the Greek Oil Tanker "Kastelorizo" anchored up in Portland Harbour. More on this vessel Here. In front of her is...................

...............our old fishing boat "Star", now with a new owner and moored off Castletown.

Aircraft Today

A Chinook comes into land to refuel at the Heliport

Always handy to have someone on the ramp when you land.

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On this day
2020
Today's Sightings Here

2019
Today's Sightings Here.

2018
Today' Sightings Here.