1 Feb 19

Portland Bird Observatory

After my visit to Ferrybridge I made my way down to the Observatory. En-route there was still a steady stream of Winter thrushes moving along Chesil Beach and absolutely hundreds from Tout Quarry down to Reap Lane. From Southwell down to the Obs nearly every field had a flock of Fieldfare and Redwing in it. This is just my estimate, but going on today's movement I wouldn't mind guessing there were 4000 maybe 5000 Winter thrushes passing up the island and onto the mainland. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if there even more.

Other than the thrushes 14 Lapwing came off the sea and there was a single Red-throated Diver heading north. On land there were at least 7 Golden Plover in the paddocks opposite Culverwell.

The Lapwings...........

.........coming off the sea.

Birds Recorded: 1 Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Shag, Cormorant, 14 Lapwing, 7+ Golden Plover, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Magpie, 2 Raven, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Chaffinch.


With High Tide at 4:30pm I decided to pop down to Ferrybridge at 3:00pm to see what was about, before the sand banks were totally covered.

Main highlight here wasn't the waders and geese, but the hundreds of Fieldfares and Redwings making their way north along Chesil Beach, Portland Beach Road and across Portland Harbour. In amongst them were several Song Thrushes, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. The overnight snow and drop in temperature saw hundreds of winter thrushes coming across the Channel and after a brief stop on Portland, many headed off north towards the mainland.

Meanwhile back on the waters edge, I recorded dozens of Ringed Plovers, Dunlin and Turnstone.

There were a few Oystercatchers about and a dozen or so Black-headed Gulls.

The Brent Geese are still about and there were probably around 85 birds, whilst further out in The Fleet there were a few Red-breasted Mergansers.

Two of the Brent Geese at Ferrybridge

Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover and Turnstone


Two Fieldfare and a Redwing at the rear

A short video showing a few of the many Fieldfares and Redwings making their way north from Portland this afternoon.

Birds Recorded
: Cormorant, Brent Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, 7+ Oystercatcher, 40+ Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Carrion Crow, Fieldfare, Redwing, Song Thrush and Chaffinch.

Church Ope Cove

Early afternoon and a quick walk down to the cove via Penns Wood. The woods were alive with Redwings and Fieldfares, and there were even more flying over the beach. 

On the beach there wasn't a single Rock Pipit to be seen or either of the wagtails. Really odd! However the 2 overwintering female Black Redstarts were still present, as was the female Stonechat

A female Sparrowhawk passed overhead, but with no pipits on the beach, just carried on through.

Out to sea a few wandering Gannets.

Black Redstart number one

Black Redstart number two

The resident Herring Gull back on his favourite rocks.

A distant shot of a Gannet


This morning there was a huge movement of FieldfareRedwings and Skylarks along the south coast, reported on twitter Here and when I was in back garden early this morning I saw evidence of this as 40+ Fieldfares flew north.

Suspecting they may have landed in the lower horse paddock, I took a walk around to the paddock and was amazed to see at least 200+ Fieldfares and Redwing. A few individual Redwings were very dark, suggesting they may well be the Icelandic Race "T.i.coburni". More on coburni v iliacus Redwings Here.

Just a very small portion of the 200+ Fieldfare and Redwing in the lower paddocks.

One of the many Fieldfare here this morning...........

......and Redwings.

Ships Today

This is the Korean Chemical Tanker "DL Rose" on its way from Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia to Fawley, via Portland Harbour. More on this vessel Here.

This is the Dutch General Cargo vessel "Reggedijk" on its way from Bremen, Denmark to Pasajes, Spain. More on this vessel Here.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here