11 Feb 19

Portland Harbour and Newton's Cove

The one thing Dawn and I hadn't tried before, with our fishing boat 'Star', was to drop the anchor and do a spot of fishing. It's one of those stupid things that I have had to overcome, and that is to drop the anchor, switch the engine off and then restart the engine later. My biggest fear being, what if the engine didn't restart. Well I finally put that to bed, as Dawn and I dropped anchor 3 times during the afternoon, switching the engine off and restarting the boat on each occasion thereafter. Success!!

Sadly the day didn't end well though. As we heading back to Portland Marina I pushed the throttle all the way, came back a bit and felt the boat shudder before we lost total power. After a bit of a panic, I managed to get the engine ticking over and power to the propeller, but only at walking pace. Pushing the throttle forward, there was absolutely no power at all. At least we were only 500 metres from the entrance to the marina and not bobbing about in the middle of the English Channel. I'm not a mechanic but I suspect a cable has snapped or something like that.

However it wasn't all gloom and doom, we didn't catch any fish, but the bird watching was excellent with 2 Slavonian Grebes at Bincleaves Bay (thank you to Andy who had tweeted there whereabouts earlier in the day), also there were 5 Great Crested Grebes. On the way there we came across 6 Black-necked Grebes and 6 Red-breasted Merganser and on the way back a Guillemot.

Out through the north gap between the breakwaters there was a Razorbill close in and when we did eventually come back in a small flock of Turnstone flew across the bow of the boat.

Here are a few photos from this afternoon:

One of 7 Oystercatchers seen today.

How weird, I guess this Grey Heron is drying its wings.

Another Grey Heron in its normal stance.

My grebe ID's are not my strong point but here goes. A Black-necked Grebe.

And another.


And another.

Two Slavonian Grebes, my first of the year.

A pair of Red-breasted Merganser.

Bincleave Cove

Outside the harbour a Razorbill.

And then back into Portland Harbour this Guillemot.

Had hoped it might have been the Black Guillemot seen here earlier this year

There were also a couple of Chinooks over Weymouth today.

And another Chinook over Chesil Beach in the distance.

Birds Recorded: 5 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 6 Black-necked Grebe, 5 Shag, Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 7 Oystercatcher, 5 Turnstone, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Razorbill, 1 Guillemot, 2 Rock Pipit and 3 Carrion Crow.

Penns Wood and Church Ope Cove

Another sunny day here on Portland and it appears we are down to just 1 female Black Redstart. I had a good look but it appears one of them has moved on.

But what was a bit odd was that the remaining Black Redstart is favouring the bushes half way up the embankment to the north of the cove. I say odd, as when we had an interloper a week or so back, this is the area she favoured. Does that mean she's the 3rd bird and the other 2 females have moved on. Will have to check tomorrow.

The overwintering female Stonechat is still present as are both the Grey and Pied Wagtails. On the beach 18 Rock Pipits and 4 Wrens.

Overhead a Common Buzzard was being buzzed by the local Herring Gulls.

In the Hebes there were a few Common Drone Flies and a Honey Bee and at the top of the steps by Rufus Castle I came across my first 7-spot Ladybird of the year.

Here a few images from this morning:

Another sunny day here at Church Ope Cove. And the embankment here had a female Black Redstart just to the right of the Hut in the centre of the photo. A bit odd as this was where a 3rd Black Redstart was a week or so back.

The 'Hut' Robin was having a great time, flying up and catching Kelp Flies. 

A Buzzard passed over and was immediately chased off by the local Herring Gulls.

Here it is soaring higher to get away.

A Rock Pipit has big stretch of the neck as it looks over the cliff top.

Another rear shot of the Stonechat. She's getting a bit shy now.

Honey Bee

7-Spot Ladybird

The Bend at the bottom of Wakeham where............

.........it looks like someone overshot it. A difficult bend to negotiate at 30mph!!!! But of course we don't know the whole story..........

Birds Recorded were: 1 Common Buzzard, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 18 Rock Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Wren, Dunnock, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Stonechat, 1 Black Redstart, Robin, Blackbird, Great Tit, Blue Tit, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also recorded: 3 Common Drone Flies, 1 Honey Bee and 1 7-spot Ladybird

Ships Today

This is the British Red Funnel Ro-ro/passenger Ship 'Red Eagle' on its way from Southampton to Falmouth. More on this vessel Here.

This is the Vehicles Carrier 'Glovis Captain' flying the flag of the Marshall Islands. Its on its way from Antwerp to Derince, Turkey. and is making good headway as it passes 'Red Eagle'. More on this vessel Here.

This is the German Cargo Ship 'Sarah B' on its way from Rotterdam to Londenderry. More on this vessel Here.

This is the British Landing Ship 'RFA Lyme Bay' on its way out of Portland Harbour. More on this vessel Here.

And the ship on the left of 'RFA Lyme Bay' is the British Replenishment vessel 'RFA Wave Knight' on its way into Portland Harbour. More on this vessel Here.

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