The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Big Banana-Bill and Beyond

First stop today was of course the Brunnich's Guillemot at the Harbour, more to try and see some of my old friends from Surrey, rather than to see the bird.  But first, I headed up to The Verne prison to get a crowd shot, though numbers were nowhere near at their peak.

Back at the quay, I managed to meet Dominic Pia and Bob Warden down from Staines, and Tim Cowley from Yorkshire.  Nice to see you chaps!  But, the bird showed even better than yesterday, popping up just a few metres away at one point!

The Black Guillemot was of course still around, as was a close-in Great Northern Diver, and it was great to see 2 Black-throated Diver flying about overhead in the sunshine.

Not content with Baikal Teal, Ivory Gull, Two-barred Crossbill, and Brunnich's Guillemot this December, I thought I'd better pop down to Brixham Harbour for another showy mega.

On arrival, the giant-nosed White-billed Diver was showing at middle distance in front of the rusty boats in the inner harbour.  My second, after a very distant view of the Selsey Bill bird in 2007.

It was great to see Black-throated and Great Northern in the same harbour as well as this ridiculously tame Shag.

As the rain began to fall, I made my retreat, and decided I may as well pop into Broadsands on the way back for Cirl Bunting.

No problem on that score, with at least 15 birds feeding on seed in the overflow car park.

And here, two Reed Bunting, a female Cirl Bunting, and Chaffinch.

The Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway provided a rather different background sight and sound.

On the way out of the overflow car park, I was fortunate to bump into some guys watching a Siberian Chiffchaff flitting about with a normal Chiffchaff in the Sallows.  I don't really 'do' subspecies, but this was a first for me believe it or not.

Some (ropey) video of all the quality birds from today here.

Another awesome day, and I wonder when this ridiculous December will end (almost certainly on the 31st ;-).

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