Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Birding Year that Keeps on Giving

Brunnich's Guillemot at Portland.

My pager bleeped into life on Boxing Day which informed there was a mega in Dorset , Brunnich's Guillemot to be more precise , plans were put into place for the following day . I  left home at about 6.30am and i headed of to Portland in Dorset , finally arriving there a little before 9am , the news was a little bit mixed with only a  brief early sighting of my target bird , the good news was it is still here however the bad news was it has not been seen since its early sighting , the weather was overcast , windy with frequent rain showers and as time went on my mood was becoming the same , in the mean time i had decent views of 1 Great Northern Diver ,approx 20 Red Breasted Mergansers and 2 Black Throated Divers , a couple of winter plumage Guillemot also put in a brief appearance and then  BOOM someone had seen the Brunnich's Guillemot fly in further down the harbour .

 After a quick dash to the location i was soon enjoying great views of this very hard to get bird , there are many great photos of this bird on the net and mine don't do it any justice really . I spent most of my time just observing it , it spent most of its time sheltering from the wind behind the moored boats but was always in view . 

Record shot of the Brunnich's Guillemot.

I really enjoyed this bird and then decided it was time to head to Brixham harbour to try and see the adult winter White Billed Diver that has taken up residence there , no sooner had i reached my destination and got out of the car when i saw  this stunning bird , a truly magnificent bird and i was soon  adding White Billed Diver   year list.

Nicknamed " Banana bill ".

This super bird was very easy to see , if only all birds were this obliging lol , at one point the White Billed Diver appeared right in front of me , it often dived and then would re appear a few feet away , i watched this bird for nearly an hour before i headed off to my last destination which was only a few minutes away and my target bird here was Cirl Bunting , and yet again i parked up , walked a couple hundred feet and was instantly watching these fantastic Bunting , it was hard to put a total number of birds present but i would think it was between 20 and 30 birds.

Often perched in the trees. Male Cirl Bunting.

And often feeding on the ground .

Quite a mixed flock in the above photo , Cirl Bunting , Reed Bunting and Dunnock .