22nd March

Judging by the number of sightings from a wide range of places across Portland, our local birders are managing to maintain social distancing whilst also enjoying the islands various birding hot spots. A marginal drop in the wind meant that the day dawned cool and clear once more. The most numerous species battling the elements to make landfall was the humble Meadow Pipit, with 124 heading in off the sea during the mornings sea watch. However, the highlight at sea was a flock of three Tufted Ducks (the first for the year), also seen at Chesil Cove. The Chesil watch also added 20 Black-headed Gulls and singles of Black-throated and Great Northern Diver. Elsewhere on the island, Church Ope saw singles of Common Sandpiper and Firecrest, there was a single Fieldfare at Barleycrates, the harbour and Ferrybridge contained an additional pair of Great Northern Divers and two Shelducks, and a Merlin was sighted speeding along the West Cliffs. 

The population of Buzzards on Portland seems to be on the rise, particularly at the south end of the island and a noticeable 'wondering' pair have been checking out new sights for the past month. This evidently came to a head today with three birds present at the scene, there obviously isn't room for the both of them © Geoff Orton: