Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bluethroat at Portland


I love going to Dorset. Got some really great birds over the years, and spent quality time especially at Lodmoor, Portland and Radipole. However, this was a day trip, mainly (well entirely) to visit the in-laws. John, my father-in-law, was in hospital and Rita (m-i-l) was on her own, so we needed to see she was all right. Still, I kept an eye on the ipad when we got to Weymouth, and not only was the white-spotted bluethroat that Martin Cade had rung on Saturday still there, but a Kentish Plover was at Ferrybridge: both would be lifers!
Being a good son-in-law and husband I only slightly mentioned this ti Judith without pushing it. Fortunately though, visiting hours at the hospital weren’t till 3pm and we were pretty much over with lunch by 1, so a plan was hatched to go to the hospital “via” Ferrybridge and Portland!!!!!
First off, at Ferrybridge, no sign of the K-p. Apparently a kestrel sppked it and the ringed plovers about 10.30 and no sign since (btw I hadn’t got my scope with me, so was struggling with the distance there). After 10 minutes I cut my losses, and thinking about Judith and Rita getting cold in the car, sprinted back and Judith drove me off to Portland. At the observatory there were, as usual, a few birders wandering around and they pretty mcu put me straight onto the bluethroat. It was pottering about on a muddy path, and came to within about 10 feet – again, why don’t I always have my camera in the car!!! Only problem was when Martin Cade came round the corner of the path and flushed it!!!! Back to the car with a cold wife and m-i-l and a quick stop at Ferrybridge to confirm the k-p was flown.
So, although it wasn’t really a birding trip in any way, one lifer and few more “common” year ticks wasn’t a bad haul. Year is getting better for the UK but still about 30 behind last year and that had Shetland to come!!!