Monday, 26 September 2016

Portland to Cholsey: Day 9

Rain, 14°, breezy SSE.

A trip back home today after a relaxing visit to Portland Bird Observatory.

Generally a quiet week but a reasonable spread of common migrants with 2 Wrynecks, a Yellow-browed Warbler and an Icterine/Melodious Warbler being the highlights.

The Icterine/Melodious Warbler was an interesting bird as it was called initially as a Melodious Warbler but after looking at various photos some doubt was put on its’ identity.

Not really noticeable with the distant field views but the wing structure is a crucial factor in separating these 2 species so it was not until the warden of the Obs saw them that doubt was raised.

Later that evening as the photos were published and looked at more critically it was apparent that the photos showed characteristics that more fitted Icterine Warbler rather than Melodious Warbler.


A busy week people wise at the observatory this week with the first half of the week taken with students from the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology at Oxford with Ben Sheldon and Andy Gosler leading the group.

Later in the week members of the Royal Navy Birdwatching Society arrived. Portland must have seemed tame to them as they work all over the world in such places as Ascension Island in the Atlantic, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and many other remote places carrying out much needed bird conservation and research tasks.

Back to today: not much noted as we left around 11:30. A few Grey Wagtail and Yellow Wagtail overhead, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff.

80 species in total for the week.

A Little Egret noted as we drove along near Ferrybridge and that was about it until we encountered our first Red Kite over the A34 as we entered Oxfordshire.

Thanks again to Martin Cade and the Prof, the EGI crew, the RNBWS and all the usual local birders at the Obs for another interesting visit.

Cheers, Paul & Loren

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