All over the country birdwatchers are becoming restless now that we are into the second week of March. The first Wheatear of the year is usually on our lists by now and we can’t relax until we have seen our own. So far this year two Wheatears have been found in Dorset, both in the last couple of days, so there’s every chance that one will be at the Bill this morning. What’s more the weather is cloudy today, which increases our chances considerably. Fog would be better but we’ll settle for cloud.
The first birds we see from the Bill car park are Pied Wagtails feeding on the Bill Common. A couple of Rock Pipits are with them but no Wheatears.
We decide to pretend we’re looking for something else and go off to Pulpit Rock to see if the Puffin is there. It isn’t but there are Razorbills up on the cliffs and lots of Guillemots on the sea. Gannets fly past further out. But no Wheatear.
Walking along the Eascliffs (I always find it difficult to walk past the Lobster Pot without stopping!) a group of Turnstones are found and more Rock Pipits. Still no Wheatear.
Reaching the crane things are looking desparate but when a familiar nose pops up in the sea we forget our other target. I’ve watched this seal off the Portland cliffs for so many years now he really does feel like an old friend. It’s good to see he’s still with us.
We’ll see a Wheatear next week.
The day’s list: Raven, Fulmar, Gannet, Guillemot, Razorbill, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Rock Pipit, Turnstone, Grey Seal
Bob Ford has lived and worked all his life in Weymouth & Portland apart from the 3 years at university where he studied Marine Biology & Earth Sciences. Bob has spent many years teaching biology at local schools and colleges and is currently the Open University's Biodiversity Mentor for the south of England. Bob leads a weekly walk on Portland every Friday from the Heights Hotel and is a keen wildlife photographer.