Record shot of the Portland Harbour Brunnich's Guillemot. 28/12/13.
A great time was enjoyed at Portland and we decide to pop into RSPB Radipole to see what was about. We weren't disappointed, we saw the resident drake Hooded Merganser (of unknown origin) and a superb Glossy Ibis.
The Radipole stop was perfectly pleasant but we decided to scoot off to Brixham, a good two hours or so away.
On arrival at Brixham Harbour we 'got onto' the White-billed Diver (and two Red-throated Divers) almost immediately, although it occurred to us that we were at the wrong side of the harbour. We followed a friendly local and walked out onto the harbour wall and entertained ourselves with more than satisfactory views of the White-billed Diver - a great bird and well worth the effort. We bumped into Jason, Neill and co again; a proper social outing. A couple of Black-throated Divers floated in the harbour, with other harbour birds including Shags, Turnstones and a Rock Pipit. A scan offshore produced numerous divers and Great Crested Grebes, a couple of Eiders and several Gannets.
We enjoyed Brixham and it's avifauna and decided for a final hurrah searching for Cirl Buntings at Broadsands, a village close to Brixham. It only took ten minutes to drive there and we were delighted to be put onto the Cirl Buntings straight away. We counted 13 of them feeding on put out millet (great work) - a fine flock mixed in with Chaffinches, Dunnocks and Reed Buntings. Superb little birds and the first I'd seen in the UK since 2004. Lovely! Another social gathering ensued with the usual suspects. A brief sea watch produced 30 odd Great Crested Grebes, c. 20 Common Scoters and a Black-necked Grebe. A wonderful birding end to a wonderful birding day.
Two drake Cirl Buntings and a Chaffinch. Broadsands 28/12/13.
John drove brilliantly, despite the distraction of the Bluebirds unfortunate end of match collapse, and we arrived safely back to Horwich at c.08.20 p.m. Two flat tyres wasn't ideal to come back to but I got Frank home safe and sound by 9. I've just tucked into some Aldi artichoke hearts and a bottle of Cotes du Down me Clacker and I'm 'made up'.