I recently took another trip down to Portland Bird Observatory with the research group I'm part of for a few days of ringing. Portland is an isle in Dorset, tied to the mainland via a very thin barrier beach called Chesil Beach. It's an excellent place to go birding during the autumn migration period as many birds that have spent their summer breeding throughout the UK treat it as their final drop-off point before making the long trek back to their various wintering grounds. As well as birdwatching, it's specifically a great place to go ringing during this time of the year, and, weather-dependent, the days can become very busy going back-and-forth to the nets to ring and collect data on the many pipits, swallows and warblers which pass through. This year, we had a mix of weather, which allowed both for busy days of ringing at the observatory, as well as some local birdwatching at nearby sites. The highlights of the trip were our visit to Abbotsbury swannery (where we got the chance to ring a few swans, as well as getting good views from an unexpected osprey), and having the chance to ring a couple of new species (including rock pipit, grasshopper warbler and a firecrest). The full trip yielded 96 species in just four days, with the entire trip report found here.
A blog of my ideas, photography and research of the natural world.