Sunday 8th February
A fabulous scoot of a ride from Wool to Weymouth started the day and I was soon birding around Lodmoor RSPB reserve. I had had a quickish look in at Osmington Mills for the Richard's Pipit that hadn't been reported for the last couple of days but I didn't find it.Circumnavigating the Lodmoor reserve I found snipe but little else.
Next it was off to Radipole RSPB reserve, where I met a gentleman, Alan Parfitt, I had last seen on Fair Isle when I was on the Biking Birder 2010 tour. He remembered a lot of details of what had happened that week that I was there and we talked for a while before a photograph was taken of myself with all the RSPB staff.
A new bird for the year was on the island adjacent to the visitor's centre, adult mediterranean gulls taking the year list up to 134.
Around to the concrete bridge to meet an old friend, Sid. Sid the hooded merganser had arrived at Radipole a number of years ago as a 1st year bird and was thought at the time to be a genuine wild bird all the way from America. His extremely tame behaviour now has relegated him to an escape category but he was still beautiful to watch.
A small mostly unknown area of reedbed and scrub, next to the main road to the west of the main reserve visited next was Cahffey's RSPB reserve and this made it 50 RSPB reserves visited this year. Only another 170 odd to go then!
Next at Portland Harbour I found a lone female eider, bird number 135 and 11 black-necked grebes. I should have looked harder because with the help of a birder whose name I shamefully can't remember. Together though we found two year ticks for me; a slavonian grebe and 2 red-necked grebes. The later birds were very special as they were a bird that I stressed about seeing over the year, one of the easy to miss species.
As the sun set and I made my way back towards Weymouth centre, I searched around the Nothe Fort area hoping for a black redstart but to no avail.
Now back in 2010 I had been on Radio Solent and a kind proprietor of a Bed and Breakfast in Weymouth had offered accommodation for free. So I made my way back to the same B and B to say thank you for the kindness shown to me back then. It was fabulous to see Craig's huge smile as he recognised me and invited me in. The same room as last time and this time the money I would have paid went to the children of Chaskawasi with a donation to Westfield Scool in Weymouth too. Thanks Craig and Claire.
Year list now stands at 137. Next it's off to Beer along the East Dorset and West Devon coast before reaching Aylesbeare RSPB reserves and the various RSPB reserves around the Exe Estuary over the next few days.
Now please have a look at the photographs of today on my facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/bikingbirder2015
Also if you could please make a small donation to any of the charities that I am supporting then please click on the links to the right. Thanks.
All the very best everyone. Love to you all xx