Saturday 27th October 2012

    Portland was the destination today, lots of really good migrants there yesterday, just hoping some will stay. Sadly the night sky was very clear overnight. Oh well still worth a try. Driving down the pager messages read 'NO SIGN', of the Daurian Shrike or the Siberian Stonechat. The one bonus was the Shrike had not been reported before 11am for the last 3 days! So was it still there? Nice sunny day, but cold and windy. Lots of people and lots of cars all around the Obs, when we got there, so hard to park, but plenty of eyes to find things. In the Obs car park, i asked a couple of friends if they had seen anything? 'NO' came the answers. Another pager message, NO SIGN of the Subalpine Warbler. Is this gonna be one of those days i thought. We went to look see what else we could see, when there was a small rush of people coming out of the Obs. There had been a garbled message on someones phone, something had been seen at Culverwell. Turned out to be the Shrike, well at least we got the best one of the birds from yesterday. It took a little while to get decent views, but always too distant for good photos.
    We went down into Weymouth for something to eat. The drake Hooded Merganser was still around the visitor centre at Radipole. When we returned to Portland, we went down to the Bill, to look for a Red-throated Diver, which had been around for a few days. Luck continued 'NO SIGN'. There had also been a male Black Redstart reported around the coastguards cottages, so we had a look. I found 2 female/1st winter male types, in the coves along the coast, before we got to the cottages. When we got to the cottages we found there were at least 4 birds there, including 2 were stunning males as well.

Black Redstart (1st Winter Male/Female)
Black Redstart (Male)

Black Redstart (Male)
    Luck changing maybe????? Try again for the Shrike again. This time not so many people around, but the light was not so good. Luckily we soon found the bird and eventually it showed really well. Really nice looking bird.

Daurian 'Isabelline' Shrike

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