We found Shapwick Heath disappointing compared with Ham Wall: the distances between each hide were quite considerable.
The highlights were Bitterns booming, a Marsh Harrier and a Sparrow Hawk (no photo though).
Portland Bill and Weymouth
On a bitterly cold day and, for the most part, in poor light we spent the morning at Portland Bill and the afternoon and early evening at the two RSPB sites in Weymouth. We were treated to well over 50 different species. The highlights on land at Portland Bill were Wheatears and Meadow Pipits (even a ChiffChaff in the net at the Ornithological Centre) and a Short-eared Owl and at sea Guillemots and Razorbills. At Weymouth of special interest were Sand Martins, Spoonbills and a Marsh Harrier.
On our way to Portland with friends we stopped off at Portesham in Dorset to see if we could see a Pallas’s Warbler that we had been told about. We weren’t disappointed as, with the help of some obliging twitchers, we soon spotted the Pallas’s Warbler and got a reasonable shot.
Not much else of note – I was too embarrassed to be photographing the Chaffinches, Long-tailed Tits and Great Tits on view in the company of experienced twitchers with huge lenses!.
The last shot was of a very distant shot of a Kingfisher on a fence as we walked behind Chesil Beach towards the Abbotsbury Swannery.
A brief walk through Eastville Park (where the lake had clearly flooded the day before and was very muddy) with Grey Wagtail at Broom Hill, a Jay by the River Frome and a Goldcrest appearing where everyone was looking for a Firecrest. Also saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker and an overflying Swan. The Black-headed Gulls now have very black heads. Loads of Robins, Blue Tits and Great Tits. Didn’t see one Long-tailed Tit nor a Kingfisher.