Brixham - Portland Day Out - 31st December 2013

We really fancied some coastal birding today and with some rares around headed south for Brixham harbour arriving for first light. It was a fantastic day and below is a brief account with some photos.

We had some fantastic birding with the first bird in the morning gloom being a Long-tailed Duck and after that the great birds just kept coming.

We located the White-billed Diver which came very close to us in the harbour giving awesome views and we compared this bird alongside Great-northern and Black-throated Divers. A Black Guillemot was very close, feeding just off the slipway and we had superb views of a juvenile Iceland Gull. Top birding.

There were divers all over the place and we dragged ourselves away after taking inn all the birds here and headed for Portland. We stopped briefly at the passage inn for a reported Glaucous Gull but with no sign we headed on.

We arrived at Portland and were soon getting stunning views of the Brünnich's Guillemot watching it pass just metres from us also watching it hunting underwater!Also in the harbour was 2 Black-throated Diver, 1 Great-northern Diver and c40 Red-breasted Merganser. Great birding.

We finished the day scanning from Old Castle Road and saw Black-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe and Red-necked Grebe with a Velvet Scoter also very nice.

All in all a cracking day out jam packed with great birds with superb views of many of them.

Totals as follows:

Brixham Harbour:

White-billed Diver 1

Iceland Gull 1

Great Northern Diver c15

Black-throated Diver c5

Black Guillemot 1

Guillemot 1

Razorbill 2

Eider 1

Long-tailed Duck 1

Shag 40

Gannet 40

Rock Pipit 2

Turnstone 10

Purple Sandpiper 1

Kittiwake 1

Grey Heron 1

 

Passage Inn

Kingfisher 1

Redshank 2

Common Sandpiper 1

Curlew 1

 

Portland Marina

Brünnich's Guillemot 1

Razorbill 4

Black Guillemot 1

Red-breasted Merganser 50

Little Grebe 1

Black-throated Diver 2

Great-northern Diver 1

Great Crested Grebe 1

 

Bay from Old Castle Road

Black-necked Grebe 6

Slavonian Grebe 7

Red-necked Grebe 1

Great Crested Grebe 3

Common Scoter 1

Velvet Scoter 1

Red-breasted Merganser 30

Photos:

From top - White-billed Diver, Black-throated Diver (juv), Great Northern Diver, Black Guillemot, Iceland Gull, Brunnichs Guillemot, Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper, Iceland Gull