A mega twitch

Brünnich's Guillemot, Portland Harbour ~ 27 December 2013 ~ 

At 5.30 this morning I started the long journey to Portland Harbour. Arriving at around 7.30, it was still dark and was extremely windy with winds reaching 60mph gusts! Remaining in the car until it got light, I wondered if I'd made the right decision to travel all this way to see the Guillemot.

Once it was light, I braved the winds and started scanning the water. Unfortunately I couldn't locate it but as more and more birders arrived,  news soon spread that it had been picked up in the marina.

Despite getting to the marina very quickly, it seemed that the bird had disappeared! However, there were plenty of other birds to distract us, including loads of Red-breasted Mergansers, a couple of Great Northern Divers (a new species for me), Oystercatchers and Shags.

To cut a long story short, the Guillemot played a hide and seek game with all the birders present as it swam about 100m every time it dived, moving a lot quicker than most of us could run! Eventually I got extremely good views in the last light of the day and do not regret, in the slightest, making the trip down to Dorset!

A very successful twitch indeed!

Here are a few photos of the Brünnich's Guillemot:

Showing well in the marina
A cropped version of the above image
Showing well in nice light
Crowd shot
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