For a while now, I have been keen to explore a new part of our wild British coastline and after a suggestion to visit the Isle of Portland, I took the opportunity on my next nearest day off. I set off early and was lucky with the weather being pretty bright and sunny. I began the day at the incredible Chesil Beach which is a hot spot for migratory birds including being a stronghold for little terns that travel to nest on the pebbled beach. I was unfortunately unable to see these smart looking little birds on this occasion - no doubt they were hunkered down on their nests, on part of the beach that is roped off for their protection, to avoid the strengthening winds.
I was however, lucky enough to spot, within five minutes of leaving my car, a beautiful male kestrel - certainly one of my favourite birds of prey and one we see so very little these days.
I continued over the causeway and up onto the beautiful Isle of Portland. There is something personal to me about the feeling of an island. A real sense of community, history and stunning scenery. Portland is of course famous for it's limestone cliffs and most of the island looked much like a quarry with blocks of limestone in piles scatted between the small towns.
At the very tip of the Island is Portland Bill, a favourite spot for avid birders looking for migratory birds. The sheer cliff faces are also home to many different sea birds that at the time could be viewed some way off the coast at sea including cormorant, guillemot and razorbill. Gannets are often seen diving off the shore and fulmars gliding gracefully in the wind.
It is always incredible to see such charismatic birds - even if they are too far away for photographs. I kept myself busy instead with photographing the stunning wild landscape. The wind was, if possible, even stronger at the peak of the island and waves battered the shoreline creating amazing views and a very much drenched photographer!