RSPB Birdboat Purbeck Cruise

Yesterday evening saw the first RSPB Birdboat of the 2013/14 season with the plan to take the eager crowd of birdwatchers and site seers on a cruise out through Poole Harbour and over towards the dramatic Jurassic Coast to look for sea birds and stunning scenery.

We often experience problems with weather on trips in that if it’s been too windy during the day then a swell forms out of the harbour meaning we can’t actually make it to our chosen destination, well that certainly WASN’T the case last night. A small and minor breeze gently whipped across the boat as we started to board at around 18:15, and flat calm waters laid our path before us. We headed out towards the harbour mouth passing Brownsea on the way, which allowed us to view the hustle and bustle of the Tern islands with Sandwich Tern and Common Tern both passing very close to the boat giving excellent views.

We made our way out of the harbour mouth and hooked right heading for Old Harry rocks where a few Guillemot were sat on the water, 4 Shag were sat on one of the marker bouys and several obliging Gannet flew fairly close by and even landed on the water showing off their daffodil yellow heads and dagger like beaks. As we passed Old Harry the faithful Peregrines were proudly sat upon their vigil, watching as we passed and the nesting Shag’s busily went about their business.

We were then treated to a brilliant but fairly brief acrobatic display from a pod of Bottle-nose Dolphins, which came within meters of the boat to see what we were up to giving jaw dropping views. If that wasn’t enough we then made our way around Durlston Head, heading for Dancing Ledge and the Puffin colony. Fulmar, noisy Kittiwake, Guillemot and the odd Razorbill all did really close flybys of the boat to take a gander at our motley crew. We then arrived at Dancing Ledge where we quickly found 2 Puffin sat on one of the ledges which seemed to be the icing on the cake of what was already a hugely successful trip, but that wasn’t the end…

After watching the Puffins for ten minutes or so we headed back, only to be treated to one of the most outrageous sunsets I’ve ever seen in Dorset and against one of our most famous backdrops too. And if that wasn’t enough, just as we were about to head in the Dolphins ‘re-found’ us producing the grand finale with jumps, flips and splashes right next to the boat for about 5 minutes providing some of the best photo opportunities of Dolphin I think Dorset’s ever offered.

I’d like to thank the Brownsea Island Ferries crew and Poole RSPB Local Group who put these trips on, as this will certainly be trip I will never forget.

There is another trip on June 15th 2013, so if this has whetted your appetite the why not book on. For more info follow this link…

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