Reports, with Bird Lists, of our Meetings, Walks and Outings

Portland Bill and Radipole Lake 2018
Saturday COACH trip

Date: Saturday 15 September 2018 at 07:00


On a very nice day 24 members of East Berks RSPB were picked up in Maidenhead and were joined in Reading by 14 members of Reading RSPB, B.O.C. & Wokingham & Bracknell RSPB. We used a 53 seater coach so that there was still enough room for everyone.

We arrived at Portland Bill at 11am where the weather was very good, with only a light wind. The only problem was that there were not many sea birds, apart from shag, cormorants and gannets in the distance.

As we walked around the cliff tops we did see rock pipit, wheatear & meadow pipit. There were very good views of kestrel (at least 6) hovering around the cliffs & grass areas.

We stayed at Portland Bill until 2pm and then transfered to Radipole Lake, hoping the birding would be better- and it was.

Cattle egret had been reported and we saw five, a species that most people had not seen before. They have also been sighted in Berkshire.

There was a small flock of yellow wagtails flying around but they were difficult to see because the grass was rather tall.

We also saw various ducks shoveler, wigeon, teal, tufted duck, gadwall, mallard, also Snipe and Mediterranean gull.

A wasp spider was seen which is quite unusual. Also one of our group saw a mink cross the footpath.

We arrived back at Radipole Discovery Centre to have tea or ice cream having had a good day.

The total number of species seen was 62 plus two heard, but only about 20 of these were at Portland Bill.

Click Here to see photos from the visit


Portland Bill and Radipol Lake RSPB, 15/9/2018, sunny

Mute Swan







Tufted Duck





Cattle Egret

Little Egret

Grey Heron

Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe


Common Buzzard

Water Rail






Black-headed Gull

Mediterranean Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Feral Pigeon

Wood Pigeon







Carrion Crow


Blue Tit

Great Tit

Bearded Tit (H)

Sand Martin


House Martin

Cetti's Warbler

Long-tailed Tit


Reed Warbler

Wren (H)







House Sparrow

Yellow Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

Meadow Pipit

Rock Pipit



62 Bird Species seen and 2 heard

Other Wildlife

Grey Squirrel




Speckled Wood

Red Admiral

Common Blue

Large White


Small Heath


Wasp Spider

38 People

---- Original Programme Information ----

Portland Bill lighthouseDorset's most southerly point, Portland Bill juts miles out into the English Channel.  A rugged and windy place and the last land for birds crossing the Channel.  We are going during migration season so there should be rarities on passage.

Our recent visits have been in the spring so are not a good guide of what to expect. For 15th September 2017 the Portland Bird Observatory reported - buff-breasted sandpiper, wrynecks, hoopoe, osprey, spoonbills, meadow pipits (1,000s), hirundines (1,000s), yellow wagtails, grey wagtails, chaffinches, tree pipits, white wagtails, redstarts, hobby, ring ouzel. On the sea there were common scoters, Arctic skuas and a Balearic shearwater.

Others noted during that week included wheatears, blackcaps, chiffchaffs, goldcrests, firecrests, merlin, stonechats, siskins, storm petrels, black tern, Arctic terns, sandwich terns, black-tailed godwits, Leach's petrel, Sabine's gull and sooty shearwaters.

Not forgetting the possibility of seeing fox, seals and even dolphins.

Portland Bill has toilets and refreshments.

Then it is back on the coach for the short drive to RSPB Radipole Lake

Wetland habitats, hedgerow scrub, reedbeds and saline lagoons.

Here the star bird is the bearded tit.  Also likely are kingfisher, dunlins, snipe, redshanks, lapwings, water rail, marsh harrier, buzzard, Kestrel. Lots of butterflies and dragonflies.


  • Free entry
  • Discovery centre - Hot & cold drinks, simple snacks, sweets
  • Toilets, Disabled toilets
  • Picnic area
  • Binocular hire
  • Guided walks available
  • Short trails, boardwalks, one hide.

For more information about RSPB Radipole Lake, click here

Expect to see around 70 species on the whole trip

Click here for a report of our May 2015 visit

Coach trip details -

  • Full payment of £20.00 is required on booking. For under 16s the full cost is only £10.00. All money will be refunded if the trip is cancelled.
  • For bookings and any other details, email Helen Pearson , or call Helen on 01628 639648 and leave a voicemail, or see Helen at a meeting. Please book at least one week in advance, preferably much earlier.
  • The coach leaves promptly at 7.00 am from the lay-by in front of the entrance to Braywick Park (Braywick Sports Ground), Braywick Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1DX. There is a free car park inside the park. Please arrive in good time by 6:50.
  • The coach also picks up from the main Shinfield Road (Queens Drive) entrance to Reading University Whiteknights Park (RG6 6UR) at about 7:30 am. Please arrive in good time by 7:20. The university says that you can park for free in Car Park 1a which is to the left of the drive (NB not in the car park next to the Sports Centre).
  • Consider bringing a packed lunch and any drinks or snacks that you may require.
  • This coach trip involves a journey time of at least three hours each way, including comfort stop.
  • The coach has room for large items such as telescopes, tripods, hampers and camera bags.