Mini Break to Portland Bill

Sunday 27th April to 1st May 2025

This five day - four night trip will depart from the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory car park at 7am on 27th April 2025 and return on Thursday 1st May 2025 at 8pm.

Trip information:

Transport:           Travel will be by two comfortable minibuses. We will be staying at the excellent Portland Heights Hotel which has panoramic views over Chesil Beach (see below).

Price:                       The price of £565 per person (based on sharing a twin room)

Price includes all transport, dinner (2 course meal), a full Dorset breakfast and a packed lunch/ sandwiches and refreshments at a local cafe, guiding and visits to local top birding spots including Lodmoor RSPB reserve, Chesil Beach and Radipole Lake RSPB.

Note Price excludes alcoholic beverages and drinks with evening meals and items of a personal nature. Prices based on sharing a twin room. Single supplement £198. 

This trip is designed to coincide with the peak migration period at the ‘Bill’ for both passerines and seabirds including Skuas and Shearwaters etc. This year saw huge arrivals of Wheatears (350) Willow Warblers (1000+) and excellent numbers of Whinchats , Flycatchers, Redstarts and plenty of Warblers, Pipits and Ring Ouzels! There is a good chance for some rarities, as well as a potential Cirl Bunting which has taken up breeding there.

Here is a quote from Portland Bill Bird Observatory on a day at the end of April this year:

Wow, what a ripping day - not that that was altogether surprising given the combination of clear, cold air that followed the passing of an overnight rain band but certainly a 'Portland at its best' spring arrival to remember. Compiling some meaningful day-totals for the island as a whole wasn't the easiest task since there was a conspicuous and rapid throughput of birds from the Bill to points northward so duplication was an issue; however, likely conservative summations include 350 Wheatears (nearly all northwestern birds), 250 Willow Warblers, 180 Whitethroats, 160 Blackcaps, 30 Chiffchaffs, 28 Redstarts, 23 Sedge Warblers, 22 Whinchats, 20 Yellow Wagtails, 15 Grasshopper Warblers, 11 Garden Warblers, 10 Lesser Whitethroats, 9 Reed Warblers, 6 Pied Flycatchers, 5 Ring Ouzels and singles of Turtle DoveTree PipitBlack RedstartGoldcrestSpotted Flycatcher and Redpoll; visible passage was sadly neglected but Swallows were in the mid-hundreds, Sand and House Martins certainly well into three figures and Swifts in the low dozens. (Seawatch produced) ...400 Gannets (their highest total of the spring to date), 205 commic terns, 180 Bar-tailed Godwits, 47 Sandwich Terns, 20 Arctic Terns, 5 Arctic Skuas and singles of Red-throated DiverGreat Northern Diver and Pomarine Skua were a fair little tally for here.”


This trip is very good value and we expect demand to be high so please book early to avoid disappointment. Pease note we are limited to a maximum of 20 places.

We require a deposit of £75 per person and confirmation to the booking terms which can easily be done on line using our link to ticket tailor. The balance will be due no later than February 14th 2025.

Please note that deposits are not refundable unless SBBOT can sell your place or if the trip is cancelled by SBBOT due to unforeseen circumstances. 

If you have any questions please email the organiser Rob Rackliffe

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