After Glorious Tuesday, Murky Friday

Another one of those "use it or lose it" vacation days to be used before the end of March saw me consult the weather forecast, tide times, "recent sightings" web pages and my "Doctors-orate" in back health resulting in another fairly long, flat-ish walk, this time along Chesil bank, then to Maiden Castle, and finally to Arne.

The forecast was dull and dreary but dry, with Portland's tide receding at sunrise (8:30ish). I trundled down and was greeted by a pair of greater black backed gulls

And on a post just a little away from the gulls, Colin's 2nd cousin

After the pre-flight checks, and ejecting of unnecessary ballast, (s)he took flight

After that, a mini fly by

I decided I may as well leave the car park and see what else I could see!!! I followed the egret to the Fleet itself...

And by jiminy, those bleedin' cormorants are stalking me again!!

A little further distant was a female red breasted merganser (there was a male too but too distant)

A chipper looking pied wagtail whizzed in to say hello

And as I walked along, I realised I was being followed, by a pair of oystercatchers

Now, I know Little Grebes are, well, Little...but that must be the biggest bath plug in the world!!

A haughty herring gull

Was watching the Starling bath-time

And the black headed gull

Marvelled at the now pristine starling

The other side of the main Weymouth to Portland road is Portland Harbour, where all sorts of things have been seen recently, including various grebes, and divers. Unfortunately the only aquatic bird I saw (a first for me) was an Eider

I wandered along scanning the beach, the sea and the sky and managed to see Mrs Stonechat

And a Pied Wag (obviously goes to the same barber as the "gobstopper" from Nige's thread the other day

As I gave the harbour up and crossed back to the Fleet I thought I saw a cloud of smoke...

Instead it was a batallion of Brent Geese coming in, as the tide had receded a little further

Then a crow and a gull were having an argument about a morsel

And a lesser spotted whirlybird flew over

At that point, I decided to head to Maiden Castle (Dorchester) as a couple of days previously it had been mentioned there was a flock of c200-500 golden plover. Rightio I thought, time to find another 1st. Apparently the flock was in a field with some sheep...... well.... I found some sheep!!

I gave the plovers up as a bad idea, and headed to Arne, but it was quite a bleak visit, there were the usual waders (but all quite distant until the new hide is completed), curlew, redshank, several avocet, a lot of wigeon...

Avocets playing "Catch the Wigeon, Catch the wigeon"

And this one practising his wing walking

As I was leaving I saw one for MC

And heard a rat-a-tat-tat

And so ended a murky, but fruitful day!

  • Colin's male second cousin, lovely pics thanks PB!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • A lovely set PB, what a bonny looking sheepie!

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Quite a number of species for a gloomy weather day and super photos, drizzled here all day ! good to see the avocets, amazing how they can fly across the water with the wing tip just skimming the top; nice you met Colin's cousin and also the waggie gobstopper lol As for cormorants, I'd be disappointed if you didn't come back with a photo of at least one of them ! fine set all round, well done.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Wow that was a brilliant selection of birds PB, starting with the Kestrel and ending with the Woodpecker. The close-ups are really good especially the Little Egret and Stonechat and also the Eider and Oystercatchers, you did give your back a good workout.

    Lot to learn

  • Lovely set of pics.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)

     

  • Seems like everyone is getting good views of Colin's relatives at the moment. And a lot else besides, like the Carrotbills and Stonechat. We don't get Avocets in winter this far north, so nice to see them

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    Nige   Flickr