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!
2013 photos & vids here
eff37 on Flickr
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Lot to learn
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