That a day off would coincide with a weather forecast that wasn't grey, wet, or windy, or more recently, all three! A grey start, leading to sunny intervals by late morning bode well for a decent day out, so I planned, and cogitated, and planned some more, checked sunrise time, checked tide times, and came to a conclusion, it was going to be an all day affair, so I'd best make a sandwich!
Ferrybridge (Portland), low tide 06:30, sunrise 07:30, high tide lunchtime-ish.... plan get there for 08:30.... nice light (cloud permitting), rising tide, there's going to be MASSES to see... after that, head round to Lodmore at Weymouth (sort of on the way home), to see what's about, maybe bag a Marsh Harrier, then to the "old" river for Kingfishers and maybe otters as they were in the news last week due to irresponsible photographers.
As you may have guessed, with all this preamble (and that this is part 1), I took a LOT of pictures, so if you're sitting comfortably, I shall begin..
My plan worked perfectly to arrive at Ferrybridge at 08:30, and I was greeted by the first of many overhead passes by the dinosaurmorant
Whilst on the ground there were many Carrotbills (please note....SHADOW!! That means SUNSHINE!!)
Also along the pools towards the Fleet from the car park was a Little Egret
Being coastal there were lots of gulls about, which given their variable plumages and ages I shan't try to identify (but will number in case anyone has the urge)
1 A nice anklet on this one
A flock of small and swerving birds flashed white and dark across the water, and when I got home and zoomed in, I think they are Little Ringed Plover, on the flat shingle
As I walked over the sand flats I remembered last time I was here there were numerous Turnstones, and lo and behold,,,
I liked the light on this pic, and the delicately balanced pose
Note the intent gaze of the apex predator (as far as seaweed is concerned!)
Still time for a quick game of follow the leader though!
I know you're under there
One of the Oystercatchers didn't like my proximity (In my defence I have been told I have a very nice proximity!)
I'd come to the end of the Fleet, so thought I'd cross the road and have a peer into Portland harbour to see if anything was occurring, very little on the water, as it happened, but a few ground feeding Greenfinches a few yards away caught my eye
A flock of indistinguishable (because of the sun in my eyes!!) small birds swooped onto a scrubby bramble patch, so I worked my way so the sun was behind me (like some famed tracker of a bygone era) and saw one of the flock was a Stonechat that had separated from the rest
Then another Cormorant passed overhead
And then I got into a decent position for the flock of birds... Mixed Finches
I then had a Stonechat moment, with a pair that were flitting along the edge of the cliff
I did say that there were many Cormorant fly-by's... there was also one in the water!!
I spied a pair of Pied Wagtails flitting about
And in the distance a trio of Merganser (possibly?) came in to land
I walked along the harbourside a ways. There was no sea view, disappointingly, but there was a massive bank of thick, brambly scrub and a Great Tit took great pleasure in scolding me
Whilst Mrs BB kept her beady eye on me
Another Stonechat appeared
I headed back towards the Fleet, and a Cormorant swam languidly by
And another Stonechat was making sure i Got Off His Land
It's quite fortuitous that I spotted this Little Grebe out in the water
Because if I hadn't crossed the patch of grass, and dropped down onto the next level down to get a better (closer) picture
I wouldn't have spotted the 1st of the "Surprise" birds, a Guillemot
I moved on, heading back to the sand flats, where there was a magnificent Crow/Rook/Raven
And a second, in close proximity
The Turnstones were still there
And a pair of Brent Geese were amongst the gulls
As I headed passed the Chesil Beach Centre, for the bridge to the shingle side of the Fleet, I spotted a couple of Rock (?) pipits dancing in the sunlight
A Gull cruised by
The Brent marching purposefully to...somewhere!
Gull taking off with barely a splash or a ripple
Merganser, the other side of the A350!
There were two pairs, and when I lost sight of them as they dived, I just kept an eye on the gulls that kept harassing them as the resurfaced!
As I left, I snapped one more of one of the Geese
But I must confess...I was already planning which way to go, to continue my day out!!
A fabulously enjoyable 1st day in the sun for ages, and I hope you have enjoyed part one of my tales of the day
Stay Safe All
2013 photos & vids here
eff37 on Flickr
Lot to learn
(Pardon the Scottish Accent)
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Another brilliant selection of photos PB, and good to see the weather making for a great day's photography.
Flickr Peak Rambler
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