Well, it had to happen eventually...... (part 1)

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

  • Well PB, am out of breath now, need a lay down before the next instalment! Lol
    Great collection of pics, good to see your friendly Cormorants still following you on your travels!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Another good selection PB not seen a number of the birds you photographed and just looked them up in my book of Britain’s Birds, looks like you had a great couple of days.
  • Really enjoyed sharing that walk PB, lovely pics especially liked the Stonechat, the glossy Crow and the BH Gull with bracelet on it's leg, or at least those are my id's, never to be believed!!!!! Well done on the Turnstones and the Mippit, hope you enjoyed those sandwiches.

    Lot to learn

  • A good varied set PB and in sunshine, which must have made eating your sarrnies tastier. No Raven unfortunately just a little old Corvid. Its been years since I was around that part of Dorset.



  • Thank you all, Wendy, well remembered about the cormorants lol.
    ILR, both part 1 and 2 were one day :o) What a spoilt lad I was for sightings!!
    Gaynor, the corvids always astound me with the shades in their plumage, that look just black on a dull day, and the sarnies were proper yum!!
    Come on down Tony (lockdown permitting), since the road improvements for the Olympics it's probably only 15/20 minutes longer to Chesil than to get to Arne, from Poole, and the bit along the Fleet I wander along is flat and paved, unless you want to walk on the sand :o) Just check the tide times lol
  • Well, you certainly made the day of sunshine count with loads of stuff spotted. Great to catch the Guillemot and Mergansers and the second Crow pic is great. Rock Pipits for me are bit like you and Dippers!


    Nige   Flickr

  • well that was a super duper first half PB...the planning certainly paid off

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • A lovely visit with you on your first day out PB, look forward to reading the second day now. Lots of lovely birds.

    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

  • Lovely set PB especially the Stonechats, next time you get some sunshine don't keep it all to yourself.

    My Flickr photos