Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it's that time of year again where I have a week off work, and Mrs PB doesn't. I also have very few chores to accomplish, so me and Nikki Nikon could be out and about over the next few days, weather permitting.
The weather was set fair, low tide wasn't at silly o'clock, the Fleet beckoned. My sister happened to mention she was off work this end part of the week, so I sent her a text and we agreed to go down together. (There are two significant reasons I've mentioned her.... they will reveal themselves later in the tale!)
Oh, I guess you'll have noticed I've titled it "part one" ... that's because it's even longer than a normal one of my day out posts, and folk will need a suitable break!! (And so will I from posting it!!)
We were greeted by one of those Medita-Black Headed Gulls, one in flight
And another being knock knee'd and pigeon toed (which is odd, for a gull!)
A 3rd was either being told off, severely, or wondering why his toes didn't point inward
Bobbing along on the sand a perky little Alba Wagtail
My hopes of a few waders weren't dashed, as there were a good number of Ringed Plovers, Dunlin and Carrotbills (and obviously some I'm not sure of, so any ID's I get wrong or don't know, please feel free to add :o) ) There were also apparently Ruff and Knot, but I don't know if I got any of them coz they all look the bleedin' same!!
As you can see, the water was almost dead calm, so there are some nice reflections coming up
How deep do you have to dig?
Little 'n' Large(r)
The Dunlin were a bit skittish and would flutter off 5 or 10 feet, for no apparent reason
And some were just plain rude turning the backs (and considering how mucky water stains, what a pristine derriere!!)
I took a long time to decide these were Ringed Plover (not Little RP) because the plumage didn't match the book I've got, until I saw some flight shots I took
Amongst all the smaller birds two giants stood out
Bar Tailed Godwit
One of my favourites flew over (and one was behaving very strangely later!)
A distant Oystercatcher (but included coz I liked the reflection)
One of the many juvenile gulls came by to say Hi, Lesser Black Backed?
Back to the multitudinous Ringed Plover... I think this one's leg may be injured, as he hopped, whilst the other's scurried on two legs, or he hadn't shaved it and was ashamed to have it out in public
Another beautifully marked gull, (LBB again?)
Now, back to strange behaviour of the dinosaur bird... it would run along the surface, then plunge head first down, for maybe 4 or 5 yards, then resurface. Maybe the water was too shallow for its usual diving, or maybe it was just stirring up the sand or possibly it was going to take off, but then couldn't be bothered... but either way, it did it probably a dozen times before we moved on
An oddity arrived that I didn't recognise, but I think it may be a wintery/juveniley Turnstone, but this was the only one, and when it landed it made a bee-line for the flock of Ringed Plovers
And for a size comparison, with the R.P.
Waaaaay over the far side of the Fleet I spotted something skimming the water top like a tern, and managed to get a rubbish shot of it.... any thoughts?
Something set all the smaller birds up, but not sure what
We crossed over the road to have a peer into the harbour in case anything was lurking (I saw my first ever Eiders and Black Necked Grebes there a couple of years ago) but nothing was showing except Humanus Paddle-Boardus, until this fella came whizzing by from behind... looks too pale to me for Kestrel?
We crossed back, and again, on the far side shingle, a grey blob..... any thoughts (other than get closer or get a bigger lens)? ... now looking at it agin, could it be LBB gull and ickle teeny weeny R.P.?
We headed back along the Fleet, I said to Sis, want to try the big lens, and she said yes please, so we swapped lenses, and meandered back, there were several small groups of Swallows whizzing about
And the Ringed Plovers were just as accommodating, although Sis did say she was struggling hand holding the lens
Dunlin still within range, and being reflective
And the bright splashes of Oystercatchers
Now, my sister, the first significant event.... a Kestrel, flying by. Barely above head height. Fabulous deep blue sky behind and above. Maybe 20/25 yards away. She's got the big lens. Did she get any pictures? No. Nope. None. Didn't even press the shutter release. "i Had it in frame" she said, "but then it dipped and I couldn't find it again" Unbelievable. Nothing like that has ever happened to me, obviously
Luckily, I was a wake and managed to snap a few
It came in and landed on the fence....she didn't even get a shot of it stationary!!! It took off again, and obviously didn't flap hard enough as he nearly scraped his chin on the floor lol
Keep your eyes peeled for part 2, coming soon to a screen near you.... did Sis cause more mayhem, or was there redemption for her, all will become clear in Thursday...A Beautiful Morning at The Fleet and Portland (part 2)
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed
Stay Safe All
Nice photos PB and it looked a good day out.
Poor sis missing the kestrel.
Flickr Peak Rambler
(Pardon the Scottish Accent)
In reply to Linda257:
Well I'm saying nothing - did exactly the same Linda!!!!
Edit I'm akin to your third B/headed Gull, hanging my head for getting the Kestrel wrong in your second post, nothing new there I suppose:-) Your sis has my sympathy, I very often miss out the birds in flight as they whizz past - so there!!!!!!
Lot to learn
In reply to PimperneBloke:
PimperneBloke said:Thanks Mike... it was frustrating as I've never seen a Kestrel that close, that's not been in a BoP show or display. She said the lens was too heavy to handle for in flight. I dunno what she's talking about, you've seen my gallery of swifts, swallows et al LOL!!!!!!!!
If you're not used to a long/zoom lens, they can be a wieldy to swing around or up and down to capture a bird in flight. A few more trips out with the big lens for her.....
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