.... when despite not necessarily seeing what you hoped, you still have an absolute belter of a day?
Well it happened to me on Wednesday. Another glorious autumn day forecast, coinciding with my day off... what to do, where to go...... Mrs PB treated us (me!) to joint WWT membership for my birthday a couple of weeks back and so I was debating Stearte Marshes, Slimbridge, or Arundel as we're sort of mid-point of the triangle. In the end I decided on slightly more local as the petrol availability fracas was still going on.... plan... sunrise ish head to local Barn Owl site, then head down to Weymouth for Lodmore (Marsh Harriers) and Radipole (Marsh Harriers and Bearded Tits), and then move on over to the Fleet for low tide Wadwes, lunchtime ish.
All went to plan and I was at the Barn Owls at about 7:15. Walking down the lane there were fields of sheep either side, all but one moved away as I approached...
Moving on toward the barn the far end of the preceding field was a Roe Deer, keeping a watch on me
He kept an eye on me, before meandering off into the thicket behind. Above, there were a few gulls flying about (I'm guessing local ploughed fields their target) and some corvids, and then this graceful egret
Most of the corvids were Magpies, and they all congregated briefly....8 for a Wish!
Having given the Owls about an hour, and still wanting some nice light for in Weymouth I headed back to the car, as one of the conservation chaps pulled up. He said the owls had been hunting further along the trailway recently, so maybe next time I'll get luckier.
I had an uneventful drive down to Lodmore, getting out of the car to and overflight of a group of Mallard, glistening in the sunshine
Some more "Woodland-y" birds were saying their morning greetings, Robin
Probable Chiffchaff, remaining obstinately quiet
And a Dunnock confusing me by still being UP a tree rather than under it!
The first of many Common Darters was warming up nicely
Away in the distance a Great White Sharkgret was coming in to land
In one of the nearer bits of water some Canada Geese were having a good old feed, but at least one was keeping and eye on proceedings
Overhead some more were coming in to land in groups of 3 or 4, including this very pale faced one.... in retrospect...could it be a Barnacle Goose?
Looking over the side of a little bridge a swan family came to investigate, obviously used to being fed...
Looking more into the lagoon-y area, a Gadwall looked resplendant
And then, a first for me, a Ruff (apparently this pale individual has been visiting for several years)
Some more geese were coming in to feed
And a few more following
And some more.......
And what a magnificent racket they made, honking and wings beating, there were a further 3 or 4 groups of this sort of size, that all came in within about 15 minutes, certainly a sight to behold. And all this time the Ruff paid them no nevermind, but came slightly closer
Not as many as I expected, but some Godwits were pottering about
One was beak down, nose deep in the food bowl, the other was a Godwit... Bar-Tailed this time I think
And more Ruff... well it is my first
Everywhere was the sound of Gulls crying and wheeling about, Black Headed being most prevalent
The first (and probably last) of the year...Painted Lady
And a majestic Heron, master of all he surveys
But not as pretty as the irridescing Lapwing
Nor, indeed, as the "getting down and dirty" Teal
Or, at least, the less filthy pair a little way away
Another first (that I know of) for me, Common Sandpiper
It feels like I've been putting this post together for ages, so I'll call it a day at the end of Lodmore, which isn't long now, I promise, and post Radipole and Ferrybridge separately... A well balanced Black Headed Gull
A mini quiz now....what's this, apart from poorly lit and poorly focussed ....good luck!!
There were a number of Little Egret about, but most were too distant...most but not all
Just along and higher up from the unknown grey blob previously, was this little sweetie.... Linnet?
And further along again, Sparra
Keeping their distance like the Egrets, were a number of Cormorants
Which is my best side?
There were a few more dragons about, Migrant Hawker this time
As I walked on, I thought that's unusual, gulls still with black heads.... actually...it's even more unusual...they've got Max Wall wigs on!!
A pair of Sandwich Terns!
Another lovely Little Egret
And another surprise, a stunning Comma, looking very fresh
I told you it wasn't far until the end of Lodmore, thanks for sticking with it!
Any help/corrections with ID's as always gratefully received.
Stay Safe All
Edit: Part 2 here
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
Lot to learn
Thank you ladies
Hazel, I was really surprised the terns were still here, and as for local jaunt... wait 'til you see part 2
Part 2 here
Gaynor, I'm off out in a minute to see if the owls are about, so fingers crossed
Seven for a secret, Never to be told.
I had to count the magpies.....
Joking aside, I used to enjoy watching the TV program 'Magpie', but it was only when I was around a friends house coming home from school.
Well done PB on your first sighting of a common sandpiper, and of course, the fabulous collection of photos.
A belated happy birthday, and what a nice pressie from Mrs PB, WWT membership
Flickr Peak Rambler
In reply to Mike B:
(Pardon the Scottish Accent)
In reply to PimperneBloke:
PimperneBloke said:Thanks Mike....I was a Blue Peter watcher lol (and there's definitely 8 maggies)
I'll concur 8 magpies. keep your wish quiet, for it may not happen otherwise.... LOL
The three to the left almost look like two on a small screen, should have gone to......
I also watched Blue Peter, back in the John Noakes days.
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