Monday, 9 November 2009

Arn't 'Hoodies'Suppose to be Banned

Hooded Merganser - adult male

The day started well enough on Radipole as the sun rose above the Royal Hotel with single Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher showing themselves, and 4 Pochard feeding at the top end. For a ninth day I had been hoping for a 'November' look at the long-staying Hooded Merganser and as I approached the Visitor Center my luck was in but only a distant view. With that a woman arrived with a huge bag of bread and everything, including my quarry, took to the air to capitalise and allowing the shot above. Regardless of provenance (I have my personal theory on that), I have now been lucky enough to see this beautiful drake in every month of the year.
Some of the 15 Turnstone on the Greenhill groyne

In warm, bright sunshine I continued my wander towards Lodmoor, on the way picking up a Great Northern Diver in Wey Bay and 15 Turnstone.

Whoever coined the phrase 'a thing of beauty is a joy to behold' must have been looking at a Goldfinch at the time.

Ruff with Semi-submersible Dunlin

On these early winter mornings the moor has been full of birds and apart from the epidemic of dogs, a most pleasant place to spend a couple of hours. Before I'd even crossed from the beach side a low flying Brambling called as it disappeared seaward. The next addition to the day list was a single Daragh, followed by several dozen Green & Goldfinch and the airborne Lapwing flock. Together we soon found the Ruff among half a dozen each of Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin plus a single Water Pipit and Sparrowhawk and large numbers of Common Snipe at the 'hump'. I had planned to bus it to the Bill, but the prospect of photographing both the Ruff and Pipit along with the welcome sunshine I stayed a further hour. The Pipit wasn't even relocated, but finding a Firecrest at Overcoombe and getting a decent view (if not photo) of one of the Marsh Harriers was well worth the stay.

Marsh Harrier - Lodmoor

By now needing a drink I headed towards JD Weatherspoon's, and on the way completed my Christmas shopping. With the impending trip it had to be done in the next few days, and despite the whole gig amounting to no more than a 24 pack plus 3 selected cards and a single sheet of wrapping paper it was a drudge. As I arrived at the bar so did my mates Val and Alan who invited me to partake with them. Lucky for them I guess it was just a pint of lime and soda at a princely 15p so they got away with it, but feel it will be my turn all too soon. Before I'd even had chance to sit Kim (the manager) thrust 2 tickets for the pubs 10th anniversary party on Wednesday into my hand. I've been to a couple of their parties before, and I kid you not she knows how to throw a party - so guess where I'll be mid-day Wed? A lovely hour with mutual friends and new acquaintances.

Bah Humbug from the man who makes Ebeneezer look like a spendthrift during the season of good will.

followed by an Albatross or two
, you may like to accept this next, short, run of photographs as your own personal Xmas Present?

Black-browed Albatross - Antarctica


Southern Wandering Albatross - Antarctica