Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Visiting Local Haunts

A decidedly autumnal feel about the weather this morning, even some leafs were falling from the trees. Any further proof of season was endorsed by 'screaming' Swifts overhead, something I haven't hear for a number of days, and as the day wore on there was even a little sunshine. I was greeted at Radipole by literally 100's of Sand Martin, while at the concrete bridge there was a chance to take the photograph below, with just a single Common Sandpiper (which Ian Stanley pointed out as I'd missed it) to add to the list before walking to Lodmoor.

Juvenile Tufted Duck

Golden Samphire

Probably due to the fresh breeze that sprung up overnight there were a number of Gannets in Weymouth Bay, this one being the closest at about 300 yards off Greenhill Beach.

Clicking on this photograph of the Common Tern colony at Lodmoor might give some idea of the success rate this year. Many young are now 'fledged' and in general seem to be favouring the mud close to the nests, but even then I counted 56 juveniles on the islands. It was also interesting to note that one parent bird was carrying what looked like a 'orangy/pink fish which looked every bit like a Pout Whiting. I have only ever seen them catch Sand Eels.

Teasels, good numbers springing up all over the Moor and will doubtless make nice Christmas decorations at the end of the year!

c13 of the c30 Dunlin seen this morning

Among the small flock of Gulls were c2 adult Mediterranean's, one in flight

and the other perched.

A juvenile Mediterranean Gull in company with adult Black-headed's,

plus a few juvenile Black-headed Gulls.

It is becoming difficult now to discern the full grown juvenile Shelduck from the moulting adults, and in addition to those already mentioned, a single flighty Little Egret, another Common Sandpiper, c4 Lapwing and c2 Sandwich Terns of which one was a juvenile.

Busing to Portland it was of little point stopping at Ferry Bridge as it is 'spring tides' and it was 'high'. So straight to Reap Lane and a walk to the Observatory which produced a 'blank'. However, just before the gate a car driver stopped and advised me that a Crossbill had been frequenting the bird feeder in the Obs. I quickened my pace but on arrival found it absent, but, was just in time to see a reasonably close Balearic Shearwater fly by. Time to make a coffee while John Lucas watched the feeder, and fairly soon it returned.

Not the best looking Crossbill in the world, but

always good to see such an infrequent visitor particularly 'feeding'. Thank you John & Martin.

and it's good to see what I think is Tree Mallow in full bloom.

and finally, as I walked home this juvenile Herring Gull struck a pose so I let it have it. The rooftops seem to be full of them this year, certainly not to everyone's liking, but I love 'em especially their raucous behavior in the mornings.

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