Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The First 'Cold' I've Felt This Winter

The idea of 'scoping Portland Harbour today was most definitely a bad one, although at the onset and in the shelter of the built up area, things seemed OK. Longcroft held nothing but the usual candidates, which pleasingly were all again in full song, while the only addition to the Year List came soon after reaching the Rodwell Trail. What used to be the railway line between Weymouth and Portland, has now been tarmaced and apart from irresponsible dog owners and litter louts (bring Draco back that's where my vote goes) it is one of the most pleasant walks in the borough. Amid the singing of Robin, Chaffinch, Song Thrush, Long-tailed Tit et al as I reached Rodwell Halt there was the plaintive call of a number of Bullfinch, which were soon pinned down and thought to be c5 in number, bringing the total to 76. Unfortunately, it seems nowadays the once resident Grey Wagtails have gone, and neither wintering Chiffchaff or Blackcap were seen. All the way from home the weather seemed relatively still and while a little colder than yesterday most birds were seen well. That was until Sandsfoot, when the shelter of the trees and high bank gave way the the open expanse of Portland Harbour and the very fresh easterly wind. At the castle and yacht club the telescope was brought into play with little result, so I stepped it out to the sanctuary of Ferry Bridge. There, the spring tide was still press right up to the car park so with just c3 Little Grebes & Mute Swan (shown) plus a handful of Red-breasted Merganser considered the rest of my day would be better spent at home.

A none too happy looking Mute Swan

It looks as if somewhere it has had its neck caught?

The Little Grebes were busily feeding but,

between dives seeking the shelter of a boat pontoon and mooring buoy.

Continuing the look around our local area, today shows 2 pictures of the Inner Harbour at Weymouth. The first is taken from the redundant railway embankment (where the Bullfinch were) and show the novelty of the Town Bridge in the open position. This happens every 2 hours, during daylight, on most days, and despite having seen it thousands of times I'm still intrigued to watch.

The second is taken stood on the bridge and shows on the left the Town Council Offices, on the right old warehouses, now converted into apartments, plus a variety of boats at there moorings. Those in the right foreground are part of the charter angling fleet.

Another novel feature of Weymouth is a full scale railway line which runs from the town station, along the road shown, to the ferry port. In days gone by, flowers and tomatoes particularly were imported from the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey etc) by sea to our town. Gone are the days! The lines can be seen by clicking on the image to enlarge it.

I'd like to welcome Argentina's own 'Frenzo' to the gaggle of 'Followers' knowing his 3 amigos will be tuning in as well. Hope your all well guys and snorkeling in La Plata - ha ha!