Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Slack Hammock & Slack Migrants

Lifeboat passing Portland Bill.

It was an acute case of 'slack hammock' (the Navy expression for being late out of bed) this morning, as I made the mistake of answering the phone at 20-30 last night. An emergency call from Bowie and Sheila asking me to go to The Boot with them. A rare occurrence these days, I thought I would but despite limiting myself to 2 pints, in Weymouth's oldest pub, it still went to my head very quickly. Nevertheless, I was glad I did as apart from them, recently returned from South Africa, there was Bowie's brother Russell, just back from Zambia and Jim Brooks from 3 months in Thailand. There seemed to be a little one-upmanship going on, but some good yarns to say the least.

So, at the crack of 10-30 I wandered through a relatively bird-less cemetery and Radipole NR, then caught the bus to Portland. Walking the east cliff with the fresh easterly behind me and the sun beating down (again) from a cloudless sky, there was no need to be anywhere else. On the birding front things were much the same there, but I did record my first Owl of the year and later, close to Pulpit Rock, another addition to the 'year list' a Kittiwake. That makes the total 94. Calling into the Portland Bird Observatory for a coffee, Martin (Cade) the Warden had similar news and no (true) migrants since the Wheatear on Monday. I use the word 'true' to indicate a migratory species that does not spend the winter in the UK, there have of course been incoming Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail etc. A walk through Top Fields produced just a single Common Buzzard, so I continued on to Southwell village and caught the bus home.

Little Owl in the East Cliff Quarry

and here's one we made earlier.

All the 'wildfowl' are looking good at the moment, but this pair of Tufted Duck were just offering themselves up at Radipole. Male above.

and Female

Pulpit Rock, just a little more than a stone's throw north of the active lighthouse.

Have any of these local photographs made you think you should pay us a visit? Come on down!