Thursday, 13 January 2011

There Are 'Ticks' And Then There Are 'Ticks'

Again, great news to start today's post as the Republic of Surinam joins our readership. It's impossible to know how word gets around, but fantastic to welcome a country that is on my 'short list' to visit. There are now only 3 counties on the South American continent that are not readers, Uruguay and Surinam's surrounding neighbours Guyana & French Guiana, maybe our new reader(s) can pass on the link. Thank You and Welcome!

Dreek is a word that a Scottish fisherman might use to describe the weather this morning, overcast, dull a with a serious threat of rain, but mild and virtually windless. Dreek is also a word a Weymouth birder might use to describe the birding prospects as well. Drawing a total 'blank' in the cemetery it was straight on to Radipole, where overnight the water level had increased even flooding some of the pathways. There was another obliging Cetti's Warbler showing, but Wildfowl numbers had greatly reduce countered it seemed by a much higher number of Gulls (Great & Lesser Black-backed, Herring, Common and Black-headed). As far as photographs are concerned there were only the more common species to capture, but hope that most readers will just as happy looking at these!

Carrion Crow

This was the only 'Tick' of the day, a hapless Dunnock seems to have picked one up on the base of its bill.

Blue Tit

Wood Pigeon

Knowing the prowess of the average Car Park Attendant in our town, this Pied Wagtail would do well not to loiter too long on the double yellow lines.

It didn't loiter but took up the pose of Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Tufted Duck

It was at this point I hurried for the bus to Portland, in the hope of finding the small flock of Waxwings that had graced the berry trees at Easton yesterday. Even before crossing the Beach Road the whole of the Island could be seen shrouded in fog / mist, add to this at 11-30 precisely, exactly the same time as yesterday, the rain started and was heavy enough to make it feel like it was in for the day didn't add to the prospects of finding the birds.

By the time the bus reached Ferrybridge, weather conditions had moderated to a monsoon, so it was decided to brave the elements and watch the ebbing tide for an hour or so. In the lee of the Fleet Visitor's Centre I could see what few species there were, and so dire was the situation I took to counting 328 Dunlin and 94 Brent Geese. Of the latter, there wasn't even a Pale-bellied bird to put on the blank page with today's date.

Knowing just how hungry you can get when out on a hard days birdwatching, I need to pass on some information and direction to The Pasty Shop, especially to visitors. Only having been coming to Portland forever, it was just today that I discovered this little gem tucked away at the back of Easton Square at Top Hill. Many and various hot and cold snacks are available here but strongly recommended are the Tiddy Ogies (Cornish Pasties). Bon App├ętit.
and finally, for the lovely Cornish Pasty Lady at least, here are a couple of photographs of Waxwings. Telling her of my venture she asked me to describe them, these images should do better than that ma'am.

Bohemian Waxwing at

Poole in Dorset during December 2010,

and for comparison, Cedar Waxwing taken May 2008 in New Jersey, USA. These very close relatives of the above are described as silky brown in oppose to greyish, are smaller and don't have such striking wing colours. It would be a real coup to find one of these in Easton.

No comments:

Post a Comment