Monday, 14 March 2011

Hear, Hear the Pipes Are Calling - Scotland the Brave!

The predominant feature of today's weather was the 'cold' as this morning cars were once again covered in frost while I was very soon wishing I'd "ne'er cast a clout" (ref:- ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out, meaning don't remove any clothing until the May blossom is in bloom - arguable). However, it wasn't long after 07:00 that the sun started burning through the light cloud and things got a little warmer, but leaving the lee of Radipole for the sea-front and the easterly wind it was Brrrrrrrrrrrr!

Difficult to say exactly how many Goldcrest there were in the cemetery, but after about half an hour trying to count the different birds singing, the conclusion was at least double figures.

At Radipole the counting became a little easier as there were 4 male and 1 female Bullfinch, c6 Chiffchaff and c10 Greenfinch. Both Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were also vocal with the latter becoming less reluctant to leave cover.

At the concrete bridge this Great Crested Grebe was just crying out for a photograph

as was this most obliging Dunnock.

Justify FullThis small 'mob' of Coot looked quiet sedate posturing with beaks in the water and tails held high,

until breaking into a fighting fury attempting to attract a mate.

Absolutely nothing of note along the promenade, not even a ship in the bay, but on arrival at Lodmoor I immediately met up with Darragh who quickly pointed out this

distant Sandwich Tern (second from right) my first for the year. He had also seen the

Spoonbill, that has been here a few days now, which was also some way off. Together we continued around the reserve noting an increase in numbers of

Shelduck, some seemingly arriving as we spoke, plus one particularly obliging

Robin. As we continued along the north perimeter we witnessed a fantastic avian sight, although again too far away.

This pair of Great Crested Grebe at first close together, neck stretching and posturing before swimming apart, each collecting a bill full of marine growth then closing again at great speed.

At this point, breast to breast, there was much head shaking, crest erecting and exchanging of gifts,

much of the weed clinging to their plumage, before parting company again. Wonderful stuff, just a pity the pictures weren't a little closer.

The bad news arrived just a little further on as I viewed the handiwork of the week-end vandals who set fire to the main reed-bed. There may be more to be said about this as the week draws on and we get the opinion of others?

So, it was on to Portland where at the Top Fields my first sighting was of

my friend the lovely Horse Lady Annie. Also an ex-Royal Navy rating we have much in common and always lots to talk about. Great to see you again my dear! At the Observatory I had a small duty to perform as requested by e-mail from New Zealand. Denise Rathke , sister of Mike Munro who feature in yesterday's post, complete with Barn Owl box, wrote to say how pleased she was to see the photo and asked if I could give him a big hug for her. I can report Denise that Mike got all 'hugged up' this morning, and also reciprocated - but "I'm not in love, so don't forget it, it's just a silly phase I'm going through" - 10CC.

The good news was that the Hoopoe was still in attendance (here complete with Grub), plus they had caught and 'ringed' a Firecrest (along with Goldcrest our countries smallest resident bird) both of which I went looking for.

The 'Crest' was once again not to be, but as can be seen from these images

the Hoopoe was putting on one hell of a show.

Finally, on the way to catch a bus home, this

Chiffchaff stopped catching flies

long enough for me to capture these shots.

All else of note is the finalisation of my next trip away, with coach, flights, car hire and some accommodation booked and paid for prior to heading to Scotland for a week at the beginning of April. I will endeavour to bring you daily reports as ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment