Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Nothing to Declare

There was more to be said about the weather today than the wildlife, with conditions changing hour by hour, but with the first bird of the day being a Yellow Wagtail flying over my house there was sign of promise. Things started a little cooler than yesterday with the westerly gale having moderated to a breeze, but by the time the sea-front was reached (with just a single Dunlin at Radipole added to the list) the sun was shining brightly bringing with it some warmth.

My friend Janet Reed had enlightened me to the 205 service from Weymouth to Portland Bill, on which the 'bus pass' is valid, so thought it well worth a try. I shouldn't have been surprised when both Janet and Johnny turned up to catch the same bus, while between us we did our best to welcome 2 lady visitors to our town and set them on the right walk around the Island.

The most numerous migrant at the Bill were Wheatear numbering about 2 dozen along with a few Meadow & Rock Pipits.

There were also a few Alba Wagtails both White and Pied, but apart from 3 Lesser Black-backed and a single Great Black-backed Gull it was like the grave. Under these windy conditions the sea is always dramatic

and worth photographing. This image is looking from the active lighthouse (on the Bill) along the East Cliff towards the Portland Bird Observatory.

The Obs Quarry as its known locally, on a good day a fine catchment for migrating birds, but not today!

Finally, on the way home it was worth a stop at Chesil Cove as 8 Grey Phalarope had been seen there earlier in the day. Reaching the sea wall I bumped into Ian Dodd, also recently arrived, who updated me on the number saying there were 10 seen within the last hour. We both saw 8 but at great distance only getting any sort of idea when they took to the wing. Together we visited the foreshore at Ferry Bridge but this was most disappointing with just a few Dunlin, Ringed Plover and 2 Sanderling. It was at this point the squall arrived from West Bay and had it not been for Ian I would have been soaked - so a fast return to base.

Let's hope we can do a little better tomorrow.

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