Thursday, 6 October 2011

One Hundred Thousand - Not Out

Except for walking the Rodwell Trail, a footpath along the redundant Weymouth to Portland railway line, all of my attention was directed towards the Isle today. With little (or no) shelter throughout its whole length, it was considered a little risky given the state of the sky and the blustery wind but in the event I was spared a wash down.

Looking towards my destination from Ferry Bridge, things didn't look a whole lot brighter across the Chesil Beach Road but just a little further ahead there were sign of bird-life.

Not unexpectedly, there were a number of Wheatear with

my tally reaching 23 before spotting something slightly less likely.

Not really the place for Robins, but the odd ones show up now and again, but today there were no fewer than 6.

Unfortunately unable to capture all half dozen in the same frame, I was lucky to snap these 2 shots in quick succession of a couple acting every bit as though they were defending territory. It's always an added bonus to capture any images of birds perched on Portland stone.

Crossing the bridge and accessing the foreshore via a walkway under the road, the tide was out and there were a few Waders feeding at the low water mark. First to be identified were an Oystercatcher, Black-headed Gull and a Bar-tailed Godwit heads down seemingly dodging the gale.

In company there were also small numbers of Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstone, while the Godwit seemed little concerned at my presence.

Onward to The Bill, and first sight was of a number of Great Black-backed Gulls sheltering from the high wind on the Bill Common.

The 205 bus, returning to Weymouth, put most of the Gulls to flight which eventually settled again this time closer to the Coastguard Cottages in the distance.

A noticeable absence for most of the year around the Island, and more particularly at the Observatory Quarry, have been the resident Little Owls. Fortunately, this beautifully marked bird arrived back at the traditional site a few days ago where it has been seen by a good number of people since.

Crossing the Common and counting a further 28 Wheatears as I did so, Meadow Pipit became the predominant species with a few Pied Wagtails, plenty of Linnets, a few Siskins and a fairly constant trickle of Swallows.

While conditions were far from ideal for 'mist netting' birds, the intrepid Peter Morgan persevered and did catch the odd thing or two, but nothing of note - there's always tomorrow Prof!

and just before pressing the Publish Post button this afternoon we were delighted to record our 100,000th 'HIT'
since The Bagsy Blog has been in existence!

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