Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Purple Sands Are All Around

Don't know if I'm going up or down.
Acting funny but I don't know why
'Scus me while I kiss the Sky.

Having fallen one day behind with recent posts, I did predict that one day of heavy rain and that would be put to rights. Even without the help of any precipitation, we are now back on the rails as yesterday was a little lacklustre on the bird front.

Having said that, and not wishing to immediately contradict myself, yesterday's Wheatear in the Ministry of Defence compound at Portland Bill

turned out to be the latest date for this species I have ever recorded. It was in fact the only November for me.

Today was a little less windy (to start with), slightly warmer and had unfortunately turned back to gloomy and overcast but did start with something of a bang. With only Goldcrest of note in the cemetery crossing the road to Radipole I was immediately met by a 'feeding'

Little Gull. Unfortunately, it only stayed for 2 plunges

before gaining great height, an estimated 300 feet, then flying directly over my head it transited the cemetery and disappeared in the direction of my house.

This was also an addition to the ongoing November List while also on the reserve were a further 6 species of Gull including

this adult winter Mediterranean Gull

which put on a fine display of 'wing stretching',

along with this 'first winter' Great Black-backed Gull

The Coot was just a flight of fancy, but other birds out of photographic range included 4 Black-tailed Godwit and half a dozen Common Snipe which looked from the height and direction they flew in from to be new arrivals. Although the 'spring tides' are now starting to sober, high water is still remains at around 09:00 so little point calling in at Ferry Bridge so straight on to catch the bus to Portland. Looking over the Town Bridge, I caught sight of fisherman friend

Kelvin and his Mate preparing their nets for the net cast.

Having not seen him for a number of months now there was time for a chat, telling me he had spent some time at one of the London Film Studios working as an 'extra' on some up and coming pirate movie. No disrespect Kelv but they got the right lad there!

The ulterior motive for seeing him back is no shortage of sea-food now - these were my last purchase from him some time ago.

At the Bill, a small group of Waders were soon located on the ledges at the bottom of the cliff and

seen to be 3 each of Turnstone & Purple Sandpiper

Unfortunately, the 6 never congregated close enough to include all in one shot

but by quietly climbing over the boulders to their level some 'close ups' were possible.

This one seems to have had a drop too much Grog!

A final 'rear view' of Purple Sandpiper.

Crossing the Bill Common the call of a Mistle Thrush (not a common bird here) alerted me to its presence as it quickly flew to the south west and out to sea, but there was also other activity. A total of 34 Fieldfare (also northern Thrushes) flew around the Lower Light a couple of times before disappearing to the north. At the Observatory I discovered there were a couple of things that had been missed such as a small party of Velvet Scoter flying over the sea and 2 Bullfinch 'in the hand', but you never see everything.

On my way home I was content to see these 2 Lapwing in the

area known as Helen's Field,

but a little nervy as most Plovers are, with a bonus provided by a lone Crossbill calling as it also flew to the north. I should also have mentioned earlier a Grey Heron flying over the football pitches at The Grove.

As may be noticed from the reflection from the window of the double deck bus to Weymouth, this image shows the start of building works on the Chesil Beach Car Park of a new Fleet Visitor's Centre. The commencement had been delayed from August, for reasons unknown, but it is said it will be completed by the time the Olympic Games begin in Summer next year.

and finally to accompany this lovely picture of Fungi from my friend Andy Lindsay in Derbyshire, a report of 'many' leaping Salmon along the course of the River Dove (a tributary of the Trent) in the same county.

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