Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Geese & the Ghost - Anthony Phillips

The weather pattern today was identical to that of yesterday, with another broad band of black cloud hovering over the borough at dawn, but seen here disappearing to the east. This allowed the sun to appear

and start to warm what was again a chilly start, otherwise things were as still as a Mill Pond.

Only expected birds were seen at Radipole like these Pochard, so far in smaller numbers than usual for this time of year, plus

Robin, waiting for the early morning food carriers, plus feeding Redwing, 6 Black-tailed Godwit (still), a few Common Snipe, a Great Spotted Woodpecker plus

a few Little Grebes. Nothing really to make me linger, it was an early bus to

see what could be found there. Another morning of hundreds of Brent Geese

feeding, preening, squabbling

and everything else Geese do when in a gaggle.

One of 2 Little Egret flew past, but approaching

the Brents for a closer shot a text advised "Richard's Pipit showing well", quite enough to send me hurrying towards the Bridging Camp just a little further along the Fleet. A short bus ride to Wyke Church then a decent walk to the location

my first encounter was with Ron (Chunky) King & his son Simon the latter recently returned from the USA where he had been working for a year. These are part of the Hampshire contingent of 'birders', so can only think that the lookouts in the machine gun nests on the Ridgeway must have been asleep!

First signs of the bird came as it flew in from the west, and landed among a small flock of sheep just beyond a ridge in the field. We had to relocate to get a chance of seeing it again, which we did but the view wasn't brilliant. Returning to the footpath, it took to the wing and in full view and 'calling' landed in the next field.

While most of the 20 or so observers were likely looking for a 'tick', this Magpie was looking for 'ticks' of a completely different sort! It was re-located and seen reasonably well (certainly a lot better than my visit on Wednesday) through Simon's telescope, but not a hope in hell of a photograph.

Had there been a chance the Richard's Pipit may have looked something like this, courtesy of Wikipedia.

The rest of the 'birding' day was confined to Brent Geese again as the large skein took off from the area of Ferry Bridge. Apart from the Geese, the top of Portland Bill Lighthouse can be seen, along with Bill Point, the rock leaning on Pulpit Rock (the gap being clear when the image is expanded - left click) along with a Seismic Survey Ship steaming west down the English Channel.

Hundreds of Brent Geese head for Littlesea Cove.

An image, by my pal Jim the Medic, from the Buchan Alpha Floating Oil Production Platform (my Old Ship) 120 miles north east of Aberdeen. Jim tells me the rig hasn't been spared any of the recent bad weather experienced by most north of the border (Scotland). In fact conditions have been so severe that no Supply Boat, any rigs life-line, has been able to get alongside for 3 weeks now.

and yesterday's duck? My friend and extremely experienced 'wildfowl' ringer Terry Coombs sends the e-mail below.

Hi Paul.

Yes Blue JN been commuting between France, Abbotsbury and Radipole since I first saw her in Sept 2007. Ringed by Alain Caizergues at Saint Suzanne department 53 France 17/07/2007. Alain is on David’s site but time has changed the colour more green than blue, which is why you couldn't find her. You will also find me on Dirks site for our local colour ringed water birds. Another site worth looking at is Marco Basso’s photo guide, link on Dirks c-r birding site. C-r birding is being up dated and all the projects are when Dirk has time being moved to a new site.

Hows that for service….??????


PS I have fitted nasal saddles in France with Alain.

While Martin Cade, Warden of the Portland Bird Observatory, sends this most interesting link.

Debut album by former Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips, featuring Michael Rutherford and Phil Collins.

No comments:

Post a Comment