Monday, 19 December 2011

The Long Week End

A little bit of 'catch-up' after a busy week and therapeutic week-end. The whole of the week-end was a bright sunny affair and the first since last Sunday that I could once again follow the Bagsy Trail. As the Christmas week-end is rapidly approaching it may pay dividends that we are a day behind with the posts. With plans for the festive season now laid and paid for, as are those for the first few days of the New Year, we will endeavour to catch up over the holiday period.

This little fella met me at the cemetery gate and being so obliging and more than 'full frame' who could resist a Grey Squirrel? In addition there was a Song Thrush close to home, while both Goldcrest & Coal Tit continue to 'sing' there.

The rain of the previous couple of nights had certainly lifted the water level at Radipole, this Cormorant is standing on a small rocky island that is more often than not well out of the water. In addition, a late walk around the Reserve showed a total lack of Common Snipe, but today a couple were back taking advantage of the recently cut patches of reed along the main path.

At the north end of The Loop, Pochard numbers had increased 6 fold on my best count of 5 so far this winter, but that is far, far below the usual number at this time of the season.

Whilst watching and counting the Ducks my attention was drawn to squawking high in the trees along Radipole Park Drive. There I watched a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers 'displaying' for a full 10 minutes - bit early for that kind of nonsense!

This Carrion Crow was taking full advantage of the peanuts, likely intended for the smaller birds,

but having polished off the whole jolly lot it elevated itself to this bench doubtless looking to where more could be found.

A Dunnock too was enjoying this free feed, with nuts having been purposefully left 'behind' this distance marker,

while the moon, today in its 'third quarter' still lingered in the bright blue sky.

As winter creeps on more and more birds take refuge in the Inner Harbour, where these

2 Little Grebe were in company with Coot and Mallard directly under the Town Bridge. Swiftly on to Portland Bill where

at the 'point' the full effect of the NW wind could be felt Brrrrrrr!

and the waves seen to be crashing in to where

3 Purple Sandpiper were taking shelter.

Looking back to the east it could be seen what a fine day it was, but all the more pleasant in the lee of the Lighthouse.

As the sea crashed in against the East Cliff

I stopped to admire this Clinker Built Potting Boat and wondered how much such a vessel might cost these days, a lot more than a months wages I'd warrant.

Despite the spume Rock Pipits still foraged along the ledges, but with news of a Snow Bunting up by the Privet Hedge there was no time for dallying. There were also a few Gannet, Guillemot & Razorbill flying further out to sea, but I missed the moment by no longer than it take the camera to focus as both Little Owls were sat side by side in the Obs Quarry.

Like most others I was too late but an 'escaped' helium balloon did give me time to practice a couple of 'flight shots'. I doubt the image would be anything like this had it been a fly-over Great Snipe?

Finally, walking the Top Fields to the tune of a few Gold and Chaffinches, this male Blackbird presented itself so best to loose off a shot.

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