that getting shat on from a great height by a Herring Gull is lucky so, just 100 yards from home and wiping the 'daisies' from my bright red coat, I started to believe that today was the day for a serious rarity?
Not as sprightly as in days of yore, great care is always taken when crossing the bye-pass to Radipole, but the maniac hurtling around the curve in the road very nearly ended my days - the gesticulations are not repeatable! At the concrete bridge, intending to make a note of Bearded Tit, the end of my Biro flicked from my grip and disappeared into the lake, as you can imagine I spent the rest of the day wandering around with that 'pen-top' feeling? Finally, continuing along side the grassy area close to the Gurkha restaurant, feeling that perhaps I should have left the 'bird muck' in place, I was attacked by c2 Jack Russell terriers. The one that bit into my boot received a sharp kick while it was now difficult to decide whether it was the other dog, or the owner 'yapping' the loudest. Considered 'my own fault' (as a previously innocent passer-by) by the elderly, male owner the first dog ran off across the main road, forcing a motorist into an emergency stop, as he chased after it. Even when I pointed out that the c2 leads slung around his neck might be better deployed around the necks of his 'out of control' animals (which I would have gladly helped him tighten, before buying a third) it was still me responsible for his charge running off. So, as it seemed the bird shit wasn't working I got the bus to Ferrybridge.
However, before all of that it had been noted that Robins were most vocal today, and that the number of Chiffchaffs had also increased in number. Spread across two of the reed-beds there must have been double figures of Bearded Tit, but difficult to be accurate, while once again the Hooded Merganser was too much of a temptation, so here he is again!Up, Up and Away - The 5th Dimension
A Graphic Illustration of Mediterranean Gull Take-Off Technique
Radipole Car Park
At the Bridge, apart from about a dozen
'first winter' Herring Gulls the only other bird on the fore-shore was
this single Ringed Plover.
Over on Portland things were similarly quiet and with no intentions of looking at the still present Hoopoe, it obliged by flying across the road right in front of me. No, from here it turned into more of a 'people day' starting with Melvyn Gilham who stopped half way down Sweethill for a chat. I'd barely made the top before 'shipmate' Terry Why stopped similarly, while at Culverwell Mark Hill did the same as he was driving home. At the Portland Bird Observatory there were some of the usual visitors, but the highlight of my day was being introduced, by Ian Lewis, to his step daughter and his 2 Grand-daughters. Well, to enjoy such stimulating conversation, including tales of their extensive travels, from 2 young girls the oldest only 13 was a joy to behold. Thank You all for that!
It is rare I retrace my tracks on the way home, but today crossing Radipole the resident
Carrion Crow with part 'white wings' was seen after a short absence,
my first Celandine's of the year were in bloom while slightly better shots
of Great Crested Grebes passing vegetation
and displaying were taken, albeit through the reeds.
c3 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies appeared whirling through the air together,
only alighting briefly for a couple of poor shots.
This is a little more what they look like.
At the cemetery a Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling, and on investigating I found another photographer usurping 'my patch'.
Unable to resist the urge to poke my nose in, it still isn't quite clear what they were doing