Another overcast day with light rain on the breeze but nothing to stop me getting out of the house after 3 days self confined. You'll doubtless be pleased to know that ALL the media is working, although there is now just the matter of hiding the 'spaghetti junction' of wire cables, a little job for this evening.
With the exception of half a dozen House Martins whirling above the cemetery, there was little by way of bird-life and all else included a single Grey Squirrel and this
While the water level has risen slightly at Radipole, there is still a deal of exposed mud but there didn't seem to be a Wader of any sort let alone the reported Little Stint of recent days. There were however still a few Reed and Sedge Warblers along with singing Chiffchaff, Cetti's & Willow Warblers plus 2 Water Rail.
I had noted from the reserve a thick band of mist cum low cloud blocking out the Ridgeway Hills towards Dorchester, and while things were clear through Weymouth and Wyke Regis, Portland was shrouded in this 'dome' of grunge. Just in time for the start of the ebb tide, first on the list was this
which was one of 2 today.
There were also a few Great Black-backed & Herring Gulls, 3 Sandwich plus 12 Common Terns plus Ringed Plover but I was more interested in the
Once settled they were seen to be Common Redshank
Hovering above the foreshore, and looking very Kestrel like, a Peregrine Falcon was obviously eyeing up its next meal, and soon found it.Stooping from an estimated 100 feet and
pulling out just above sea-level,
the chase was on!
The hapless Redshank carried out some fantastic twists and turns
A last desperate struggle to break free was all in vain,
soon overcome by this powerful bird of prey
Sensing the danger was past the other Waders, flushed by the appearance of the Raptor, started to return including Ringed Plover, Dunlin andOystercatcher
but these 3 Sanderling
seeming unperturbed but be warned I have seen these killers take full adult Great Black-backs so little is safe!
It was great to be back on Portland again after the short absence, but birds were extremely thin on the ground (and in the air for that matter) with just singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Whitethroat entering the notebook.
Reaching the crest just above Culverwell the third band of murk was sighted stretching as far as the eye could see both east and west along the English Channel. A few migrants had been reported, including the 2 Grey Phalaropes at Chesil Cove, not seen by me, but a compensation by way of
2 large Field Mushrooms plucked from a nearby horse paddock. On his last 2 Fungi Forays, John Gifford has drawn a 'blank' on both but when you tune in later maybe you can confirm these are in fact edible matey?