By the look of the dark storm clouds rolling in from the English Channel early morning, it seemed very likely we would have rain before long but they kept on moving and it may have been Dorchester that copped the wet stuff!
Goldcrest was all to report from the cemetery, but walking to the north end of Radipole Reserve it was immediately obvious that it was to be a Gull morning.
Time to look first though at some of the Pochard which are now arriving in small numbers, but
then approaching from along the Wey Valley came hundreds (maybe thousands) of mixed Gulls. The best place to view these birds, as they usually stop to bathe, is the main bridge at the Visitor's Centre, but in my haste
I startled a Brown Rat which had almost found complete cover before the shuttle went down.
It was not unusual to find fellow birder Ian Stanley there, who had already made some counts of this mixed flock including Mediterranean Gull (foreground and thought to number 300+), Herring Gull (centre) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. In addition there were Great Black-backed, Common and Black-headed Gulls
many of which took to the air and left as quickly as they had arrived. Probably best of the lot were the 30 or so
Lesser Black-backed Gulls (this one about to land)
and showing a 'ring' on each leg. The ring on the left leg was metal and thin seemingly having not number/letter configuration, while the other black plastic type with white lettering. If you're reading this Ian, it seems to read 0AF2 what say you?
There also appeared to be some size difference with the landing bird
If 'returned' (over to you Ian) the information on the ring can reveal much about the Gulls movements etc. The day had already followed the course of yesterday, and that pattern was to continue with the arrival of RSPB Staff at the Information Centre and Danny once again informing us that the
Rosy Starling was on view again at Lodmoor. Unfortunate for him, Ian had to head for work but once again I quickened my pace towards the bird I had 'dipped' before.
It was still there, though distant and flighty, but seen well enough to add to the GB Year List. These 2 shots are from the archive, the top one showing a juvenile Rosy (right) in comparison with 2 Common Starlings
A closer look would have been better, so I took a walk around the Lodmoor Country Park but didn't see one Common let alone the Rosy, but contented myself with a photograph of this large 'Bracket' type Fungi.
Portland was once again very quiet but a Collared Dove on this garden feeder made for some light relief before walking to the Observatory. There, it was doubted I could make any contribution to the Day List but found my sighting of a
Fieldfare (archive) was in fact an addition. At this point a most interesting piece of news was received via 'the pager' of a rare American vagrants arrival in the west of the county. Not wishing to tempt providence I'll leave it at that for now, but hope to bring some positive news and photographs tomorrow????
Walking the Bill Road back to catch the bus, 2 raptors were hunting prey either side of the road
Firstly this Common Buzzard
followed by a Common Kestrel.
It's a 07:00 start tomorrow, so as the Four Tops once said
"I'll Be There"
"I'll Be There"