Saturday, 26 November 2011

Atishoo, Atishoo We All Fall Down!

Despite having fallen, yet again, for the old ruse "just come round for 'A' (singular) drink" last night from Bowie and Sheila I was on the X53 service at 07:00 to Poole this morning. However, there was a fly (is it still PC to say fly?) in the ointment as I had requested a 'flu jab' on Wednesday and although it's taken a full 3 days to reach me I now seem to have the 'full blown' version.

Anyway, no need to curl up a die when there's Ringed-billed Gull to be found, and where better to look than

where one over-wintered last year.

Surveying another gloomy picture, the sun was blocked out by thick cloud, the wind had freshened, it was a little cooler and it looked like rain, otherwise it was a perfect day.

My arrival coincided with the start of the annual Great Poole Park run which puffs me out just watching these sporty types, but there was a great distraction by way of a

of a Jay (that rhymes) the first bird of the day and one that infrequently gets added to a 'day list' and still hasn't been photographed well.

It would seem that with the spring tides brought on by yesterday's 'new moon' the Council had taken the opportunity to drain most of the water out of the lake, making the remaining mud perfect for feeding Waders.

Apart from Oystercatchers, there were none even though I walked right around it, but other birds in the area included

Pied Wagtail


Tufted Duck


Little Egret and assorted Geese.

A Little bit of this (Canada Goose),

a little bit of that (Greylag Goose) plus a little bit of the OTHER

and you get this, a Hybrid. Then, right out of the blue (aka grey), came a great roar and billowing smoke announcing the arrival of Smaug or other mythical Dragon?

No, it was the Steam Locomotive 'Tangmere' (click this 'link' to see video of the mighty beast).

'Spur of the Moment' usually results in poor photographs!

Since my last visit here these cuboid islands have appeared, but no idea of their function.

Before leaving the park this Grey Squirrel was watched enjoying a nut, then just a short walk to

Hole's Bay and into the 'eye of the wind' now much more blustery and sending splashes of spindrift onto the walkway, not at all a comfortable walk but at least having it at my back.

If you eliminate Mute Swans and the odd Mallard, the Bay looked totally devoid of birds, except for

more Oystercatchers,

Lesser Black-backed Gull,

Carrion Crow,


and this flowering Thistle.

That's when 2 very vocal Peregrine Falcons arrive and caused havoc along the margins and in so doing changing the whole scene across the bay with birds springing in panic from cover. These Black-tailed Godwit were numerous but

well outnumbered by Eurasian Wigeon

and Teal. That's when a change came for me starting the

Children's Photographic Competition

2 youngsters accompanied by their Dad stopped to admire my camera. In such situations I always feel it best to encourage so 'hands on' experience. Rhys took this shot, one of many,

while his sister Evelyn produced this fine shot. Having promised to publish their work, here they are guys, and though they have been studied long and hard I can see no outright winner so the Best Photograph Award goes jointly to Rhys & Evelyn - Well Done to you both!

Back to the 'birding', and just before entering the Upton Country Park there were

5 Northern Pintail to be seen and close enough or a reasonable shot. Finally, before boarding the bus back to Weymouth

there were these 2 Fungis to study, almost as handsome as the other 2 in the opening photo?

A Common Buzzard flew high overhead, while I rather liked the look of this leafless

Horse Chestnut Tree stood in a field close to the Bus Stop.

As the bus decended Osmington Hill, the only beam of sunshine all seemed to be illuminating The White Horse and its rider King George III, a great end to another most pleasant day.