Thursday, 12 July 2012

On the Beach - Chris Rea

Having fallen behind a day, the bulk of the post refers to yesterday but today at 06:00 Weymouth and surrounding areas were bathed in bright sunshine, a gentle breeze and blue skies. What happened next, on the day the Olympic Torch Relay arrived in the Borough, is a natural tragedy in itself which will unfold tomorrow.
An early morning walk along the Rodwell Trail saw a number of species, such as this SONG THRUSH,
still feeding young, others included Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Blackcap and Great Tit.
My arrival at Ferry Bridge coincided with the fishermen there emptying their nets, with a few more fish than I have seen of late.
These included GREY MULLET in the nearest box and BASS in the other. By this time it was low water, so again there was a chance of an early returning Wader and I didn't have to wait long.
There were c4 Dunlin in the distance but first on view was this 
'summer plumage' KNOT
even doing a little wing stretch before leaving it to continue feeding.
With the news from the LITTLE TERN colony on Chesil Beach being good, at least c9 young birds and still adults sitting on eggs, I approached to the barrier fence where the adults continued fish carrying. However, there was another surprise to find that
the Knot had followed me and was now resting within the colony. This was when I started to notice a small movement of Common Terns, counting 26 before arriving at the bus stop.
With Skate, Shark and Dogfish egg-cases being very similar, I wouldn't like to say which this is but most likely to be that of the latter.
As the water recedes there is now a healthy carpet of Sea Samphire,
which I and others have picked from time to time in small amounts as a flavour in a number of recipes. 
A rather raged looking LITTLE EGRET flew overhead as I continued counting the Common Terns which were now crossing Portland Harbour (east to west) with a further 53 counted during my 10 minute wait. Quiet at the Bill is an understatement, and while there were a few Manx Shearwater passing off-shore
all else on offer was this EYED HAWK-MOTH in one of the Bird Observatory moth traps.

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