Friday, 27 January 2012

Once Bittern........

There was heavy rain before dawn this morning, but the stiff south west breeze soon pushed the remaining clouds away, while otherwise there was once again a mild feel to the day. If proof were needed of the latter then reports of Swallows already in Kent and Cornwall would endorse this as Dotterel and Hoopoe have also been seen in Cornwall.

A blank was drawn in the cemetery, so onward to Radipole where I was prepared to invest a couple of hours to see if a Bittern would emerge from the reeds. In the event it was mainly the usual with no more than 5

Pochard feeding in the shallows,

Moorhen as ever,

while the male Marsh Harrier was up and about early quartering the reeds

until finally settling in its favoured tree.

Shelduck were also present along with

good numbers of Gadwall,

Shoveler and

Dunnock were also present but the wait for the elusive Heron was in vain. The old adage is quite clear that 'if the mountain won't go to Mohamed' then catch the

X53 service to Poole and search for it elsewhere! Before boarding it was noted there were a few Merchant Vessels in Weymouth Roads, but with no adverse weather to keep them there than it was probably due to commercial reasons they were anchored there.

A selection of vessels at anchor off of Weymouth. Alighting at the

it was thought there would be a good chance of Common Sandpiper here

but with the fresh breeze blowing directly along the railway embankment, both bank of this along with the rocky foreshores of Holes Bay were turned into a 'splash zone'. The walk around the perimeter takes a little more than an hour, but with little more than

Wigeon and

Oystercatchers to report it was time to move on. A bus from the Poole Station to Broadstone put me within a couple of miles of

Hatch Pond where I might get a second go at Bittern.

Only a small water course, there have been as many as 4 reported here in recent days

so there was an even better chance than at Radipole.

These 2 Cormorants had just completed a bout of fishing and where drying their wings as a Kingfisher flew by and also present were Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Teal, Mallard and Common Snipe. It was something of a wait but sure enough

this Bittern revealed itself, flying half way across the lake.

Only by a stroke of luck did i arrive back at the Poole Bus Station with a full hour to wait for the return X53 to Weymouth, so decided to retrace my steps in the hope of the Sandpiper. This was not to be, and apart from getting caught in a rather severe but short lived hail storm, the journey home was uneventful. One more species to add so

The Year (January) List now stands at 192