A morning with no frost and the overnight rain also absent, there was a chance of a fine day as the wind had also moderated and there looked like an outbreak of sunshine. It seemed both Wood Pigeon and Magpie had invaded the cemetery with 17 and 9 each there along with both singing Coal Tit and Goldcrest.
At Radipole the Mute Swans and Coots seemed to be waiting for some kind soul to happen along with a bag full of bread, but further up the lake the next find was far more exciting.
Pintail, this a male, where once a regular winter bird here but unfortunately these days on more than an occasional visitor. A good start to the day, along with what was likely the same
(distant) Marsh Harrier as seen on Lodmoor yesterday?
A male Teal was seen seeking refuge on an ice floe,
while around the Loop Path this Reed Bunting,
one of at least 4, was happily foraging where corn had been left, then
perching in nearby bushes.
A Water Rail was also showing on occasion,
but certainly not lingering for a pose, while a 'calling' Great Spotted Woodpecker wasn't even seen.
The question must be, "are you fed up with me yet" as once again the Hooded Merganser was
showing well and feeding veraciously among what looked like a much larger flock of
Tufted Duck. Not surprising given the weather conditions further north where snow seems to abound over much of the country.
The almost 'full moon' accounted for the very low tide, but unfortunately not many Waders were feeding the large expanse of exposed foreshore. Only Dunlin and Ringed Plover were noted here at Ferry Bridge
with all else amounting to just a few Shag and Cormorant, a handful of Red-breasted Merganser
plus an adult Mediterranean Gull landing among a small flock of Black-headed Gulls.
The Med seemed little bothered by my presence, but wandering on there was a sad find
of a dead Razorbill which looked to have been a healthy bird but not 'ringed'.
Being in close proximity it was worth checking the progress of work on the new extension to the Fleet & Chesil Beach Reserve Visitor's Centre, which seen to be continuing apace. There was little to add crossing the road to the Portland Harbour-side, so continued my walk along
The Rodwell Trail which follows part of the course of the now redundant Weymouth to Portland Railroad. The 'yellow portion' bottom left is the exposed sand in the photo above.
All that was found along this stretch of coastline were 27 Brent Geese
along with a few Oystercatchers, while
at Castle Cove there were 22 Great Crested Grebes, 2 overflying Raven, a Jay screeching somewhere amid the trees and the brief appearance of an overwintering Chiffchaff, none of which were photographed.
Just outside of the North Ship Channel, these 2 large Merchant Packets were waiting to take on fuel (bunkers),
while closer to home the works on the new Rodwell Trail Bridge seemed also to be progressing well.