Friday, 27 December 2013

Island of Dreams - The Springfields

A foul night was forecast and by and large it arrived with seriously heavy rain, that fortunately was not too prolonged, at 05:00 accompanied by gale force winds. By 7 it was little better, except the persistent rain being replaced by squally showers as I was heading west.
Constrained by flood water this was the closest approach to a
LITTLE GREBE
newly arrived on Parley Pond this morning. However there was little
time for more as much 'bigger fish' were awaiting on the
Isle of Portland.
By daylight the sea was still rough enough but with the lee of
Chesil Beach the harbour was a good deal quieter.
Although this photo was taken at the same site a couple of days ago
it is well worth publishing now of my mate
Dave (The Fungal Punk) Higginson-Tranter
with wife Jill (left) and Karate Black Belt daughter Katie, she is 
currently studying for a First Dan!
Fungal Punk Link
First to show this morning was the fairly long staying
BLACK GUILLEMOT
That little white dot is its head just right of the left pink buoy!
A 'Winter Plummage' bird, the photos are not great but given the 
distance not too bad.
With a 'catch'.
and a little Wing Stretching.
From Wiki what a Black Guillemot looks like close up in
Summer Plumage and
Winter Plumage
This shot of a Summer Plumage bird was taken on the
Buchan Alpha Oil Rig
The crowds were starting to gather and the news was good the
Target Bird had been seen but absent again for quite a while.
Plenty else on show with this
RAZORBILL
hunting close inshore with one little lad saying to his Dad,
"look Dad a Penguin" he can be forgiven!
 Plenty of SHAGS and Cormorants too but none of the latter
 close enough to 'snap'.
 Just about every promontory was 'staked out' but still no sign.
That's when I caught sight of my Friend 
Dave Foot
who made my Moth Traps and immediately got a feeling of well being.
 GREAT NORTHERN DIVER
at which time Dave and I moved back to Portland Castle.
Within seconds of arrival he called for the telescope and confirmed that
 he had re-located the
 BR√úNNICH'S GUILLEMOT
 Given the RARITY of this AUK in Great Britain it is no surprise it is
 the 'First for Portland' and the 'First for 'Dorset'.
 I was only mussing the other day that although only here for 8 moths of the year, I have had no new species for either Dorset or GB, this is both!
When the 'shout' went up the battalions started gathering.
 For a better idea, these photos were taken in the
 Pribilof Islands in 2011
where they call them
THICK-BILLED MURRE
 There were also a couple of 
COMMON GUILLEMOT
in the harbour but too distant even for a poor shot (archive).
With excellent views of the rarity completed it was considered an 
option to capitalise further and try for the
 GLOSSY IBIS
on the playing fields on Radipole Park Drive.
Talk about 'in the nick of time', within a minute or two of seeing the bird it was 'flushed by a dog (or maybe that should be dog owner) not on a lead. Silence may now be the better part of valour? As it flew into the reed-beds there was just chance of a single shot of this
MARSH HARRIER
flying over the point where the Ibis had landed.
QUITE A DAY!
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