Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Off Patch And Off County

Had to go to Weymouth this morning, but was all finished here by 11:30. I wasn't due to start work until 5pm, so thought I'd make my way back to Seaton slowly...

First stop was the Sailing Club on the edge of Portland Harbour. It wasn't long until scanning over the waves revealed a lovely flock of six Black-necked Grebes, each one doing exactly the same as the others! Another two small Grebes popped up a little closer - a couple of very smart Slavs, and a little later, a third appeared even nearer to the shore. The 'crème de la crème' though was a stonking Red-necked Grebe diving amongst buoys to the east of me.....phwoar!!

Further scanning revealed a couple of Eiders and more Red-breasted Mergansers than you could shake a stick at! I was a little surprised by the lack of Divers, but the fine selection of Grebes more than made up for that!


Next stop was Ferrybridge, and as I was driving across the causeway, what I wanted to see was there...

Brent Geese!

I quickly set myself up and began scanning through them. On the first sift through three Black Brants and two Pale-bellied Brents stuck out like sore thumbs. But then, they all did this....

Oh crap!

Luckily, although a few small groups continued flying up the Fleet, most of them soon did this...

Yeah!

I could now find just two Black Brants and one Pale-bellied Brent though....

See what I mean about 'sticking out like a sore thumb!' Although this bird's collar is more striking than the Brents, it's not that thick...


....unlike this one! Just look at the collar on that beast - MASSIVE! I can see why you get so hooked on these beauts Brett :-)

Aside the Brents though - and oodles of Med Gulls (which makes our Estuary look pathetic!), there wasn't much else of note on show.

I made one last stop during the journey home - some lane somewhere where you can look over Abbotsbury Swannery. I just about picked out a couple of Scaup despite the awful light (one 1w drake, 1 fem; there were probably several more), but the highlight was what flew through my scope view....a stonking ring-tail Hen Harrier! It quartered over the fields between me and the Swannery before flying off west. I didn't get a photo of it, but Brett did yesterday - see HERE.

So, another enjoyable off patch foray. I'll have to watch myself, I'll be twitching next....

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