Sunday, 23 March 2014

Coming and goings

Still some winter visitors around in Dorset providing plenty of interest as they overlap with the incoming spring migrants. Not that I've seen many of those yet, though a flock of 40 Sand Martin at Swineham on Friday evening lifted the spirits.
Spoonbill at Swineham on Friday - a winter visitor

Sand Martin at Swineham - an incoming spring migrant
Saturday took us to Weymouth for a children's party - fortunately the weather held and even more fortunately I was let loose during the festivities to check out Chesil Cove for a long-staying Iceland Gull. It had been seen shortly before my arrival but despite walking halfway back to Ferrybridge along the mighty barrier beach I still hadn't seen it.
Marsh Harrier - one of three at Swineham on Friday
Male Shelduck at Swineham getting into breeding condition
As I turned back it was reported at Ferrybridge and a leggy canter saw me arriving breathlessly just as a dog walker put it to flight. I took my eye off it and didn't see it land but took a punt that a white blob further along the beach might be my bird so headed in that direction. Forgetting Brett's advice to take a loaf of bread, by which it had been tempted at times apparently, I still managed a reasonably close approach.
Iceland Gull at Ferrybridge yesterday
Shocking pink legs!
Today was spent around Poole Harbour due to a home game for Wareham Rangers U-11s. We were 2-0 up after 7 minutes and then converted a penalty. The Arsenal fans among us were in cold sweats having flashbacks to yesterday at the Bridge. Unlike profligate Chelsea, however, who only managed another three, Rangers bagged a further eleven goals to boost their promotion prospects.
Ringed Plover, Ferrybridge

Turnstone, Ferrybridge
Son George, watched by a capacity crowd including proud cousin Harry and partner Bron, scored the critical 14th goal, a deft left foot volley from close range redirecting a mis-hit overhead kick from a team-mate. Good job too, I think a comeback was on the cards.
Dark-bellied Brent Goose - still a few in Brands Bay by they will soon be heading off for their breeding grounds
And for those who doubt I ever spend any time with my family - you know who you are - here's the proof. Middle Beach, Studland where we spent a whole hour this morning.
Before that we'd managed a family meander around Studland, where the over-wintering juvenile Surf Scoter was still present in a blustery Brands Bay. Last time I saw this bird was the day I broke my collarbone, and today was the first day I've really carried the scope any distance since that, so there was some closure of sorts on that chapter. A pretty good weekend really. Roll on the next.

Six of the nine Spoonbill at Swineham on Friday

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