Sunday, 18 January 2015

Supermarket sweep

OK, having lured you in with a vaguely interesting shot of a sweeping Spoonbill and a supermarket trolley (where else but Holes Bay?), it's confession time. The photo year list has got off to a bit of a slow start, see, so it's time to put a spurt on. As a result, after a couple of glam pics of Spooners I'm afraid it's lots photos of garden, farmyard and duckpond birds to follow, plus a few from the largely birdless swamps of Swineham yesterday and the avian paradise of Weymouth and Portland today. On the upside, there's very little in the way of narrative to string it all together. I know, I spoil you.
One of two present - presumably the same two young birds present over Christmas
This bird was unperturbed by the presence of pedestrians, joggers, dogs and one naughty little boy chucking great lumps of concrete into the drain nearby. Thanks, son.
Right, now for some ducks. I thought Swineham would be a good bet for some easy photo ticks from this family but there was a fair bit of disturbance going on. Over the course of the weekend though, I've added:
Mallard #43: before heading to Swineham yesterday, I knew the quay on the Frome in Wareham would produce one
Gadwall #44: nice patterns on the water for this one at Swineham
Pintail #45: king of the drakes in the fading light of Holes Bay
Pochard #46: a shy female at Swineham
Tufted Duck #47: at Radipole Lake where we lunched today en route to...

...Portland Harbour, where a female Eider (#48) was hanging out near to...

...a Red-breasted Merganser #49, my second sawbill of the year.
From Portland Harbour it was up the hill to The Grove, to see if the long-staying Hooded Crow was still around. I needn't have panicked and run around the pig farm back in the summer to get this on my Dorset list when it first turned up. It was still there, with a collection of other corvids, for whom the smell of swill was clearly irresistible:
Hooded Crow (#50) at The Grove
The Hoodie was with a large flock of the closely related Carrion Crow (#51)
A few Magpie (#52) tagged along did several Jackdaw (#53) - this one photographed yesterday in Wareham.
Some trashy waterbirds were easy enough to add to the photo list, as were the low hanging fruit of the pigeon family:
The ubiquitous Canada Goose (#54), part of a large flock at Upton Country Park
Mute Swan (#55) on the River Frome at Wareham
Collared Dove (#56), Wareham
Feral Pigeon (#57), Wareham
Wood Pigeon (#58), Wareham
With all those pigeons around, a Peregrine (#59) was sure to follow: this one over the Grove on Sunday.
And finally, a random selection of passerines which were out enjoying the weekend sunshine. And yes, I am going to post one of every species photographed this year, and, yes, I probably will regret it, and, no, I'm sorry, I'm not going to change my mind, so don't try and talk me out of it. Transparency is key to the integrity of the list, even though it's pointless and no-one but me cares:
Blackbird (female) #60, Wareham
Chaffinch (male) #61, Wareham
Great Spotted Woodpecker (female) #62, Wareham
House Sparrow (male) #63, Wareham
Long-tailed Tit #64, Swineham
Mistle Thrush #65, Wareham
Nuthatch #66, Swineham
Song Thrush #67, Wareham
Robin #68, Wareham
Reed Bunting #69, Swineham
Starling (male) #70 over the garden in Wareham
Wren #71, Swineham
A photogenic female Stonechat #72 at The Grove, Portland


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