Saturday, 14 March 2015


I'm suffering a bit with what I hope is the last cold of the winter, but forced myself out for an hour this morning to Longham Lakes (conveniently en route to the Mother's Day present emporium known as Haskins Garden Centre). It's definitely starting to feel like Spring there with my first Sand Martins of the year and a beautiful pair of breeding plumage Black-necked Grebes on passage. Certainly more spring-like than last weekend, most of which I spent chasing around Chesil Beach after a Bonparte's Gull, a real Dorset rarity. I did manage to catch up with it in Portland Harbour but it flew over Chesil Beach before I could get close enough for a photo - very frustrating in this, my photo yearlist year. Still, I was able to add a few more easy species to the list during those long hours in the field.
Black-necked Grebe, Longham Lakes, Dorset
The best pictures I have managed of this species in breeding plumage
The golden ear-tufts explain the American name for this species, Eared Grebe
Sitting lower in the water in this view...
...but more typically showing a puffed up rear end
Several Med Gulls also at Longham...
...along with the first Sand Martins of the year (#124)...
...and a long-staying female Scaup (#125)
Tufted Duck, Longham Lakes
Believe it or not, we haven't had a Great Crested Grebe this year yet (#126)
...or a Turnstone (Portland Harbour, #127)
This littoralis Rock Pipit was hanging around near the Bonaparte's Gull close to Chesil Centre last weekend - unfortunately the Gull had gone by the time I got there

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