Sunday 14 October 2012

'Has it come to this?'...

...asked my co-dipper Jol Mitchell when he returned to find me in the car park at Radipole Lake photographing the long-staying drake Hooded Merganser yesterday. Well, they do say plastic takes ages to biodegrade.

Hooded Merganser (in his best Marlon Brando voice): 'What have I done that you should treat me with such disrespect?'

We had just given up on looking for a reported Blyth's Reed Warbler nearby, a potential tick for Jol and Dorset tick for me. During a fruitless search we could locate neither the bird nor a birder who had seen the bird - though we did catch up with local RSPB warden Luke Phillips who was on site when the bird was last reported but couldn't see anyone else there! It all started to sound a bit stringy, so we didn't persevere, figuring that the credit secured by an early return home might be needed later this month to pursue something more solid.

More quality wildfowl from the Radipole menagerie. Not sure what this is. A Madwall perhaps?

October is, of course, traditionally a time for raiding the brownie point jar in aid of twitching. Island-bound megas excluded, though, there haven't been that many accessible rarities worthy of a withdrawal so far. So a family day out seemed in order today, and took us back to Weymouh today for our first go on the town's new viewing tower. This giant doughnut on a stick rises 150 feet over the town to give extensive views of the Jurassic Coast. I must admit I've had more fun for £20, but the kids enjoyed it.

The view from the Weymouth Tower: speedway on the beach. WTF? Nice attempt to mimic the shape of the Isle of Portland though.
Then it was onwards to Portland Castle, where my hopes of finding good birds in the ornamental grounds came to nought, before ending the day near the Portland Heights Hotel where good behaviour earned me 30 minutes to look for a Yellow-browed Warbler seen there earlier. Though silent, it was easily located, but not so easily photographed. A pub meal on the way home was extracted by the family as the price of me trying, so as we approach the mid-point of the month, I find to my surprise that the brownie point jar positively overfloweth. Will I have cause for a raid before we head for St Mary's for half-term?

Yellow-browed Warbler: a very difficult bird to photograph - manual focus was necessary to get this shot.

No comments:

Post a Comment