Saturday 5 January 2013

This message will self-destruct in 10, 9, 8...

After disembarking a New Year bird boat on 1st Jan I had an hour to kill around my old haunts of Poole Quay and Baiter Park before a secret rendezvous with my team-mates in a forthcoming bird race. Only a few Dark-bellied Brents were on the waterlogged playing fields at Baiter though the burger van was still there, so hot sweet tea was readily available.

Dark-bellied Brent Geese. Compare with...

...Pale-bellied Brent Geese. Photographed in Portland Harbour in December.

There were no Black Redstarts on the Quay but plenty of chippes were open so a bag of their finest meant that my visit was not in vain. And while there was no wader roost to speak of on the walls of the marina, Tesco's were good enough to sell me a Mars bar. Fortunately I made no rash New Year resolutions about giving up fatty foods, sugary drinks or chocolate, but the one I did make (about getting out birding more often) remained in tact after spending most of 1st January in the field.
This Turnstone was eating just about anything it could find on Poole Quay. I know how it felt.

Male Starling singing at Baiter. Just happy to see the sun.

Then it was off to the pub for a confidential team talk and tactics meeting before the bird race. Maps were pored over, targets identified, transport options debated, provisions requisitioned and kit-bags theoretically packed. I'm not saying my team is taking it too seriously or anything, but if I revealed their names, I would then have to kill you. And, judging by my blog viewing stats, if you're reading this I really need you alive...

A small flock of House Sparrow hangs out around the lobster pots on Poole Quay

A confiding Shag fishing just off Poole Quay

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