Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Double Dose of Radipole - 4th and 5th October 2014

We went over to Portland to see what was there and with reports of Rosy Starling, it sounded appealing.  Unfortunately, we didn't manage to see it perched, but only flying around.  Being on Portland, a trip to the smelly pig farm was called for.  Why were you going to a pig farm? I hear you ask; well, we would only go somewhere that stank for the purpose of a Hooded Crow, a Dorset rarity.  This was the 3rd attempt, so I was really hoping to see it.  Didn't see it, surprise surprise. Having wasted precious time, we headed to Radipole to see if we could be put out of our misery and to a degree, we were.  Dad suggested that I tried to get a head shot of a Mallard.

It would have been great to know that I had photographed a Water Rail but when the news broke from Dad that it was a young Moorhen, it was slightly disappointing.

Hooded Merganser
Now, there's a story to this bird, brace yourself, it's a long one.  In 2008, this Hooded Merganser was found in a drain on Chesil Beach.  Everyone got very excited as this species is from America.  Lots of people thought that it had flown all the way over the Atlantic Ocean.  But when it went over to Radipole, suspicions were raised as to whether it was an escape.  And to this day it is still at Radipole.

Mediterranean Gull
Considering we were at Radipole, we just had to check out the flock of gulls in the carpark to see if there were any Mediterranean Gulls around, and sure enough there were.  They look much better in the summer but you can still see the bright red bill which you can see all through the year.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron
Day 2 - As it was a calm day, we decided to go to Radipole again, Bearded Tit spotting; well, technically not spotting as we didn't see any. We went around the loop and only managed to see a Wren and a few miscellaneous waterbirds.  We returned to the bridge where a Snipe was well camouflaged against the reedbed.  As the weather had turned all dull and grim, it was hopeless.  But just round the corner of some closer reeds, a Grey Heron was looking like it had an empty stomach.  The fish is visible in the beak.

Mute Swan
Swans are always close to the bridge and this one was no exception.

It is quite rare to see a Gadwall this close and I seized the opportunity when the light was on it.

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