Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Another Day...

This is how my day ended...

The chalk cliffs W of Seaton Hole, the sun going down
This was the view from my last job of the day. As well as the scenery there was tea and chocolate-chip shortbread. Earlier I'd enjoyed my lunch by the Axe Estuary (just like old times) as I casually scanned the gulls for anything obvious. This is work, you understand. I can't really complain, can I.

This is how my day began...

Once again this morning I got an hour in on the Cogden patch. There was a WSW breeze and, miraculously, no rain. In fact the sun even came out for a bit. The sea was very quiet, though a Shag flew W and a Red-throated Diver came in from the E and plonked on the water. Very little moving apart from a handful of Gannets and some gull dross along the shoreline.

My recent visits to the patch have mostly been in pretty awful weather, so checking what's happening offshore has been my priority. In fact, land-based activity has seemed minimal, to the extent that the fields and hedges have appeared fairly birdless. This morning I changed my mind about that. It's amazing what a bit of sunshine can do. In just a small area, all sorts of stuff was leaping about. I had at least two singing Cetti's Warblers, maybe three; several Stonechats were nipping from perch to perch; three Skylarks chased each other over some rough grazing; little groups of Linnets and Meadow Pipits buzzed around, and three Song Thrushes and a couple of Blackbirds fed along a single fence line. I suddenly realised the air was full of 'potential' and that this is going to be a very rewarding patch...

The Cetti's and three fly-over Mute Swans added two ticks and three points to the Patchwork Challenge list. Current totals: 46 Species, 56 points.

Walking along the beach in an easterly direction, you cannot help noticing the long, low wedge of Portland sticking far, far out into the English Channel. Positioned as it is at the far side of Lyme Bay, and virtually dead N of the Cherbourg Peninsula, it is in prime position to soak up 99% of the decent birds heading for the Dorset coast. A bit like the fat, greedy child at a kid's party, gathering armfuls of sticky goodies and elbowing out the quieter children, it's hard not to slightly resent Portland's domination of the coastline, and its insatiable appetite for quality birds. The vast majority of Dorset birders live elsewhere than Portland, their various patches lying in the island's cold shadow, hideously malnourished bird-wise. This morning it looked like they'd finally done something about this injustice by clubbing together to purchase a Nuclear Device...

Ker-boo-o-o-o-m! Portland gets it.

2 comments:

  1. Had to be done. Portland's field of play needed to be leveled.

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