Monday, 5 December 2022

Winding Down

A fair bit of local plodding today. Nicely rewarded too...

This fab Goosander was a nice surprise, resting up on the River Asker about 15 minutes walk from home. Presumably the same immature male I first encountered at West Bay on 21st Nov.

Context shot. Goosander far left; Sea Road North far right, the main road from Bridport to Beaminster.

Kingfisher. Same spot as the Goosander, photographed from the road bridge.

The Goosander stayed fairly close to this spot for much of the day, was successfully twitched by at least a couple of locals, and was a Bridport recording area tick for one. Result.

This afternoon's good intention to do a spot of House Sparrow roost surveying hit a snag when some insistent inner voice suggested a late visit to West Bay instead. Still, there's always tomorrow, eh?

Highlights included another Kingfisher, a single Purple Sandpiper, and this beauty...

This spanking male Black Redstart was flycatching on the leeward side of the harbour wall rocks with a few Pied Wags and Rock Pipits.

It was a right pig to photograph, rarely still for more than a second or two. Plus the light was grim.

I wonder where this bird came from? I am pretty sure the only West Bay Black Redstart I've seen so far this autumn/winter (on three occasions I think) has been the same 1st-winter individual each time. I cannot imagine we would have missed this adult male, so can only assume it's a new bird. And very welcome it is too.

Just the one Purple Sandpiper today. It's been a while since I last saw two...

Again there was a nice gathering of gulls on the river by Rise restaurant, having a pre-roost wash and brush-up. And again there nothing much to get excited about. A single Lesser Black-backed Gull made a nice change from the ubiquitous Herrings, but the stand-out highlight was an old friend...

Just look at this peach!

This 2nd-winter Med Gull appears to be a West Bay fixture right now. And today it could hardly have chosen a more convenient perch for a nice pic. I think it likes me.

It's been a while since I updated my #LocalBigYear list. Several weeks in fact. So, with the end of 2022 approaching all too rapidly, I dug it out earlier and added a few blobs of green highlighter. I appear to be on 169, which compares favourably with 2021's 165. There are some glaring gaps though. Have I really not managed a Redshank or Turnstone? In fact the wader list is pitiful. Just 17 species. Still, the year is not done yet, it is merely winding down. One more bird for 170. Doable? I would say so...

In preparation for the 2023 Patchwork Challenge effort I have added a new page to this blog - PWC 2023 - where I intend to keep the relevant lists for each patch, and possibly other stuff too. I'm still a bit unsure how I'll cope with the self-imposed boundary aspect, but will give it a fair crack. At least it will be a lot more low-carbon than usual.

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