Friday, 18th January 2013

Southwell, Portland, for the most part, missed today's snow - well it scarcely settled at least. When we set out at lunchtime for the usual rounds it soon became clear that things had been somewhat different further up the island!

Fortunately, by the time we left, the road was clear. We headed straight for Radipole, and this time, directly to the North Hide. Flocks of Skylarks and thrushes passed over - up to fifty Fieldfare in one flock. We saw a couple of Bearded Tits close by the boardwalk. I may have mentioned that I am not keen on wildfowl-ing(?), or birding through a hole in the side of a shed come to that; so the token scanning through some Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon and a few Gadwall hardly had me in raptures. A Marsh Harrier that remained perched on a dead tree in good view throughout was some consolation. A handful of Pochard, and some very tame Dunnocks, were among the 'more notables', present elsewhere.

At the car park and the Visitor Centre we didn't find a single Med Gull... unsurprisingly perhaps in view of the weather. In their place today were twelve adult and sub-adult, Lesser Black-backed Gulls. We 'rushed' back, got the vehicle and I spent the rest of the visit photographing them in relative comfort. By about half past three however, the discomfort of one wet sock and an equally damp glove had finally gotten the better of Jon and he dropped a subtle hint that perhaps we might move on.

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