Our after-work trip out this afternoon saw the now customary winter whip round the Portland Castle area, Portland Harbour near the Sailing Academy, Ferrybridge (briefly) and then on to Radipole Lake car park. It was all rather in and out of the car - in order to avoid the exorbitant council parking fees! When there is more time we are more than happy to stop off some way away and walk.
The main focus of attention today was again gulls, as this does provide the biggest learning experience plus the faint chance of finding something unusual. I was filled with anticipation when we set off today at 1pm: the onset of colder weather promised an influx of such ... and we weren't disappointed.
The tide was well out at Ham Beach (opposite Ferrybridge). There was a lot of exposed mud and more Herring Gulls than I have seen for quite some time. The usual Black-headeds and Meds were both present in good numbers. Sunlit from behind, the Meds in particular offered a wonderful spectacle as they fluttered to and fro close in, along the shoreline - very much in Audouin Gull-like fashion!
I can't resist photographing the Meds when there's nothing much else to do. Here are two of today's efforts:
|Mediterranean Gull. My very most favouritest bird!|
Moving on to Radipole; there were far more large Gulls there too. Not so many Gbbs but seemingly lots more 'Herrings'. Two adult Lesser Black-backed's were present near the Visitors' Centre. I wished we had had more time to explore further. Lbb is actually pretty scarce here at this time of year and I would have liked the chance to check out the plumage variations in detail.
Finally, before I saw this little bird I had vowed I wouldn't take a single shot, yet alone post a picture... fanfare Portland's most photographed bird this winter, the Snow Bunting at Ferrybridge. What a gorgeous little thing 'it' (I'm not much up on Buntings, yet alone Arctic species!) is. The purpose of this photo (he says pretentiously) is to illustrate how well the bird blends away into the background. Given the circumstances this was one photo-challenge, I just couldn't get wrong!