Portland Marina

Friday, January 24th 2014

The newish walkway alongside Portland Harbour, immediately south of the marina (where the Brunnich's Guillemot was), is proving to be a great place to see seabirds close inshore. On the high tide, auks and divers have been coming in very close to shore, and feeding just off the pontoons now that the development work there has finished and the seabed has had a chance to settle down over the past couple of years. Thankfully the birds appear to be finding abundant food and welcome shelter among the moorings. I don't believe any of us locals anticipated this at the onset of the project!

This morning, on spotting this Great Northern Diver surface very close I reached for the camera believing I might get a few nice shots even though the light was pretty poor, never expecting anything much different to the other day. The bird however dived and surfaced briefly several times before coming up with this rather spectacular fish. The jury appears to be out as to exactly what it is, a Blenny, a Stonefish and Sea Scorpion have all been suggested. Excuse me if I don't get sidetracked into that one: I'd much sooner stick with the 'day job'.

Great northern Diver at  Portland Harbour - January 24th 2014

Like many nowadays I suspect, I'm always happier if I come back from a birding trip with a photo or two. This picture makes up for the time last weekend when Jon and I  travelled down to Devon to see an overwintering Bonaparte's Gull.  My main reason for going was to get some photographs for my gull plumage photo collection, however this was totally impossible as said Chroicocephalus remained, barely identifiable, far out to sea for the duration of our visit.

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