Thursday, 1 January 2009
New Years Day
New Year started with our usual trip to Portland Bill.
We called in at Radipole in Weymouth to finally see the Hooded Merganser that has been present for several months. As it was first seen in an exhausted state as a first summer bird back in June or July there is a theory that it could be a wild bird.
Portland was very cold, windy, and there was nothing in the harbour-no divers or scarce grebes. Never seen it that quiet before. The large number of Mediterranean Gulls was some compensation though, and there were a few waders too. At the Bill, there were a few Gannets and a large number of auks, but no sign of the Purple Sandpipers in the usual locations-no doubt the cold wind forced them to a more sheltered location.
At Keyhaven, the Red Breasted Goose was found in a large flock of Dark Bellied Brents, and we also saw a Black Brant and a Pale Bellied Brent as well.
Finally at Passfield the first winter Ring Necked Duck proved easy to see,and we picked up a few Kingfishers and woodland birds too.