Friday, 27 December 2013

Brunnich's Guillemot

A chance meeting at Swithland Res yesterday brought me out of long distance twitching retirement. A storm driven Brunnich's Guillemot had taken up residence in Portland Harbour near Weymouth. I made arrangements to meet Colin Green at his house at 04:15. My alarm went off at 03:00 and it took me a few minutes to remember why I had set it for so early in the morning. I can remember a time when I wouldn't have slept with the excitement of it all!

Dave Gray and John Waters and I arrived at Colin's place at the pre-arranged time and Colin soon had us on our way to Dorset. We were down in Dorset for first light and the storm that had been forecast was raging. This did not deter us and we were soon bracing ourselves against wind that was strong enough to pick Colin and myself up - that's a strong wind. 

The twitch started with what looked like a sketch from the 'Benny Hill Show'. We all raced around like fools "Its over here", "no it's this way". Eventually Allen Pocock wandered up and confirmed it had been seen, but it had flown behind the new breakwater. We took shelter and waited it out. While we were waiting we enjoyed good views of a Black Guillemot and a couple of Great Northern Divers.

Adult Great Northern Diver
At last an auk species flew from behind the breakwater and landed distantly but in view. Once it had been scoped and seen to have dusky cheeks pandemonium broke out. Everyone jockeyed for position and for some it was just too much, the excitement made them forget to hold their scopes tightly - you can imagine the outcome in such strong winds!

The star of the show did a swim by and despite the really strong winds I did manage to get a few shaky images. 

There was a good crowd watching it and amongst them were many familiar, but older looking, faces.

It's Between The Two White Boats
Brunnich's Guillemot, Portland Harbour
Leicestershire's Finest
After filling our boots with views of the splendid Arctic Wanderer we headed to McDonalds for a celebratory meal. After a long lunch break and a good chat we decided to hunt down the Glossy Ibis that was somewhere in Weymouth. It couldn't have been better, it was just up the road and there was a convenient car park right by it. The ibis was happily wandering about a slightly damp football pitch.

England's Goal Keeping Problems Worsen 
Glossy Ibis

1 comment: