Sunday, April 15, 2007

Weymouth 14 April

Garganey can be awkward birds. Tucked away on a muddy puddle at the back of a reserve, or fast asleep on the wrong side of a clump of reeds, they can be frustratingly difficult.

But not today! Just as I was approaching the middle section of the south side of Lodmoor at around 7:15, a spanking male swam out to greet me. It swam to the far bank and preened, flexed, and generally posed around. It was a bit far for the 100-400 but I got a few record shots.

Otherwise, a Lesser Whitethroat gave some good views from the east path but was too fast for the camera. There were good numbers of Swallows and Chiffchaffs; Blackcap, Willow Wablers, were in good numbers, and Cetti’s were everwhere and sat on the top of bushes scolding “What the hell? This is an outrageous interruption!” A Sparrowhawk slipped past and a pair of Oyks were in their usual spot near Beachdown Way.

Back in Weymouth the family finally got up, and we went for a walk from Overcombe to Sutton Poyntz, excellent lunch in the Springhead, then up the hill over the White Horse and back to Overcombe. Plenty of common birds, lots of Chaffinches and the obligatory Buzzards, but of more interest was the mass of Peacock Butterflies and Whites out today. There were also a few Clouded Yellow Butterflies on the slopes of the hill, and one of those Hawkbird-Hummingmoth things.

Finally by the White Horse there were some excellent field lytchetts. There are extensive Lytchetts (or lynchets) in this area, but these were particularly heavily marked. I think these are from the middle ages, or possibly earlier. Any information on the origin of these ancient Dorset field terraces welcome.

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