The view to the left and right of the River Conder from the platform overlooking Conder Pool. I can assure you it is well worth a circuit of Conder Green on foot at low tide to check out all the nooks and crannies including the channel downstream from the old railway bridge....recommended birding.
At this rate the blog will need to be renamed. When I looked out this morning the snow flakes were coming down the size of fifty pence pieces and were still doing so when I decided to take on another non-birding related task after which I'm now sat staring at the dreaded computer screen once again....Oh dear!
But lets cheer up and take a look through last years Portland Bill website to discover in nine days time in 2009 they were looking at the arrival of up to 30 Stonechats and I take note of some very interesting comments made regarding their suspicions about the presence of Continental birds amongst the British breeders - rubicola as opposed to hibernans - 'and a couple of males both looked to be good rubicola candidates as they were conspicuously whiter-bellied and whiter-rumped than hibernans' and other underpart colouration was noted. Unfortunately there's a rather blurred boundary between these forms and so in the 'is it or isn't it' stakes they can't really be elevated above the good candidate level.
So I'm already looking forward to the beginning of March when I start to look for my first returning Stonechat probably - but not necessarily - at Fluke Hall.
Blue Tit courtesy of Peter Guy.
I came across an interesting behaviour note whilst rummaging through my files, the title was 'Resurrection of an adult Blue Tit' and read something like this....
On 1 February 2005 near Clapham Railway Station I found an adult Blue Tit on its back on a grass verge, for all intents and purposes the bird appeared to me to be dead. However, on taking a closer look I noticed its legs and tail were twitching and thinking a little human intervention may help I slid my hand underneath it to pick it up and hold it cupped in my hands hopefully as an aid to recovery. As I did so it alarmed me by taking to flight for a short distance before colliding with a wall, I now assumed the bird had been stunned when I first found it and as I approached it once more it took to flight again only to collide with the wall a second time. During this time I had seen nor heard any other bird's but from behind me another Blue Tit flew directly towards it and I couldn't help but notice made bodily contact with the bird on the ground and in an instant both flew off together.
It could well be claimed that I had merely witnessed a stunned bird making a rather quick recovery, but the question here was, had the second Blue Tit been observing what was going on before it made what was obviously the determined move to rescue this bird in trouble......another example of bird behavior not seen by me before.