After 20 years of searching through, hearing and essentially missing out, today I finally had my tick for Bearded Tit. A male and female, on the path leading to North Hide at RSPB Radipole in Weymouth. Absolutely stunning views in near perfect weather. I was so excited I completely forgot to take any photo's, so here's one I got from the Dorset Bird Club copyright of Doug Knibbs taken a few days ago at Radipole. Talking to three birders 5 minutes later, 5 had been spotted a day ago near the visitor centre.
Should I really be this excited at the age of 43, too right I'm excited. It's odd, but a bird which has "always been here 5 minutes ago" becomes something of a special bird to see. I remember spending a whole week on the North Norfolk coast in 1991, trying to see a Bittern and the warden at Cley saying "it was here an hour ago", or "did you not hear it booming earlier?". I never did see it, and after all these years of failing to see one, I took my parents to Slimbridge on New Years Day 2007, and there it was out of the Zeiss hide, unexpected and absolutely thrilling. Seeing the Bearded Tit's today, makes me realise why wildlife is such an intergral part of my life and has been since a child.
Dark Bellied Brent Geese on the Fleet
It was so windy, this Little Egrets hairpiece was doing a Bobby Charlton.
Just a brilliant morning spent in a gale off the sea at the Fleet and at Weymouth which netted some nice birds; most notable were, 150+ Dark Bellied Brent Geese, plus a few Pale Bellies, 2 male, 3 female Red Brested Merganser, Turnstone, 2 Ring Plover, Common and Mediterranean Gull (I only saw one but yesterday there were 100), fair numbers of Herring and Black Headed Gulls, handful of Great Black Back Gull, Rock Pipit and Shag; Met a guy leading a walk for the East Devon Bird Club, they were in discussion over a potential Ring Bill Gull. Was it, well possibly I'll never know, as 10 scopes trained on a Common Gull with greener legs than normal, still couldn't decide.
Not a great view, but a pale belly is on the extreme right.
So that's a year count up t0 73, but it could be just one seeing that pair of Bearded Tit, I was so excited I could crush a grape.