Bearded Tit – Radipole Lake, Dorset

Having sketched the Ring-necked Duck I headed off to see the Bearded Tits which were showing on the Buddlea Loop.

I always keep my sketchbook and pencils in a bag on my hip and the top is open so that the sketchbook is quickly accessible. The pencil is also sharpened and ready and clipped to the outside of the bag. It’s for occasions like this when I’m likely to be rushed that having the sketchbook so handy is useful. It would be so easy to convince yourself that there wasn’t time to get your stuff out. 

The Bearded Tits were moving around through the reeds and they were pretty close which in some ways makes it more difficult as they move out of your scope view quickly and you’re constantly needing to re-adjust your view and you don’t have a free hand to do it with!

Over a few minutes I managed to build up a couple of sketches based on brief views of several of the Bearded Tits. Once I was happy I re-joined Dad and Aly who had stopped for breakfast at the nearby McDonalds.

After McDonalds we headed to Portland Harbour and from Sandsfoot Castle we had good views on a flat calm sea of Black-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver. 

After a failed attempt to see the wintering Lesser Yellowlegs in early October Lodmoor was our next stop. Unfortunately, it was a similar story again with the bird proving very elusive. At one stage I joined a group of birders who were watching it only for it to fly again as I set up my scope! We did see a very white headed Ruff which was new for the year but rather than waste all day chasing after the Lesser Yellowlegs we moved on.

We set up again over looking Weymouth Bay for the Red-necked Grebe which we eventually had very distant views of and Common Scoter and Razorbill were also new here. 

I ended the day on 103 species for the year.

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