Sunday, 15 November 2009

Any port in a storm

The weather was much more benign today and for the first time for about 10 days I could actually walk a reasonable distance with out discomfort. I thought that I would follow my prediction of yesterday that there might be something worth seeing in the harbour at Dover, following yesterdays gale.

The usual little group of Great-crested Grebes was out in the middle of the open water, as seen from the Price of Wales Pier.

While I was scanning I came across a bird further back that look very much like a Diver and was probably a Red-throated Diver.

I strolled further up the pier to look at the of hover port apron, hoping that there might be a Purple Sandpiper or one of the more uncommon gulls, but to no avail. As compensation I had a close encounter with this very tame Turnstone. Like many of this species it has become habituated to humans, using the generosity of the local fishermen as an avian take-a-way.

When I walked back the Red-throated Diver had come much closer. With the colour of the bird and the water these pictures almost look monochrome! Luckily it had woken up and I was able to watch it preen.
When it had finished preening it had a good shuffle and flapped it's wings,

In this picture it has it's beak open, but I certainly didn't hear it call. It soon settled down a cruised along parallel with the pier.

In this picture you can see just how far back the legs are set on the body. Like grebes diver are virtually unable to walk on land, managing only an ungainly shuffle. There are more photos here.


Adam said...

Great pics again Tony - glad to hear you're up and about.


Tony Morris said...

Thanks Adam, I won't win any races yet!

Warren Baker said...

nice diver pics Tony.

Kingsdowner said...

Thnaks for finding the diver, Tony - I've spent the past few mornings at the harbour with mixed results.
There were two there this morning - an well-marked one and a grubby grey one, both feeding alongside the pier wall.