Sunday, 19 October 2014

Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix

More of a Purple PATCH than a Haze as the back end of last week along with today have have thrown up some pretty Good Stuff. With limited time and a fair bit of business to attend to in Weymouth, the 3 Lingering Stars at Portland were going to prove far too much of a temptation with the chase for these resulting in missed appointment back at Parley. Never mind, there are some things in life far more important than appointments, starting with the
 BLACK GUILLEMOT
 which has returned to a favoured spot close to Portland Castle were it
spent the latter months of 2013 and the early ones of this year. An addition
to the Ongoing Dorset List and a good start to the day. Also there were
 PURPLE SANDPIPER
and a
 KINGFISHER
 but time was ticking on!
The Hooded Crow, during its tenure, has been seen 3 times but
always in the vicinity of the Pig Farm at the Grove, Portland but recent
reports have shown that it now seems to be favouring the
 ADMIRALTY QUARRY
a site never even heard of let alone of known location.
 Purely by chance I discovered this huge Open Cast but only later
learnt, from Martin Cade, Warden of the
Portland Bird Observatory
that this was indeed the said quarry.
A search was also made of part of the adjoining
KINGSBARROW (Redundant Quarry) NATURE RESERVE
 where there were plenty of
 LINNETs
along with a number of
 STONECHAT
and
 MEADOW PIPIT
but not a sniff of the elusive Corvid.
 Always nice to see the
NICODEMUS KNOB
if you will excuse the expression!
Ever onward to target Number Three, with a brief stop for coffee with
The Secret Lemonade Drinker, at Reap Lane, Portland where it took a very
short time indeed to spot the
ROSY STARLING
(photograph © Duncan Walbridge maybe on the same roof)
in direct sunlight. In an attempt to secure my own photograph a shift of position was needed during which time the local Sparrowhawk decided to make an appearance and shift the position of everything else. Sod's Law took over and the Starling was not seen again!

With 2 out of 3 being more than satisfactory, Saturday was sure to produce a much better result in fact a predicted 100%. Hugh, Janet and I spent the whole day in London with the Family York. Before even having time to remove my jacket, I was 'luffed-in' for feeding the baby,
 some 'luffing' I can tell you to have the privilege of attending to our
new little girl
ELIZABETH LOUISE
Lots of difference and improvements to see in all the children
despite the relatively short time since the last visit.
 FREDERICK
has now become a Dab-Hand at preparing the table at meal times.
 We all enjoyed an excellent lunch.
 
 BENJAMIN, ALEXANDER and FRED
Please note there is a Monkey on the outside of Alex's shirt and
an even bigger one wearing it!!
 Fred helps Mummy Lisa build and intriguing toy
 MAGFORMERS
never seen that before and what an invention!
 A Cube within a Ball
 BENNY
who is now far more articulate 
 while Elizabeth has lost all those 'New Born' wrinkles
 which is more than can be said for Grandpa Bagsy.
 HUGH
looked to be having a good time!
 While the Moth Traps had to take a back seat to our London visit they
were attended too on our return, but in rapidly fading light. This morning
(Sunday) was quite the opposite except the light was similar that early in the morning.
Here are a few shots of some of the 'captives'.
YELLOW-LINE QUAKER
 is a new addition to the Year List
 while here there is a chance to compare with a close cousin
RED-LINE QUAKER
 The 'so called' Immigrant
VESTAL
is also still being caught pointing to a likelihood that it breeds at PCF.
 BRINDLED GREEN
 COMMON WAINSCOT
 likely the last of a 'second brood' and another Immigrant
GEM
Last out was also a new sighting for me a
 
DOCK BUG 
Coreus marginatus 
(kindly identified for us by John Gifford)
After this a hasty retreat was beat to the northern part of the property
and the Irrigation Pond which has been neglected over the past 2 days.
On arrival just 2 male and a single female Mallard were found 'afloat' but
 nearby a 'third' species was noted showing attention to the Feeding Station
GREAT TIT.
while there was a Blue Tit close behind, it didn't seem to have the
courage to brave the table!
 Next to be noticed were two fresh excavations in the
Sheer Bank at the far side of the Pond.
 Most likely
RABBIT
it was thought but yet another reason for getting a Trail Camera?
 MAGPIE
always numerous and  in close attendance these days.
Despite there having been a report from Portland yesterday of a single,
it was a 'bolt from the blue' looking up to see a 
 COMMON SWIFT
cutting across the sky which, to be honest, was at first glimpse
thought to be a Merlin.
 It was quickly joined by a second and then by a
SWALLOW
which ALL disappeared to the north seemingly quicker than they had arrived.
As if that were not enough, soon afterwards the 'yacking' of an
overflying Jackdaw turned my attention to the reason for such a kerfuffle.
 The first 'seen' or 'reported'
PEREGRINE
from the property this year.
 The image of this perched bird, for illustration, is from the archive
as are some of the above.
Next a short wander round to the
 HOLE-in-the-GROUND
where it can be seen, after an almost dry September, just how much
Rain has fallen this month.
Frequent visits during and since the gravel excavation have revealed
a small colony of
BULLFINCH
in the area which, until this morning, have only made their presence known vocally.
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Friday, 17 October 2014

Three Crows - (Traditional) Royal Navy

There were 3 Crows sat on a tree,
they were as Black, as Black could be.
Said one Black Crow unto the other,
You are a Black Enamel B*gg*r! 
On yet another gloomy morning it was decided to take a look around the Parley Pond before heading off to the Traps where a lucky find was this
 LITTLE GREBE
which, after being attacked by the accompanying Mallards,
 sort shelter among the dense vegetation
 and simply could not be coaxed out.
A very good start at Trap No 1 as almost the first insect out was
 GREEN BRINDLED CRESCENT*
an addition to the Property List then followed by what are now
the Usual Suspects.
 RED-LINE QUAKER
MERVEILLE du JOUR
and
BLACK RUSTIC
make for a fine example as to the diversity of these special creatures
 
 and
PALE MOTTLED WILLOW
all else of interest was this
 (dark morph)
DRONE FLY
Up until the Farm Yard Clear-Out
a Trap was run close to these (this) rather strange
ASH TREE(s)
that are 'joined at the hip.
As though they had once been Pollarded or Coppiced in the past, then left to their own devices
they have sent up 10 clear and distinct trunks and attracted
INONOTUS HISPIBUS
(Bracket Fungi)
CHICORY
Just a small representation of the numbers of Corvids
(Rook, Carrion Crow and Jackdaw)
around the property at this time.
and a strange little happening........
This Secret Elixir is used as another technique to attract Moths
known as 'SUGARING'
Some far more ardent Moth'ers do keep their concoctions a closely
guarded secret while mine amounts to just a mixture of
Black Treacle, Brown Sugar, Red Wine and just a splash of Dark Rum
(didn't realise until now, quite a nice colour combination).
Used on no more than half a dozen occasions, without success,
the potion is simply painted onto any convenient surface, then monitored
until the Moths arrive, or NOT in this case!
Since, it has just been 'sat on the shelf' (I know the feeling)
with this Coral Like Culture forming over a number of days.
All else to report are the number of
MEADOW PIPITs that have now moved in,
'3 figures' certainly.
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