Tuesday, 28 June 2022

It's a LINNET IN-IT?

 With the Solstice just past we were expecting a little less of this

and a little more overnight warmth but still a few new Moths for the Year are tumbling in, such as:-
BEAUTIFUL HOOK-TIP
the very variable
COMMON MARBLED CARPET
while maybe of novelty value
FOX MOTH
still depositing eggs on the trays on a daily basis now, along with a
Fist Full of Hawk-moths
Poplar Hawk-moths at the extremeties and Private Hawk taking the middle ground while juvenile
BLACKBIRDs
hone their hunting skills
on the lawn
under the watchful eye of Dad.
First to be spotted at the Gravel Pit c2
COMMON SWIFT
seen to be flying purposefully north, our first of the year, while just taking it easy the juv
LITTLE GREBE
seems unaware of the
Clear and Present Danger
as the
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLs
carry out what is now a daily ritual.
Back South, and this is the only representative across the 'patch' of
RED CHESTNUT
looking most resplendent
while keeping with the "colour theme" we can now see in
Black and White
that the Sheep are escaping under the fence-line!
A Brief Encounter indeed as this
ROE DEER 

has a brief trist with a
MOORHEN

juvenile
GREENFINCH
KESTREL
in hover and
juvenile
LINNET

Monday, 27 June 2022

Going to My Home Town - Rory Gallagher

 There's a feeling I get when I look to the 'West', and my Spirit is crying for leaving!

In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, 

and the voices of those who stand looking! 

Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Just a prelude to heading in that direction on Friday for an appointment and then visiting both of my former home turfs of Weymouth and Portland - what a day. Not so much for the Wildlife that was, or was not, on show but 'Long Standing Friends' from the past and another new to me! Priority, as ever, went to the Moth Traps from where we had some decent returns such as 'firsts for the year'

SATIN BEAUTY
BROWN-TAIL
YELLOW-TAIL
and
ROSY FOOTMAN
Before leaving there was yet another Garden Snail shimmying up the
North Face of the Caravan generating the request:-

“Will you walk a little faster?” said the Whiting to the Snail.

“There’s a Porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail”.
The Mock Turtle's Song - Lewis Carroll
On such a mini adventure it has always been practice to pay a visit to Lane End to view the almost 'certainty' of
YELLOWHAMMER
as usual
in company with
BROWN RATs
before continuing to
Maiden Castle
to view a decent number of
CORN BUNTING
before continuing to
PORTLAND BILL
to the tune of the newly refurbished
ACTIVE LIGHTHOUSE
an all too small passage of
GANNETs
and a single
ROCK PIPIT
about its ablutions!
THE HIGHER LIGHT
also once a lighthouse before being occupied as a private dwelling by
Marie Stopes
a pioneer of Birth Control among many other tallents, with the building still known locally as
The Stopery!
before dropping down to the Lower Light which is now the home of the
PORTLAND BIRD OBSERVATORY
(what a capture that has been)
Within, very quiet Bird-Wise but a few "pleasing to see" familiar faces and more especially our
New Young Lady Assistant Warden and hoping your Tenure is a Great Success Jodie (sincerely hope I have the spelling correct)!
Out in the notorious Portland Race and due to mist, an unidentifiable
ROYAL NAVY PATROL VESSEL
colloqually known by the workforce in the now expired H.M. Naval Base as
H.M.S. EXPENSIVE
You could hear the Silence of the Birds from the patio, just feeding
Jackdaw's and Wood Pigeon's
but it has to be said that in true
Martin Cade style - The Warden that is, he plucked a female
BLACKCAP
from one of the Mist Nets not to send us home 'empty handed'!
VALARIAN
on the driveway
which we always consider synonymous with Portland, and clicking a few scenes as we left the Island, in geographical order heading back north:-
SAINT GEORGE's CHURCH
designed in part on St Paul's Cathedral, London.
SHEERLEGS
from the old Stone Quarry Workings.
One of, if not `'the' best veiw of Fortuneswell, from altitude, at the north end of the Island featuring the World Famous
CHESIL BEACH
and at lower level outside of a now deserted
Fisherman's Cottage
what is said to have washed up during a violent storm over just a single night
and streaches off into the distance for 18 miles. Additionally, the stones are self sorting, by the action of the sea, with 'pea-sized' ones at the Portland end and those compared to footballs at the other! Best Wishes to All associated with the P.B.O.
P.S. - disappointingly, no more than a single adult
MEDITERRANEAN GULL
at Ferrybridge, the link with Weymouth.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Australia - Manic Street Preachers (Part 1)



Having featured New Zealand over the last few Sunday's it seems only polite to turn our attentions to their far more vast Big Brother to the West for the next few as little more than a pictorial. Same as the last, we ain't going to win any Ansel Adams Awards for Wildlife Imagery but hope to give you a taste of what this vast and magical country has to offer. Like N.Z. along with the U.S.A. and Canada (to name but a few) here the transport system is of the best, not costly which is the same for accommodation. Add to that the friendly and helpfulness of the people and no language barrier for Brits you could do a lot worse! Along with my then partner Sue we decided to dip the toe in the water by flying to Perth, in the first instance, then sticking to the west coast for a few days and certainly following up on the recommendation of a visit to
no more than a short taxi ride from the airport, this being the first of 4 trips across the following years starting in 2008.
Starting Low Key with
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE
GALHA
LITTLE PIED CORMORANT
CHESTNUT TEAL
GREY BUTCHERBIRD
LAUGHING KOOKABURRA
MANED WOOD DUCK
PIED CURRAWONG
AUSTRALIAN ZEBRA FINCH
Part way through this visit we decided to spend a day and a 2 hours bus ride to the
NAMBUNG
NATIONAL PARK
to take in the magical
PINNACLE FOREST
simply a day trip not to be missed!
On the way back south
DUSKY MOORHEN
(not discimilar to our own)
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE LARK
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK
NOISY MINER
and continuing our journey south across a number of days a sight for sore eyes.
Back in the late 60's, along with many others, we were the training team for the up and coming Australian Submariners who had just purchased a number of our old (boats) - the colloquial term for a Sub and - knew it would end in disaster particularly when
SURFACING
(a GRAND BUNCH we have to say)
Now hugging the coast there were thousands of the likes of
SILVER GULL
with plenty of available food, "oh no mum not
OCTOPUS
again".
WELCOME SWALLOW
that gets its name as a prelude to Summer and both
LITTLE CORELLA
and
SULPHUR CRESTED COCKATOO
RAINBOW LORIKEET
COMMON MINAH
(a widespread import from Asia)
The dense jungle of
FAIRYLAND
where we found
WILLIE WAGTAIL
and in the fast flowing and swollen river
MUSK DUCK
and after those first 10 days ending up at the Portland Bill like
CAPE LEEUIN

where both the Indian Ocean and Southern Oceans meet!