Friday, 14 August 2009

A little light night reading - Good Night

Cape (Pintado) Petrel

Northern Giant Petrel

Dusky Dolphin

Christchurch, Dorset 12th & 13th August 2009

Well, back to the sacred county and a short visit to my farming friends Hugh & Janet Dampney down at Parley Court. Almost managed to sidestep the haymaking, but unsurprisingly always first at the dinner table for more of their excellent fare. Both extremely good cooks, Hugh excelled with the bass on my last evening, and Janet with 2 all too calorific 'duffs'. The Chassagne-Montrachet and '95 Du Tertre helped put them to bed, but the extensive walking was also beneficial. During the 2 days 37 species of birds were recorded (strange to relate no Mute Swan on the duck pond or Stour) and 12 butterflies. In addition Hobby was proved as a successful breeding species close by. The 'turf manager' and his crew plus mine hosts are pretty good on birds and maintained there was a Long-eared Owl, close to the Manor house, for several days during late spring, but unfortunately no concrete evidence. A good time was had by all.
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Tallinn to Ennu Farm

Ille's exhibition

During a 2 day stay in the capital I was privileged to view my friend Ille's personal art exhibition in the city museum, and be introduced to the most exquisite hot chocolate drink I'd ever had. After this short stay we traveled together to her farm some 200 Km south, part of the tiny village of Vissuvere. Now only utilised by neighboring farmers to graze cattle and grow a small acreage of wheat, the property contains about 30 hectares of almost impenetrable, silver birch woodland and 50 hectares of fields, left to weeds, mainly clover. Between heavy showers Ille and I were able to cover most of her land, with the natural highlights being White-tailed Eagle, Goshawk, Hobby taking a Woodlark, White Stork, Golden Oriole, Wood Warblers aplenty, Tree Sparrow, Crested Tit, Common Crane and Roller, along with Camberwell Beauty, Green-underside Blue and Map butterflies.

Main Barn Ennu Farm

Ille collecting berries and fungi

A week in Estonia, August 2009

My trip to Estonia was via a flight to Helsinki, Sweden then a 2 hour ferry voyage across the Gulf of Finland to the capital Tallinn. A nice bonus to this trip was being able to add the nominate race of Herring Gull Larus argentatus argentatus to my photograph archive. Unfortunately, its cousins, the nominate race of Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus fuscus, was not so obliging. Seen in good numbers, not one of the blighters ventured anywhere near the Canon.
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Bordeaux July 2009

The 'Fat Lad' and I embarked on a one week tour of our favourite Chateaux of the Medoc and Sauternes. Top, Jim the Medic on the Pont Bordeaux, centre Chateau Palmer (3rd growth, the star of Cantenac, thoroughly recommended, from own experience) and bottom Chateau d'Yquem (the King of Kings, yet to be tried personally). Among others Latour, Lafite, Lynch Barge, Leoville Barton and Mouton Rothschild also visited - mind blowing.
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Welcome to my Blog

After a preliminary run I think this blog is ready for 'launch'. It is intended to keep you up to date while on my travels, publish day to day happenings and show some of my archive photographs. This Wandering Albatross, at 'point blank range' was captured 2 miles off Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand late 2008. Watch this space!Posted by Picasa