Having enjoyed excellent company for dinner last evening, Joy my next door neighbour and her gentleman friend Roy helped me through braised duck followed by Stilton and Port. A dark and dingy early morning with a stiff westerly didn't seem very promising for bird life, and it wasn't. The best to be seen at Radipole were single Sparrowhawk and Chiffchaff while the 4 Black-tailed Godwit remained in situ, with good numbers of Common Snipe and a couple of sub-adult Common Gulls. At Portland things were dire to start with, managing to count all the alba Wagtails and Mipits before I got to the Obs, 3 and 2 respectively. 2 Ravens and a Peregrine brightened an otherwise dull day at the west cliffs, while at the Bill, Gannets seemed to be moving in good numbers and 2 Balearic Shearwater entered the notebook as bird of the day.
Before entering the Observatory I noticed yesterdays BBC man's car in the same place, inconsiderately blocking access on the farm track going up to the privet hedge. However, today there was an addition stuck to the back window, a 'Police Aware' notice. It transpired that having left it there all day yesterday to go filming, he had lost the keys and had to send for help. The RAC man was, by all accounts, able to gain entry, but with all the sophisticated anti-theft devices was unable to start the engine. I ventured that had certain people been in the area he would likely have found a tractor or other farm plant parked close up behind it.
My only other observation today was the start of work on Officer's Field opposite Victoria Gardens at Underhill, Portland. Domestic dwellings by all accounts, but I think one could place a pretty safe bet that they won't be for local young people at affordable prices!
A photograph at random from the archive of an Alpine Chough, taken in Spain June 2005
The final post from the Egypt collection, again centers on the Desert and Mountain areas
Desert Lark - a lucky last minute find just outside St Catherine's Monastery
Isabelline Wheatear - present in all arid areas
Sinai Rosefinch (female) - the only site I know for this species is part way up Mount Mosses. I don't know if they favour any particular elevation, but the 2 separate occasions I've seen them, they have been about 20 to 30 minutes up (if that's any help)