Sunday, 4 October 2009

It's Only Mates 'n' Music But I Like It, Like It, Yes I Do

And to cap it all, just as I was pulling the duvet under my chin, when the door bell rings and another child is born. Joy, next door, has been waiting the same as I for her grandchild, who was born at 21-30 GMT. So far no name, but weighed in at 9lb 7oz. Was that a champagne cork we heard pop?

is derived from the proto-alchemical principles of the Desmondovarians, a Dorset tribe who attempted to transmute precious DNA into pure musical form without the aid of a safety net. In doing so, all audience participation was carried along on a tsunami of riff and Doppler, consigning them to a life of leaving no Stone unturned.

Hence Polygenes were born, somewhen in the 1990's, comprising my musical mates Chas Dickie (Cello, Keys et al) formally with 60's created Van der Graf Generator and sideman of more rockers than you could imagine. The locally inspirational Chris Lonigan (bass) backbone of many a Dorset outfit, while playing alongside numerous luminaries too numerous to note here Chris Page (drums) also formidable on the Dorset and National scene, plus Robbie McIntosh (Guitars, Piano etc) ex Pretender, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Paul McCartney, John Mayer and Nora Jones to name but a few

Only ever producing one album, titled '9 Stones' under this guise, this afternoon they performed a 'one off' rendition at Peter Smith's No6 on King Street, Weymouth. The highlights were undoubtedly the Floydesque track 'Provisional Ritual' (Stone 4) and the seminal Uoy Rof Esum Tog I Evah (Stone 1) which blends eastern sounds with snorting spices. Unfortunately, and for reasons unexplained, View From An Eyelid (Stone 11), naturaly a Lonigan composition for solo bass guitar, was excluded but be sure, after the protestations of yours truly it will not be left out again.

Wot 'appened to the sound check man? Peter (No6) Smith, roadie of this parish, checks out the amps!

Robbie in full swing

Chris Page, only half of 'drum & base'

Well it seems to be alright now - Alright Now?, that's by Free in'it?

Chas thumps a mean Cello (Julian Lloyd Weber watch and learn)

Donnie Lonigan loosing the flavour of his chewing gum

And then a man steps right up to the microphone. He says at last he's heard the 'time bell 'ring. "Thank you, goodnight, now it's time to go home", and he makes it fast with one more thing. We are the Sultans!
Moi - contented as I now have Toco Tucan on my 'World List'

The early part of the morning met with little success, but on the way home via the Hump and Ferry Bridge things did hot up a bit. A total of 10 Stonechat were seen along with a single, calling Redpoll, about a dozen Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush and a male Blackcap at the Hump, then on to FB. There my first Brent Geese, this end of the year, were represented by 7 individuals, however these were not 'the' first as a single was also seen there a couple of days ago. With them were a few each of Dunlin & Ringed Plover, 2 Knot, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 21 Mediterranean Gull plus 2 Little Egret.

The 2 Knot with one of the Bar-tailed Godwit - Ferry Bridge, Portland

The 2 Knot - Ditto

Off-shore 'birding' with the Buchan Birders

While some of the secrets of Buchan Alpha have already been unlocked on this blog, the diversity of species may still be a mystery to many. Over the coming days I'll post some images to highlight what does go on 120 miles north east of Aberdeen, hoping they will be of interest to most of you. While David Bailey still remains unperturbed about my photographic prowess, it should be pointed out that most of the following were taken with the rig camera, usually spattered with oil based mud and occasionally used by the Roughnecks to hammer in nails.

Little Bunting - might as well start with a goody and a nice story to accompany it. Going about my harduous task of sitting around drinking coffee and story telling, I was interrupted on the radio by our standby boat announcing they had caught a couple of birds. "One we think is a House Martin" the Captain informed me, "and the other a Linnet". Delighted with both, especially the latter a 'rig tick', they were duly winched aboard in a Twix chocolate box. Straight to the comfort of my cabin, the first was seen to be a Storm Petrel (easily confused I guess) and most welcome as the first I'd ever handled. The second was much more of a surprise, the pictured Bunting.

Little Bunting - sporting new shackle. It was kept in the warmth of the Marine Control Room overnight, and as luck would have it there was a 'chopper next morning. Communication with the shore had Paul Baxter from the Aberdeen Bird Club collect it from the heliport, transport it to Cove (a few miles south) and to the delight of a crowd of 'year listers', ringed and released it.

Water Rail - an annual visitor in ones and twos, usually in the Autumn

Wigeon - small numbers showed most years often passing straight through. These, just 2 of 15 that day, took advantage of the fresh water supply from a recent shower on the heli-deck, to wash and drink

Short-eared Owl
Long-eared Owls

Both of the larger Owls were annual on both migrations, and with a ready and plentiful food supply faired very well. The only other Owl ever to have been recorded on Buchan, involved a 'ringed' bird that was 'controlled' on Shetland a couple of days prior to it visit, then sent ashore by 'chopper from the rig. This was before my time so details are a little sketchy