Monday, 12 October 2009

Babblers Rule U.K.

Another cracking day, helped on by perfect weather conditions for wandering, a few birds and a mass of Butterflies. Radipole only produced the 3 Ruddy Shelduck, so an early bus to Portland. At Barleycrates the Ivy banks were alive with insects and in order of quantity it was Bees, Hoverflies, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, singles of Small White an Tortoiseshell, while birds were represented by 6 Siskin, 125 Goldfinch, 5 Stonechat and a single Wheatear. At Culverwell I checked out a single Clouded Yellow, as a Merlin flew low across the fields and there had been some trapping success as a few Wrens, plus single Blackbird and Chiffchaff were already ringed. Rounding the last bend before the Observatory a very familiar call filled the air, but not one I had ever heard on the Island. Bearded Tit for sure and looking up there were 2 of them that soon landed in the field right next to me. Despite the fact I hear and/or see these little beauties nearly every birding day in Dorset, this brought music to the ears being my first Portland record. What happened next was the 'cherry on the cake'. Given the location, close to a number of mist nets, it wasn't long before Ian Dodd was teasing the male bird from one of them, while climbing even higher on my list of 'best pals'! This was the second 'goody' from his hands in nearly as many days, while all my previous records paled compared to this avian marvel at such close quarters. I await the 'hat trick' Ian. Just minutes after release a Mistle Thrush flew round the lighthouse, followed shortly by what could only have been determined as 2 Red-throated Divers, by those far more sharp eyed than I. While well over 200 Swallows gathered on the wires above the Obs Quarry I started for home, stopping short at Top Fields to watch, Sod's Law kick in, with all 6 Grey Partridges 'leking'. Paul & Tess had been extremely keen to see them, but during our week-end together didn't get a sniff.

Bearded Tit in the hand - skillfully held by the Warden at Portland Bird Obs


While in the Tate Modern a couple of weeks ago, I happened on the book titled 'Wall and Piece' by Banksy, who, I must admit, I'd had rather written him off as a mindless wall spoiler. On the contrary, while stood there thumbing through this volume I started to chuckle, then laugh followed by a mild attack of hysterics, and while 'art' always depending on the way you perceive it, this is pure genius. The man not only has an inventive style with graffiti, he also has a razor sharp wit with an uncanny way of reversing a meaning in a single sketch (take a look at 'The Flower Thrower'). I received my copy from Amazon today, so no prizes for guessing what I'll be doing this evening.

The Flower Thrower - Banksy

Violence - Banksy

I live in hope that I won't be 'done' for reproducing the images above, I see it more as an advert than an infringement of copywrite. However, should I be 'banged up' in the Bridewell, I'll simply instruct my barrister to quote the man himself, who advocates, "It's always easier to get forgiveness than permission" - Amen!

and so to the Oil Rig once again

Dunlin - a frequent annual visitor

Reed Bunting - annual, but a good fall of 'many' during October 05

Fieldfare - many thousands particularly during Autumn movements, but, without exaggeration, thought to be 'hundreds of thousands' on some occasions

Yellowhammer - only a single record on Buchan involving c4 individuals

Merlin - annual, and unforgiving in their hunting technique (this one has a Redwing)