Monday, 28 June 2010

Linden Lea - William Barnes

However I forgot to post this photograph yesterday, I'll never know being not only my favorite from the Dorchester group, but also the most evocative!

This is Queen's Avenue on the southern edge of the town, and complete with its double row of mature Linden (also called Lime and Basswood) Trees you would have to go a long way to view a finer 'Avenue' than this. Probably my favourite tree in the forest, we had 2 monsters outside of the Hut where I spent the last 2 years of my childhood on Nottington Lane, but the name Linden was familiar to me long before this. As the solo soprano in the Bramcote Hills School for Boys (close to my home in Chilwell, Notts) Choir, we/I sung the song 'Linden Lea' at the National Inter-Schools Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, Nottingham, which we won. Originally a poem, written in the Dorset dialect, by William Barnes it was adapted to music by Ralph Vaughn Williams.

Within the woodlands, flowery gladed,
By the oak trees’ mossy moot,
The shining grass blades, timber-shaded,
Now do quiver underfoot;
And birds do whistle overhead,
And water’s bubbling in its bed,
And there, for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.

When leaves, that lately were a-springing
Now do fade within the copse,
And painted birds do hush their singing
Up upon the timber tops;
And brown-leaved fruit’s a-turning red,
In cloudless sunshine overhead,
With fruit for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.

Let other folk make money faster
In the air of dark-roomed towns,
I don’t dread a peevish master;
Though no man do heed my frowns,
I be free to go abroad,
Or take again my homeward road
To where, for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.

Today could have been described as 'a little dull' on the bird front, but the beauty of wildlife watching is no such thing as a 'dull moment'.

Already quite a number of Oedemera nobilis were visiting the flowers of Great Bindweed. This insect, one of 7 in the family, has no 'common' name but given its beauty it should have!

Oedemera nobilis this one is a male.

Large Skipper & Meadow Brown on Greater Knapweed, and

"If you go down to Fancy's Farm to look for Butterflies, Flutterbies, open your eyes, full of surprise" (Willow Farm - Genesis).

Sue (nee McColm and niece of Roger a former 'ship-mate of mine) & John Illsley, with young helper (slave hee, hee) Jack Ayles, surrounded by some of the diverse animals on their 'Open Farm' at Reap Lane, Southwell, Portland.

'Genesis' may have composed these words above for part of their opus Supper's Ready (from the Foxtrot album), but the words fit perfectly for the farm. Open on a Sunday, it is easily reached via the No1 (First) bus which leaves Debenhams, Weymouth about every 15 minutes, alighting at the 'second' bus stop on Reap Lane and walking back on yourself up the track leading to the West Cliff.

Hebridean Sheep

John assured me that all 4 of these Alpacas are males, so we'll put it down to 'male bonding'.

I was given the 'Cook's Tour' this morning and enjoyed every second of it, so get up there and see it for yourself.

This is the horse I reported savaged by a dog last week. The wound, top inside of the front right leg, can just be seen and I'm please to say quickly healing. Let's hope the dog is alright - BANG!

Red Campion now in bloom.

A visit to the supermarket on the way home, I bumped into the Omani National Sailing Team. All here for training and I suppose some acclimatisation, they are all working hard to gain a coveted place on the Olympic Crews. A deft salam ali koum (peace be with you) and next thing we were swapping stories of Muscat, Salalah, Dhofar and Masirah. I wish the team Good Luck and welcome them to Weymouth & Portland.

Yesterday's Bee Orchid is reproduced again here as I receive some words of wisdom from Luke Philips of the RSPB. It is fantastic to be put right on these post items and photographs, as once again I admit to being no expert on many of these things, but sure as hell love their beauty!
Thank You again Luke.


The orchid is the atrofuscus variety which was first discovered at Radipole a few years ago (2006 is ringing bells?) but it's before my time here in Dorset. The first was out a few weeks ago roughly 8 foot away from the really nice one that's out now. I am fairly sure it was the first Dorset record of this variety and it was first discovered in the UK as recent as 2001 in Sussex. Hope this is of use and it certainly is a great specimen!

Luke Philips

and on the subject of the RSPB

There is yet another most disturbing report emanating from the Little Tern colony at Ferry Bridge, which if proven true will be the worst case of Wildlife disturbance so far during what has become known as my 'campaign', and will likely involve a prosecution by the Police? I have so far presented some of the facts uncovered to:-

Sarah Alsbury
Operations Manager
Ryan House, Sandford Lane, Wareham,
Dorset, BH20 4DY
01929 555987

which I intend publishing via tomorrows post, hopefully accompanied by her reply.

This is her reply to both Edwin Welland (Chairman of the Portland Bird Observatory) and Paul Harris local Wildlife Lover when stating disagreement of the 'ringing' the Little Tern chicks.
I must point out that the concerns, in his case, were those of Mr Welland alone and not those of the PBO.

Dear Mr Welland,

Thank you for your email dated 22 June to Nick Tomlinson. It has been passed to me as the Project Manager of the Little Tern Wardening Scheme.I appreciate your concern and would like to assure you that the decision to ring some of the chicks was thought through carefully. The wardening team have worked tirelessly to give the little terns the best possible chance of breeding successfully, including watching through the night. They would not do anything that they thought would jeopardise the colony.

The issue was discussed within the RSPB, Don Moxom of Ilchester Estates (a joint partner of the project) and experts in the field. This included Dr David Norman one of the most experienced ringers in the country and very experienced with little terns. It was decided to go ahead because
a) the retrieval of ringing data provides very valuable information, which can aid our understanding of the colony and assist with future conservation efforts, and b) the ringing was planned in a way that did not risk the welfare of the colony. This was done in the following ways:

1) The ringer is a very experienced A ringer and has been ringing (under licence) the terns at the colony for many years.

2) We planned the operation very carefully - we have mapped and marked all the nests and the location of chicks was plotted before entering the colony each time.

3) The time chosen was a warm sunny day. Brooding birds do not sit tight on the eggs but fly up constantly to show off gulls etc. Therefore, on a sunny day for a very short period of time, we are sure that the eggs would not have been affected. If any predators were around, they were deterred by our presence and the terns settled back quickly.

4) Individual chicks were chosen and the ringer was guided to their position by the warden stationed outside the colony via mobile phone thus reducing searching time to a minimum.

5) Once a chick had been ringed the ringer quickly withdrew from the colony. Each incursion into the colony lasted approximately 2 minutes and timing was logged.

6) In all 5 chicks (out of 10) were ringed with large amounts of time between each. The whole operation was done over about a 3 hour period.

I trust this allays your concerns - let's hope for a successful season this year.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Alsbury

and finally:-

Tommy Capello or Fabio Cooper? either way a CLOWN in the view of many an Englishman.

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