Sunday, 4 July 2010

Langton Herring to Ferry Bridge (8 miles)

On the face of it today looked to be an even better one than yesterday, with hardly a cloud in the sky, a light breeze from the south east and already at an early hour pleasantly warm. The driver of the X53 kindly dropped me at the Langton Herring, there being no bus stop there, but stepping off immediately noticed a change in the weather. The sky here was completely covered, the wind chill and rain seemed highly likely.

Passing the Langton sign I noticed some wag had removed the TH from the word through, but I can assure readers there is nothing 'rough' about this quaint little village. A group of Rooks were the first birds seen, quickly followed by a Yellowhammer, feeding at the roadside, then a series of Warblers including Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat and there was also a Goldcrest singing in a pine tree. Crossing the style and reaching the brow of the hill overlooking Two Gates, the field below which just a month ago was white with Ox-eyed Daisies is now purple with Great Knapweed.

There were also good numbers of Large White Butterflies on the wing along with Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Large Skipper. At Rodden Hive there we a number of wildfowl including a Wigeon, c2 Pintail, c2 Shelduck, and in addition Grey Heron and Little Egret were well represented.

The highlight of the day came when I happened across an old mate not seen for a number of years. John Gillman was the Charge-man of Riggers in the Portland Dockyard when I worked there. There was much to be talked about, and at our parting I noted we had been chatting for 2 and a half hours. GREAT to see you John.

Soon after parting, and at East Fleet Farm, there were c2 Corn Buntings singing,

and one of the Little Egrets obligingly flew close past me. The only other birds of note were a small family party of Long-tailed Tits, a Sedge Warbler and an over-flying Yellow Wagtail.

I think this is one of the 'Hawksbeards',

but whatever a beautiful flower.

and finally a couple of e-mails, the first from my mate Andy Lindsay who is currently off the east coast of Brazil pipe laying for PetroBras on the Deep Constructor.

Black Redstart hatches chicks at secret Birmingham nest
Page last updated at
15:01 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 16:01 UK
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The black redstart's new home in Birmingham
One of Britain's rarest birds has successfully raised four chicks at a secret location in the centre of Birmingham. There are between 20 and 70 breeding pairs of Black Redstarts in England and Wales and only three pairs in Birmingham, says the RSPB. The species likes to nest in abandoned buildings near water and often sets up home in old factories. It was feared city regeneration had reduced the bird's available territory. The species is about the size of a robin and feeds on insects. The four chicks have been ringed with a unique number to allow experts to track their movements.

Best regards,

Andy Lindsay
Chief Engineer
Deep Constructor

Black Redstart, Bulgaria

Black Redstart, Portland

and from my new found friends Ben & Brenda Haase in Ecuador a mail relating to a Glaucous-winged Gull that Ben and I found on Salinas Beach there. He tells me the final draft of our description of the bird which, if accepted, be the first not only for Ecuador but also the whole of the South American sub-continent.
  • Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 22:03:07 -0500
  • Subject: From Salinas Ecuador
Hi Bagsy
Just a short note to thank you for your postcard and to let you know that we are fine. Humpback Whales are back now so a lot o guiding work to come. The draft for Cotinga is almost ready, have already contacted the UK, but the editor says it must wait for publication in 2011, so there we go..........
Hope that you are fine to, and keep enjoying the birding.
Last moth at last after 2o years the PERUVIAN THICK KNEE here in Salinas !!!!!
Keep well,
Ben and Brenda

This is the Glaucous-winged Gull concerned, hopefully soon to be consigned to the history books.

It also obligingly allowed a few open wing shots.

Head shot of the Glaucous-winged Gull

The Peruvian Thick-knee to which Ben refers is scarce in Ecuador, but not surprisingly I saw this one and c5 of its mates in - yes Peru.

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