Friday, 23 July 2010

The Lunatics Are On The Grass - Pink Floyd

Yesterday finished on a high, as an previously invitation to dine with the Edward's was turned down, but on further insistence late afternoon I weakened and went round. Howard and Cheryl Lewis, from Australia, are continuing their 'globe trotting' and paying a final visit to his mum in Upwey before they further their journey to South America. Cheryl, who is Sri Lankan, was mighty pleased to hear the news of Muttiah Muralitharan's 800th wicket in Test Cricket, with the last ball of his career, another reason for a toast! As the 'barbie' was flashed up, c5 Little Egrets flew over the garden shortly followed by a Grey Plover that alerted us to its presence with several calls. This bird must have flown over both Radipole and my garden, but Daragh insists that I don't add it to either of my lists as not being in situ at the time? However, a glass or two of 'red' later and plenty of good food, we ended the evening with Mr Bonamassa and the realisation that I'm glad I went. Thank you all for a splendid time.

Muttiah Muralitharan, top left, erupts with joy after dismissing India's Pragyan Ojha in Galle to claim his 800th Test wicket.

This mornings weather was not dissimilar to yesterday except the sky was 7/8th's covered and the wind seemed to have backed to the north west, but it was still a little chilly. In the cemetery the number of Goldcrests had doubled, or was it that I was looking and listening a little harder, but otherwise quiet.

While at a secret location, these Cherry Plums are just about ready for picking

so if they remain in place for just a few more days, I'll be down there with my plastic bag.

and despite the numbers of Gadwall on the 2 reserves, I rarely see a family group

of Gadwall, but that was put to rights with this small party at the concrete bridge.

A closer look at one of the young Gadwall.

Coots too seem to be having a degree of luck, while this one of two allowed a photo shoot.

Again this morning, there was a largish Carp on the cross path of the Loop, something that has become a weekly affair. How these fish get there I'm not sure but it would be foolhardy to discount Otter as the guts and belly are always missing. It was certainly advantageous to this Carrion Crow that was removing an eye as I brought the camera to focus.

In addition there were c2 Common Sandpipers flying around plus a 'singing' Willow Warbler, but then disaster! As if the marauders, under the guise of conservationists, haven't had enough bad publicity via these pages, and the finding of 2 variants of Bee Orchid, likely the only two specimens in the whole of the UK, the RSPB have found it necessary to 'strim' the verges once again. Having been approached by the top authority (the Hardy Orchid Society) to protect these and other rare and delicate plants, how can they possibly know what they are cutting away, and in all honesty do they really care, can anyone believe they do?

PS - don't worry there are plenty more elsewhere (circa the Passenger Pigeon)

Anyhow, at Lodmoor there continues to be success at the 2 Common Tern breeding islands, and it has to be said that is only because thus far the RSPB have left them alone!

An adult Common Tern delivers a freshly caught, Weymouth Bay Sand Eel to 2 juvenile birds waiting at the waters edge.

Here is a young Tern 'on the wing' just one of well over a hundred that have now been counted.

Having met up with Daragh, we puzzled over this fine looking insect, one of two he tells me have been in the area for a few days now. I ventured that it may well be a Hornet, and did mention Hoverfly which it turned out to be. Only by reference to Insects of Britain did I discover that it is of the family Syrphidae and thought most likely to be Volucella inanis, but would love to be put right if it is not.

In addition there were c20 Dunlin, c3 Redshank, c14 Lapwing, c5 Common Sandpiper, c2 Little Egret, c2 Sandwich Terns, singles of Black-tailed Godwit, female Marsh Harrier, Arctic Tern

and this Greenshank that just appeared out of the blue.

Meanwhile, at Ferry Bridge the Common Tern saga continued as

c5 adults also laboured to feed c3 juveniles, as several hundred Swallows and a sprinkling of Sand Martin appeared to be beginning there return passage south.

On the foreshore there were also c60 Dunlin, c22 Sanderling, a single Turnstone, a dozen Ringed Plover, c3 Mediterranean Gulls plus an overflying Whimbrel.

On the Island (Portland) things were quiet with the only sighting worthy of note were the Butterflies of which

Peacock and

Red Admiral fell to the camera.

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