Thursday, 8 April 2010

A Storm in Bethnal Green

In total contrast to yesterday's leaden sky, this morning's was devoid of any cloud, the sun had risen above the Gloucester Hotel before 06-30 but it was cold. Given these conditions it was probably predictable that migrant birds would be thinner on the ground, but still there was much of interest. At Radipole Chiffchaff, Reed, Willow and Sedge Warblers all vied for vocal position, and with a falling water level a couple of Common Snipe had risked dropping in.

This pair of Shoveler looked splendid in the 'pink' morning light.

The Great Northern Diver in Wey Bay was presumed yesterdays bird, but that was all of note across this expanse of sea. On Lodmoor, early indications were that a large 'fall' of Willow Warblers had occurred overnight as it seemed every bush and tree had at least one singing bird. There were also 3 species of Goose today comprising mainly of Canada's plus the now longish staying Barnacle and a regularly returning Greylag. At the 'shelter' I met up with Neville Fowler who had already found the Common Sandpiper and together we watched a couple of adult Black-headed Gulls swirling above before I departed telling him of my intent to visit Wareham later in the day. On the way to the 'hump' there was a fresh Brimstone butterfly and thankfully c4 'returning' Oystercatchers, which had been absent for a few days.

One of the c4 'returning' Oystercatchers which had started prospecting nest sites, only to be 'flushed' by the dumping of a lorry load of aggregate and the RSPB continuing their road building project across the moor at, I might add, a most inappropriate time of year.

At the 'hump' I found what was thought to be a second Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper (first this year for me and photo from the archive), both well out of range for a photograph.

Meeting Daragh at the sea wall we walked in company to Overcoombe Corner in the hope of finding Garganey but without success. From here I decided to catch the X53 Jurassic Coast bus to Wareham, but before its arrival, Neville happened along and offered me a lift. Having decided also that Cattle Egret was a good idea, he joined me in the search of the water meadows either side of the town's bye-pass. After an hour, and no luck, he left to try Wareham Forest but in my persistence was lucky to see the target bird fly from the direction of the town, in company with a Little Egret and land out of sight among the Mute Swans. I persevered for a further 40 minutes before heading for the returning bus, logging c2 pairs of displaying Common Buzzard, a lone Sparrowhawk, c3 Curlew, a single Green Woodpecker plus another c3 Brimstones en-route.

Cattle Egret (not the bird seen today)

Following the short item on music album sleeves yesterday, it has come to my notice that the seminal Storm Thorgerson and his catalyst company Hipgnosis have embarked on an exhibition of iconic album sleeve designs at the Idea Generation Gallery in Bethnal Green, E2 7JB, London. Thorgerson has been involved in this work since the 60's, dreaming up fantasies for the likes of Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, The Cranberries and more recently the magically talented Muse. Worth a look? I should say so.

A couple of examples of his (their) work

Whether a solid item 'on' the table or a hole 'cut' into the sleeve, it is simply known as 'The Object', a design made to intrigue and allow the reader to focus on the band. It has certainly generated much conversation about Zep's 7th studio album.

The design, again by Storm, for the Led Zeppelin album In Through the Out Door.

and finally my particular favourite not only for the striking design but for the context referring to the title of the Pink Floyd album 'Back Issues' - very clever. Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?