Thursday, 15 April 2010

R.S.V.P. - R.S.P.B.

Before I kick-off on today's dalliances, I should point out that in view of Mrs Wood's birthday you are going to get 2 for the price of one. Over the past couple of days, the 'readership' of this Blog has been extended dramatically, with 'hits' yesterday reaching well over 400. On that note, I would like to welcome all new readers to what was, until recent days, a way of keeping my 2 daughters and friends up to date with my wanderings, and a total 'skylark'. Unfortunately, that has been interrupted by the Royal Society for the PROTECTION of Birds who, once I have exposed their 'failings' not only to their own Membership, the People of the Borough of Weymouth & Portland, The Press and 'Spotlight', West Country TV News, it should then allow me to get back to my precious retirement, reporting on travels and exploits as I go. For now, I might suggest that the 'birding' and 'travel' fraternity type November 23rd 2009 into the Search Engine to enjoy my recent 100 days backpacking through South America. It would also be great, if you do enjoy the read, to get you to extend the 'readership' by sending the link to all your e-mail addressees. Welcome to the Machine!

Reed Bunting

It was cold as I walked through the cemetery at 06-30 this morning, but no matter as there on a bush some distance ahead was what looked like a Wryneck, a Bluethroat and a Golden Oriole, all on the same branch! It was only then that I discovered I had left my binoculars at home - durrrr. By the time I got back they had all gone?? No such luck at Radipole though as with the exception of afore mentioned Warblers there was nothing to report. By the time I reached Weymouth seafront the sun and the lee of the buildings were warming things up, turning it into a very pleasant day.

Shoveler just after take-off

A Common Buzzard, mobbed by Gulls, got the adrenaline pumping at the prospect of it being Lodmoor's forth Osprey of the year, but it was not to be. The report of yesterday's coincided with my arrival home, and despite spending 30 minutes pinned to my back bedroom window, nothing showed. Along Beechdown Way Reed Bunting, Blackcap, Chiffchaff Willow & Cetti's Warbler were all in good voice, while I presume the same c8 Bearded Tit were still in the same reed-bed. At the 'bund' my first Whitethroat of the spring was also vocal and showing quite well, bringing the year total up to 147.


This drake Mallard was sat on a house roof on Southdown Avenue,

while the female was more or less obscured by the chimney.

Response to my list of concerns by Nick Tomlinson were in the main what I had expected, but nothing remotely like what I would have got 2 years ago, I was talking to a 'changed man'! He didn't agree, even when I quoted the number of disgruntled people he had left in his wake since taking office. I handed him the document and offered a little Robbie Burns hoping he might at least think about it:- O wad some Power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!". Roughly translated from the Jockanese:- (I wish that some Power would give us the little gift of seeing ourselves as other see us.)

It was the offending Wall that took up the bulk of the time, so most of the other issues were not addressed. After a lot of bat and ball, I played what I thought was a trump card mainly to find out from where the order to build at this time had come. Making a suggestion that he might compromise, without loosing face, I asked if would be prepared to phone The Lodge (RSPB HQ) to inform them of a pair of Bearded Tits nesting in close proximity of the build, and advise a postponement of further works. Red rag to a bull doesn't come into it, in no uncertain terms I was told that this was his decision, he would decide what course of action to take, if any, and none of this was down to his Masters. Just what I had hoped to prize out of him, as on the one hand I was talking to 'THE Man' and secondly there was now no room for him to resort to the 'Nuremberg Plea'. As I had stated in my first mention of this, in an e-mail to the Out & About Forum, I considered the whole project 'ill thought out', why then hadn't HE (as the self professed Land Manager via his reply to O & A) chossen September / October? Nick had already told me, in his over exuberance, before I left for South America that the funding was in place, and that he had approached Lorne Edwards twice to undertake the construction. The pitfall with the latter was, Nick wanted works to commence the following week, but Bowie needed about 4 months to put logistics into place. This simply wasn't expedient enough for Nick, and I can only make my own mind up as to what happened subsequently.

I will also take the opportunity to point out, that during our meeting I was accused by Nick of accusing him personally of contravening the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act in my A & O e-mail, which is open for the full membership to see, that my mention was by way of a 'question', not accusation. It was time to terminate the meeting, and quite frankly for the first time ever I was glad to see the back of Nick. Visibly rattled, I am only sorry he didn't have the wit to seek an alternative because whatever the outcome it will do him no good at all.

As I understand it, the Dorset Echo start their own investigation this very afternoon, after which it is my intention to bring the matter to the attention of 'Spotlight', West Country TV News. I consider I have done my bit to Protect Birds!

Two of the many items that were not discussed:-

The pathway system at Radipole was first laid to hard core at the cessation of hostilities, when the rubble from bombed buildings at High West Street, Love Lane and the east end of Chickerell Road was utilised. The concrete block in the picture is I guess part of that rubble. An ideal platform for children to participate in 'pond dipping', but not in my view at the expense of any plant, let alone an important plant. The 'only' specimen of Branched Bur-reed on the reserve viewable by the general public, was torn from its moorings to facilitate the pond dipping.

While this image shows the newly dug dike, running into the main body of the lake, where once a thriving colony of Southern Marsh Orchids grew.

Southern Marsh Orchid (photographs by kind permission of Lorne (Bowie) Edwards.

Southern Marsh Orchid


Mrs Doris Wood 90 years young today

The Statistics Counter attached to this Blog still intrigues me, which yesterday showed no fewer than 456 visitors from 17 countries the majority of whom I could not possibly know. So, I would be taking a guess to say I do know the person who is likely my most 'senior' reader. The mother of my boyhood friends John and Robert Wood, formally of Chilwell, Notts (where Mum still resides) is 90, yes NINETY, years old today. John tells me, given the passage of time, she is still in good health, totally self sufficient and determinedly independent. When I handed her card of congratulations to the shopkeeper, I simply said, "I hope to receive one of these in the future", but I am so thrilled to be able to make an 'early post' this morning, and will raise a glass this evening to a remarkable lady. Long may such days return Mrs Wood, you are a 'one off' and will be foremost in my thoughts today.