Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Are Friends Electric?

Having returned home quite late yesterday evening, from our dinner at the Swan, the completion of the Blog was a little hurried hence a few more mistakes than usual. More for the benefit of my family, there are others as well as Sibbo, that I should have mentioned such as Fred & Tina, Merv and Alan and Val.

Tony Sibson Middleweight Boxing Champion during the 70's and 80's when he reigned supreme in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth. Title holder on 3 occasions in all 3 areas, his big challenge came when he faces American (Marvelous) Marvin Hagler for the WBC & WBA World Titles in the States, loosing in the 6th round on a technical knockout. Still great friend, Tony was telling us last night how he has recently returned from his annual visit to Mr Hagler's home in Italy.

Sibbo, still looking 'fit as a butcher's dog was with his daughter last night, but I hope next time he's down Chris his partner will be able to come. Pushing my luck even further, what about trying to coax Sherry Shea over as well. One of the most complete women I have ever met, Sherry currently trouble-shoots for Caterpillar Heavy Plant Worldwide, but was Tony's promoter on the Haglar bill. At our first meeting she told me of her associations with Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac and Jethro Tull, to name but a few, with whom she had previously been either, Roadie, Promoter, Light and Sound Engineer plus a multitude of other positions.

PS - Hope you and Marion had a safe trip home John, and will see you later in the year.

Leaving home at 06-30 the weather had once again turned chill with the wind having veered to the north east, but the first feature to be noticed where the number of vapour trails left by jet airliners now back in business, after the Icelandic volcano. With only the first Radipole Lesser Whitethroat I have seen this year and c3 Common Sandpiper in the book, things did hot up a little when I encountered Danny (whatever his name is) responsible in part for Public Relations at the Radipole Visitor's Centre. Almost ignoring my greeting, he soon turned on me with a tirade of abuse, not as you might think given the current circumstance about the Sand Martin Wall, but about me making criticism of his colleagues. In his punctuated outbursts, each time turning to go after a verbal volley, he turned on 2 occasions with fists raised (not a good idea) which I took as both belligerent and offensive. Immediately after this incident I did look for the police, without success, but rest assured if there is a repeat of this offensive behaviour strong actions will follow.

Common Whitethroat

At Lodmoor the situation was quite different, which has been the case over the last few weeks, with once again all 8 Warblers either being seen or vocal along with c22 Dunlin, c3 Common Sandpiper, c3 Sandwich Terns, c3 Whimbrel, c2 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Lesser Whitethroat.

Crossing Ferry Bridge the wind was cutting like a knife, but at least there were some birds to see. A group of c6 Little Terns were flying up the Fleet, while another single remained on on of the small boat buoys. There were also c4 Common plus c2 Sandwich Terns, but not a sniff of a Wader.

At Barleycrates, things started with a real bang as I got straight into a singing Nightingale, but was unable to see it, while close by there were a dozen Wheatear, c2 male Redstart, a Whinchat, c3 female Blackcap in the same bush and a single Yellow Wagtail flying overhead.

HMS Ark Royal

As if that were not enough, when I arrived at the top of Sweethill I could see to the east HMS Ark Royal steering a course in my direction. Unfortunately, this was short lived as she turned about and headed for St Alban's Head.

At the Privet Hedge one of the Ark's charges, this Sea King helicopter flew over head in the direction of the 'Carrier'. At the Bird Observatory I learnt that she had been stooging about in the Channel some 10 or so miles off-shore, probably having had any orders to go rescue stranded airline passengers?

Also at the Obs, I was fortunate to see this Garden Warbler plucked from a mist net, that being my 4th new bird for the year today, the others being Common & Little Tern and Nightingale.

The John Mayer Band, with Mayer 3rd from right standing, and Robbie between the tie and the spikes.

As I neared home, I bumped into 'guitar hero' Robbie McIntosh who had just beaten the 'dust cloud' returning home from the USA where once again he has been backing (lead & slide guitars plus backing vocals) new US sensation John Mayer With a ball breaking schedule through the US and Canada, Robbie returns home for a few precious days R&R before flying to New Zealand next Monday for the Antipodean / Far East leg of the tour. With no break in between, they then come to Europe including a few dates in the UK. Keen to get a couple of gigs in at No6 he tells me, "that will have to wait a few more weeks yet".

Robbie on the first Paul McCartney (Flowers in the Dust) Tour

Some 'high jinx' with Chrissy Hind aboard Concorde during his 5 years as Lead Guitar with the Pretenders.

and latterly at 'Beatlefest'.