Monday, 26 April 2010

Friends May Come and Friends May Go!

Two-tailed Pasha

A thing of beauty is a joy to behold. This magnificent insect was photographed by my rediscovered childhood friend John Wood in his garden in Spain last week. With it arrived a description of what's about down there at the moment, and an invitation to visit any time. Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Bonelli's Eagle, Nightingale, Scops Owl to name but a few, I hope it won't be too long before you have to start fluffing up the pillows for my visit. Best wishes John & Marion.

and following yesterday's post of the strange cloud formation hanging over Radipole Lake, Paul Harris sent me another image of interesting stratus. Taken from the Chesil Beach, the Isle of Portland can just be seen emerging from the murk.

While last night was probably one to forget, we decided at the last minute to go for the Custer's Last Blues Band gig in Bridport. Having sussed the 'gig guide' via Friday nights Dorset Echo I had by that time forgotten the venue but felt quite confident we would be able to find out from one pub landlord or the other. Arriving in the town at 21-45 having driven the 20 odd miles through much low cloud and mist along the coast road, my enquiry at the Ropemakers Arms bore fruit. I had thought the Hope & Anchor was a good bet and this was confirmed by the dread-locked barman, but as I was leaving his pub he added, "it could be over by now though as it started at 15-00. I still haven't paid for the petrol yet. Nice to have had your company once again Andy, safe journey back to Derby.

Jo Lawrence & Co

No sooner had Andy Lindsay departed than I received another 'migrant' from the north, this time in the shape of fellow 'birder' Jo Lawrence. Jo met Daragh and I in the shelter at Lodmoor at about this time last year, and as a stranger in town I took it upon myself to show her around. Within the first hour together (we) I had found a Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers nest with young and went on to have a great time. The next day, in company with Dave Foot we ventured a little further afield, to Tarrant Hilton Airfield where we 'dipped on Corn Bunting and Quail. Nevertheless, a friendship was formed and here she is again for another birding week in Dorset. It is in fact Jo's second visit to the county this year as she and a couple of mates did venture down from London for the Bufflehead. A little late I fear, but by way of bonus did get the Hoopoe. So far she has managed Arctic Skua and Ring Ouzel, so we are hoping for a good day together tomorrow.

Gangling, ungainly and perhaps not the best looking lad in the Spur's 'first eleven' at the moment, I was much amused to hear the Peter Crouch reply when asked the question, "what do you think you would be, if you hadn't become a famous footballer Peter". The dry and witty reply, "a Virgin". Nice one son!