Thursday, 24 June 2010

Wales Revisited

A late post yesterday wasn't my fault, I was forced into drinking 50 year old 'single malt' whiskey and 'fine red wine' while gorging on extremely good Chinese food, from 'Yum Yum' on Abbotsbury Road (advert) the best I've had since Guilin, China.

Guilin, China where just 2 years ago we watched the Cormorant fishermen catch much smaller fish than those shown on the TV advert.

after a hard day at the office, chiefy looks all 'Shagged' out!

Here are the culprits, Annie & Paul Harris who came round last night for a late celebration of Paul's 50th birthday. Armed with the afore mentioned '50 year old', it was all my pleasure to drink to the next 50 - Happy Birthday Mate!

On the doorstep at the crack of 11-30 (only joking) I found this Heart & Dart moth. It's been 16 years since I last laid a 'moth trap', seeing very few of these diverse insects except at the Portland Bird Observatory, so it was a 'mile-stone' to add this species to the garden list now standing at 5.

and returning briefly to the subject that is keeping me from enjoying my retirement to the full, I publish yet another point of view from long time local 'birder' Dick Morris who did in fact get through to my Comments page:-

Dick said... Aye aye Bagsy!
You already know of my thoughts about the RSPB! As regards Ferrybridge and the Little Terns I think we all know they are fighting a losing battle not helped by some inept Wardening and it was about time they left them to it (Terns that is). Build a big fence in March and hope for the best.

Which leads me on neatly to yet another e-mail to the RSPB:-

* From: Harris Paul
* To: Paul Baker , peter coe
* Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2010 17:57:14 +0000 (GMT)
* Subject: Fw: Little Terns

Gents, just for info, this is e-mail sent to Nick Tomlinson.
Bagsy, tried to post comment but it failed. I must be doing something stupid but will try again later.

--- On Tue, 22/6/10, Harris Paul wrote:

From: Harris Paul
Subject: Little Terns
To: "Nick Tomlinson"
Date: Tuesday, 22 June, 2010, 18:43

Hi Nick, I trust this finds you well? To the point, I wanted to raise an issue with you re the Ferrybridge Little Tern colony. I had a call from Pete Coe last night. Pete had spoken to Luke at Radipole and was told by Luke (an RSPB employee I think?) that 'they' were going to Ferrybridge yesterday afternoon to ring Little Tern chicks. He told Pete they were doing this despite the fact that there were still birds incubating. To be honest both Pete and I were incredulous and I understand Pete made his feelings known at the time. This is a species that has just got back the tiniest toehold after years of failure. I simply cannot believe it is worth the disturbance at such an early stage in their recovery just to ring some birds. This especially so given that there are birds still incubating. Entering the colony would no doubt have flushed all the birds. How could anyone say with absolute certainty that exposing nests in this way would not allow any predators onto the eggs/young. Given the sterling work that has been done here to encourage the birds back, why risk failure with such a venture.

Is not Little Tern a schedule 1 breeding bird? Is the RSPB immune from the rules regarding disturbance of species covered by this schedule? I would be interested to know what permissions were given for this and from where? To my mind this is no different to walking into the reed-bed at Lodmoor and ringing Marsh Harrier chicks, also, as you know, a schedule 1 species. God forbid anyone comes up with that idea.
I look forward to your response.
Best wishes,
Paul Harris

My view:- I have known Paul for more years than either of us care to remember, one of that exclusive club of 'top rate' birders he is more content "getting on with it" than raising an issue. For him to do so highlights the seriousness of the desecration going on around here. The bigotry and intransigence that is the RSPB could never recognise this - have we all got it wrong out here - while they continue to loose support.

Return to Wales

You may remember a few days ago Bowie & Sheila and I headed off to Wales to 'twitch' the Marmora's Warbler, then headed to Kenfig Pool in search of Orchids. While there, Bowie headed for high ground, armed with GPS, in an attempt to find Fen Orchid. In his attempt, he stumbled upon a strange variety which neither of them had seen before. To be honest, his delight and arm waving at the top of the hillock was more akin to finding the end of the rainbow!

What I know about Orchids you could write on a postage stamp, so I copy their letter and photographs below.

Hi there Bagsy
Here are the photos of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, and I believe the Orchid to be Dactyloriza purpurella what I believe to be a variety of Northern Marsh Orchid. It is of the variety called atrata and its deep dark colour is referred to as 'hyperchromic'. In the Field Guide 'Orchids of Great Britain', Harrap states that in Great Britain this only occurs in Hartlepool, but my own research among fellow authorities, who have seen these photographs, fall 50% for D. purpurella (Northern Marsh) and 50% say D. praetermissa (Southern Marsh) so we are really no further ahead. Stan Jordan, who we met in the Scilly Isles, found 2 plants at Kenfig last year and posted photos on HOS; (link below), so we are still trying to fin a 'real expert' who can decide
what it is.
Regards Bowie (Lorne) & Sheila.

3 views of the Orchid in question.

Southern or


Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Butterfly

and a couple of shots sent to me by a friend, no idea of origin.

Osprey with Carp.

Osprey with Trout.