Monday, 5 July 2010

Got To Go There Down By The Sea - Morcheeba

A huge omission from yesterday's post, having met the most affable Mr Bellotti during my walk along the Fleet. Derek almost abandoned his family as we broke into a most interesting conversation, which I for one would love to continue one day.

Derek Christopher Bellotti (born December 25, 1946 in East Ham, London) is an English former professional football goalkeeper.

He began his career as an apprentice with Queens Park Rangers in September 1963. He turned professional and spent two seasons on loan to Bedford Town before being released at end of the 1965-66 season without making his debut for QPR. He joined Gillingham in July 1966 and went on to make 35 league appearances for the Gills. In October 1970 he joined Southend United on loan, playing 3 games and later that month was transferred to Charlton Athletic for a fee of £5,000. He played 14 league games for Charlton before moving to Southend United again in December 1971, this time on a permanent basis. He was Southend's regular keeper, staying at Roots Hall until May 1974 when he joined Swansea City after playing 74 league games for Southend. He only stayed at the Vetch Field for one season, playing 19 times in the league, before moving back into non-league football with Maidstone United, spending two months on loan at Margate from January 1978. He subsequently moved to Cornish non-league side St Blazey from where he signed for Torquay United in September 1981 as cover for Vince O'Keefe. In 1982 he left without making a league appearance, joining Falmouth Town. He subsequently played for Bideford, Saltash United, Newquay and Torrington. In December 1997, at the age of 50, he played for Ilfracombe Town as a temporary replacement for regular 'Combe goalkeeper, his son Ross, who was also a professional with Exeter City.

Bellotti is currently managing director of Kingfisher Print and Design, a print firm based in Dartington. - Information supplied by Wikipedia.

I know there is one regular reader who will be more than interested to read this, hardened Gillingham fan, fellow birder and Oil Rig friend Dave Penney - "cum on you Gills"!

In addition there were literally dozens of young people from all over the country walking the Coastal Path under the banner of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. It makes your heart light to see so many young people getting out there and doing it! - Well done to all.

back to today:-

Late venturing out this morning due to one or two home commitments, I bye-passed both the cemetery and Radipole to catch the bus directly to Ferry Bridge. There, it was disconcerting to see a ridge of effluent covering the fore-shore, but confined to the area closest to the bridge. Whatever, it must have contain some contaminant, so not really what you want at one of the Little Tern's favourite feeding spots.

The Fleet at Ferry Bridge looking north.

The same shoreline looking south.

It did look a little like fire fighting foam, known as A triple-F (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) widely used especially by the Royal and Merchant Navies. A liquid compound comprising mainly of Ox blood is introduced, via a siphon branch pipe, into a high pressure water hose, with the atomiser effect turning it into foam. This is then, via trained hands, played onto a fire in a particular way eliminating the oxygen and by definition extinguishing the flames. Years ago this was a relatively common site around Portland Harbour and connecting coasts, but these days all but eliminated.

With nothing of interest there (except the Little Terns of course) I quickly moved on to Barleycrates, Reap Lane, The Hump and Top Fields, but drew a blank there also. The light at the end of the tunnel came by way of an excellent lunch with Edwin Welland at the Pulpit Inn, Portland Bill, where of course we met up with mine host Danny Fox the Landlord, heading straight back to stories of days gone by!

Later, in the Observatory garden I met up with a familiar face (but still don't have a name) but this gentleman proceeded to give me a short but sweet 'master class' on Skipper Butterflies. 3 species were present there Large, Small and Lulworth Skipper but the latter had decided to disappear before my arrival. However, having presented Large through these pages in recent days, it is good to be able to show both

Male Small Skipper (with black 'sex mark' on upper fore-wing) and

female Small Skipper (altogether more plain upper fore-wing). There will be no extra charge for the green beetle Oedemera nobilis.

It was time to return to the 'main land', and as usual with a little diligence I noticed a few birds on the still exposed sand as we passed Ferry Bridge on the bus.

Most obvious were a few Black-headed Gulls, but just a little further on was this

adult Herring Gull going absolutely berserk. However, there was better to come as first I picked up on

c4 Black-tailed Godwit all still in 'summer plumage',

before a fifth hove into view.

more interested in feeding

and preening,

they did put on a short show of 'dancing' showing clearly their distinctive white wing-bars

which is the sure fire way of distinguishing them from their close relative the Bar-tailed Godwit which have plain wings.

and finally, for the MANY of you 'champing at the bit' to find out more about my meeting with the RSPB. I have received an e-mail from Dante Munns the RSPB Dorset Manager informing me that one of his/her key team members is on leave this week and hopes a date can be set for early next week.