Thursday, 29 July 2010

Looking Forward to Tomorrow

A 'Mackerel Sky' greeted the morning and with the sun already trying to break through and virtually no wind, it was set to be fine! In the cemetery the only creatures of note were singles of Common Blue and Gatekeeper Butterfly, so it was quickly onward to the bus for Portland. With the moon being close to 'full' high tide is early morning and of little use for Wading birds at Ferry Bridge so I continued on to Barleycrates. Bird-less here too, interest was raised by my first sighting this year of

Chalkhill Blue Butterfly and a lone

Hummingbird Hawk-moth which appeared to be feeding on the ground?

At the Bird Observatory, Martin Cade had departed for his family holiday leaving Professor Peter Morgan at the helm, ably assisted by the Chairman Edwin Welland who had absented himself - must have known I was coming. There too was David Bull long time visitor, with Peter to the Obs and frequent 'ringer' at Radipole in days gone by - both are from South Wales. They were also having some success with the 'mist nets' and had caught, among other things, Sedge & Grasshopper Warbler plus Pied Flycatcher.

On my way back to Weymouth, but still on the Island, I encountered a small colony of these

Great Green Bush Crickets (not particularly good photographs I'm afraid)

At Tout Quarry I saw my first Greyling Butterfly which are reliably none photogenic. On perching they immediately fold their wings and retract the fore wings into the hind-wings, probably to present a small target to predators and photographers alike?

From this elevated point on the Island it was easy to see the dozens and dozens of small yachts in both Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay,

mostly manned I am delighted to say by young, budding sailors.

While at the Obs we were visited by a Dutchman named Paul who had come to advise, and leave leaflets about the up and coming celebration of the regeneration of Tout Quarry as a practice area for 'sculptors' of all standards.

These days the Circle of Stones and the accompanying 'throne' is used by Witches, Druids, Dolmen to name but a few.

Who knows who might turn up on the day, but I am advised that everyone will be welcome.

and finally, just a reminder that tomorrow is the day of my meeting with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Attending the meeting will be Dante Munn the Dorset Manager for RSPB, John Snellin the Wildlife Crime Officer (Dorset Police) and John Stobart, Senior Advisor (Natural England). My only hope is I have something POSITIVE to report tomorrow.

We may well return to MONGOLIA also!