Friday, 31 December 2010

Living In The Past - Jethro Tull (Part II)

Without leaving the house, I managed to record Redwing, Pied Wagtail and Chiffchaff but 'sprinting blocks' are hammered in ready for an early start tomorrow morning for the New Years Day Twitch. No, today was set aside for lunch with

Grandson Lee who looked more than pleased with his pressie!

while Son 'Outlaw' Nigel also looks pleased without even opening his.

That's my Girl - Julie

The three of us, some one's got to be on camera duty! (Oh, and Jimi - hows that for a Hendrix T-shirt and the words 'Stone Free' on the back).

Part II of the 'look back; at 2010

Full details of this precis can be found by visiting the relevant dates via Blog search engine.

The first day of the second part of the year came up trumps with a Dorset first and only my second ever Gull-billed Tern in Great Britain. Due to the kindness of Steve Grove in particular, but also the rest of the staff at the world renowned Abbotsbury Swannery, Ken Parker and I were allowed access to view this important sea-bird. Only a short 6 days late, Bowie & Sheila took me to see a House Finch that we, and many others, hope is convincing enough to be considered as a true vagrant from the USA and take its place on the British Bird List.

The second weekend of July usually hosts Weymouth's annual Fish Festival and Spirit of the Sea celebrations. This year, among many others, I met up with long time shipmate Kenny Sharp, his wife Anne and a few of his family. Mid-month Andy Lindsay (who had already nominated the year his annus horribilis) and I ventured to France, via the Euro-Tunnel and the 180 miles per hour TGV rail network for a little respite. The whole gig was a mitigated disaster, no photographs, no lasting memories, no hotel room!

Having aborted this holiday before the half way point and returned home, L, S & I embarked on yet another 'twitch' to see an extremely mobile White-tailed Plover (Lapwing) that stayed at Dungerness, Kent long enough for us to see and book it! A week before the end of July my task was to transport Nigel, Julie & Lee to Heathrow Airport to fly to see her sister Lisa and family in Australia, the upshot of which was I got the car for a month.

However, before embarking on any driving there was the crucial matter of mourning the 'criminal' stoppage of the Royal Navy rum ration, a short 30 years previously on 31st July 1970. 'Up Spirits' my hearties!

With access to the car, mid-August I set off for a tour of the Midlands to visit various friends including John & Marion Wood, Jim the Medic & Liz, Andy Lindsay plus Dave & Jan Penney, a great success though I say it myself! Before the month was out success was to manifest itself again (one thousand fold) when I found Dorset's first and Great Britain's 8th

Red-necked Stint, it seemed life could only be 'down hill' from now on?

It was close on 2 weeks before the next 'rarity' arrived in the shape of a most confiding and trans-Atlantic Pectoral Sandpiper which settled amid a housing estate at Easton, Portland. However, excepting for this and with Julie & Co returned safely to Broadmayne from Aus, the feet were getting itchy so I buzzed off to the USA landing in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the 14th September.

Armed with an 'open' Greyhound bus pass and deciding on a track that would take me west through this state and into North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and eventually South Dakota, I first met

the Vance family of Mile City, Montana with Grandparents left, then wife and mother Doreen, husband and father Jeff with children Taylor, Lyle & Rya the greatest (among many) act of kindness shown to me all year. With my Best Wishes to you all for 2011.

I continued to Rapid City, South Dakota to visit, among other things, the Mount Rushmore and

and Crazy Horse Monuments. My wish would be to live long enough to see the completion of this fine edifice that dwarfs Rushmore. Some say it will never be finished.

This is the land where my people are buried!

One of several bronze statues in Omaha, Nebraska, depicting 'how the wast was won', was followed by Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma, by which time I had accumulated a few 'lifers' including this fine

Red-headed Woodpecker, before the realisation that so much progress had been made it would be feasible to go for Florida as a next stop. Via Arkansas, and Mississippi, Alabama was added to the US list as was the Sunshine State, Florida. Cutting back north and across Georgia, both South & North Carolina were in turn added, then through the familiar territory of Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri the state of Iowa was also crossed. Wisconsin was only a minor diversion before returning to the extremely modern city of Minneapolis for my flight home.

The first 3 weeks of October were punctuated with a series of bird watching sorties (including adding Solitary Sandpiper to the UK list, after a 'bus pass' twitch to Colyford in Devon) and parties, the highlight of these being

Jon Storey's 50th birthday. There, we beheld a sight not considered possible before this, with Storey returning to where he should rightfully be, red Stratocaster in hand, fronting among others Bad Reputation. He had vowed some 5 years ago never to take up the 'axe' again, (but we all know what a lying b*s*a*d he is, don't we?), before flying off to Madagascar on the 20th.

Wishing, in traditional style, to leave the very best until 'first' this

Allan's Gallinule was my bird sighting and photograph of the trip, closely followed by the sensational

Red-tailed Tropicbird. Others on the agenda, just a taster of what was on offer, included a

number of species of Tree Frog,

Ward's Flycatcher

Madagascar Plover

Scaly Ground-Roller

Short-legged Ground-Roller

Sickle-billed Vanga

Nile Crocodile

Madagascar Scops Owl

Diadem Sifaka

Madagascar Nightjar

in threatening pose.

Baobab Tree

Madagascar Fish Eagle

Madagascar Fish Eagle in flight

Red-fronted Lemur

Madagascar Cuckoo-Roller

Littoral Rock Thrush

Chabert's Vanga

Blue Vanga

Barred Owl

with Appet's Greenbul bringing us to our return home mid November. The end of the year has been adequately chronicaled through these pages, but as a conclusion it was fantastic that

thankfully, and despite disappearing intermitantly, the Hooded Merganser (probably the most photogenic bird in the world) remained with us to years end,

and finally, some of the 'rash' of Waxwings to invade the British Isles during the severe weather finally made it to Dorset before the year was out.

Bring on 2011

and finally this is how the Stats pan out on the final day of the year, with the addition of Guatemala on the very last day bringing up the 114th country / region. I remember with fond affection my short journey through that interesting and diverse country and will see if I can dig out some photographs. As my Stat Counter only has capacity for 10,500 (that number now being well exceeded) it is intended to increase this before long. With this in mind, it would be fantastic if every reader would pass on the link (The Bagsy Blog entered into Google is sufficient) to ALL family and friends in the hope of doubling the readership next year. Thank You all for the continued visits and support and let's hope Madagascar reach 3 figures 'readership' real soon!

Num Perc. Country Name

drill down784974.75%United KingdomUnited Kingdom
drill down7146.80%United StatesUnited States
drill down2792.66%EstoniaEstonia
drill down1721.64%CanadaCanada
drill down1541.47%AustraliaAustralia
drill down1371.30%FranceFrance
drill down1171.11%GermanyGermany
drill down1141.09%NetherlandsNetherlands
drill down980.93%MadagascarMadagascar
drill down780.74%New ZealandNew Zealand
drill down770.73%SwedenSweden
drill down560.53%DenmarkDenmark
drill down540.51%JapanJapan
drill down380.36%SpainSpain
drill down380.36%ItalyItaly
drill down280.27%IndiaIndia
drill down270.26%BelgiumBelgium
drill down240.23%PolandPoland
drill down240.23%BrazilBrazil
drill down210.20%Czech RepublicCzech Republic
drill down210.20%GreeceGreece
drill down190.18%SwitzerlandSwitzerland
drill down180.17%IrelandIreland
drill down170.16%ArgentinaArgentina
drill down160.15%FinlandFinland
drill down150.14%South AfricaSouth Africa
drill down140.13%BulgariaBulgaria
drill down140.13%PortugalPortugal
drill down130.12%UkraineUkraine
drill down120.11%TurkeyTurkey
drill down120.11%CroatiaCroatia
drill down120.11%MexicoMexico
drill down110.10%HungaryHungary
drill down110.10%NorwayNorway
drill down90.09%MauritiusMauritius
drill down90.09%TaiwanTaiwan
drill down90.09%Korea, Republic OfKorea, Republic Of
drill down90.09%Russian FederationRussian Federation
drill down90.09%ChileChile
drill down90.09%AustriaAustria
drill down80.08%ColombiaColombia
drill down70.07%EcuadorEcuador
drill down60.06%PakistanPakistan
drill down60.06%PeruPeru
drill down60.06%Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia
drill down50.05%CyprusCyprus
drill down50.05%VietnamVietnam
drill down50.05%Sri LankaSri Lanka
drill down50.05%Hong KongHong Kong
drill down50.05%LithuaniaLithuania
drill down50.05%IcelandIceland
drill down50.05%Costa RicaCosta Rica
drill down50.05%MaltaMalta
drill down50.05%IsraelIsrael
drill down50.05%ThailandThailand
drill down40.04%PhilippinesPhilippines
drill down40.04%SerbiaSerbia
drill down40.04%RomaniaRomania
drill down30.03%Iran, Islamic Republic OfIran, Islamic Republic Of
drill down30.03%Libya

drill down30.03%SloveniaSlovenia
drill down30.03%EgyptEgypt
drill down30.03%SingaporeSingapore
drill down30.03%VenezuelaVenezuela
drill down30.03%MalaysiaMalaysia
drill down20.02%CameroonCameroon
drill down20.02%Dominican RepublicDominican Republic
drill down20.02%IndonesiaIndonesia
drill down20.02%GuatemalaGuatemala
drill down20.02%ArmeniaArmenia
drill down10.01%HondurasHonduras
drill down10.01%SlovakiaSlovakia
drill down10.01%BangladeshBangladesh
drill down10.01%JordanJordan
drill down10.01%ReunionReunion
drill down10.01%Trinidad And TobagoTrinidad And Tobago
drill down10.01%Aland IslandsAland Islands
drill down10.01%Anonymous ProxyAnonymous Proxy
drill down10.01%GuernseyGuernsey
drill down10.01%Puerto RicoPuerto Rico
drill down10.01%MaldivesMaldives
drill down10.01%NepalNepal
drill down10.01%PanamaPanama
drill down10.01%MongoliaMongolia
drill down10.01%MacedoniaMacedonia
drill down10.01%Europe