Friday, 4 February 2011

Dedicted To The Bustin Skins

Having spent most of yesterday birding with 'Iron Man' contender Adrian Baker, today we coincidentally came across a few others of the Weymouth team. They had already received the news that Ady and I had been out so I doubt this photo will come as a surprise to Adrian and his wife Tracey - the Jungle Drums will have been beating?

This is a link to what 'Iron Man' is all about - Good Luck to the Bustin' Skins!

With close to a gale blowing, some light rain and cloudy sky Mark Hill and I made for Portland Bill where at the Bird Observatory we found a slightly dejected crew having only recorded a single Red-throated Diver. A quick coffee and we headed for the 'point' where

on the Common a few Great-Black-backed & Herring Gulls were keeping out of the wind, but

dozens of Gannets were not deterred by either high wind or sea! Arriving at the Obelisk, Mark immediately located a Black Redstart but the 2 short views we had of it were not long enough to secure a photograph.

However, once again resorting to the archive, this is what a male Black Redstart looks like in breeding plumage, while

This is a juvenile not long from the nest.

These images were taken in the Thodope Mountains, Bulgaria.

Moments later I picked up on c4 of the Purple Sandpipers

which have over wintered at the Bill. It was at this moment a text arrived announcing an adult Ring-billed Gull had be found at Radipole. Back to the Observatory to alert the others we made quick time to the reserve where Dave Chown (who predictably had found it) and Luke Phillips

had the bird in their telescopes. In true 'birders' fashion they were quick to let us take a look - can you see it yet? It's there somewhere.

There wasn't a chance of me getting a photo, so once again I returned to the archive and reproduce here the Gosport bird of 9th January inst.

and these 2 taken in Delaware, USA were added to the library some years ago. Apart from a couple of interesting Mediterranean Gulls on the car park, one of which Luke told us was 'ringed' in Belgium, that was the end of the 'birding; for the day. By complete contrast, I then gravitated from my favorite pursuit to my least favorite - shopping, but 'the hungry must be fed'!

This photograph © Mike Morse has caused some consternation among local birders over the past couple of days. Taken on Burton Bradstock Beach, Dorset, if you would like to share your identification thoughts, please send them via the 'Comments' section. PS the 'black blob' bottom left is a boot for some size comparison.

While this is the best I could do blagging a photo from Facebook, it shows our dear, dear friend Tess Lifton at her retirement party in London yesterday. Not surprisingly with glass in hand, it did dawn on me how young the new generation of retirees are these days - naught but a slip of a girl! Best Wishes Tess from your legion of friends in Dorset.

and finally, I return to yesterday's Wine'ing.

Another visit to Stephen Williams and his Antiques Wine Company Cellars, then in Staffordshire

we were privileged to view £1.5 million worth of wine including a vertical collection of 'every vintage' of Chateau d'Yquem considered the finest Sauternes in the world. Stephen had spent months traveling the world tracking down individual bottles to complete the collection which now holds pride of place in a Las Vegas Casino.

The 1973 vintage.

Château d'Yquem is a Premier Cru Supérieur ("Great First Growth") wine from the Sauternes, Gironde region in the southern part of the Bordeaux vineyards known as Graves. In the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, Château d'Yquem was the only Sauternes given this rating, indicating its perceived superiority and higher prices over all other wines of its type.Yquem's success stems largely from the site's susceptibility to attack by "noble rot" (Botrytis cinerea).

Château d'Yquem, in the summer of 2009 Jim the Medic and I made something of a pilgrimage to this, and other, hallowed turf in Bordeaux, France.

Château d'Yquem itself was acquired by Jacques de Sauvage in December of 1593. De Sauvage acquired the property from the French monarchy by exchanging other lands that he owned for what was then referred to as the 'House ofYquem'. The site has been home to a vineyard since at least 1711 when the estate became fully owned by Léon de Sauvage d'Yquem. In 1785 it passed to the Lur-Saluces family when Françoise-Joséphine de Sauvage d'Yquem married Count Louis-Amédée de Lur-Saluces, a godson of Louis XV and Lady Victoire de France. Monsieur Lur-Saluces died three years later, and his wife subsequently focused her energy on sustaining and improving the estate.

I have to admit to 'borrowing' a stone from this sacred 'terroir' as a keepsake,

and still get a huge kick from the memory.

Andy Lindsay and I

trying to conceal a Jeroboam or two about our person.

A fabulous and unforgettable experience! Look forward to seeing you again soon Steve.

No comments:

Post a Comment