Monday, 21 March 2011

Like A Virgin - Madonna

First today let me welcome the latest addition, at country number 132, to the readership US Virgin Island. A group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

The US Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, along with the much smaller but historically distinct Water Island, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is 133.73 square miles (346.4 km2).

Welcome people and TELL YOUR FRIENDS - Thank You!

Second, back to yesterday's mystery Aythya duck, and after some deliberation by Paul Harris and a final decision by Brett Spencer the bird is considered a 'first winter' female Greater Scaup. Thanks to both Paul & Brett plus Martin Cade and John Lucas for giving it the once over via a camera image (not ideal).

Now to get on to today, which weather wise was 'sparkling' with just a gentle, but still chilly, wind from the south, for the best part sunny and white fluffy clouds in a cluster hanging on the breeze to dry!

In the cemetery things were much the same as yesterday with c3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers still extremely vocal and knocking hell out of the trees, the only difference being a sharp increase in the number of Chaffinch. There was also a GS Woodpecker at Radipole along with c4 Sand Martin, a good number of Chiffchaff (several vocal) and a single

Common Gull

The walk to Lodmoor was rewarded by singles of Mute Swan and Great Northern Diver in Weymouth Bay plus c4 Great Crested Grebes and this

Heavy Lift Vessel, one of 3 that were in the area. My guess is that they are associated with the upcoming wind farm to be built off the Purbeck coast, but I'll need to find out more.

On the Moor itself there were c2 Wheatear

c12 Black-tailed Godwit in a cross section of plumage's, ranging from full summer to winter a really nice sight to see.

In addition the Water Pipit, still sporting winter plumage, was still there as was the Long-billed Dowitcher and something I haven't seen since the cold snap,

a 'pair' of Wigeon (male foreground). Another more determined look into the Bay produced a further c7 Great Northern Divers and c3 Great Crested Grebes and a single Guillemot, but it was now time to transfer to the Bill.

There were an additional c3 Wheatear in the first field off of Sweethill and in short time I was looking at my first Swallow of the year flying purposefully along the West Cliff. All else amounted to another

Firecrest, this time a female, caught at the Observatory where the warden kindly allowed me to release it. To have this tiny gem in the palm of my hand, albeit for just a few seconds was, as far as I'm concerned, just about as good as experiencing wildlife gets - roll on tomorrow for some more!

Finally, this afternoon's choice of music has been 'Thank Christ For The Bomb' the 3rd offering from British Blues legends Groundhogs. Capably fronted by the timeless Tony TS McPhee (lead Guitar and Vocals), ably assisted by drummer Ken Pustelnik and bassist Pete Cruickshank this album leaves many would be British Blues outfits in the dark. I met up with Tony again in Finn's not so long ago and despite the years and fame he remains the down to earth individual we all knew in the early 60's. It goes without saying that you will all rush out and buy this album immediately (you won't regret it), but just as a taster I'll leave you with the lyrics of:-


My garden is all overgrown
and the weeds are creeping up on my home,
Grass has grown over two foot high
and the trees are blocking out the sky.
French windows won't open any more
from the moss that's grown outside the door,
A hundred birds are nesting in the trees,
looks like a wild-life sanctuary.


But I'm not going to cut a single blade of grass,
my garden will look just like the distant past,
Before the days of agricultural land,
before the time when pebbles turned to sand.
When I leave this house I'm going to stay,
I'm forsaking my comforts to live another way,
Get my clothes from heaps, my food from bins,
my water from ponds and have tramps for my friends.

and so I say Thank Christ for the Bomb!

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