Friday, 11 March 2011

Upon A Golden Horse - Page & Plant

I'm composing today's epistle to the strains of No Quarter (in effect Zeppelin 'un-Leded') and Walking Into Clarksdale, and if you ever needed inspiration stick either on the Juke Box. If I had to choose a few tracks, in no particular order, the title track of the former, Since I've been Loving You, Gallows Pole, Blue Train and Heart In Your Hand but above all the sensational Upon A Golden etc! It's doubtful any of our readers don't have these 'milestones' in their CD cabinet, but if you don't they are worth buying if only for the drumming by Michael Lee.

Anyway, it was almost a perfect morning for ogling our feathered friends with an almost completely covered sky, a gentle breeze from just a little west of south west and a mild feel temperature wise. The clouds did part for about an hour mid-morning, causing too much glare, but they soon returned. It was a day of common birds but all vocal, most courting and all worth a second look.

At Radipole this cob Mute Swan was adequately keeping all the other lads at bay, while spoilt for choice as far as a bit of 'tottie' was concerned.

On the other hand, this Coot seemed content feeding on 'guano' despite there being a supply of bread and corn from the humans.

Close to the Westham sluices, she was over there while

he was over here but it wasn't long

before this pair of Little Grebes got

together for a bit of canoodling. At that, all the local Gulls got up making hell of a row, sure sign of a Raptor, but no

it was 2 Grey Herons flying directly overhead. There were also 50+ Common Snipe, c2 Bearded Tit, c4 Black-tailed Godwit, c3 Mediterranean Gull and a few vocal Cetti's Warbler on the reserve.

With a little time to kill before the 'bus pass' kicked in I wandered along the Backwater to find these 2

Great Black-backed Gulls looking rather majestic,

and if this close up of Herring Gull doesn't do it for you then you might as well stay at home!

Reaching the Town Bridge, I noticed that the paint job on the Ship Inn is now complete and have to say I rather like the new motif on the gable end. Spring tide and high water it was considered best to by-pass Ferrybridge and head straight for Southwell, Portland and onward to the Bill.

A single Linnet was on show and in full song as I walked the path towards the East Cliff

and was thought worthy of more than a single shot.

This east bound vessel, thought to be that seen towing a target a few days ago, was the only other thing of note

before reaching the Common and this beautifully marked Pied Wagtail, but there had been no sign of a 'hoped for' Wheatear. Geoff & Sheila Barlow reported that they had seen c6 Purple Sandpipers just east of the Obelisk, which I failed to find, but did locate both (flighty) Black Redstarts in the Bill Quarry.

It was now time to invest a little time looking for a Puffin, but it / they too were not seen. However, something certainly spooked the rest of the Auks on the cliff ledges as many 'hundreds' of both Razorbill and Guillemot took to the air.

Not unusual, Rock Pipits were here as well and displaying today as were their close relatives the Meadow Pipit further along the Admiralty fence.

This Kestrel very nearly escaped my attention as it took off from atop a pole in the compound, but

even in flight these

Fulmar were easy to see and photograph as they patrolled the cliffs.

There were a total of c6 Stonechat, 3 of each sex, but this female was the only one to oblige, while it seemed this

male House Sparrow was having a little difficulty with the wooing as the female flew off. A cursory look for Little Owl, which continues to evade me, before coffee at the Observatory and time to recruit a couple more potential Blog readers before continuing the search for

Wheatear. I didn't have to wait long as c2 appeared close to the second crane, but both looked disheveled and neither seemed keen to be added to the flash card.

Regardless of the quick departure, this was the first addition to the GB Year List since the Oriental Turtle Dove 9 days ago but true to say 6 of these had been spent out of the country. The list now stands at 184. Quite a few more photographs were taken today, but with impending rain tomorrow and ever mindful of 'too much of a good thing' I'll save them for another post.

Before closing, its back to the e-mails and this shot

I'd quite forgotten about taken in January when I met Rachel Foster and her partner Ian Haynes. They kindly sent it to me via Facebook yesterday - Thank You both.

A few images now taken by Steve Powell (whose house, along with Linda Morton, we visited on our last full day in Spain - and most enjoyable it was too) last year at a Bee-eater colony close to their village Teresa de Cofrentes.

and to complete the post, an update on the Spanish readership. When I arrived, there were a total of 72 readers and now as the Stat Counter shows one of just 9 countries in treble figures.

Perhaps we need a 'push' to encourage more readers?
Share the LINK with all your e-Mail addressees and Facebook friends Please!

Num Perc. Country Name

drill down769573.29%United KingdomUnited Kingdom
drill down5425.16%United StatesUnited States
drill down3673.50%TaiwanTaiwan
drill down1771.69%FranceFrance
drill down1761.68%GermanyGermany
drill down1651.57%EstoniaEstonia
drill down1581.50%SpainSpain
drill down1521.45%EcuadorEcuador
drill down1121.07%CanadaCanada

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