Thursday, 21 April 2011

Cast Not A Clout etc!

With the summery weather continuing, and warm mornings tempting us out even earlier, today I thought it apt to 'cast a clout'. The adage suggests, "cast not a clout 'til May is out" which by my reckoning refers to may blossom (the flower of the Hawthorn) and not the end of the month of May. Already there have been signs of the blossoms forming but thus far no proper opened flowers?

This Cetti's Warbler was first to greet me at Radipole, and as Daragh and I now seem to be firmly 'antlers locked' as to who has produced the best photograph of this elusive little bird so far, I feel at least I need to get into the race. There were also decent numbers of the other more common Warblers such as Sedge, Willow, Reed plus Blackcap and Chiffchaff but there was precious little else to report from here.

I own a mobile phone for one reason only, and that is to keep in touch with any rare or uncommon birds that may stray into our area, so it may be understood the feeling of bewilderment as reaching Lodmoor I discovered my battery was flat! Daragh did manage to get one text through alerting me to a Ring Ouzel on the Moor but I didn't see it.

However, there was a single Bar-tailed Godwit in company with

2 Black-tailed Godwit.

In addition there was a second opportunity to photograph a Cetti's Warbler but I doubt this is going to win me the tussle with my mate?

A 'calling' male Blackbird seemed worthy of a shot perched in a non-flowering fruit tree but next to this

was a Hawthorn Bush in full flower.

As I got a closer shot stood in bright, warm sunshine, I was glad that I had casted a clout or two!

On Portland there was little in the way of bird-life, so decided to snap this shot of an (adult?) male Bristle-chinned Curlew, now in 'summer plumage, and after a coffee at the Observatory it was time to return to Weymouth to meet up with some mates.

I had already arranged to meet up with Val and Leslie (second and third from left) as they had a gift for me, but what a huge bonus to meet Jeff, one of Leslie's sons, his wife Lou (left) and their 2 daughters Chloe and Hannah, next to dad.

Regular readers will remember my recent encounter with photographer Leslie Godfrey and he husband Simon at the end of March and reference to a drink called 'Jeremiah Weed'. I particularly liked the 'handled' jam jar glass that it was served in and had simply mentioned it to these 2 lovely friends in passing, only to find they had managed to get one for me. I could only counter this by inviting them to my 'garden party' next week, which doubtless you will read about through these pages. Thank you both very much for the thought, but have to close now as another party awaits this evening - we'll talk again tomorrow!

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