Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Mister Blue Skies - The Electric Light Orchestra

WOW! Firstly today, we take great pleasure in welcoming the Caribbean Island of Aruba to the readership the 135th 'country' to do so. Here's hoping you enjoy the slant on another way of life and would ask you to pass the link on to everyone you know - Best Wishes!

Aruba is a 33 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela. Together with Bonaire and CuraƧao, it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles.


Sun is shinin' in the sky, there ain't a cloud in sight,
It's stopped raining 'n every body's in a play and don't you know
It's a beautiful new day hey,hey!

and so it was until entering the cemetery this morning to find the carpet of Primroses, Bluebells, Sweet Violets etc, that I have been reporting in recent days, no more than a pile of mulch.

Having written to the Council for at least the last 10 years the message just isn't getting home, it being almost as if they time the mowers to destroy the height of these wild flowers blooming.

It is my strong belief that it will be those who should be protecting these precious gifts that will, to a great extent, be those who destroy them. Unfortunately, this was not the end of the disaster, as I crossed the road to Radipole to find a forlorn

Steve Morris (who I described yesterday as 'The Robin Man') armed as usual with his tin of live maggots, but today awaiting the arrival of the County Environmental Office who he was hoping would save the nest of chicks also reported yesterday.

The 'pipe-layers' who have already decimated much of the hedge almost the full length of the Radipole Nature Reserve, are now rapidly approaching the Robin's nest site having already disposed of a Dunnock's home. Yes, we all want our gas, water, electricity etc, but which 'prick' at the Council PLANNED to have this work done at the height of the breeding season. I can only assume they had taken their guidance from the RSPB who are past masters in this department.

Anyway, not to worry, to quote Dee Stephens the Dorset Manager for Natural England about this time last year when she said, "it doesn't matter if the RSPB dig up a colony of Southern Mash Orchids as there are PLENTY more on the reserve". Where do they get these tossers from????

Such language is not usual on this site, but perhaps needless to say I for one am seething!

There was nothing to report from Radipole but meeting up with Daragh again at Lodmoor, very soon

2 Little Ringed Plovers were entered in the notebook as were a number of other Waders including 2 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatchers, a Lapwing, a Black-tailed Godwit and of course the ever present

Long-billed Dowitcher. I hope saying this isn't the 'kiss of death' as just last night my birding friend Jo Lawrence wrote to say she would be down for a weeks 'birding' in May, and could I get the Dowitcher to stay that long - I'm working on it Jo, while Daragh also sends his regards.

Returning to the viewpoint over the Salt Marsh, we were soon to hear the familiar screech of a Common Tern,

with first one, then

3 and finally c7. This small group, which are likely the first to return to the Moor this year, were all in

full voice, carrying and passing fish and prospecting what has become a traditional breeding site, 2 islands constructed by the RSPB.

The Common Moorhen was of course present, as where several Wheatear, a Lesser Whitethroat, a female Marsh Harrier and a steady trickle of Swallows. With a lift part way from Daragh I was able to take a close look at the progress on the re-paint of the Jubilee Clock, and as I did so another familiar sound fell on my ears.

A single Whimbrel was slowly flying across Weymouth Bay, letting out its most distinctive 'trill' as it quickly disappeared over the house, adding another species to my Year List. (archive photo)

This is how you will be greeted when you visit this Magic Island, but I arrived this morning to an equally welcoming sight, what might be described as A Tern for the Better!

At least four Little Terns were perched on the small mooring buoys just inside Small Mouth, but

I only reported 3 at the Observatory as the distant bird in this shot was overlooked.

For those not as familiar with this dainty little sea-bird, here is another archive shot.

In the same area were 5 Sandwich Terns and 6 more Common Terns, but today not a sign of any Red-breasted Mergansers. Continuing to the top of the Island and Barleycrates Lane, there were both Sedge and Grasshopper Warblers in the garden of an abandoned house, while there was a second

and third Sedge Warbler as my walk progressed. In addition there was a steady stream of Swallows flying north along the cliff, later to be joined by a single Yellow Wagtail, a couple of Stonechat and plenty of Linnets and Meadow Pipits.

After a welcome cup of coffee at the Observatory, this Wren put in a brief appearance, while at home my attention was caught by a ruckus caused by the local Gulls. This, I thought, could only mean one thing, the arrival of an early and first Honey Buzzard (ever the optimist) but no, it was only this pair of

Herring Gulls

having a bit of fun on a rooftop. The final record of the day was of a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a Carrion Crow, as they passed over my house, but this was not to be the last story.

My neighbour Shaun was telling me this morning how leaving his house yesterday he heard a screeching that he thought worth investigating. Reaching his garden gate, there in the middle of the road was a Sparrowhawk, wings spread, and with a firm grip on a Starling both yelling at the tops of their voices! Enter the local black Moggie, which quick as lightning jumps onto the Hawk which looses its grip on the Starling. The smaller bird flew away and within seconds the Raptor also shakes free flying straight into another neighbour's car, leaving the Cat bemussed. As far as is known, all 3 are doing well!

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