Friday, 22 April 2011

Of Migrants & Moths

Yesterday ended on a real high note as Roy, Joy and I visited fellow neighbour Shelagh (left) for a 'home cooked' Chinese meal. Shelagh had spent a number of years in both Singapore and Hong Kong as a Naval wife and as we all found out she certainly honed her skills in the groceries department. Thank You for a lovely evening Shelagh!

There were a couple of slight changes in the weather today, with a little more cloud, a knot or two added to the wind speed which in turn made for a chillier feel to the morning. Good Friday, the first day of the Bank Holiday, brings with it no restriction on the 'bus pass' so it was directly to Portland for me. First stop Ferrybridge coincided with 'low tide' where a number of Terns were enjoying the usual abundance of small fish.

There were just 2 Sandwich Terns

both of which spent the entire period on the wing, while

a single Common Tern interspersed short flights with rest periods on the small mooring buoys.

However, the real stars of the show were the Little Terns numbers of which, by my counts, have reached 8 individuals. As in previous years, these early birds seem to favour the shallow margins close to the bridge which provides a great vantage point to watch 'hovering',

'diving' and then

'pulling out' after leaving the water, mostly with a fish,

before wheeling round for another run.

A little patience provided the chance

of these shots

at all angles.

Up on Barleycrates the 'feel' was not at all good as there were no migrants, but no less photogenic this

male Linnet provided an excellent subject, followed by a trickle of Swallows, only my third House Martin and a second Whimbrel. Reaching the brow of the hill

the Coast Guard Watch Station became visible, but "wait a minute somethings wrong" (Jimi Hendrix) can anyone see what is amiss here? Not meant as a clue, but this is the second time I've encountered the same situation this week!

Close to the Bill, 'sea-watchers' were amassed and were enjoying a degree of success with Black Tern, Arctic Skua and Velvet Scoter being the highlights. There was also a continuous movement of Auks, like these Guillemots along with Razorbills and a couple of Puffins amounting to several 'hundred' birds.

The Trinity House (the department responsible for navigation marks and lights around our coasts) Coat of Arms, on the 'active' lighthouse, was thought worthy of a shot, while at the Observatory birds were as thin on the ground as elsewhere. With another 'however' the overnight catches in various Moth Traps had proved pleasing

with this Currant Pug (by kind permission of Martin Cade - Warden PBO) being an unusual find on the Island, and Ricky Lambert allowing me the following three shot of insects from his 'traps' set in Preston on the eastern outskirts of Weymouth.

Pine Beauty (the name says it all).

Poplar Grey and

Rustic Shoulder-knot. Don't you just love the names of these fascinating creatures? My personal favourite being 'Setaceous Hebrew Character'.

and finally this Arachnid which remains nameless due to my lack of knowledge.

Footnote:- I ran Moth Traps at Wyke Regis and the East Weares of Portland for a number of years, but after becoming divorced became known as the Unmarried Moth-er - get it?

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