Monday, 18 April 2011

Rosie Oh Rosie - Don Partridge

Not even out of my front gate this morning a Peregrine was seen in a 'stoop', but it was Wrens and Wood Pigeons that predominated as songsters in the cemetery this morning, but not to be outdone there was also vocals from at least 2 Goldcrests. It must have been the sun that once again got the chorus going, and except for just a thin cloud cover and a slight chill on the light, easterly breeze it was set for another fine day.

At Radipole the man who feeds the Robins had already done his work, with this one busily feeding young, while not too far away my first

Lesser Whitethroat, one of my favourite Warblers, of the year was 'reeling' away in a tall bush. Apart from a couple of dozen Sand Martin and the now daily throng of Chiffchaff, Blackcap plus Sedge, Reed, Willow and Cetti's Warblers it was time to move on to Lodmoor

but not before noticing how the Sedges are now growing apace.

It still seems there is no end to the roadworks that have plagued Weymouth for over a year now, this is King Street looking towards Radipole

and south towards the Jubilee Clock which is also still undergoing refurbishment.

Arriving at Greenhill, it was a case of the 'same old faces' as I see this chap roller skating along the Prom most mornings, and on the Moor I was quick to join up with Daragh for a wander round. He had already seen 2 Ringed Plover plus a Little Ringed Plover, which were not relocated, but it was not too long before we found

a pair of Shoveler,

the late staying pair of Wigeon (noting today that the female has somehow damaged her right wing) and

the Long-billed Dowitcher that also shows no sign of leaving.

This Sedge Warbler holding territory on the southern perimeter path, must now qualify as most photographed Warbler in the Borough so obliging is it,

while one of the 2 pairs of Oystercatcher appears to be incubating eggs?

At the end of this leg of my walk, a Mute Swan put to the air, overflying this

lone Black-tailed Godwit feeding in the margins. There were also 5 Wheatear, 3 Little Egret, singles of Lapwing and Fox while in Weymouth Bay at least one Great Northern Diver is still present.

Ferrybridge held little more than 3 Sandwich Terns and a few Red-breasted Merganser while at Barleycrates Lane the

resident flock of House Sparrows are engaged in some serious nest building.

On the West Cliff it was noticed that the conversion of the almost derelict Blacknor Fort is now close to completion, and I would guess that this almost ruin has now been upgraded to one of the most sort after properties on the South Coast? Also along this section, there was an almost continuous trickle of Swallows flying in.

At Reap Lane there were an estimated 50 or so Wheatear in one of the fields

and on reaching the brow of Culverwell hill, it could be seen that there was some action close to the Portland Bird Observatory but unfortunately it was not 'avian'.

No, in fact it was one or the other of the national TV companies filming a series called 'Spring Watch'

and you could hardly access the Obs for cameras and cables.

However, the television crews seemed to be hard at it, and filming very soon began

with probably the presenter being recorded at the top of the Lighthouse.

Leaving for home, I was lucky to meet visiting 'ringer' Ian Lees and photographer Ivor Porter who where about to leave for home. Thinking they had left yesterday and I had missed saying goodbye, it was good to do just that today as there company has been excellent value - safe journey both and see you next time!

Continuing towards home, it always most interesting to note the diversity of insect life, with this 'red-eyed' creature possibly being a Cluster-fly,

and this Butterfly being a Speckled Wood my first of the year. Omitted from yesterday's post, was the sighting of several Orange-tip Butterflies which was also a first for 2011.

Finally, this bright blue flower caught my eye and with reference to the Field Guide looks every bit like Green Alkanet?

and a PS for Rosie Morgan who, quiet rightly, corrected my grammer this morning:-

(Short) Shrift? Not a word you hear every day. In fact, apart from in this expression, it is now so rarely used that it's hard to think of a shrift that isn't short. The verb form, shrive, is also now an almost forgotten antique. A shrift is a penance (a prescribed penalty) imposed by a priest in a confession in order to provide absolution, often when the confessor was near to death. In the 17th century, criminals were sent to the scaffold immediately after sentencing and only had time for a 'short shrift' before being hanged.

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