Thursday, 14 April 2011

RSPB Building Season Upon Us Again!

Soon after posting yesterday's Blog, Tunisia appeared on the screen as the 134th country to join our readership. I would like to extend a warm welcome, hope you enjoy the read and request you encourage many of your countrymen to do likewise by sending them the link.
Thank You & Enjoy!

Next, I have to hark back to yesterday's theme (What a Difference a Week Makes) as during my Scottish absence yet another swathe of our valuable reed-bed at Radipole has fallen under the 'jack-boot' of the RSPB. What is believed to be a 'pond-dipping' access would be fine if it were not in the heart of a Site of Special Scientific Interest and, after last years performance, the time of build had been sympathetic to 'breeding birds'. It is a serious offence under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act to knowingly disturb breeding birds, and anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes at this 'reserve' in recent years will know that this platform has been constructed in what had become a nesting site for Mute Swans! Add to this the direct proximity of Cetti's Warbler and Bearded Tit, I would challenge the RSPB (and more particularly so called local management) that they are contravening the law by building anything on an SSSI during the month of APRIL?

but onward to something they haven't strimmed, a variety of Buttercup I presume, but looking at the Field Guide it's difficult to decide which - help please!

Apart from the fact that Chiffchaff plus Willow, Sedge and Reed Warblers have now become a part of the country scene once again there was little else to report until arriving at Lodmoor, except maybe this

Heavy Lift Vessel at anchor in Weymouth Roads, in calm but overcast conditions. Whilst on the Moor it soon became obvious that

This is what you get if you mess with Shelduck nuptials!

2 separate pairs seemed to be vocally sparring, before one took off to attack the others.

Followed by the second of the pair

that launched straight into the melée

followed by a 2 minutes free for all.

Just before arriving at the redundant Council Tip, this Green Woodpecker perched briefly close by, at which point I detected my first

'reeling' Grasshopper Warbler of the year and with just 2 Dunlin to add to the list it was time to look at Ferrybridge.

On arrival, 2 Common Terns were resting on the small mooring buoys, but still no sign of the Little Terns or anything else for that matter.

Portland was also fairly quiet except for a Blackcap or two, a slow trickle of Swallows and a good show of Alexanders (which I note are a member of the Carrot family)

but this Brown Rat saw me before I saw it and was gone in a flash.

In the Portland Bird Observatory garden, there had been some success with the 'mist netting' and my arrival coincided with the capture of this rather handsome adult, female Wheatear.

There followed only a short wait before the Warden recovered this male Blackcap

which was thought worthy of a head detail.

While checking the progress of the local Tadpoles, there was a moment of excitement as 2

Stock Doves were caught, not at all a common event as numbers have drastically reduced

on the Island in recent years,

but these 2 were safely released hopefully to breed.

On the way home, the air was filled by the songs of several Skylark as a passing Sparrowhawk

seemed to spook this fine looking male Pheasant.

That's it for today as I have to get ready for another party tonight, we're having an Italian night with Roy & Joy next door so:-
Buona Sera

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