Monday, 25 April 2011

Take a Walk on the Wild Side - Lou Reed

The weather was a full jacket colder today with the wind still centred around north east, fresh and with the sun struggling to burn through the haze it was a chilly morning. None of this seemed to phase the holidaymakers who, even at 07-00, were positioning towels and driving in windbreaks on the 'sands'. It may have been the conditions that kept the birds away with little to log even as far as Ferrybidge, and even there just a dozen each of

Ringed Plover and

Dunlin, now in 'black bellied' summer plumage,

4 Shelduck (these 2 plus 2 fly-overs) and single Oystercatcher, Turnstone plus a very bright Yellow Wagtail were not enough to tempt me to linger.

The only minor milestone there was that Little Tern numbers.

for me at least,

reached double figures (11) my personal highest total thus far.

Between Barleycrates and Reap Lanes the situation was in sharp contrast to yesterday, when Wheatear were counted in their hundreds and other common migrants were well represented. Today my count of the afore mentioned was 9, with again just a few Swallows and singles of Blackcap and Tree Pipit to make up the day total.

Further on this small bush looked rather interesting but I cannot find what it is, while 'steaming' round the Bill you only had to be able to read to identify the

Sea Cadet Training Ship 'John Jerwood'.

In the Bird Observatory garden there was this Eyed Hawk-moth which is one of the more common Hawks,

and named thus because when attacked by a predator it spreads its fore-wings to reveal an eye-like pattern making it look far bigger that it is.

On my way back I stopped to view this Bittersweet (which has always been known to me as Woody Nightshade??) at which time there was a text alerting me to a Wood Warbler on the Rodwell Trail. Just half a mile or so from my house this was most convenient and after taking a look at this dozing

Grey Squirrel I herd the Warbler 'trilling' from high in the Sycamore Trees. Following its movements for a while, it suddenly shot off down the train (singing as it went) but the singing continued above me. 3 of us saw 2 separate birds, which was a real bonus. With this 'first for the year' under our belts, Dave Tissington and I then set off for Ringstead in search of Nightingale, and on the way encountered our first

Wall Butterfly and

Holly Blue

and even though Orange-tip was seen last week today there was chance of something of a photograph. In all we had 2 Nightingales, which was a 'Year Tick' for each of us, and after watching some emerging

Brown-tailed Moth caterpillars we headed home.

All else of note along the way were 2 Spear Fishermen, a sight not often seen around here these days. Back in my youth just about every young man had at least a go at the sport which I pursued for many years.

The 'Year List' now stands at 233, of which 186 have been recorded in Dorset.

PS - Of all things by neighbours Roy and Joy have just passed half a Christmas Pudding, complete with hot custard over the garden wall, so it just remains to say Yum Yum!

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