Thursday, 26 May 2011

Are Friends Electric - Tubeway Army

John & Maggie are!

Another windy day even in the lee of Weymouth but the sky was by and large clear so, after a brief visit to the cemetery

where once again Goldcrests were making their presence known, I wandered along the Rodwell Trail (at least part of its course) where

Long-tailed Tits were by far the most vocal of the small birds there.

In addition Blackcap (male) were also very much in evidence

Blackcap (female)

but a lone Treecreeper was unexpected. This tiny bird with no more than a pseeet call, which alerted me to its presence, is undoubtedly here all year round but rarely seen - let's hope they are breeding!
From here it was a quick move to Portland where, given the wind direction and its strength, I was undecided as to which path to take. On the West Cliff it would be driving in hard on the starboard beam, while the East cliff in would be from ahead but the undulating path would give a little relief now and then. It was the latter I chose and still got a buffeting all the way to the Bill. Even east of the Common sea-spray was catching the air, while at my destination instead of a hoped for Storm Petrel there was little more than a few Fulmar, Kittiwake, Guillimot, Razorbill and Gannet.

This light aircraft arrived from seaward, and hitting the coastal turbulence started rocking & rolling similar to Bill Haley & his Comets, the only place I didn't want to be was 'up there'.

Returning via a completely deserted Bird Observatory and the Top Fields there was nothing to report but the bus to Weymouth took me to the undoubted highlight of the day. Lunch and a few drinks with John Gifford and his sister Maggie Hayden was indeed a delight. John has become very much my 'botanical guide' being responsible for identifying many of the plants, published through these pages, I have no idea about. Our 3 hour conversation varied from Viper's Bugloss to the Mau Mau and the St Johnstone football team to Sydling St Nicholas. The plan is to enjoy a Sunday roast at the Coach & Horses at Winterboure Abass on the first week-end of my return. Make no mistake about it both of you, I'LL BE THERE as the Four Tops once said!

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