Saturday, 14 May 2011

Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

On a day when there were few birds and even fewer photographs, it was probably a good job there were a few images 'in the can' that were not published yesterday. Despite that, the weather was still favourable for getting out and about with varying amounts of cloud and a north westerly breeze which still delivered a chill.

With no restrictions to hamper the 'Bus Pass Birder' on a week-end I was on my way to Ferrybridge by 06-30, but not before stopping to look at what was a fair size shoal of Grey Mullet in the Inner Harbour. At the bridge the exposed sand looked devoid of birds, unlike the 10 Curlew close to the Oyster Beds yesterday, but with a little persistence 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and a most welcome addition of a Curlew Sandpiper were recorded. Unfortunately, all were flighty and impossible to photograph, but the latter looked to be far more rufous than the one published on the probably indicating a new arrival.

On the Island proper, this Grey Squirrel was on the roof of a house at Langley Close

while Swallow and House Martin were still collecting nesting material at The barns where the supply of suitable mud is rapidly depleting due to lack of rain.

Surveying the English Channel, this Auto-Liner )type) motor car transporter looked to be heading for Southampton Water, while this

Drinker Moth Caterpillar crossed my path, another challenge fulfilled by John Gifford! Apart from a single Yellow Wagtail and a few

Spotted Flycatchers all else on view was to seaward, which for me included an Arctic Skua plus 4 of what were 7

Great Northern Divers. This individual may well have been named after the 'Great' distance at which it was first detected at by the Warden, and predicted to fly directly over the Observatory which it more or less did.

Not 'award winning' shots by any means, but my first in the county bringing my Dorset Photo Total to 230 of the 349 species recorded here.

Finally, as I wended my way home, there was this first flower of Common Mallow by the way-side.

Back to yesterday, where after 8 hours in the field followed by dinner and a bottle of red wine just about put paid to me, I only managed to publish half of the days happenings. Having 'dipped' on both Curlew Sandpiper and the Savi's Warbler, then reported as 'showing well' Jo and I decided to head a little inland with first long stop being at

and made a bee-lone for the hide overlooking the pond. On the way we saw Blackcap, Garden Warbler plus Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler and dozens of the ubiquitous

Azure Damselfly.

There were also good numbers of Keeled Skimmer

plus a few of The Cinnabar moth.

This handsome Garden Chafer was a rather good find by Jo

who also identified this Columbine.

Green Hairstreak is familiar to me, and we found a few 'pockets' of them at various locations,

with Seven-spot Ladybird and

and Speckled Wood Butterfly being fairly numerous too.

I should thank Paul Harris for his assistance with some identifications!

Deep in the Wareham Forest at Sherford Bridge we happened upon this most interesting character who, if I had met him on a bus would have guessed that he is a Forester and has been for 60 years.

Jo and I enjoyed an extended conversation with Gordon Attwooll whose family name extends back to both Portesham and Portland. His pride an joy were obviously the 'mighty oaks' growing on the Selby estate just over the barbed-wire fence from where we stood, he had watch much of their growth and described them as probably the finest example in Dorset. I feel sure he'd take no umbrage at me saying if you saw him arrive at the Entmoot in The Lord of the Rings you wouldn't bat an eye-lid?

'At the Entmoot' - JRR Tolkien

With that, his young apprentice Shaun Hansford arrived driving a 1963 Ferguson tractor, 2 men 'at one' with their environment.

I should extend an apology to these two gentlemen as I did say their photographs would appear on the Blog last night, but as afore mentioned the lethargy set in! The final few photographs from yesterday should be posted tomorrow!

Hope to see you again some time.

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