Tuesday, 10 May 2011

What's The Frequency Kenneth?

So, try this one for size.

After a hard day doing exactly what you like, when you like what better way of ending it than doing just what you like in the company of Messrs Stipe, Buck, Mills & Berry a.k.a. REM. Fellow 'birder' and 'muso' John Lucas & I decided to exchange a DVD and while not consulted on his opinion of Joe Bonamassa Live at the Royal Albert Hall I can tell him and you that 'Perfect Square' is sensational! Kicking off in low key with Begin the Begin a fully suited Stipe launches into What's the Frequency Kenneth? as a follow up, working through a balanced selection of new compositions (then) and such classics as Man In The Moon. Must get back to the cider and gig now, so buy it and make up your own mind. Thanks for the opportunity John!

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky.
I left my socks and knickers there, I wonder if they're dry?
Spike Milligan

Back to today, and Jo had made a preference to spend some time 'sea-watching' this morning with our rendezvous being 07:00 again. An hour earlier than that it was note the weather around Weymouth was already fine and sunny but looking north the Ridgeway Hills were Obscured By Clouds (Pink Floyd). As on the previous 2 days there was a choral welcome by an undetermined number of Goldcrests, while I was delayed a full 10 minutes trying to decipher the song of a vocally challenged Chaffinch and there once again were the 2

Roe Deer from yesterday.

There followed a full hour on Radipole mainly searching (again in vane) for the Night Heron, but this pair of Gadwall made for some light relief while I was also able to continue my efforts to capture a decent image of

Common Swift. Otherwise of note there were c11 Great Crested Grebe on the North Lake.

Now in company with Jo we continued to Ferrybridge where all that was within photograph range was this Jackdaw busily collecting nesting material, while my mate did add Little Tern to her 'Visit to Dorset List'.

Stopping only briefly at the Bird Observatory to find 'migration' to be very slow, the 'ringers' had already caught a Spotted Flycatcher & Whitethroat, so we continued to the Obelisk via this Earthworm.

Of maritime interest, my instinct was that this was one of HM Border Agency Cutters but on closer inspection found that the name on the side reads 'Turbine Transfers' so can only assume this is some kind of high speed ferry?? Local and visiting 'sea-watchers' were already assembled here and reported slow going, but had recorded a single Pomarine Skua which by my reckoning is very good!

There was a steady trickle of Gannets throughout our stay with mostly sub-adult birds represented, like these 2 darker individuals here.

Great Black-backed Gull


There was also a steady stream of visitors as well (met a few very nice people down there today) including a party forming the Dorking RSPB Group who immediately picked up on one of 2

Purple Sandpiper that we have been keeping our eyes open for over the past 3 days!

Not unheard of at Portland in mid-May, but these 2 are tardy, and showing some signs of 'summer plumage',

should perhaps be on the breeding grounds of Iceland by now. Also busy feathering (or more correctly 'dry grassing') their own nest was a pair of

Rock Pipits

which, by comparison to their neighbours, already feeding young,

also seemed to be a little behind.

Dropping down to the nest site.

On the way back to the Obs, we clapped eyes on our first Common Blue Butterfly (on Clover) which have been emerged for a couple of days but we had missed them. During coffee and pate sandwiches, which Jo had kindly brought along, as if to put the 'cherry on the cake' Peter Morgan plucked this fine

Swallow from a mist net allowing those assembled, including some children, a chance to view this avian acrobat at close quarters.

Head detail of what is now officially referred to as Barn Swallow. Before leaving, the Warden alerted us to a Great Skua in some distress at Chesil Cove, but despite a full 30 minute search of the beach there was no sign - 'Maybe Tomorrow' - Stereophonics!

Moses went walking with the staff of wood. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Newton got beaned by the apple good. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Charles Darwin had the gall to ask. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon?
If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then nothing is cool!


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