Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix

Uganda is the 138th country to join our readership, and receive the same warm welcome as the previous 137. We have been a little short of African (especially Central African) following so there is a special reason to welcome readers there. It is thought this addition may be due to the daughter of fellow 'birder' Frank Peach, who has been working in the country for some time now. If indeed this is the case and you are enjoying the read, we're off to Alaska backpacking for 7 weeks in 10 days time, so maybe you will spread the word to others in the country and to any other friends or family you have elsewhere in the world. Thank You and Good Luck!

The 'wind' was the main feature of the weather (and the day) as it remained in the west but increased in strength to a very stiff breeze. Otherwise, there was plenty of blue sky over Weymouth while arriving at Ferrybridge the whole of Portland was shrouded in grey! Despite all of this, there was news from Lodmoor to say that the Savi's Warbler was showing extremely well, which is unusual for a 'skulker' even in calm conditions.

At the Bridge, all that was in evidence was a medium size flock of small Waders that would need closer inspection.

Walking the extensive fore-shore of the Low Water Spring Tide, the vast majority of these (100+) were Dunlin with 19 Sanderling and one or two Ringed Plover.

Sanderling. The whole flock seemed a little nervous,

Sanderling. so it was thought best to back off, leaving them to feed the 'flood'.

and as the saying goes "it's an ill-wind that blows no good", as demonstrated by these early morning wind surfers flashing past the South Ship Channel in Portland harbour.

It seems an age since I've seen Bus Driver and fellow 'birder' Mark Hill, but this morning as my bus stopped at Easton Square I manager to capture this shot. Hope you and Annie are in good health mate!

Reaching the Top Fields the focus was still on people, maybe as well as there were no birds, as local farmer and land owner Curtis Gould was driving his tractor towards me. Curt is responsible for keeping the puddles filled with water during the absence of rain, providing the local Hirundines mud with which to build their nests - Well Done to you Mate!

My first Meadow Brown of the year appeared as I walked towards the Observatory, like much wildlife this year very early, but once there another treat was in store.

Only the 'third' occurrence of a May Highflyer Moth on Portland was caught in one of the traps overnight Friday and on the way home there was loads of

Ribwort Plantain growing all along the main road.

With reference to the upcoming trip along the Alcan Highway and elsewhere, here are a few more photos from the 2007 gig which will hopefully whet the appetite?

Caspian Terns 'fish passing'

Marbled Godwit

Hudsonian Whimbrel

and finally, a big Thank You to David Tissington, my travelling companion on the recent Scotland visit, for the additions to my garden pond. 9 Goldfish he tells me but each completely different to each others in size, shape, colour and pattern as to be thought different species. I'm certainly looking forward to watching them develop!

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