Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Asda - Three Bottles for 'Ten Quid'

It would be churlish to describe a day as 'dull' when you've just been looking at an adult Stilt Sandpiper in almost best bib and tucker, but by an large it had been ordinary right up to the past hour or two! So, it might be an idea, and for a change, to report the sequence of events in almost reverse order.

Firstly, when switching on the laptop to compose today's Blog, 2 new countries appeared on the Stat Counter the first of which was the Caribbean Island of Grenada. I remember well my visit there in 1999 and the lovely people we encountered, so it's particularly rewarding to welcome the 4 new visitors to our site. It is hoped you might pass on the Blog Link to as many as you can and become regular readers yourself.

The other will save until tomorrow.

Next, turning on the TV News Channel there in full flow is none other than our good friend Stephen Williams looking out at me. Steve is the owner and Managing Director of the prestigious Antiques Wine Company, who today has sold the most expensive bottle of 'white wine' in the world.

I'm sure he wouldn't mind me observing that since the inception of his most successful business, his 'passion' for Château d'Yquem (producers of arguably the best Sauternes in the world) has grown and grown.

Today he parted company with a bottle of vintage 1811 for the princely sum of £75,000.

I was introduced to Stephen Williams many years ago by my dear friend Andy Lindsay seen here together on one of our visits to Steve's cellars.

It was also a privilege to have been part of one of his most amassing accomplishments when processing the Jönköping (Champagne) Treasure. Stephen & Me holding a bottle of Champagne from the wreck, valued then at $5,000.

I should direct readers back to previous posts dated 3rd & 4th February 2011 which can be found via the Search facility at the top of this page, and the link below.

Most expensive bottle of white wine 1811 Château d'Yquem sold for £75k

Next, I received the best photograph I have seen of the Stilt Sandpiper still showing well, but at a distance, on Lodmoor from Martin Cade, Warden of the Portland Bird Observatory again worthy of a wider audience. Anyway, back to this morning

as the bright sunshine of yesterday gave way to a complete cover of black, threatening clouds, which did release a drop or two at mid-day but has since brought more sun. Weymouth Bay from Greenhill looking towards The Purbeck Hills.

Both the cemetery and Radipole drew a 'blank', except for this distant Common Sandpiper, so it was quickly on to Lodmoor where I met up with Darragh Croxson recently returned from a birding trip to West Papua. He tells me it was the most physically taxing one he has ever done, but at the same time the most rewarding. With 280 new additions to his World Bird List, 15 of them being 'Birds of Paradise' I need no further convincing. Good to see you back my friend!

We continued around the Moor together and soon encountered 3

Black-tailed Godwit

along with Green Woodpecker, 15 Dunlin, a couple of Bearded Tit, the first Cetti's Warbler heard since our respective returns home plus

'the' female Marsh Harrier.

Parting company close to his house, I went on to see just a fleeting glimpse of this Whitethroat,

an even shorter look this Stoat, one of 2 seen on the Moor this morning and another

Common Sandpiper, this time at the Hump.

There followed a bit of a 'heart stopper', again at some distance, what may have been an Aquatic Warbler.

A very pale bird with a 'crown stripe' and a little streaking on the rump, it was only via these images that it was confirmed as a

Sedge Warbler

There was no knowing what put the fairly large group of Gulls and Terns up, but they consisted mostly of Black-headed Gulls, a few Mediterranean Gulls, likewise Common Tern and a single Sandwich Tern. This was enough to send me for another look at the Stilt Sandpiper, still in the pool viewable from the southern bund at Overcoombe Corner, and showing nowhere near as well as it did on Sunday. There were also a couple of Common & Green Sandpiper with it.

Ferrybridge was a total 'dead loss' as not only were there no birds, but this is when the rain started. I had already had time to talk to the new arrival campers on the car park who have been there for a few days now. Having driven all the way from County Cork in Southern Ireland, they seemed to have little worry about car park attendants etc, as they sat enjoying eggs, bacon, sausage and fried bread, all I got was a cup of tea!

and to finish on the subject of 'eggs', John and Maggie gave me, along with some delicious Straw & Raspberries on Sunday, probably the 2 biggest Hen's eggs I have ever seen. I had one yesterday (yes Maggie it was a 'double yoke') and I'm off for the other one right now - Bon Appetite!

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