Saturday, 23 July 2011

Awaiting the Migration

There was a terrific end to the day awaiting me yesterday, but before that I took a little time to walk Weymouth Beach to look at the new 'fixtures and fittings.

As part of a huge and much needed refurbishment for the town, stages, stalls, amusements, children's rides and cafes have been erected on the sands making for great improvement. However, they seem to have taken up about 20% of the space (at high tide) and as locals here know at this up-coming season things were already shoulder to shoulder. This is not meant to be a criticism as any improvement is most welcome.

Later, I was met at the Tapas Bar on the sea-front by my lovely daughter Julie and her equally lovely partner Nigel to enjoy a belated birthday treat. Treat it was indeed as we have visited this excellent little restaurant on many occasions, but last night the food was better than it has ever been. If you have a celebration I would heartily recommend this establishment.

This morning there was little need to linger at either the cemetery or Radipole as there was nothing new to see. There was however a late report from yesterday of 2 Ruddy Shelduck (thanks to Geoff & Sheila) at Lodmoor so quickening my pace I headed there. On the way it was noted that the now beautifully refurbished Jubilee Clock is also back in working order and showing the right time.

This powerful looking vessel was at Anchor in Weymouth Roads this morning and could just be seen to be named Galatea. A little investigation came up with these details:-

Trinity House’s Multi Functional Tender (MFT), GALATEA, delivered in 2007, has been designed with buoy handling, wreck marking, towing and multibeam and side scan hydrographic surveying capability. At 84m long with a service speed of 13 knots, she is fitted to the highest and most modern technical standards.

GALATEA is a state of the art vessel enhanced by many additional features including DPAA dynamic positioning, a range of high specification survey equipment, a 30t lift crane, a 1.2m² moon pool, a large working deck with the facility to lock containers on deck with plug in to 230v or 400v supply, a helicopter-landing pad and a high-speed workboat.

This I can tell you is my kind of ship!

At Lodmoor there was no sign of the Ruddy Shelduck, and I later learnt that they had quickly transferred to Radipole where they remained for no longer than 5 minutes. There was also an amendment to identification re-naming them as Cape Shelduck an African species but obviously escapees here. There were however a few Lapwing,

a good number of young Common Shelduck (our own resident species) and a single

Greenshank which could easily be one of the 2 reported here yesterday as flying across Radipole. A marauding Peregrine was 'spooking' everything on the Moor which included 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Dunlin, 3 Little Egret plus singles of Sandwich Tern and Whimbrel.

Moving rapidly on to Ferrybridge, where like the past couple of days the tide was low and about to turn. On arrival all 8 adult Great Black-backed Gulls took to the wing and disappeared down the Fleet, while everything else stayed put

including a couple of juvenile Great Black-backed Gull.

Other Gulls present included a few Black-headed Gull

and several Mediterranean Gulls

which were mostly 'ringed' birds.

The start of the 'flood tide' was obviously carrying some food source with it as many of the birds took to plunge feeding including the Med's above, and

this single Common Tern.

On Portland and more particularly at Culverwell this beautiful, large Mallow bush was in full bloom, while from the moth trap at the Observatory

this Magpie Moth was one of several caught overnight.

On the bird front things were still fairy quiet there, but the move south has surely started with both Swallows and Sand Martins gathering, and this Willow Warbler falling to the 'mist net'.

There were a few more photographs from today which due to time constraint will be published tomorrow. To end today, regular readers may remember a post of a few days ago when a photo of Wild Carrot was shown with 2 Soldier Beetles which I considered had laid 'little red eggs'. Wrong again, as I am advised by my mate Sheila Edwards that the center of these blooms usually includes some red petals.

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