Sunday, 18 September 2011

Clutching At Straws - Marillion

Weather wise, the only difference from yesterday was that by the time I was ready to leave home this morning the rain was so heavy it prevented me which in turn saved me from getting soaked once again.

It was 07:15 before there was a lull, this being the picture as I took a short cut through a bird-less cemetery, bye-passed Radipole and headed straight for Portland.

Justify FullNot a lot brighter there looking back (north east) along the East Cliff towards Chenye House and

towards my destination Portland Bill.

Swallows were still leaving on their south bound migration, with a few House and Sand Martins for company with a lone Tree Pipit calling and putting in a brief appearance.

As I approached the first of the beach huts some angry looking clouds rolled in bringing with them a deluge which, had luck not been on my side, would have resulted in another soaking.

Exit Hugh Hayward, grandson of the founder in 1868 of the famous Hayward's Pickles brand, from his mobile home who invited me to take shelter in his hut. A great chance meeting as he went on to tell me that the hut was built as a World War I 'observation post' in 1915, and that the kettle was near to boiling. I have since found out for myself that on average, in the UK, a Hayward's Pickled Onion (now owned by Premier Foods) is eaten every 4 seconds and 5.4 million households buy their products. Thanks to Hugh and your wife for the kindness!

While stood at the doorway of my new found shelter 4 Whinchats appeared with 18 Wheatear,

3 Grey Wagtails and a passing Sparrowhawk.

There were also good numbers of Meadow and Rock Pipit but as the rain subsided I was off to the Bird Observatory. Things had not been too productive there, in fact it seemed I had seen the best of it thus far, but there were a few lovely people to see, some familiar some new to me.

A short stop at Ferry Bridge as the tide receded produced a total of

6 Sanderling plus one Little Stint and a likely second. So, with the dark clouds continuing to tumble in from the west it was time for a pint of cider and then home.

This Hawthorn Shieldbug was found in Bowie & Sheila's garden yesterday,

while my pal Andy Lindsay sent me these interesting shots from Staunton Harold Reservoir, Derbyshire currently experiencing seriously low water levels. It is here that he some times takes me angling on my occasional visits

but have never come anywhere near a Pike of this size. Like he tells me time after time "it's no use having bait on one end, and a 'twit' on the other"! Words in this quote can be changed or shuffled as appropriate.

All this rain put me in mind of these Marillion lyrics:-

'The Last Straw'
(the final track on this sensational album)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the water
Those problems seem to arise the ones you never really thought of
The feeling you get is similar to something like drowning
Out of your mind, you're out of your depth, you should have taken soundings
Clutching at straws, we're clutching at straws

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