Thursday, 10 November 2011

Six Months In A Leaky Boat - Split Enz

After what must have been almost persistent overnight rain, daylight was again met by gloom but no precipitation, and although it looked every bit as thought the heavens could open any minute they never did. Occasional breaks of sunshine were peaking through as I reached the cemetery and coupled with the already mild condition I was soon regretting wearing a fleece! No bird-life to talk about, only the

resident Grey Squirrels bounding about all over the place, while on Radipole things were much the same. There were a couple of Reed Buntings feeding on the main path, but otherwise it was a

small gathering of Mediterranean Gulls that caught the eye. These 3 adults and

a single 'first winter' (left) with a Black-headed Gull.

'Second Winter' Mediterranean Gull

Before boarding the bus for Portland Bill the male Hooded Merganser was once again on show, and regular readers know the (photo) story of that!

I had been told, on my return from mainland Europe, that Brent Geese numbers had increased dramatically while I was away,

so wasn't surprised to see several hundred on the fore-shore at Ferry Bridge as the bus passed by. Arriving at the Portland Castle bus stop, a most obliging Black Redstart flew out of the grounds and landed on a nearby wall which may have qualified for 'Bird of the Day' had not Greylag Geese hove into view (see later).

At the point of the Bill, there was drama on the High Seas as this yacht approached from the east, then turned about and furled her sails.

Next under engine power she closed this small open potting boat (P06), which is thought to belong to my mate Neville Copperthwaite's son Jason, seeming to be rendering assistance. The man at the forward end of the yacht threw a rope, which was indeed an accurate shot, but forgot to hole on to his end of the hawser.

The lobster fisherman then threw an equally calculated shot and was quickly in tow.

While Jason's boat is clearly from Portland, the yacht (the UK Sailing Association vessel Ambition) took a wide sweep away from the land,

and settled on a north westerly course, seemingly heading for West Bay or the like?

Doubtless due to the mild and wet weather there were a good few fungi around this morning, but mostly of the 'common' Horse or Field Mushroom varieties.

Up at the Observatory Quarry, both Little Owls were observed sitting fairly close together,

a sight I have not seen for a number of months now,

but it is fantastic to see them back in residence.

Time for a coffee at the PBO, where in quick time the Warden spotted a small skein of Greylag Geese flying east along the English Channel.

A total of 4 in all (which followed the same track as 5 a couple of days ago) but never got anywhere near the coast, where surprisingly the first I have ever encountered on the Island - 'tick'!

On the way home, this tiny snail seemed worthy of a shot and I would have placed a 5p coin next to it to compare size, if I were allowed to wander around with that much cash!

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