Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Don't They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid

We start with a late item from Monday, late as all I had the wit for was to post the Blog. My friend Lesley Brown (right) had kindly invited me to lunch, with my suggestion to meet at the house of mutual friends Michael & Wendy Honebon. My reasoning was that as I had promised to share a good wine with them before Lesley and I departed in separate directions for the holiday this presented an ideal moment.

The wine, a Charley Herring Spotwood Shiraz (the bottle is already empty) was very good, but it was unanimously agreed that a second bottle would not go amiss. Well, you know how sometimes one thing can lead to another, it was a further 3 bottles later that we decided to send for a Chinese Take Away which we ate with a further 3 bottles. Lesley and I never did get to the Riverside Pub for lunch but had a darn good laugh these impromptu parties often being the best, I was poured into a taxi about 20:30, hence the late post last night - Hic!

The morning started on a real bright note as I sat first thing enjoying a coffee and watching the BBC News, when all of a sudden there in front of me was one of the most sort after birds in the world. The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is one of the most critically endangered creatures on the planet, and like its predecessor the Ne Ne or Hawaiian Goose there have been a number of eggs taken from their nests on the Russian Steppe and taken to the Wildlife & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.

We can only hope that the result for them will be the same as the Goose which was plucked, if that's the right word, from the edge of extinction.

With Great Spotted Woodpeckers displaying and both Carrion Crow & Long-tailed Tit seen carrying nesting material during this month, it might be fair to say that it's down to some unseasonable weather.

No surprise then when this pair of Wood Pigeons were caught 'at it' at the exact spot that the Blackbird escaped the clutches of the Sparrowhawk.

Don't They Know It's Christmas?

Collared Dove on the Sparrowhawk ridge, a few Redwing (now becoming daily), a Black-tailed Godwit, ever present

Black-headed Gulls and a few Common Snipe were about all that were seen, so it was off to the seafront to catch the Portland Bill bus.

While waiting there was time to take a look at this Oil Tanker Mare Atlantic swinging to her anchor in Weymouth Roads, while there was a pleasant surprise when the bus arrived.

An early visitation from Father Christmas which rather please the Bus Pass Birder.

On the Bill Common and Car Park there was the usual gathering of Herring Gulls, while down at the Point

these Crab and Lobster Fishermen were already hard at work. There was a feeding frenzy of mostly mixed Gull and some Gannets much further out in the Tidal Race with the odd Guillemot and Razorbill flying through. In addition there was again a single Purple Sandpiper and while taking a coffee at the Bird Observatory I was lucky to see 2 of what had been over 30 Red-throated Divers.

Leaving to head home, this Car Transporter was chugging its way up Channel while

this Goldfinch, one of the UK's smartest looking small birds,

graced this roadside bush.

As far as Common Buzzards go this was quite close,

so when it perched on a dry stone wall

there was chance to capture a few more shots.

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