Monday, 17 January 2011

Perfect Day - Lou Reed

After a night of almost continuous rain, the prognosis for the day looked a little grim but as the daylight broke much of the cloud disappeared leaving the morning dry. On the grass verges close to the main road

Black-headed Gulls both adult

and juvenile were finding plenty to slake their hunger, while over at Radipole every bird on the reserve seemed to be stretching their vocal chords. Of those, there were at least 5 separate and distinctive Cetti's Warbler while this

male Blackbird was certainly doing his share.

It was around this time a Peregrine appeared overhead

but soon disappeared to the west. All else notable was a single Black-tailed Godwit and the fact that the water level at dropped (despite the overnight rain) giving hope of a few more Waders in the coming week.

As far as this Cormorant was concerned it seemed to be an 'OPEN'

and 'SHUT' case, and after that dire joke it was off to the sea front. There I spent over an hour telescoping Weymouth Bay where there were seen to be c3 Great Crested Grebe, a Common Scoter and the 160th addition to the Year List, a lone Great Northern Diver. Apart from a few Gannets feeding in the tidal race off the Bill there was nothing else to report, except to say the rain started again as I walked the East Cliff - time to go home,

while others were happy to speed past the Bill in the dry!

So, returning to Peregrines, it was only yesterday long standing friend Ricky Lambert reminded me of the one I recorded on the Oil Rig Buchan Alpha in the North Sea some years ago. This juvenile bird was first seen to take an adult Great Black-backed Gull, with both ending up in the sea the falcon loosing its prey to both Gull weight and surface tension.

The next day it took another seabird, this time making it to the helicopter deck netting, but this was when one of our memories started to fade. Ricky maintained that I had told him it was a Gannet (which with my track-record could well be the case) but I remembered it as a Herring Gull.

Here the same image is enlarged for the readership to make up their own minds - answers on a post card please!

The finale to all of this occurred on the third day when once again it caught a Great Black-backed Gull and during the tussle in the moon-pool was caught by our Deck Foreman Ricky (The Hammer) Grant.

With that, a cage was quickly constructed and the Falcon flown to Aberdeen, for release, the next day.

It'll be difficult for our 'merry band' of readers to believe, but some 'sad mother' somewhere has taken precious time out of their life to calculate (yes, calculate) that today is the most miserable day of the year! I'd love to be able to spare the time to have a gloomy day - what while there are things such as these in the world to see:-

Dedicated to Alexander James York (see yesterday;s Blog), as these too are all Australian.

Black-fronted Plover

Blue-billed Duck

Brown Honeyeater

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Common Bronzewing

Elegant Parrot


Sacred Kingfisher

and finally, with new born babies to the fore I was inspired this afternoon to play the recording I made when my first daughter Julie uttered her first sounds - brilliant. The disc also contains many snippets of baby learning, good job she was there to teach me!