The third county in as many days joined the readership yesterday by way of Qatar, an Arab State (or more correctly Emirate) in the Persia Gulf. I have sailed along the coast of this country many times, but to date unfortunately never set foot on it. It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the Blog, and in line with every other new reader I would ask you to pass the link on to all those you know - Thank You & Welcome!
and on the subject of Flags, in recent days I've noticed a 'new' one flying on the mast above the Council Offices in Fortuneswell, Portland. With a quick visit, via Google, to the Flag Registry of Great Britain it was found to be the recently acknowledged and official flag of the Island.
Flag Type: Town Flag
Flag Date: 14th April 2010
Adoption Route: Local Council
UK Design Code: UNKG7509
Aspect Ratio: 3:5
Pantone Colours: Stone 4545, Green 354, Blue 286
Certification: Chief Vexillologist, Graham Bartram
Notes: Portland Town Council confirmed the design of the Portland Town Flag. The colours represent the landscape of the area: Portland stone, grass and the sea. The white tower represents the castles and the naval coronet shows the long connection with the Royal Navy.
On the face of it this morning seemed like a spring day with little in the way of clouds or wind and a blaze of sunshine, but there was a sting in the tail! Intent on catching the 07-25 to Portland there was only time to capture
one of several Pied Wagtail and
this gaggle of Canada Geese at Radipole before continuing to Ferrybridge, where 'the sting' manifested itself. The thought of no wind was masked by the lee of the built up area, but crossing the bridge there was an icy blast from a little north of west, and despite a rate of only about 15 knots it was cutting. A bit of a blessing then that there was little on view, in fact apart from Gulls
There were just these c3 Dunlin
which did allow approach to about 30 feet.
Arriving at the East Cliff, Portland
this Raven flew directly overhead but perched in the direct bright sunlight.
Continuing to be obliging, it again took to the wing
and this time with the sun behind me, it too allowed
a close encounter at perch.
There followed a long search for a February Wheatear, but this met with failure as did a 90 minute vigil at Pulpit Rock awaiting the arrival of a Puffin. There's still one day left in the month and with the tentative plan to try for the Pacific Diver off-shore Penzance, Cornwall on hold it'll be same time same place tomorrow if the weather holds.
Fortunately, the c2 Black Redstarts were still in the Bill Quarry
and while they were flighty there was chance to get a couple of shots away. Both were feeding well on these little white 'grubs',
and occasionally posing,
and while this is not exactly the 'shot of the day' it does show the red 'Start' which is Anglo Saxon for 'arse'!
I am occasionally asked the difference between the Cormorant and Shag but my 'stock answer' is not printable in a family publication. Really for someone who has already misidentified both through these pages perhaps I'm not the bloke to ask, but here (unless you know differently) the Shag is at the back.
and how are these for a couple of interesting shots?
The first, ostensibly just a small while spot on a black background is in fact the Space Shuttle 'Discovery' and the International Space Station.
Just after sunset yesterday both hove into view it a quickly darkening sky, as the Shuttle was arriving at the ISS. Programmed to 'dock' a little later, once the photograph was cropped much more detail was discernible. Thanks to Martin Cade the Warden of the Portland Bird Observatory for these extraordinary images.
Finally, a look at the current 'statistic chart' where the recent additions can be seen, but not those countries that have dropped off the radar. Unfortunately, the readership overall is taking a bit of a tumble, particularly countries like Australia and New Zealand, but feel that the citizens of the latter (especially those of the capital Christchurch) have a little more on their mind lately. Our thoughts are certainly with you all down there. A plan is afoot to start a revival, but in the meantime if you do enjoy the read please pass the LINK on to all your e-Mail addressees, it only takes a minute and 3 clicks. Thank You!