Saturday, 19 March 2011

A Quiet Day At The Office

A quick update on the readership map to date, which is filling rapidly. If you know anybody in Greenland, Central Africa, any of the Asian 'Stans' or Papua New Guinea, perhaps you should drop them an e-mail?

While on the first morning after the Weymouth relief road was opened, this was the scene on Dorchester Road earlier today. OK, it is Saturday but even then this section of road would be bumper to bumper, but as you can see not a vehicle in sight!

Dorchester Road at Nottington Corner looking north.

Dorchester Road at Nottington Corner looking south. I have to thank Paul Harris for these images.

Perhaps all drivers were staying at home early morning because of the heavy frost that developed overnight, leaving everything coated white this morning, but that was short lived.

It certainly didn't deter this Grey Squirrel that met me at the cemetery gate, nor the dozens of birds that were singing within.

It did look a little bleak across Radipole Lake due to a shallow mist but by 07:00 that too had burnt off revealing what must qualify as this years warmest and best day so far?

Reed Buntings now seem to be settling in well here and are also vocal, while there was even a call or two from at least one Water Rail and plenty of Cetti's Warblers.

Otherwise very quiet, I quickly boarded an early bus to Portland (no bus pass restrictions at the week-end) where yesterday's rain had turned the footpath over Top Fields into a mud bath.

That didn't seem to be bothering a 'murder' of about 50 Carrion Crows there,

some even remaining at perch while I clicked away.

There was also plenty of Meadow Pipit activity with a number of birds migrating in off the sea,

while this individual had already taken to frantic display flights an singing, occasionally resting on a prominent perch. There was little else to get excited about, and that seemed to be the view of the few 'birders' encountered on the way. However, just as you think it's going to be all dull Martin Cade (Warden at the Bird Observatory)

plucks this little beauty out of one of the mist nets.

Firecrest, along with close cousin the Goldcrest is Great Britain's smallest resident bird, and for my money probably the most eye-catching!

Quite a few people on the hoof as I made an early return to Weymouth, including this young lady rock climber who already had her pitons hammered in.

After issuing yesterday's post, it dawned on me that a far more appropriate headline might have been White Bird by the San Francisco rock band It's A Beautiful Day, formed in 1967 by violinist Dave LaFlamme. This inspired me to play Marrying Maiden by the first outfit in Rock that I remember having a solo violinist as leader. After this I played the album Flock by US band of the same name. Another fiddle player of extraordinary proportions, Jerry Goodman's violin intro on their most memorable version of the Kinks classic Tired of Waiting for You has to stand as 'a moment int time'! To make up the hat trick post Brian Eno Roxy Music hit the turn table with incredible violin and keyboard riffs by Edwin Jobson - those were the days.