Friday, 15 April 2011

No Pain, No Gain!

Last night's Italian party went off very well with these photos for general viewing, but mostly for Joy's son Andrew and his family in Canada. I can tell you Andrew, mum still knows how to throw a party! - so all the best to you, May, Trevor and Oliver.

With more or less the same weather conditions as yesterday, and the bird-life not dissimilar either, it was another day in local areas for me. In addition to the Warblers mentioned yesterday as getting established, Blackcap also seems to have joined the ranks as quite a few are now holding territory at most locations. Singing Goldcrest was the only notable record in the cemetery, while across the road at Radipole just 4 fly-over

Common Sandpiper went into the log. The water level here remains far to high for small Waders

and I get to wondering what else is passing us by?

By contrast Lodmoor, due to the lack of rain, is almost too dry but this Canada Goose

found some wet stuff to land on while pursuing a prospective mate, and the lingering

pair of Wigeon were also on show.

Sedge Warblers are now singing

from just about every bush, while

Reed Bunting, this one a female

are also increasing in numbers and

Common Whitethroat too

are conspicuous by their 'grating' song.

This Grey Heron was captured

flying over head, before putting down in

one of the ditches to start feeding while other strange behaviour was going on elsewhere.

This Chiffchaff was first seen with what looked at first like a large Spider, but on closer inspection it looked like nesting material. All the time it was letting out a 'single note' call seeming to attract

another bird that was 'singing' the familiar chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff song. At this the first bird stuffed the material into a crevice in the tree, rather Shrike-like, before

snuggling up together!

On the way to Ferrybridge a number of

Sandwich Terns were both seen and heard in Weymouth Bay, while at the bridge c2 were also seen in flight and perched on a small yellow mooring buoy like this archive photograph shows.

Awaiting the bus to Portland my friend Adrian Baker (lime green) rode past with 3 others of the team that will be contesting the Iron Man challenge in August, while the first bird close to Sweethill was

a Kestrel looking for its lunch. There were few birds about, but some had been lucky enough to see a Cuckoo, while my tally before reaching the Observatory comprised singles of Grasshopper Warbler and Swallow. However, the 'ringers' came to the rescue with

Martin the Warden releasing this male Common Redstart from a mist net, and

The Prof (Peter Morgan) allowing me a few shots. In addition he explained that the 'narrow' tail feathers are indicative of a bird hatched just last year, but went on to say it should breed during this season.

On the way home, via Top Fields, there seemed to be an extraordinary number of Blackbird, all males, including this one seemingly feeding young?

and finally, you would have to live in this area to know what chaos the long running roadworks is causing in the Borough, and the difficulties that have been experienced with the new 'intelligent' traffic lights system. This sign in the back window of a parked car seems to sum-up the whole sorry state. As a none car owner my slant on the whole thing is:-

A Bit of Pain for a Lot of Gain, Courtesy of the Olympic Games