For the dozen or so people in the country who, for whatever reason, missed the BBC2 programme Nature Watch from Portland Bird Observatory (PBO) last night, here are a few stills.
PBO Warden Martin Cade hands the programme presenter a Willow Warbler caught moments earlier in one of the 'mist nets'.
From the Obs garden this tiny little bird, that has likely travelled from South East Africa, is gently placed in a cloth bag to be transported to the 'ringing hut'.
Here, among several short procedures of measuring, sexing etc, a small metal ring bearing a return address is placed around the birds leg
before finally being popped into a pot
All that is left to do then is to release it in the hope that one way or another the ring is returned with full details of bird, location found and any other relevant details.
As for the rest of the programme, well these days I seem to be controversial enough so I'll keep my own council, but it was fantastic to see
The Portland Bird Observatory deservedly get 'Top Credit'.
Did I hear someone say "sad ol' git sat by his TV with a camera"?
As for this morning, the north easterly chill remained as a result of a fresh breeze, but there was no cloud, plenty of sun and the potential of another fine day. The cemetery was quiet, but once again I was met at the Radipole gate by Steve Morris who tells me that at least one of the young Robins is now on the wing, and the 2 Lesser Whitethroats are still singing at the top of their voices.
At the top of the reserve a pair of Marsh Harriers were quartering the reeds, but keeping their distance,
while one or two Cetti's Warbler were showing quite well.
Arriving at the main bridge at the optimum moment I watched first one
then a second Common Sandpipers drop into just about the only perch available to a small Wader on this reserve. With the water level 'still' high enough to float a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier)
they were soon gone, to more suitable habitat. All else of note here was a single Black-tailed Godwit, which had found just a narrow strip of mud, but there were NO Hirundines (Swallows & Martins) so I moved on to Lodmoor.
Things were a little more lively here as this passing Whimbrel greeted me with its rattling call, while one of 4
see my first Common Swift of the year (6 to be precise).
For novelty value, the long staying escapee Bahama Pintail put in an appearance before I disappeared towards Ferrybridge. Lucky for me Angela Thomas, now 'second in command' at the Fleet Reserve spotted me waiting at the bus stop an offered a lift to her work place where it was my intention to photograph
the annual 'carpet of flowers' all the way along Beach Road (unfortunately not shown to best advantage in this shot) comprising mostly of
another flower I'm unsure of, is it one of the Campions?
These are Daisy. Onward to the Observatory where they were having a mini Purple Patch with the arrival of a Red-rumped Swallow and a Spotted Flycatcher but unfortunately not seen by me.
The best I could do there was this male Broad-bodied Chaser, so it was home for me and opening my e-mails there were a couple of very interesting photographs the first from Nick Stantiford who had captured these displaying
Red Kites, surely this species is due to breed in the county
so we live in hope!
Secondly, Peter and Debbie Saunders, always alert to a good photograph, this
Common Buzzard complete with Rabbit
flew over their house yesterday evening - what a shot!
Thank you both for the photographs and also to ALL our readers - Keep the Faith and pass on the LINK to your friends!