Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Cuckoo (is a Pretty Bird) - Bob Dylan

Almost a carbon copy of both avian and weather activity as yesterday, except for a slightly more brisk wind, but as the morning progressed both improved. Another day of forsaking all areas for an early Portland visit, where at Barleycrates there was just a single

Whinchat while the walk along the West Cliff and Reap Lane saw just a scattering of

Wheatear while at Fancy's Farm what looked like 'new arrivals' were

these 2 Pigs. No idea of breed I'm afraid (unless they are Vietnamese 'Pot-bellies'?) but will ask John or Sue Ilsley when I see them. The walk to the Observatory drew just about a 'blank' the saving grace only being a trickle of Swallows and

half a dozen Whitethroats now mostly holding territories. Even for the 'ringers' things were a little slow, except that the very first bird trapped was a Spotted Flycatcher which I missed. After coffee news was received of a Cuckoo in the Top Fields so it was time to head in pursuit. Having missed this by seconds it was thought best to give it a little time hoping it would show again.

In the mean time this

Fox appeared out of the hedge

and took a steady prowl across the horse paddock.

Within a minute or two this Spotted Flycatcher turned up in the same field, and while always at distance it did put on a fine show of, yes, 'fly-catching'.

These 2 photos are taken from the archive

for illustration purposes, and then, there it was scrabbling through the hedge

a (the) Cuckoo which very quickly took to the wing

flying across the field

before disappearing into another hedge, not to be seen again. In addition the flow of Swallows continued while a single Swift flew overhead and a female Redstart foraged among the bushes.

The Cuckoo and Spotted Flycatcher were both new species for 2011 an brought the
GB Year List up to 236 and the Dorset List to a round 190.

It's the royal wedding tomorrow which my daughter Lisa reminded me of in an e-mail saying, "bet you can hardly wait to see Kate's dress tomorrow, can you Dad"? When your daughter is your 'soul mate' they know you too well - LOVE to you all my lovely girl!