Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Roll Away the Stone - Mott the Hoople

We've just about seen it all now weather-wise, with sun, rain, wind etc all showing a hand over the last couple of weeks, today was the turn of 'dense fog'. Peeking through the bushes along the Rodwell Trail the view is usually as far as the Isle of Portland, but today just as far as the small boats moored close to shore.
Nothing unusual along the rest of the trail with DUNNOCK
and WOOD PIGEON being the only birds to fall to the lens
but the humid weather had the effect of bringing SLUGs and Snails into view.
In recent weeks I have read and on one occasion seen on the television reference to 'wheelchair diving' which I got a first hand look at today. 2 gentlemen were readying this rig for their incapacitated friend at Fathom and Blues Divers stationed at the Ferry Bridge Inn. I'll need to know more, so will make further investigations.
Apart from c4 of each Curlew and Dunlin there was little else of note at 'low water' Ferry Bridge and as can be seen visabilty had not improved by the time I headed for Portland.
There, the small flock of juvenile STARLINGs hadn't attracted a Rose-coloured bird,
and as reported on the PBO Website in the week CORMORANT numbers seem high for the time of year. With little else on the sea it was time to head for the Observatory, where on the way
the 'dark' LITTLE OWL had temporarily abandoned its favourite slot in the rocks
for a far more open position.
WILD STRAWBERRY are now starting to appear around the lip of the Obs Quarry,
where also my  first MARBLED WHITE of the year was photographed. Bird-wise at the Obs things were also very quiet but the Moth (light) Traps had seen some overnight success but nothing of a scarce or rare nature. Some of the more attractive insects included
and SMALL ELEPHANT HAWK-MOTH while at the pond
AZURE DAMSELFLIES were busily procreating. After coffee it was time to leave, coinciding with the fog lifting, so for the first time since my return it was decided to walk the East Cliff path back
where FIELD BINDWEED was prolific.
Although the image doesn't show it too well, REEDY DITCH which is fed from a natural spring at Culverwell (the distant bushes centre) and 'run-off' from Top FIelds was almost in full flow, most unusual for this time of year.
The carpet of pink Thrift has now disappeared, to be replaced by the equally attractive cover of yellow BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL
all along this rugged coastline. I have no proof , but like to think that the 'dressed' stone blocks in the foreground are residue from the construction of St Paul's Cathedral, London. There are still blocks of stone around the Island that bear the mark of Sir Christopher Wren, but have never been able to find one in this area.
At one of the many redundant quarries here there was a moment of 'high drama' on finding this SHEEP seemingly stuck down one of them.
Obs Warden Martin Cade is the obvious choice as first point of contact, for if he dosn't know who to alert he'll know somebody who does. A report may follow?
A Rocky Outcrop.
While most of the fog had now lifted, leaving a warm sunny day, there was still a vail of low cloud obscuring the area known a The Grove, the location of the Young Offenders Institution. The land to the right of picture is Grove Point and the sandy patch to the left Church Ope Cove.
It was the turn of the Prince of Wales to visit the National Sailing Acadamy at the north of the Island today, and while he usually travels in a helecopter of the Queen's Flight (red livery) he could well have been in this chopper. I say that because on my way home the same aircraft was stood on the tarmac at Castletown, but it could just as easily have been an escort or nothing at all to do with him?
CINNABAR Moths were also on the wing in good numbers,
and I often wonder how many more years this pinnacle has left standing.
These 2 young lady climbers were enjoying one of the endless number of rock-faces, as a pair of Peregrin's were seen flying overhead carrying food for young.
Finally at Southwell village there was a chance to watch HOUSE MARTINs also feeding young.
On returning to the nest with a bill full of insects, the 'food passing' is so quick
I simply pressed the shutter hoping to catch the departing adult bird.

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