Sunday, 10 June 2012

Stormy Monday? - T-Bone Walker

This morning at 10:42 I received this e-mail from one Roger Lees:- 
Bagsy Replying to a comment on your blog, you said
Not content with having blasted the Ruddy Duck, an introduced species, almost out of (GB) existence mostly in the name of it being an introduced species, they [The RSPB] then turn their ‘sights’ on the Common Buzzard wanting to shoot, cage or destroy their nests in support of ‘saving’ the Pheasant, also introduced, so they can be selectively shot to death by the rich. One stance or the other RSPB please! How can any Society justify the words ‘Birds’ and ‘Protection’ in their title and who in a civilised world would subscribe to further such barbaric practise?'
I have no view on the RSPB, but I did write to my MP, Richard Grosvenor Plunket Ernle-Erle-Drax asking for his view on the destruction of buzzard nests as a control measure to protect young pheasants as proposed by DEFRA
DEFRA claims that they were not planning to destroy active nests, and I have attached a copy of their website for your information.  Whether or not you believe that the minister Richard Benyon, who has form when it comes to protecting the interests of rich land owners, is being totally honest I leave up to you.  For what it's worth my opinion is that the cost (supposedly £375,000) of the proposed 'research' into protecting birds destined to be shot by the rich should not be met out of public funds, or can ever be justified if it involves any interference with indigenous wildlife, especially protected birds but particularly birds of prey which will always be vulnerable.
It won't take much effort on your part to find that the RSPB was vociferous in defence of the Buzzard, as were many newspapers and individuals, so your comments regarding the RSPB supposedly supporting Buzzard destruction or control to protect pheasants are simply wrong.  Whatever your views may be regarding the RSPB and individual employees at Weymouth you should be more careful ascribing outrageous actions to them, which should properly laid at the door of others, in support of your general criticism.
A correction of your comments and an apology on your blog would be the proper thing to do, and I will wait with interest to see if it appears.
R Lees

I doubt Mr Lees has hastily tacked together these words without a great deal of thought and a better knowledge of the subject than I. It would seem, given his tone, that in this instance I may have got things abjectly wrong for which I am only too happy to proffer, provisionally, both correction and full apology to those who may have been effected by my possible mistake? However, I will need to further research this and if found to be in error endorse my foibles in a later post. Thanks go to Mr Lees for taking the time to advise me, and this amendment will also appear on the Sunday Blog.

The weather forecast of 70mph winds and heavy rain was every reason to head for the Bill again, with every chance of seeing a sea-bird or to in addition to the drama of the sea-scape. Again there was time to wander the quayside of the Inner Harbour, Weymouth noting today just how many
boats are now up for sail particularly the larger ones moored at the Private Nelson Marina.
The Skipper of SOUTHERNER II seemed to be no hurry to hoist a For Sale board, but as he beavered away at polishing the bright-work he had obviously overlooked one small detail.
He had hoisted his 'Jack' upside down!
The view of the active lighthouse at the Bill was far brighter than yesterdays offering, but what cannot be see in this image is the strength of the wind. Hammering in at around the predicted speed I sought the lee of the Trinity House Obelisk. MANX SHEARWATER (a couple of dozen) was very quickly added to the Year List while all else of note amounted to more common seabirds such as Gannet, Fulmar, Razorbill, Guillemot and a stray Kittiwake. Time then to 'turn' my attention to
these 2 gentlemen who quickly had the tables 'turned' on them. As the National BBC TV News gathering team they are only used to capturing others, but having cornered me for an interview it was time to focus my camera on them. Unfortunate to report that their footage didn't 'make the cut' and a 'STAR' remained unborn!
Looking down towards Pulpit Rock, the sea was doing its stuff
and there was the huge pleasure of meeting and welcoming the French Olympic Sailing Team to Dorset. Both newsworthy I would have thought, but all of us out-gunned by
these people, 5 in total, climbing Pulpit in in the eye of a howling gale and making it to the BBC TV Evening News.
There were cries of "idiots", which is one way of looking at it, but preferring to think of over exuberant youngsters little realising the dangers my thoughts were rather for those who may have come later to pick up the pieces. With that single thought I rang the Bird Observatory and got them to inform the Coast Guard.
There follows a series of coastal shots taken along the eastern tip of the Island
punctuated by a loan ROCK PIPIT then,
looking further out to sea watching what would have once been Atlantic rollers crashing over the shallows of what is the Shambles Bank. Short coffee break and chat at the Obs was followed by a leisurely stroll across the Bill Common and out with the smoked Mackerel sandwiches while awaiting the bus.
Not surprisingly, this had the effect of attracting every Shy Talk in the neighbourhood, all being
HERRING GULLs and not to be denied happily shared my lunch with them.
This small tanker, too distant to identify as to name, was shaping up as though she had come some distance rather than just across West Bay,
but rounding Grove Point some while later she was soon in quieter water.
This smart looking JACKDAW arrived just before leaving
and on passing Portland Harbour windsurfers were seen lapping up the condition, proving one man's meat is an others poison. and as we steam headlong towards next month, this from my mate Willy Downes who informs me that he remembers well the last time this occurred.


  1. Hey, thats a picture of me with the sail wit orange on, thank you!

  2. I only photograph 'superstars' so an obvious subject Red! Will look out for you on my wanderings. Tight sheets, yours aye, Bagsy