Sunday, 29 July 2012

Oh What A Night - The Four Seasons

You can say that again, and what a 'fantastic' dinner with
Bowie (Lorne) Edwards, (mine hosts) Paul and Annie Harris, Sheila Edwards and Humpty who looks like he's just about to fall off the wall.
Younger son (sorry) Michael Harris was also in our company and kept us adequately topped up with music from their new Sonos Wireless Music System. Reputed to be able to download just about any track of music, I had been set the challenge of trying to beat the machine. Wading in with the most obscure band I have in my own record collection, the gadget quickly came up with 4 titles from Swedish band Atomic Swing which were all the albums they have ever made except for Car Crash in the Blue, result Man 1 - Machine 0.

With a minimum of half a bottle each of 1990 Château Le Tour Carnet and a 1998 Château Feytit-Clinet along with a cider or twa the morning got off to something of a blurred start,
but nonetheless I was on parade a little after daybreak. Walking to the bus there was a notable increase in the number of this years juvenile Herring Gulls close to Westhan Bridge,
and a much smaller gathering of Portland and Weymouth Olympic Ambassadors.
The almost clear sky at home had quickly been filled by towering cumulus as I reached Ferry Bridge where it was seen Wader numbers were also higher.
A single REDSHANK attracted my attention with its 'call' as it flew by and over
a group of RINGED PLOVER which also took to the wing to join about
40 DUNLIN (left) and c3 SANDERLING (right).
On the Chesil Beach side of the Fleet c8 TURNSTONEs were feeding while
c6 MEDITERRANEAN GULLs seemed contented standing at the 'low water mark'.
No need for a bus to Portland Bill as avid Blog reader DAVID DUTTON happened by dropping me at the Lighthouse where he is a Volunteer Guide - Thanks again Dave!
First to fall to my Nosey Parker technique were the boys and girls of  the
not to be confused with the Portland Bird OBS,
while at the PBO there was plenty of stimulating conversation with EILEEN WHITE, SANDRA LAMBERT and BERYL CLAFTON - great to see you ladies! Also at the Obs were Peter and Rosie Morgan who are continuing Stewardship in the absence of the Warden, and had conveniently caught this
juvenile STONECHAT. 
Immature male SOUTHERN HAWKER DRAGONFLY. Paul Rendell was also there and kindly asked if I would like to join him in a search of
for CISTUS FORESTER MOTH (Wiki photos) that was recorded on the Island for the very first time last week. With an Insect about the size of a Kidney Bean there was never going to be much likelihood of finding it, but during our fruitless search there was chance for me to rediscover a section of Portland not visited for far too long.
Other Butterflies on the wing during our visit were Small Skipper, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Large White with Paul claiming a 'Fritilary' of sorts. Cinnabar and 6-spot Burnet Moths were also seen.
Low growing COTONEASTER is playing havoc with all other plant-life in most of the quarries, its rapid and choking growth being countered by a spraying program to try and eliminate it - it seems to be working here.
Before departing the Insect scene Moth'ers or even Unmarried Moth'ers may be interested in this new Field Guide which I first clapped eyes on at Paul and Annie's last night and immediately decided to buy. This has to be the mother (am I repeating myself?) of all Moth Identification manuals but comes in at a hefty £57, Paul having received a complimentary copy having provided a good number of his superb photographs within. It may also be of interest to some that as a member of the Portland Bird Observatory you would enjoy a hefty discount at the 'in house' Book Shop' along with many other advantages! I paid just £42 for my copy.
So, onward to the Olympic Sailing and the general ongoing Festivities, Alexander Gardens CAROUSEL
While there still seems to be fewer people in Weymouth than on what might be an otherwise ordinary holiday date, the Sports and Large Screens on the beach are both attracting good numbers. My first encounter on the prom was with these 2 beautiful people, visitors from The Punjab, India. Whenever I see a SIKH it is like a Bee to the Honey
 as a result of the extremely warm welcome I received there back in 2002 and particularly at the GOLDEN TEMPLE, AMRITSAR as these images show.
Hard to believe but 60,000 people are 'fed for free' at the Temple every single day which generates an awful lot of washing up. This is not seen as a chore but a privilege given to only a very select few, as can be seen I soon wormed my way in there but I'm not so keen at home! Next came the
BRASS BAND from Bournemouth with their 4 SOUSAPHONES
and their MUSICAL ZIMMER FRAMES. In passing I would say pound for pound this lad is as good as Phil Collins! This was the point when my small camera battery ran flat, so a few more shots from the Promenade with the big lens:-
A nice big UNION FLAG not up-side-down.
The NAPOLEONIC CANNONBALL in a wall on Maiden Street said to have been fired from a French Galleon in Weymouth Bay.
Couldn't see or have the time to research ship names , but believe this may be Pelican of London
This is most likely to be the ROYAL NAVY BOMB DISPOSAL TEAM - there's a clue there somewhere.
and likely the Caledonia?
and although I have looked cannot find out who this fella mi lad is either?
and finally, a little bit of rolly poly, rolly poly, that's the way to do it, Judy, Judy my beauty, come upstairs - no I won't!
It's a Crociockockidiale.

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