Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) - Walker Brothers

 As described on yesterday's post the day the Olympic Torch arrived in Portland and Weymouth started with a blaze of sunshine, blue, blue sky and a chill in the breeze. Ideal then for a Beach Party, attention from the local media and a visitation from a few superstars including former Olympic swimmer Sharon Davis.

While neither Radipole or Lodmoor hold much magic for me these days, I decided to set out at 06:00 to visit both. Having had so much rain, how could anywhere not look 'green'
but Radipole particularly looked resplendent in its new growth of Common Reed.
Overhead c4 COMMON TERNs (there was a 4th) appeared to be squabbling at high altitude, 
while c5 GREAT CRESTED GREBEs cruised the Northern Lagoon. Not surprisingly there were no young to be seen, probably washed out by last week's flood?
and the un-strimmed verges was overshadowed by the most disgusting act I have ever witnessed at the reserve.
Suspected of being breeding BLACK-HEADED GULLs washed out by the floods, these birds have returned early to the lake. All else there were a few Common Swifts, singing Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, equally vocal Reed Buntings and a Water Rail. Onward to Lodmoor

via Greenhill Gardens and a fine example of the skills of out Council Gardens Department.
Out in Weymouth Bay it looked more like Navy Days than the Olympic Games as both HMS OCEAN (Great Britain's largest warship) and
HMS LANCASTER a 'Duke' class Type 22 Frigate known as 'The Queen's Frigate'. the Duke of Lancaster being one of the monarchs honorary titles, arrived for their deployment as extra security for the Games. 'Ocean' was bound for the Pool of London where she will act as Platform for Helicopter Security at the Olympic Games. 
Despite the wet weather, COMMON TERNs on both nesting islands at Lodmoor continue to thrive. That is not to say that some have not perished, but there are still a good number being well provided for by parent birds.
In addition there were also c7 LAPWING (but distant),
c5 OYSTERCATCHER, c2 Marsh Harrier, singles of Water Rail, Greenshank and 
Otherwise there was a proliferation of LESSER REEDMACE (Bulrush) and a fine view of
the Lodmoor Flood Plain from the high-ground close to Horselynch Copice. Returning to Weymouth, the clouds were now gathering and bringing a high prospect of rain.
The beach had been cleaned (as it is daily) for the arrival of the Torch
and lighting of the Cauldron later in the day
and the stage was set for the Festival to follow. At 10:15 precisely the rain once again showed its hand and at the time of retiring (bedtime) it had continued to be persistent. There is not a thing that can be done to combat this, but all the same my heart goes out to the 100's who have put in 1,000's of hours preparation, the local youngsters waiting in the wings to 'strut their stuff' and a lost opportunity to show the world what the UK's No1 town is all about!


  1. I struggle to think of HMS Ocean as being our largest Warship now Paul. (Very sad) I recall visiting the Ark (RO9) and the Eagle (RO5) on many occasions in my career, they were aircraft carriers.

  2. Tell me about it Roy! In 1980 we towed HMS Ark Royal to 'scrap' in Cairnryan on the Ocean Tug Typhoon, she was a monster. However, our fore-fathers and the Yanks might say she wasn't that big?