Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Kites - Simon Dupree & the Big Sound (later to become Gentle Giant)

With some big changes in the offing for my future there is no shortage of things to do at home these days. So much so that since my return from Cork I have had to all but shelved social events, including lunch with No1 daughter and a trip to Kew Gardens, in favour of making some determined progress. However, there is often an exception to any rule so in the eye of a rain storm last evening I made my way to the
at Ferry Bridge to meet my 2 new found friends from the Orient, along with a Dutchman I had not yet met.
I had visited this establishment twice before, both soon after it opened a few years ago, and on first glance it seemed much improvement had been made under new management.
WEI GE (China) and SYENNY LEE (Taiwan) had both made it through the rain and seemed as though they were keen to get on with the dining, but Wei had a little formality to perform before we did. The occasion was to say farewell to her before she returns to Italy tomorrow to continue her studies before finally going back to China.
I was rightly thrilled to hear that the short excursions I had taken them on had been a memorable part of their stay in Weymouth and Portland and was given this beautifully decorated Chinese box
containing an equally intricate tiny 'Kite' kite. Wei described how her parents had taught her to make such things as a child, so what a fitting gift!
During all of this, David our Dutch company and flatmate to the ladies was quietly looking on, and all were seeking help with the menu. On reaching the
JOHN DORY they were all intrigued to know the fanciful story as to how it got such a strange name. Also known as St Peter's Fish (the Janitore or door [dory] keeper to the gates of heaven) as he was commanded by Jesus to bring this species, leaving his thumb and finger prints on either side of its flanks. I had often thought of being a salesman, "3 John Dory's and a plate of Sprats please"!
As for 'main course' how could you possibly dine on Portland without taking what is unarguably the finest Crab in the world?, "3 Crabs plus 1 Skate wing please"! A memorable evening, bon voyage to Wei in the hope of all being back together one day. 
With the opening ceremony for the Para-Olympics taking place this very evening, it was no surprise to see HMS Bulwark steaming past Portland Breakwater to take up station as 'Guard Ship' once again.
However, for me there was even more interest on the Ferry Bridge foreshore encountering 2 
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLs with extremely dark upper wing and mantle feathers.
Without going into technicalities, they do not look like the 'race' commonly found in Great Britain so points to their origin being possibly north eastern Europe.
I wasn't too sure about this juvenile Gull in company with the above.
any suggestions would be appreciated.
The SANDERLING at the same location were also slightly more obliging, so couldn't resist publishing these shots.
High on the agenda today was catching up with the FUNGAL PUNKS as they too were about to depart for sunny Stockport, which I did close to the Portland Bird Observatory (background) allowing me to say my goodbyes. I had already spent some time with Jill and Dave, but unusually daughter Katie had been absent but on another mission. Talk about 'don't let the looks fool you', as just yesterday this beautiful young lady attained a BLACK BELT in Karate!!
Shortly after a second bon voyage in as many days, the WRYNECK (a small European Woodpecker) showed itself again in the Obs Quarry
giving the fortunate half dozen of us some excellent views and the chance of a distant photograph or so.
It was a bit flighty, but even so all were satisfied with what we had seen, and I for one was ready for another coffee - a visit to the Secret Lemonade Drinker me thinks. Once there and telling him of my good fortune we returned to the quarry much faster than I had left. News was, it had not been seen for a full 30 minutes but
within seconds of the words being uttered it broke cover, perched in the open, albeit a little more distant than before,
and started WRYING its NECK. A 'lifer' for Secret and the accolade from him of being the Best Birder on the Planet for me. It's OK I'll be back in the mire again shortly!

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