Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Private Benjamin - Goldie Hawn

To start, a correction to yesterday's post. Last night I received a mail from my friend Chris Cook in Tokyo pointing out that the Oystercatcher described as the same as might be seen at Ferrybridge is in fact PIED OYSTERCATCHER and not the same beast at all. I really should have been more alert to this having seen many of them over the years, but thank Chris for taking the time to point this out. The appropriate amendment has been made to the post. 

While today is most definitely Wednesday this post in part relates to Tuesday 15th May. Still a couple of days adrift, it was a sobering thought to wake and realise it has been a full 12 years since I found the Fan-tailed Warbler at Portland Bill. Even more amazing was the arrival of my 4th Grandson (third of the Australian contingent) Benjamin Peter York the day before. I had been pre-advised of the arrival date so had ample opportunity to plan a small, private celebration of my own. As I have already 'gone bush' for a couple days (sleeping in the car, showering at Roadhouses and bumming early morning cups of coffee etc) it was well worth a fairly long diversion to get myself into the Desert where there would be no vestige of man-made light. Armed with a decent bottle of Merlot (it was plainly a good one as the label clearly stated "eminently drinkable up to 2015", but I would have to hurry as it was already 'half past seven') not a practise I would normally follow while in charge of a car!

I don't ever remember seeing quite so many Stars along with a couple of distinguishable Planets, a host of Meteorites, a couple of Satellites and the odd aircraft made for a perfect backdrop. Moonrise was 21:22 and luckily it was right on time

 and in the waning phase looking every bit like the shining egg of a Golden Eagle. I believe Benjamin is born to what must be the best nation on earth to live in at this present time, so with caring, loving parents and 2 fine brothers what better track to play than the Dire Straits classic 'Brothers In Arms'. I have to admit to 'whetting the baby's head' with a tear of joy, and mussed that had I were 40 years younger authorities would have to find me before I'd leave this Wonderful Land.

Back to reality and the coast, it isn't often you here of a place being described as 'littered with Ospreys', but this is Horrocks. The tiny village of just a couple of hundred people and at least c11 of these magnificent Birds of Prey is well off the beaten track and worthy of more than a one night stand, but feel it will have to be a re-visit if time allows. The rest of the post is given over to a pictorial account of my day here.
An occupied, man-made nest site just out of town.
As a couple of the birds had decided to fly off
I took a wander down to the nest site to find both birds in residence, one seemingly sitting on eggs?
As if things hadn't been of 'fantasy' proportions already, on my return
I found this bird with a fish.
Unlike many predators that usually start their feast with the eyes and soft underbelly/entrails,
the Osprey seems to favour the much harder head of the fish.
I stayed long enough to see the head completely devoured.
Finally, spotting one of the birds at ground, or handrail, level
it was thought worthwhile to see just how close they would let a human approach.
10 feet was the answer although there was a bit of nervous flapping and continuous screeching
which I didn't attribute to my presence.
However, the bird did eventually fly off but seemingly of its own volition?
A couple of WELCOME SWALLOWS were also very welcome as was another