Friday, 15 June 2012

Night Owl - Gerry Rafferty

Having had a very good lunch along with a couple of glasses of wine with Lesley, John and Maggie yesterday I was just about set for the evening and posted the Blog. Then the phone rang with Bowie and Sheila advising me that Howard and Cheryl Lewis had arrived back from Croatia and were staying the night before flying home to Australia today. Did I want to share a farewell drink over a bit of supper, I arrived in minutes 10. It's always a good evening round at the Edward;s but last night just seemed to have that extra sparkle which turned into more than A drink! 

Bowie sinks a can while Sheila, Howard and Cheryl slave over a hot stove.
Much of my day was spent in the lee of the Trinity House Obelisk at Portland Bill looking for 'seabirds' in what I had expected to be a Force 8 or so, but unfortunately that did not materialise. What was a 30 knot blow from the SS West under a mostly cloudy sky did produce a continuous stream of birds but not the much hoped for Great and Arctic Skuas.
NORTHERN GANNET was likely the most numerous
with good numbers of adult birds

and the occasional juvenile in much darker plumage.

A juvenile follows an adult up channel.

only c2 NORTHERN FULMAR were seen

with this one close enough to the rocks to allow at least a half decent picture.
 GUILLEMOT were also numerous
while their close cousin the Razorbill remained in single figures.
Walking across the Common to the Bird Observatory, it was notice that a large amount of Fungi is now emerging and at the Obs Quarry
a LITTLE OWL was showing well. It would be safe to say that anyone would be pleased to see any Owl at any time but these birds, but while they are often seen in the quarry they usually remain fairly static.
Not so today, as on arrival this unusually 'dark' individual turned its head as if it had spot prey on the quarry floor. Hoping for a flight shot or two, it didn't take to the wing
but did start a routine of jigging around firstly from one foot to the other,
wing stretching


while all the time keeping a watchful eye all around.

Still, only for a short time, it then continued the display

by drooping one of its wings

before taking up this most strange pose. A coffee and chat at the Obs before starting the tramp home where I came across this
WHITETHROAT at Culverwell

and a HOLLY bush sporting both red

and green berries at the same time and later

this splendid looking DOG ROSE.
Before closing, I should say a word about the Famous Spa Public House on Dorchester Road, Weymouth. We all opted for the Gammon, Fried Egg, Chips and Pineapple at £10 for 2 and doubt there is anywhere in the Borough that can equal this for value, including JD Wetherspoon. Coupled with competent and friendly service The Spa is a well kept house which I would recommend to anyone - see you there!