The halyards were clattering against masts as I walked the backwater this morning heading for the 6 'o' clock bus to Portland. After yesterdays poor excuse for a gale, things were far more brisk building hope of some seabird movement off the Bill. A short visit to the Bird Observatory showed little had been seen so onward to the Obelisk again.
On the way this adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL seemed to be posing for the camera, but a little closer
More dramatic seascapes but not a lot of birds in the first 30 minutes,
except for this GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, probably looking for an easy meal, before a good number of Auks (Razorbills and Guillemots) started flying past. Good to see so many carrying fish, probably Sand-eels, hopefully indicating plenty of young to feed?
Gannets too started to arrive before the first
being the first photos I have ever taken of this species, but not likely to grace the pages of National Geographical. Just before the hour a GREAT SKUA appeared out of the west but with a stern wind was soon gone at great speed. A good record as this was my first of the year and also the first ever in the month of June. All else amounted to a few Kittiwakes and the odd Fulmar, but overlooked from the last 2 days an unseasonable Common Gull was seen on Thursday and a group of c6 Common Scoter yesterday.
On the way back to the Obs I noticed this nailed to the side of one of the beach huts, good to have a reliable prediction of the weather.
Last year, the Warden, Martin Cade, had caught something of a scarce visitor to the Island
a BEDSTRAW HAWK-MOTH which he found had laid a number of eggs. In his usual inquisitive way he decided to try and rear them, giving many people a chance to watch the development over the year. Today, the second of the surviving 4 chrysalis emerged into adult state, and what a beauty. If you decide to do requests Martin, can you try Oleander Hawk-moth this year please??
Given the weather it is not surprising few Butterflies are on the wing, with the only representative I've seen was this SMALL HEATH on the slope of Culverwell.
and not seeing me immediately allowed a couple of shots. Otherwise, the only other news was that I did meet the ESTONIAN Olympic Sailing Team, in the supermarket of all places, and was able to give them a welcome to our shores. With my strong association with that beautiful country over the past few years they, of all our visiting sailors, were a real pleasure to meet. While on the subject it might be a good opportunity to send Best Wishes to Ille Kalaste, son Herkko and lady-friend Helis, along with all those I met during those heady Tallin years.
and finally, a snippet from Bomber Command tells of a new Jimi Hendrix BioPic Link in the making. Click 'Link' for more details.