Given recent weather condition, the time of year (between migrations) and other difficulties I have for a full 7 days now been going to suggest the Ted Heath solution - A 3 Day Week. However, each time I sally forth there seems to be an endless supply of interesting things all around me, so maybe we can put the idea on hold!
Looking across Radipole Lake to the north from Pottery Lane at 07:30.
Yet another day that started with a good deal of sunshine, little in the way of cloud and the wind down to a mere zephyr but still bringing a little chill early morning. Despite a gloomy forecast there seemed to be many more people at the Bill than of late, so as usual I was hoping to meet some of them.
It is often said "leave the best 'till last" but that doesn't take into account fate as arriving at the Obelisk the best came first. This group of special needs children and their carers were already enjoying the seascapes and next thing you know I'm right amongst them - one of the gang. I don't quite know what defines 'special needs' but I can tell you each of these youngsters had something to say and were a great interest to me. Time doesn't allow all the anecdotes, but for one the little girl (centre pink skirt) told me how, at only 12 years, she had already visited 3 places including Newcastle, Birmingham and Portland. Well, at that rate and pro rata she should catch me up very soon. Bless her, her friends and the real SPECIAL people who take care of them. What a pleasure!
As we stood there a small party of COMMON SCOTER passed by
so along with a few Gannets there were birds to see as well.
At the Lobster Pot Restaurant another lady approached and simply said, "you're Bagsy", Fay then when on to tell me that she and her family are avid readers which I have to say is a fillip indeed.
Talking of Lobsters, there was soon to be another encounter, but first a sight I had not beheld for many a day, a boat being hoisted on the sheer-legs. Immediately seeing this my thoughts turned to 2 other friends Micheal Munro and Ricky Lambert who were sure to be in attendance if this sort of activity was in progress.
Portlanders by birth both have had a life long affinity with the sea, Ricky having held a number of 'shore caught' record fish (mainly Conger Eel) and Mick a fine boatman. Today he had taken a couple of spear-fishermen of to the edge of the ledges where they had taken these 3 fine COD,
4 LOBSTERS and a large EDIBLE CRAB which must have recently shed its shell so (commendably) was returned to the sea.
Two most interesting things about the Lobsters were this individual which had shed or lost its claws, was in the process of growing a new pair which were still tiny and in the soft 'jelly' state.
The other was seen to have a type of fungus on its right side which could be parasitic, marine growth or who knows what, which we all found most interesting.
On closer inspection the pattern would have been worth an award if devised by man,
like tiny sea urchins or jellyfish??
Not a lot of avian activity at the Bird Observatory today, except for a few young Blue and Great Tits being caught, but the CREAM SPOT TIGER MOTH found in the trap this morning bought a little colour to the day.
Portland in general doesn't support very many trees or bushes, with this the southern end of the Island being particularly sparse. Worrying then that the recent high winds have already turned the leafs brown which look like they could fall at any time.
Heading towards the bus, a Common Buzzard put in a brief appearance while this KESTREL was far more obliging,
as were a small flock of juvenile STARLINGs. At this time of year these feeding parties are always worth more than a second look as they are occasionally joined by the much rarer Rose-coloured Starling from Asia, always a good find.
SKYLARKs also continue to be very vocal and as this one decided to land directly in front of me, showing front, back and sides it was time to snap away again.
It was only this very afternoon that I got to hear of the MEMO 2012 PROJECT and so will not be able to enlighten you in full. Suffice to say there is a web-site, but like the documents published here there has not yet been time to read it all. There are also some photographs in existence, which it is hoped will reach the 'in tray' in time for tomorrows post, of today's Striking of the Bell Ceremony.
I cannot identify your latest boat but have 2 comments.
1) The London to Portland Small Ships race took place from 9th June (now finished). These boats are on the following web site (including TSK 645).
2) They were meant to continue on 15th June racing round Weymouth Bay but this was cancelled cos of the weather.
I can only think they are now sailing home or to other places - ie dispersing.
The next small ships race is at Cowes on 6th Oct.and finally, an e-mail from Brad and Karen Mear
Hi Bagsy,My wife Karen came across this photo of what maybe a impostor of your fine self on Tresco, Isles of Scilly(minus your bins) hope you don't mind.We are both big readers of your blog and can't wait to read it each evening.Keep up the good work and hope to bump into you very soon.Best wishes Brad and Karen Mear,Yeovil.
While we have never met, surely you can see Brad and Karen that I am far better looking than that. Personally, I think it world renown guitarist Peter Green who at every gig tries to convince people he is ME!