Well, it would appear my theory on 'readership' was right as will be seen at the end of this post. It is intended, when time allows, to dig out a few photos from my extensive journeying throughout the United States of America (every State) which may reach some of the many friends I have made there over the years! Today has been a sunny yet chilly day, mainly down to the breeze now coming in from the north west, and without a sign of rain. All 3 traps were deployed last night which only saw a mitigating disaster as first of all one of the lamps exploded while secondly there was only one Moth captured which was
Even before leaving Parley, on what was a necessary but all too short visit to Weymouth and Portland,
predominated along with the now daily 'fly-past' of at least 100 Jackdaw and the arrival of c2 Fieldfare in the garden - good start! My business commitment soon completed I hightailed it to the
PORTLAND BIRD OBSERVATORY
where by and large things were quiet except for this exquisite
With time at a premium my visit there was cut to 10 minutes before heading down to the coast in the hope of catching up with some sea-birds.
Viewing from the
TRINITY HOUSE OBELISK
most action was of the 'boating' kind
with this SPEEDBOAT cutting close under Bill Point,
a PORTLAND CRABBER
working the 'ledges' close off-shore
while the CHARTER ANGLING BOYS
seemed to have enough clientele to keep the tills ringing.
Talking of Trinity House and the Obelisk, which was built in 1844 as an 'aid to mariners' before such luxuries as Satellite Navigators, there was a connection out to seaward.
Trinity House Multi Functional Tender (MFT) PATRICIA
works around the coast of England, Wales and the Channel Islands undertaking aid to navigation maintenance work, towing, wreck location and marking amongst other projects. This morning she appeared to be heading for the Shambles Bank a 'sand bar' a couple of miles south-east of Portland which is a serious danger to mariners. I have personally been involve in pulling 3 large ships (no names no pack-drills) off this bank during my days as a Towing Master.
The bank is marked at each end by a (tower-like) buoy known as a Cardinal Marks, all of which are painted with a set combination of black and yellow bands and have a 'distinctive top mark' and flashing light. The aim of the 'top mark' (constructed of 2 black cones) is to guide the Mariner to areas of 'safe water' each indicating N, S, E or WEST as in the case of the buoy on left of picture. North Cardinals show both 'cones' point up and South points down. The characteristics of each light is shown in shortened form such as Q(9) 15s (W Shambles) meaning 9 Quick Flashes every 15 seconds. The 'red bar', lower right, indicates a continuous red light shown from the 'active'
PORTLAND BILL LIGHTHOUSE
also a warning to the Mariner.
The main LENS of the Lighthouse.
At last some bird-life as a small party of
These were followed by the appearance of c2 flighty
This being the darker of the two.
As the PATRICIA turned to 'stem' the West Shambles Buoy
another Cardinal Mark could be seen on her foredeck. With the shape of the 'top mark' being 2 black cones 'bases together' it was likely the East Shambles Buoy from the other end of the bank. It is part of the Trinity House function to maintain all Navigation Marks around our coast, which can be done in a number of ways. Total replacement (one for one) is an option when things need major repair, but in this case it is likely the 'marks' were lifted to the ship, maintained by the crew, then relaid.
Another slightly larger flock of
flying south along the west cliff, were accompanied by Kittiwake, Shag, Cormorant, Common Gull, Guillemot, Gannet and Great Black-backed Gull all at some distance.
perched conveniently close by on the chimney of the
until flying overhead to find 'carrion' on a block of Portland Stone.
The view from Bill Point along the East Cliff
now with both buoys safely aboard, the second with 'wine glass'
top-mark, points together.
COMMON KESTREL and
were the last birds to be seen before a swift cup of coffee with
The Secret Lemonade Drinker
ended my stay. It is hoped to return soon!
The Readership of the United States of America surge ahead of the United Kingdom for the first time since the Bagsy Blog has been in production. Thanks to all our 'friends' over there (known or unknown) and as previously stated we will try to publish some US photos soon, but feel we will not be able to represent every State.
THANK YOU ALL!