Thursday, 21 April 2016

Death Walks Behind You - Atomic Rooster

Unless you are impervious to such things 'inspiration' only comes in 2 forms, that which you give and that which is get. Of the latter I find myself extremely lucky to have a small group people around me who not only spur me on but educate me at the same time. However, a couple of days ago the tables were turned and despite my effort to become the total recluse, another dear friend and ex-colleague paid me a visit. It was early one morning on the Floating Production Oil Platform Buchan Alpha, after something of a gruelling watch, that
DAVE PENNEY
(seen here enjoying the equally gruelling 4 days of my 60th birthday)
(now I know where my 'encrusted' Port went)
asked what attracted me to the upper-deck each morning after my 'night watch', and disappearing for at least 2 hours? Instead of a straight answer he was invited to join me (with binoculars) and asked in the first instance what he could see on the 'inactive' starboard flare boom. "Shite Hawks" was his immediate and predicted reply, but asked him to look a little close to see if they were all of a single species. He was quick to pick up on both Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls and did notice that there was a strange 'cream' looking one among them, a
GLAUCOUS GULL
 It is certain that Dave will remember this moment of 'inspiration' well
video
as from that day forward he became a keen birder, another convert.
His visit to Slight Return II and the adjacent Recording Area
started with the Moth Traps which right up until the last knockings were singularly
UNINSPIRING!
 SPIDER WEB and EARLY MORNING DEW
Clinging to the lip of the final trap was a
 TAWNY PINION
which was new for the year.
The rest of our day together threw up mostly common and usual fare such as
 MISTLE THRUSH
 COMMON BUZZARD
 A couple of
 ROE DEER
 BLACK-HEADED GULL
 same as last year at this time commandeering the 
Island in the Gravel Pit.
 GREY WAGTAIL
 OAK TREES
now springing into leaf.
A DEAD RAT
and less fortunately an equally dead
GREY HERON
with no signs as to cause of death!
A busy morning, but not over quite yet as we set about turning over a few covers.
A 'FIRST' for Dave was
 SMOOTH SNAKE
 in fact a total of 3 on the day,
 
 ditto for
SLOW WORM
all under the same sheet corrugated iron
and later a juvenile
SLOW WORM
 Whichever creatures are disgorging these
 
 PELLETS
seem to like doing so on the sheets laid to attract Reptiles which makes
them very easy for us to find. This one however has strangely been eating
GORSE?
The afternoon was spent walking the bank of the
River Stour
where we found
 LITTLE EGRET
 a little nervy at first
 but soon settled down
 to afford us decent views.
 The Kingfishers are certainly back but of late more often heard than seen.
It is hoped that these 'new' excavations might be the start of their new breeding site.
 GREEN WOODPECKER
 before finding more
DEATH
this time a long-time dead
 OTTER
The cherry was firmly plonked on top of the cake when at first there
was an unmistakable burst of song from a
 CETTI'S WARBLER
followed by brief but quite adequate views of this often elusive bird.
Previously, there had only been one other, heard only, across the
Recording Area this year.
Finally, and just before his departure we checked what had invaded the
areas covered by the Trail Cameras and came up with just
GREY SQUIRREL
and
FOX
(YES WE KNOW, MORE 'REPEATS' THAN ITV!)
Since returning to his home in Northampton Dave has sent me no fewer than 3 E-mails the first stating (his words not mine) that he had found 'inspiration' during his visit to visit his local Nature Reserve, Summer Leys, neglected now for more than 6 months. There he recorded 41 species, compared to our 45 at Parley, but certainly upstaged us with
 WILLOW TIT
 now seriously endangered in Great Britain and,
unless anyone know differently, now EXTINCT in Dorset!
His second confirmed that his Trail Camera had arrived, and finally
that he would be availing himself of a Moth Trap in the very near future.
Death may walk behind you but, INSPIRATION goes before!
Rock 'n' Roll Trivia:-

DEATH WALKS BEHIND YOU
was the second studio album release by Atomic Rooster and the first to be released Stateside both in 1970. The band was at that time comprised of Vincent Crane (formally Crazy World of Arthur Brown) Keyboards and Backing Vocals, John Du Cann Lead and Bass Guitars and Lead Vocals (various little known outfits, but had shortly before replaced bassist Carl Palmer The Nice, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, later known as ELP) and Paul Hammond (Hard Stuff) and all classically trained musicians. The front cover of the album depicts the mono-type of Nebuchadnezzar by William Blake while the style came under the genre of Progressive Rock. While unable to speak for elsewhere, in Weymouth at least it was considered 'Underground', with the equation being simple, "if you ain't got DWBY you ain't UNDERGROUND!!
Just to change the tune slightly try
(Government Health Warning - Not Literally)
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318
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313
Germany
91
Brazil
15
France
15
Ireland
11
China
10
Canada
9
Estonia
9
Russia
7

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