Archive for June 2011

Thursday 23rd June 2011   Leave a comment

A month on the most arduous commercially available bird tour looms.

Should be great if I can hack it physically.

Irian Jaya here I come.

Only outing today apart from shopping was a visit to to fire ravaged Upton Heath  where the best bird seen was a pair of Dartford Warblers.

They say it could take 20 years to fully recover

Posted June 23, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

Wednesday 22nd June   Leave a comment

Packing and updating the blog took most of the day but a trip to Poole park allowed me to photograph a few common birds  and see Kara perform  some acrobatics .





Posted June 23, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

Tuesday 21st June   Leave a comment

The longest day – autumn will be here soon. Like most birders I can’t wait the best season of the year to start. Many birders consider 15th of July to be the start of autumn, others are more optimistic and commence autumn some time in June!

Didn’t feel much like summer today, breezy with heavy showers.

To get some exercise for my upcoming trip, and to wear the kids out a bit, I opted for a march up Flower’s Barrow, but the range walks were closed, so we walked down to Kimmeridge Bay from the quarry and back.

The family guests from Grand Canaria found it a bit cold and had to borrow various oversized garments.

EDIT – for reasons I don’t understand I’ve been unable to get two of these photos to rotate correctly even though they appear the right orientation prior to uploading – sorry.

Note Janis is wearing ‘sheep ear muffs’

 The girls were soon on the beach and in ‘fossil heaven’

Fossil heaven

Various ammonites

During the evening Margaret’s choir were having a social event. They gave a rendition of the Alleluia Chorus, and various members sang or read poems.

Amber read one of her poems

 and Kara sang one of her own compositions.

Both girls are very creative for their age.

Posted June 23, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

Monday 20th June   1 comment

Free at last, I don’t have to go to work today!

Nigel was catching a train down to St Ives in Cornwall, as this would take three or four changes from Poole, I opted to drive him to Exeter.

There was time afterwards to visit Exminster for Cirl Buntings, but unfortunately heavy rain put aid to plans to go to Yarner Wood and / or Dawlish Warren.




Male Cirl Bunting - Exminster

Male Cirl Bunting – Exminster


Marbled White – Exminster

Posted June 23, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

Sunday 19th June   Leave a comment

This morning all our guests took a walk from Kingston to Sywre Head. It was very breezy but the visibility was good.

Syre Head looking east

This has to be one of the best places in Dorset for viewing the coast. To the east you can see St Aldhelm’s Head and then beyond to St Catherine’s Point on the IOW (to the left of this photo) and to the north much of Poole Harbour (behind you from this viewpoint)

Swyre Head looking west

To the west the coast towards Lulworth and White Nothe shows clearly as does Portland. Hardy’s Monument can be seen in the distance (to the right of this photo)






After a pub lunch at the Scott Arms, Nigel and I continued to Kinston Lacey house for another taste of culture.

Kingston Lacey - Wimborne, photo from the internetJust one of the many exquisitely decorated rooms. Photo from the internet.


The Dining Room at Kingston Lacy, Dorset. The organ was installed in the 1880s having probably been moved from the Saloon. The ceiling was inspired by the design at Coleshill in Berkshire. Photo from the internet

Posted June 23, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

Saturday 18th June 2011   1 comment

This is the day of my big party. Margaret spent the day buying and preparing food. I did various things in the morning but left at 2.00 pm for Bournemouth station to pick up old school and university friend Nigel Mackie, who had just caught the train from Leeds.







Nigel is very much into art so we headed for  the Russell Coates Museum, which I must admit I had never visited before.

The museum holds an excellent selection of art and historical artifacts collected in the late 19th century.





Black Sheep – Cask Conditioned Celtic Rock

The party was a great success with about 80 guests, birding friends, work colleagues and members of the Nexus organisation predominating

The band was excellent as ever and Alan made sure everyone was on their feet for the dances.

L-R: Kara, Janis and Amber

One of the highlights of the evening was the arrival of Margaret’s daughter Janis and her two children Amber and Kara. They had just arrived from Gran Canaria where they live on a yacht and intend to stay in the UK until September

Posted June 22, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

Friday 17th June 2011   Leave a comment

Since 1969 I have either been studying Microbiology or working in a diagnostic Microbiology Lab, first in Leeds and then from 1978, in Poole.

Today at long last I have retired from the profession. They gave me a great send off and I was presented with a nice iPod to listen to on my travels by lab director Dr Simon Hill.

Photos of me 42 years ago were plastered on the wall

student union card photo 1969

I was sorry to leave but so looking forwards to a new chapter in my life

Posted June 22, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

Gryllo’s Blog   1 comment

Firstly for anyone who doesn’t know – why the nickname Gryllo?

Well back in 1981 we were commencing a research project on the European Nightjar involving ringing and radio tracking the birds.

Nightjar at sea off Oman - photo Mike Watson

I was given the job of recording some tape loops of the ‘churring’ song to attract the birds to the nets.

The recordings I used were anounced by their scientific names and after Caprimulgus europeaus there was a short recording of the Mole Cricket Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa which sounds quite like a Nightjar.




Mole Cricket - Khazakstan

 I managed to overrun one recording so that every minute as the tape looped round the word ‘gryllo’ was heard, my fellow ringers were highly amused and the name stuck!

Posted June 22, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized