21st – 25th November – various birding and social events.   Leave a comment

With strong winds from the south and rain overnight, Thursday 21st looked a good day for seawatching. Most migrant seabirds have gone by mid November but there was always a chance of a Leach’s Storm-petrel or a Little Auk, both of which would be new for my year list. I first tried from Chesil Cove where an hour sheltering from the wind and rain produced a Red-throated Diver, four Common Scoter plus a few Razorbill and Gannets. I relocated to the Bird Observatory where we watched from the comfort of the Obs lounge. Best bird during my time there was a single Bonxie, but I was able to buy the new Field Guide to the Birds of Central Asia, an important addition to my ever-expanding library.

Looking along the West Weares from Chesil Cove on a wet and windy morning.

 

Looking north along the Chesil Bank.

 

In the evening Margaret and I went to see Breaking Dawn part 2, the last of the Twilight films. Whilst famous as a tale for teenagers, this hasn’t been a bad saga, a bit twee and over sentimental but with some great scenery and special effects. Coincidently Amber and her boyfriend had booked to go on the same night and she was very relieved to find we were going to a later showing, she must have thought we were going to spy on them!

 

‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’. We have seen four of the Twilight films for I might as well see the last. Good battle scenes, but what a soppy ending.

 

On Friday morning I did some birding at Mordon Bog. I have Great Grey Shrike this year in the New Forest,the chance of seeing another a few miles from home was an opportunity not to miss. Recent rain has flooded the area around the Decoy Pond but I did get to see the bird, albeit distantly.

 

Most of the area around Decoy Pond was flooded but the paths were passable with care.

 

The ever-expanding Decoy Pond.

 

A distant digiscoped Great Grey Shrike.

 

At a music festival in 1970 I was lucky enough to see the band Santana, but that was before they were famous and I can’t say I remember much about it (Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd stole the show). I haven’t had a chance since then to see this amazing group, but a tribute band called Viva Santana were playing at Mr Kyps , a ‘sticky carpet’ venue in Parkstone, on Friday night. We went along with Gio and Jessica and some friends from Nexus.

Much better news on the music front was that on Friday morning, I was able to get some tickets to see Muse at the Emirates Stadium, London in May.

 

Bass, guitar and keyboards plus THREE percussionists belted out Santana’s latin rhythms.

 

The lead guitarist was very proficient and faithfully reproduced Carlos Santana’s wonderful guitar riffs but lacked the superstar’s subtly and passion in slow numbers like the famous Samba Pa Ti.

 

Saturday morning was taken up by the gruelling chore of Christmas shopping with Margaret and Anita. In the afternoon Anita’s school friend Donna, who left South Africa three years ago for London, came to stay with her overnight. We went round for a lovely meal that evening.

 

A night with the girls, Outnumbered six to one. L-R: Anita, Donna, Margaret, Kara, Amber & Janis.

 

Although Sunday morning was fine, I didn’t go anywhere until 1pm when I headed to Holes Bay for the monthly WeBS (wetland bird survey) count. There weren’t many birds in my area in the southern part of Holes Bay, which was just as well as the heavens opened as soon as I got there. The count was performed under difficult circumstances as my scope was pointing directly into the driving rain, but I got some approximate numbers. Perhaps the most interesting sighting in my area was 11 Red-breasted Mergansers and two Great Crested Grebes but in the northern section there was a strange duck which has been around the Harbour for some time and superficially resembles a Ruddy Shelduck but is thought to be a hybrid between two other shelduck species that has escaped from captivity.

 

A very wet Holes Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted November 25, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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