It's with a touch of trepidation that I open this post with a poem. Birders just don't do that. However, one does like to think one isn't just your average, bog standard birder (whatever that is) - doesn't one; and after severely compromising myself with the mention of a 'popular female vocalist' here the other day, I am keen to demonstrate that I have a few 'more', (apparently none to obvious), 'cultural leanings'. So, here is a favourite verse that always comes to mind at exactly this time of year.
"It is the first mild day of March: Each minute sweeter than before. The redbreast sings from the tall larch That stands beside our door. There is a blessing in the air, Which seems a sense of joy to yield. To the bare trees, and mountains bare, And grass in the green field."
No disrespect intended to Mr William Wordsmith but I have disguised the poem by laying it out more like prose, so as not to offend here, and to facilitate general consumption - hic.
Now, I'm not the biggest beer fan, but I am rather partial to a drop of The Brown Stuff, as the Irish call it - most especially at a time like this. Yes, you can guess, I've just been out in the newly refurbished Eight Kings. Today after all, is a time for great celebration. Spring has sprung and the 2013 East Weare coverage begun, in earnest.
Here's looking forward to this year's migration!
|Peregrine - East Weares - March 5th 2013|
A truly beautifully sunny day the walk began behind the site of the former Mermaid pub at Wakeham and continued along the line of the disused railway line to the Portland Port boundary fence, and back, as usual.
Birds were more active this morning than I have seen here for ages. Tits, finches, Robin, Wren, Blackbird etc. all in song. Eleven Magpies appeared together at the start and there was a different flock, of eight, further on.
|Common Buzzard - East Weares - March 5th 2013|
Best of all today on the Weares were the Raptors. These included three Kestrels with the/a pair mating on the cliff at Grove Point. Two pairs(?) of Buzzards; one at Penn Weare, and another near the Port fence. Then of course the Peregrines - three or even four birds, I couldn't tell precisely. One or more looked like females, there was a small male, and the immature, seen in the photo below, that showed, rather better in other views, an unusually pale forehead.
|Immature Peregrine - East Weares - March 5th 2013|
Post Script: I have been checking out the field guides and the pale forehead I mention above may not be unusual after all. I see this species 'almost' every day and have never noticed this before.