Dungeness - 0900hrs - mild, showery, sw 3 - An hour at the boats with PB and MH was notable for a trickle of 10 Little Gulls, all adults. Offshore, rounding the point, a steady procession of Kittiwakes, Gannets, Guillemots and Cormorants noted, plus 6 Red-throated Divers.
Lade - Three Great White Egrets were still around the site and the Slavonian Grebe remained on south lake, although proved difficult to locate due to constantly diving. The water level is now so high that the willow swamp is completely flooded forcing several Water Rails to feed along the causeway margin.
ARC - A stroll down to the pines and Screen hide proved most productive. I`m unsure whether or not its due to rising water levels moving them around or a genuine influx, but Bitterns have become much easier to see of late and three were noted this afternoon. The reed bed in front of the hide delivered calling Bearded Tits, Water Rails and Cetti`s Warbler, plus a Great White Egret in and a Snipe out. Ripe, sea buckthorn berries attracted a roving tit flock, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Great Spotted Woodpecker before being disturbed by a pair of Carrion Crows. The lake from the pines was packed with Teal, Mallard and Coot, along with 5 Goldeneyes and a redhead Smew. Also noted, several Marsh Harriers, Green Woodpecker and Little Egret,
David Bowie, 1947- 2016 - Feeling grief when someone dies that you have never met is a curious phenomenon, but today was one of those occasions. Young `uns growing up in today's digital age cannot begin to comprehend the influence music had on us teenagers back in the day; as putting it simply, there was very little else to keep us amused, and when someone like Bowie burst onto the scene it was a revelation, as we`d never seen or heard anything quite like him before.
Straddling the late 1960`s early 70`s as a teenager was a musically exciting time and Bowie was in the vanguard producing a series of classic albums combined with an outrageous persona: Space Oddity with its homage to Major Tom (inspired by 2001 A Space Odyssey, still one of the best films of all time), and then in `72 came the incredulously titled The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. How many mind-bending substances was he on to come up with that one is any ones guess, but we loved him for it; and then, genius that he was, a year later along came Aladdin Sane, followed by Pin Ups and many more classic albums, all with their trade mark, iconic covers.
And, of course, like all true legends of rock and art he regularly changed musical direction and appearance, continuing to innovate through numerous albums, concerts and films throughout the decades right up to his death. Musical tastes come and go with maturity, but music from teenage years, when you`re in the zone and self absorbed (and before kids and a mortgage) is imprinted and stays for ever.
The 1970`s may have been a grey, grim old time to spend ones formative years, but by heck did we have some great artists to help us get through it, and David Robert Jones was certainly one such icon.