8th July

A day of very blustery westerlies gave us an opportunity to concentrate on garden maintenance and the only bird news was of smallish numbers of Manx Shearwaters offshore at the Bill whenever we had time to look.

The lower half of the Obs garden 2015 and 1975 © Martin Cade (2015) and Iain Robertson (1975)

Hosting a visit this evening from the Portland Camera Club afforded us the rare opportunity of taking in the views from the outside of top of the Obs lighthouse tower (...please don't ask us if you too can get on the outside: even we only get out there once every few years since the whole procedure is a right rigmarole that requires several burly people to shift a heavy and largely seized-up segment of glass and metal on a track that probably last functioned properly well before Iain Robertson took the above photograph 40 years ago).
This visit to the top of the tower reminded us that we still hadn't got round to announcing another small but important land purchase made by PBO earlier this year. An opportunity arose for us to acquire lawn 2215 which is the field immediately adjacent to the east side of the Obs garden; in these photos taken this evening lawn 2215 is the field between the Obs garden and the field where the farmer is haymaking:

We'd rented this field for a number of years but have had mixed success with making it more attractive ornithologically since we were limited to growing annual crops there; the permanent acquisition of it will enable us to implement a programme of tree and scrub planting that will greatly enlarge the size of the Obs garden. In the current climate of very high land prices at Portland this acquisition involved a not insubstantial outlay; we are extremely gratefully to long-standing Obs member and regular visitor, Deborah Tessier, who - in memory of her uncle, Jack Dyke - supported half of the purchase price. We're sure that Obs members and other visitors to the island will join us in thanking Deborah for her wonderful gesture.
The formal announcement of the purchase of lawn 2215 will be made at our upcoming AGM which, as we'd detailed before, takes place on Saturday 18th July; full details are on the Notices page.