Sunday, 30 November 2008

What connects this Tug to St Margaret's Bay?

I spent some time sea watching this morning, and unfortunately that was it most of the time sea. There were a few Fulmars around, often sitting in a small raft off shore, but very little else.

My attention was taken by this smart little barge that was coming by. It had a nice ornithological name Osprey Fighter and a flag I didn't recognise.

I was quite a way off shore so this is as good as it get for the flag.

The flag of St Vincent and the Grenadines

Well google is a wonderful thing and I quickly found out about the Osprey when I got home. It is a Tug and was brought into service a year ago. Build in China, by a Singapore company it was delivered to Newcastle (coals too?) last November, and is said to mark a significant step forward for owner Osprey Shipping Ltd. The flag is that of St Vincent and the Grenadines. So somewhat like a tortuous crossword puzzle we come to the connection. I was sea watching next to the house in the bay that was once owned by Ian Fleming, himself a keen birdwatcher. Fleming wrote the first James Bond story while on holiday in Jamaica, and named him after the ornithologist who wrote the first field guide to the Birds of the West Indies. This includes such birds as thew St Vincent Whistling Warbler. Even better, my son Robert spent a summer on St Vincent on an expedition to study this rare endemic Warbler.

The tug passed by and for some reason all the gulls roosting on the rocks, and the only birds to look through in the hope of something unusual, took off and followed it as it disappeared towards Deal. Of course all this begs the question, why this flag?

We often talk about winter thrushes and normally mean Filedfares and Redwings. Round here most of them have arrived and moved on, but we still have a big influx of the commonest of the thrushes, The Blackbird. Today as I walked round the farm there were loads feeding on the edges of the fields, ready to dive for cover as soon as danger appears. Unfortunately there was little else, so I wasa forced home in the rain to watch the football. Disappointed with the first derby result but over the proverbial moon with the second.

1 comment:

Squeaky Toy said...

She's flying the flag of St Vincent and the Grenadines as that's the port she's registered to. Cheaper than getting a British flag I'm afraid!