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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Year-end and a walk along the river

So it was work this morning. I think everything has gone ok...... won't be sure until Monday.

Anyway I spent the afternoon down at the River. Soon ran into a pair of Grey Wagtails. No Pics though. Still...

There were Chiffchaffs singing everywhere and I could constantly hear Green Woodpecker.

There is a small hide tucked away. I was just thinking ooh a Kingfisher should be perched up when....

ok its naff, it was along way off, but a Kingfisher!! Superb bird. There were a pair of Great Spots by the hide.

a few bits of macro practice.....

Got to see a Red Admiral and Bees buzzing everywhere but no photos. So you'll have to make do with a daisy.

And so back along the river.

Nice end to the day.

Friday, March 30, 2007

A Class of One

Anyone who thinks they are isolated from people may care to check out the story about seven year-old Matthew Hansen on the Falklands.

All you need is a duck girls

Google mail's targeted advertising is always interesting. Recently I've had adverts for the Nikon D40 dSLR, Nic & Di BEHAVE!!

But today I got an advert for a duck website. Now I always maintain that ducks make you smile but this is going a bit far don't you think? :D

Oh and another for all your duck needs

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mr Madeley loses his cool

There has been a lot of controversy over phone votes on TV shows recently. What was particularly amusing was when Richard & Judy were shown to have been caught up.

Anyway they were presenting the British Book awards last night and one of the awards went to Ricky Gervais. Gervais was accepting for Children's Book Of The Year for his cartoon Flanimals Of The Deep via satellite.

In his acceptance speech, Gervais quipped, "This is voted for by the public, isn't it? Well, tell them to stop voting now 'cos otherwise it will be another phone con!"

Madeley told the comedian to "f**k off" and branded him an "ungrateful f**king b**tard".

UPDATE: Gervais was on the Richard & Judy show and Madeley claims it was all a joke.

Short Man Syndrome Debunked

The popular theory is that Short Men are more aggressive and loud than there taller "brothers". Apparently this theory has been debunked and actually taller men are the more aggressive.

Now as someone of the taller persuasion I thought the theory was pretty sound. Undoubtedly I do have a temper and I do snap but this tends to be the exception rather than the rule. Can be amusing when it happens! I don't, however, hold grudges. I really can't understand these people who bear umbridge at something said 5 years ago.

Actually I think SMS really means that Short Men are not necessarily aggressive but loud and opinionated which honestly does seem to hold true.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

All in the voice

The birthday girl has blogged today! And has linked to an interesting article with the flawed deduction that Northerners speak properly! The article mentions the classic Barth/Baff debate amongst others.

I mention this becuase I've just come across an article on the BBC website, which says that the influence of Asian/Caribbean accents is having as pronounced an affect on regional British accents as the spread of estuary English.

Obviously some people give the game away as soon as they open their mouths. My Essex/London origins are probably obvious to all. Equally Diane and CP sound distinctly Northern.

Curiously I rather like going to different places and hearing different accents. I find it slightly disturbing to be in Cornwall or Derbyshire and to hear everyone speak the same drawl. Or to hear a Scott sound distinctly more "Surrey" than the natives.

I remember the first time the Sri Lankan cricket team toured. Test Match Special had a special guest commentator from Sri Lanka who made Brian Johnston sound common!

Happy Birthday Diane

It's the lovely Diane's birthday today.

Hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Playing in Macro

I got into work to find a surprise on my desk! Anyway as I worked through lunch (meeting) so left a bit early and had a play.....

A study in leylandii!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Gardens attract fewer Songbirds

Apparently the number of birds recorded as part of the RSPB's big birdwatch is at a five year low.

Species that showed a marked fall were Songthrush down 65% and Blackbird down 25%. The Robin was also down. What we don't know of course is whether this is a decline in actual population, or due to the fact that birds were able to find more food in the countryside, due to less harsh weather.

The most commonly reported birds were House Sparrow, Starling and Blue Tit. In Scotland it was the Chaffinch.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What a difference a day makes!

So after the weather yesterday today was rather nice.

Went down to Amwell Gravel Pits this afternoon. I'll post some pics of the place further down.

There was a rather nice Black Necked Grebe (aka Eared Grebe) which was a patch and area tick and the Little Bunting was showing well. I even put someone on to it! Cetti's shouting out and lots of common stuff.

The Water Rail Hide. Just to the right is the feeding station where i took the Tit photos. It's very close to the hide.

View from the hide.

The River

The view from the view point. The Bunting sits in the open bit amongst the reeds.

Looking the other way

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Stupid bloody hobby

I left Harlow early and got to Dave's, at about 7:15 we were around King's Lynn and there was blue sky. Was my decision to leave the camera at home a mistake?

We drove around the Wolferton triange and no Golden Pheasants and neither of us were prepared to wait.

At Tesco Dave refused Breakfast (still too full from last nights monster curry).

We parked on Hunstanton Cliffs and by god it was cold. Lots of Fulmars, a flock of Scoter, a few Red Breasted Mergansers and the highlight a Great Northern Diver.

We decided to avoid Titchwell and head for Wells for some Red Breasted Geese. Well they weren't there and it was a "bit parky". Some Brents about and also some Pink Feet along the way.

Stopped in at Cley Spy spent a fortune, well £17 for an attachment that makes using the shoulder pod and tripod much easier to use in combo.

Went on to Cley to look for Shore Lark and a Glaucous Gull. Well it was flipping awful. Waves crashing, gale force winds, rain. We found the Shore Lark but after 300 yards decided it was a Gull.

Birded Salthouse pools from the car. One poor bedraggled Mipit looked like we felt. A few Avocets, lots of Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, turnstone. At this point Dave and I went to the Dun Cow, ordered a pint of broadside and sat by the fire. Dinner was excellent.

Eventually Dave thought it looked brighter so we set off back to wherever. It was no better, froze at Wells again and decided stuff this for a game of soldiers.

Should have got back here about 4 but the M11 exit was closed so I had a 40 minute detour.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gone but not forgotten

Its odd how this blogging gets you caught up in someone elses life.

Normally my blogroll is a source of amusement and entertainment but today I made for Leazwell's blog and I had uncertain feelings. Her puppy Striker had been unwell and although he seemed to be getting better you always worry.

Unfortunately poor Striker had gotten much worse and had to be put down. She's naturally devastated. He looked such a lovely pup and I was really looking forward to following his exploits.

Still he was loved, if only for a while, and a few bloggers around the world will miss him. Well he is now in doggy heaven chasing things around and going manic as a pup should.

A little bit of politics?

Two things struck me yesterday. Firstly it was budget day. Now lets be honest it's a thankless task, we all want to pay less tax and yet if you ask people what service they think we should cut then they can't agree.

If you are worse off you complain like hell and if you are better off its not enough.

The second thing was Richard Madeley (I was seeing Mum and Dad ok). Richard & Judy were reviewing the new film about William Wilberforce.

ok cue digression for American readers William Wilberforce was an early 19th century MP credited with Britain's abolition of the slave trade in 1807. He was SCANDULOUSLY left out of the top ten of Great Britain's in favour of such luminaries as John Lennon and please don't life Princess Diana (I know one or two of you are fans but puhlease).

Anyway Madeley was raving about the film and generally being Madeley (which I think translates as irritating, patronising, way over the top etc) and he made the comment "They dealt in fundamental issues and not the unimportant trivia they do today, they just did it" (ok he didn't say that exactly but the context is right).

I don't necessarily disagree with the point he was making, just that he, and people like him, are the last people to make such comments.

When the great politicians of previous eras made decisions they just did it. Nowadays if a Blair or Brown or a Cameron has to make a decision they do so in the knowledge that the world and his dog will castigate them to high heaven if they get it wrong. If William Pitt (either one) or Robert Walpole got it wrong they bought a few people off and carried on. History may have said this Battle here or that excursion there was a total cock up but they could make mistakes. The current set of politicians may, or may not, be rubbish but Wilberforce, Pitt & co did so without Richard "just what responsibilities do you have in your job mate?!" Madeley making asinine comments.

We can't compare our politician's to those of the past. They lived in a different era and this had different standards. For instance we value human life more. Today when ever a soldier dies their parent is wheeled out to say their son or daughter died in a hopeless cause. Of course 200 years ago they died in a hopeless cause but the politiicians didn't have cameras all over the place.

Whatever your political views would really like to be Prime Minister of the UK? You get paid £180,000 a year and get constant criticisim. Much better to manage a public company screw it up and get a golden handshake!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Mum update

Not content with tripping up twice and having a nasty cough Mum started feeling a slight pain in her other breast.

She saw a locum the other day who though he felt something. So you can imagine....

Anyway she was off to the hospital this morning and Dad has just rung to tell me it's all clear. Oh and they gave her a prescription for the cough.

If you don't mind I am going to lie down......

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

scratches head

It doesn't take much to confuse your blogger but....

I noticed yesterday that suddenly I was getting more hits than normal and that has continued a bit today. It seems that my post with the youtube of Blair and Catherine Tate is getting traffic via a Guardian blog on the Blair/Tate skit.

Of course being the Guardian the piece is a bit "worthy". I am an Independent/Telegraph reader yes I know odd combination.

What puzzles me is how they are getting here!!

Anyway this is much funnier. Liverpool is European city of culture in 2008 and the want to remove the Feral Pigeons. How do they plan to do it? Robo Falcon!! They have invested in 10 Robotic Falcons at 2k a "bird". You can view a brief film here

Some snapping practice.

I had to leave work early today to get the car has been done. I now have to send off to Tesco for the refund.

It has been a really odd day, one moment sun then we have some snow.

The car was complete about 3pm and as the sun was shining I popped down to the Stort for a stroll. And I had packed the camera and converter.

Come back sweetheart!

Aw shucks she's gone.


There are some wood carvings along the river.

Not sure why Yoda is there

Oh he's back

And he's found her