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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Autumnal Sun at Hatfield Forest

Gosh what a lovely day!

Isn't it typical everyday this week I've been woken by the alarm today? Nope I woke up at 4 snoozed for an hour and that was it!

I popped to the shops to get Shane the Dog's birthday presents and then where to? I haven't been to the forest for a while.....

I decided to have a change of tack and left the telephoto behind and stuck the wide angle on.

Quite a few birds woodland about.

There were at 5 grebes on the lake and one was definitely a juvenile. You can tell it is getting wintery as the lake had Pochards on it! A sure sign.

As I walked past the decoy pond a tit flock descended that had Nuthatches in it (there were a few about) and a Marsh Tit AND a Kingfisher flashed across the pond!

As I stood by the lake two Great Crested Grebe swum by close in, almost taunting my lack of telephoto, I went for a cup of tea and a suasage sandwich!

I got to see my first Fieldfare of "the season" and the Forest looked lovely in the Autumn sun.

Friday, October 29, 2010


It is amazing how diverse pronunciation is in the English Language.

Is Bath pronouned Barth of Baff?

Apparently the pronunciation of the word  says, ate, mischievous, harass, garage, schedule and aitch is shifting. For instance the pronunciation of says is moving to be more like lays than Fez (I'm in the later camp!). Mischievous is turning in to miss-CHEEVY-us rather than MISS-chiv-us.

It is easy to dismiss changes as being due to the Americanization of society (films etc) but the move of Garage to sound more like Garridge is not due to this. Words like Village and Garrage come from the French originally.

The letter H was traditionally pronounced Aitch but is moving to Haitch. And I was intrigued to read that in the 19th century it was common to drop the H on words like Hospital, Hotel and Herb. Americans still say Erb.

At one point how you spoke was determined by your perceived class now it is more likely to be age!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An unusual migration

A really good story on the BBC website today.

The northern bald ibis was once common throughout Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East.

A team of scientists are trying to reintroduce the bird back into Northern Europe. Birds are being released and then encouraged to migrate south from Germany to Italy. It is hoped that the birds will then get into the habit of migrating.

The scientists are using microlights and were obviously inspired by the Crane project in the US.

The birds hatch in the Spring and are straight away introduced to their new human foster parents. Over the next few months the foster parents spend large amounts of tie acting as parents - feeding them, grooming them and playing with them.

It is hoped that  the bond becomes so strong that the birds will follow their parents anywhere - even if the parents are in a microlight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Still Listening to the Radio

About a week ago I started turning the telly off and just either turning on the MP3 or digital radio. As I've said many times on the blog I'm a big radio fan.

My radio stations of choice are Classic FM, BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. All have a listen now button.

There are lots of stations from around the world broadcasting via the net. For instance there is a site Classical Online Live Radio this lists a whole pile of stations playing classical music from all around the world. I was listening to a Hungarian one a minute ago!

As I type this I'm listening to - apparently its going to rain OC :D

So why not see what's happening in the world (radio canada international is excellent)

Monday, October 25, 2010

A bit colourful for the side of the road.

I was driving home tonight enjoying the late Autumn sunshine I was just leaving Epping when standing by the side of the road was a rather stunning Peacock!

It's not something you expect to see in the English countryside! It was next to a smallholding which sits by a busy junction and I often see geese and chickens there, it may be part of that but I've never seen it before and I think I'd have noticed it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Finally some birding

I arranged to meet Tricia Saturday so waking up to driving rain was expected :D

We headed off to Welney, at least you can sit in the heated hide, but as we drove the rain came out and there was the odd blue sky.

Walking across the approach bridge we could see a Marsh Harrier - nice sign! There wer two about. Lots of Wigeon, the odd Mute and Whooper Swan. Some Black Tailed Godwit, a few Dunlin and a Pectoral Sandpiper!

We went to the next hides, the odd darter dragonfly about, plenty of Kestrels and Whooper Swans.

Had Potato & Leek soup which was ok. Tricia's coffee was luke warm. The WWT catering seems to be off of late if my experience of Barnes is anything to go by.

As Trish has never been to Ely we popped into the Cathedral. The cathedral is predominantly a norma construction.

The Masai were given an exhibition in the lady chapel.

Good day in good company.