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Monday, March 31, 2008

tagged by Diddums

Diddums has tagged me to describe my life in 6 words.

Ooh flip uhm

solo, birds, photography, books, holidays, sleep!

I won't tag anyone per se but anyone wanting to do the meme can do so.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


well at 9pm last night I gave up, turned the 'puter off and went to bed. I was zonked.

When I eventually woke up I felt a bit refreshed but it didn't last. I am still zonked. The weather is lovely but I just can't summon up the energy to go for a wander.

Went around dad's this morning to find a shelf had collapsed in the garage spilling paint. This missed his new car by INCHES!!! eek!

I did see a Brimstone butterfly in dad's garden and another driving home. There were bees about as well. Is spring finally here?

When I was a kid the butterfly I saw most of was the Small Tortoiseshell but I seldom see it now. Butterfly Conservation are reporting that Small Tortoiseshell numbers are down 80% since 1990. No one knows why, it could be climate change or it could be tied to the tiny parasitoid fly Sturmia bella, first noted in Britain in 1999.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A day at the zoo

For the last few days I have been feeling lethargic achy body and permanently tired. I must admit to being a bit worried BUT I think I know what is wrong, I have a cold!

I probably shouldn't have gone out today but I had arranged to meet Tricia and Hugh at London Zoo so......

Its hard to believe that you are in the centre of a major international city.

Hugh told me there was nowhere to get a bacon roll. HAH!! Pete easily found the Honest Sausage. Lovely Bacon roll.

And so on to the Zoo and it was nice to see these chaps.

I must admit to being a bit disappointed. The new Blackburn House was quite small and the poor hummers had little room.

of course the zoo does provide habitat for this chap.

The flipping butterfly house was so warm and the outside so cold that the camera kept steaming up! Think Tricia got some photos.

Of course amongst all these exotics what was the best thing I saw? Well....

a little corker!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Taking the Newt

I've just started getting into Jeeves & Wooster and I reckon that Gussie Fink-Nottle would be pleased about the number of stories doing the rounds regarding newts.

There was the story of possibly a single Great Crested Newt stopping a bypass at Earl Stilton and now I read that Great Crested Newts may keep a family out of their £1million home.

The Histed's 18th century farm house was flooded last July and since then have been living in a caravan. They had almost finished £250,000 of repairs when a blocked drainage ditch near their garden caused the property to flood again.

Apparently the environment agency have barred them from unblocking the ditch because it's believed the newts live there. The survey work will take three months BUT can't start until Summer because birds may be nesting in the hedge rows.

Mrs Histed, a retired doctor, said
I know it's the law, but it's very frustrating and bordering on the ridiculous that the fate of newts takes precedence over humans.

Is it reasonable for us to just sit here and watch if the ditch floods our home again just because there may be some newts there?

I so have some sympathy with them but I do think there is something rather British about a 3 inch newt being the cause of the delay. And, although in there circumstances I would beg to differ, we shouldn't assume Humans are the be and end all.

Although its perhaps even more ironic that the Histed's have a pond in the garden which is home to...... Great Crested Newts.

According to an Environment Agency spokesman said
The EU legislation makes it an offence to disturb any habitat of a protected species so anyone who wants to do work on a watercourse has to check they are not present.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Going to the Zoo

London Zoo have opened a new exhibit in the Blackburn Pavillion. The exhibit enables people to move into a tropical walk through and come nose-to-beak with toucans, kookaburras and Hummingbirds.

Some birders will no doubt be stuffy about this but I'm considering a trip Saturday. I'd love to get a photo of a hummingbird and frankly this is about the only chance I've ever got of actually seeing one. There's also a butterfly exhibit.

So you can expect to see some very odd photos over the coming days.

I haven't been to the zoo since I was knee eye to a grasshopper! The whole Regents Park area is rather nice.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Birdwatch and Tigers

And so what shall we talk about today?

Ok the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results are in and the most seen Bird was the House Sparrow, followed by the Starling and Blackbird. However Sparrows are down in number by 2/3 since 1979 and starlings by 75%.

Seems to have been a good winter for seeing finches with Goldfinches making the top 10 for the first time and Siskins making the top 20. Even the Brambling and Redpoll was seen in greater numbers. This all seems to support anecdotal evidence from garden bird bloggers.

Apparently this may be a bad sign as it may mean that tree seed supplies have been poor this year and they've been forced into gardens to find food.

There is a new series on BBC 1 Sunday called Tiger Spy in the Jungle. It features Elephant Trunk cam. And you can read more here.

Comments please

You may remember this picture from a few weeks ago....

a few people thought it looked atmospheric or spooky so I owndered what it would look like in B&W.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Winter sucks

I see that we have sleet forecast for Thursday and heavy winds AGAIN for Friday and Saturday. Its going to be April soon can we just have a nice normal spring.

Anyway since winter is officially over (equinox thingy) thanks to OC for this.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some Spring Colour

Well I was under orders from OC to take pics of daffodils. I scratched my head and thought and so this morning with the sun shining off I went. I normally pick the right lens for the right photo today I just used a travel zoom so sorry if the photos are not up to scratch.

Ok I've not shown you Bury St Edmunds cathedral before so off to Bury (hang on we'll get to the daffs).

The great Abbey at Bury was huge. Beside the monastic buildings and Abbey church there were three smaller churches in the grounds, two of these survives St James became the cathedral and St Mary's is now a very fine parish church.

The abbey grounds are very well kept and are pretty good for woodland birds (I saw Treecreeper and Goldcrest today).

so off to the cathedral.

Awaiting his master

St Mary's wasn't open yet so I went back around the gardens.

Then onto the Refrectory for a tea and scone.

These two were hanging around the Refectory.

St Mary's is much more interesting than the cathedral.

The tomb of Henry VIII sister

So Daffodils. I've been to Ickworth a few times but in Spring it often has a good display of daffs. Sadly some were finished and others not out but I did what I could.

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