Saturday, 31 December 2016

Fire - The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

More frost, more sub-zero temperatures and
out of the usual routine we took a wander along our beat
of the River Stour to find, not unusually,
CORMORANTs
video
roosting on the Pylon and Connecting Wires.
There was also a
  video
GREY HERON
occasionally accompamied by a Pied Wagtail and also
video
video
doing some streaching excercises.
Additionally, there was a brief appearance of this
video
video
GREY SQUIRREL
which soon, like ourselves, scurried off to do other things.
First encounter up the Common, or more precisly outside of the
ECO RECYCLING WORKS,
we noted the arrival of the first c4
FURNACES
for the new Power Production Plant and the Wood Processor.
We say the 'first four', which is true, but for all we know they may also be the last??
An emergencey stop at one of the
Solar Panel Compounds
allowed for a brief encounter with this
SPARROWHAWK
video
We appologise for poor picture quality as the birdlanded
while we were still in the car, at an uncomfortabley accute angle
video
and also captured through the windscreen, then this
video
KESTRAL
in hover, note the small birds mobbing it
video
and a disgruntled Meadow Pipit voicing its oppinion!
Not a lot more of interest save for the c2
 MUTE SWANs
 having returned once again to
 a 'topped up' Irrigation Pond,
 where there were also a small squadron of
 MALLARD with a Drake WIGEON
We did have a tentative ID on this unfamiliar
CHOPPER
but we feel it may have been chucked out with the now redundant tinsel?
Note:- we are anticipating a Short Post tomorrow!
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Thursday, 29 December 2016

Cold As Ice - Foreigner

In sharp contrast with Boxing Day the dawn temperature has plummeted to -6°C with the rest of the day being similar including bright sunshine, little or no wind, more or less the same selection of Birds but with one or two highlights. Slightly unusual, as to location, the first of these was a male
video
TEAL
feeding veraciously on something within what little
Parrot Feather Pond Weed
remains at Parley Pond now that the diggers have left.
Normal service soon resumed up at the
Gravel Pit
with the
LITTLE GREBE
showing well
and the mixed bag of more
TEAL
MOORHEN
video

video
video
a lone
GREY WAGTAIL
and c2 more
MOORHEN
and not to be outdone another 
 Male TEAL
at this end.
CORTINARIUS Sp
 
 The first for this winter
 LITTLE EGRET
 Also a first of the Winter and only the Second Record here of
BRAMBLING
 LEPIOTA Sp
 Finally, a welcome find in the shape of c2
 hibernating
COMMON (SMOOTH) NEWTs
and there should have been a
Navigation Warning
as Willie Wine (Cheers Willie) has been at it again with this short clip!
Come Fly With Me
Amazing when you consider it takes me a couple of days to get out of my hammock!
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Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Indian Giver - 1910 Fruitgum Company

A beautiful sunny morning heralded Boxing Day with a dawn air temperature still showing +7°C, but as if just to take the gilt from the gingerbread there was a piercing cold draught from the north west. However, the latter was the only downside to the day as, unlike recent days/weeks, there were at least some Birds showing themselves starting with this

GREY HERON
 which was hunting the margins of
Parley Pond-side up unto the moment we pressed the shutter for the first time!
That was the moment it decided to take to the wing but very much
looked the part being spotlighted by the Sun.
 Up on the Common there was a small flock of about 50
 REDWING
which were reluctant to pose, but with a little patience..........
Just around the bend at the Irrigation Pond there were c5 Teal
flying around but seemingly undecided whether to risk landing or not.
It was left to the regular c2 Mute Swans to make up the numbers there.
A little more prospect after taking the 'distant veiw' across the
Gravel Pit
where it was seen that the female

SHOVELLER
video
had returned after a few days absence, but there is thought
to have been no such desertion by the
video
LITTLE GREBE
only its way of life preventing it from being seen on a daily basis.
Despite being considered 'common fare' the
video
MALLARDs
also looked resplendent in the sunshine, while one of an unknown number of
video
GREEN SANDPIPER
hereabouts decided to oblige with a short clip before heading off to the Heath.
Met at the gate by Hugh and Janet,
taking their Boxing Day stroll and having just flushed a Tawny Owl
(to be investigated at a later date}, there was also a party of c7
MEADOW PIPIT
 buzzing around and occasionally perching, along with a
COMMON BUZZARD
just altering position in one of the nearby Oak Trees.
Then suddenly from the Gorse popped, what has become something of an enigma here, a
 DARTFORD WARBLER
 distant and brief but no less value for all that.
 With no breeding records from here this year it was encouraging
to see one again but then, like the proverbial bus, there was another
and a third and while difficult to be sure there could have been as many as 5?
There was then just a brief appearance of a
CORMORANT
 transiting the Heath before the first of what was to be a count of 8
 STONECHAT
 firstly a
video
video
male
followed by a
video
female
and then a 'singing' 
 CHIFFCHAFF
 making striking contrast with the ripe
ROSE HIPS.
What is presumed to be the nest of a
 COMMON BUZZARD
video
followed by a
KESTREL
considered to be out on a 'wing and a preyer'!

Back to the Strange Rover and driving towards home yet another
DARTFORD WARBLER
very nearly landed on the bonnet, certainly close enough but the
images had to be taken through the windscreen.
Passing one of the
Solar Panel Compounds
there was a 9th
video
STONECHAT
and to end we hark back to the Dampney Trust Party of last Friday night,
where for the second year running I found myself in the charming company of
the lovely Maria. A gentle lady of German extraction, knowledgeable
and the very best of conversationalists who commented on my T-shirt.
 Bought from the Shoshone Lady owner of an ethnic shop in Knoxville, Tennessee,
while travelling with my youngest daughter Lisa from east to west coasts in 1995,
it is the best and most poignant item of clothing ever owned. An excellent conversation piece,
as was found to be the case on the night in question, with Maria summoning he partner,
and my mutual friend, John informing him that she had found the Present she would like!
Thought highly unlikely that another would/could be found it
was considered best to just slip it off and give it to here!
 The expression Indian Giver was a hugely derogatory remark
against the Native North American People, which means to give a gift
in the expectation of getting it, or something more valuable, back!
In the case of the 'headline' it referrers to a hit single by
US Bubblegum Rock Band the 1918 Fruitgum Co
which reached No 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA in 1969.
 Within this page it is used as a 'pun' and a 'double entendre' 
simply to highlight the 'Gift of Giving'!
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