Friday, 12 February 2016

With A Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker

None of us escape it, the ups and downs of life that is, so it was sure to come sooner or later, a couple of weeks of catastrophes. Fortunately those less than bright days were peppered with a fair amount of good times as well, but try telling that to those concerned. Firstly, it was the Lap Top which fell off the perch but with a little help from my friends that has now been discharged from the Sick Bay, but not without complications!
With the best will in the world my new found Computer Technician completed the job by adding Windows 10 to the system which is only marginally better than having my right arm amputated. With over a decade of experience we have only got half way to mastering Windows 7, so life has become slower still. There are plans afoot to get it changed?? Then it was the turn of the Bose Wave, the 'docking station' for the I-Pod, which depriving me of any and all of my favourite 'sounds' which metaphorically saw the left arm removed.
 It was once again down to my friends, who in super quick time got
in touch with Messrs Amazon and Sons and got me this new one.
What a boon to wake up yesterday morning to the strains of
Misplaced Childhood - Marillion. 
Talking of which leads neatly on the the next mishap which, were I a Boy Racer, might never have happened. Trying for the first time the new (but narrow) track at Phase III, flanked on one side by a newly planted hedgerow and the other by an all too sturdy security fence, the outward journey went without incident. On the way back, the 90° bend was a little tight (but no tighter than on the way out) so it was thought best
 to rip off the 'port quarter' of the Strange Rover rather  than do the 
new saplings any harm - now, how much will that be in £ s and d?
We won't even mention the Lexar Card Reader crapping out.
 There has to be an UP-SIDE which also came from Mr Amazon while
ordering the new Juke Box.
This Fine Pair (Pink Floyd) of
which have now been added to the arsenal but please don't hold your breath
awaiting any results. It has already taken 2 days to get them out of the box!!
So, what about today? Well, it is unusual to bring any days finding to Post on
the same day as the observations exception to any rule!
We even failed in that as it is now tomorrow!
 The Weather Forecaster got it right again as there was a heavy
 overnight frost
 which didn't seem to be bothering the
one little bit,
in fact the frost added a 'certain something'.
 With a single
 on each of Parley Pond and the Irrigation Pond it is possible that they
are the harbingers of the 'spring arrivals', but just as likely 'weather driven'.
Also at PP were c14
much easier to both see and count now some of the undergrowth has been cleared.
 As ever great attention was paid to the Solar Panel Fences and as usual
prevailed, but today there were an unprecedented c8.
numbers seemed to have increased too, with a dozen or so
in an unlikely location at the north of the property.
What is, in the short term at least, being referred to as the
there was no life at all but not surprising as being frozen solid.
Since the Solar Panel Contractors left this has become a regular
feeding station for at least one Green Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail (plus many others)
so no surprise when one obligingly flew overhead.
(archive image)
With nothing to observe, the opportunity was taken to clear up some of the debris the afore mentioned have left behind, which proved to be a huge bonus in itself. Chasing, but seemingly not catching, a Song Thrush a
which appeared to be a male,
did one circuit of the nearest compound before giving up.
(also an archive image)
along the Sewerage Works Hedge doing very well.
Next on the itinerary was a slow drive along the course of the
Moors River
but not before clocking and filming both
high in the nearby trees.
Seemingly regardless of the temperature there is always sections of open water here and during such periods of high precipitation the floods aid much better viewing. Favoured by a number of species of Wildfowl, there is usually something to see but at its best when first on parade is something once thought scarce to our Recording Area
Up until this year there had only been a single known record, since
when that has increased by the sighting of a single Duck and c2
separate 'pairs'.

Along with them were good numbers of Mallard and Teal
while a record count for here of 10 male and 7 female
was made and accompanied by c4 very noisy and squabbling
It would be wrong to say that Merritown Heath held very little,
fact is it held NOWT! However, on our return the Solar Panels
appeared to be bowing under the weight of dozens and dozens of
captured from a distance of about a quarter of a mile and were
not at all pleased at the presence of a second
this time a female.
 These 2 images, again from the archive, were taken on the
North Sea Oil Rig Buchan Alpha
showing Europe's smallest raptor enjoying a nice fresh Redwing.
 A most obliging
 stopped us in our tracks
 and proceeded to put on a show of preening.
 An equally static but less well lit
brought an end to the birding day but not before we spotted these
we only pass these trees a minimum of twice a day and like the trees
the cones ain't exactly obscured from view!
Some interesting cumulus cloud late afternoon.
At the End of the Day - Michael Rutherford
From Rutherford's 'highly acclaimed'  first solo album Smallcreep's Day,
it is notable for the vocals of Noel McCalla, particularly on this track.
United Kingdom
United States
Saudi Arabia
Now there's an eclectic mix! Welcome one and all.

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