Archive for July, 2009

My wife brought me a book from the library, "say goodbye to the cuckoo" by Michael McCarthy and I finished it yesterday. It is an exploration of the birds that are thought of by us a spring-bringers, the cuckoo, the warblers, the nightingale, the spotted flycatcher, the swallows and martins etc. the author treats each bird in turn and explores it's migration, it's migration route and the sense of wonder it brings to us from past literature and present experiences, and the loss we feel when there is a lack of spring migrants, or worse, when they have not returned.…

Jul 25th by Ian under Bird Watching

This spot is becoming lucky, this is the gate were I photographed the fox in the sunshine. I had just crossed the gate and was on the ground when this hare runs straight towards the gate, it was in blazing sunshine and I was in the shade. As you can see it was uneasy and I was wishing the photos showed it more relaxed, like my former one of a hare stretching.  It did come to within three metres of the gate after a few sorties back and forth when I snapped it, it sniffed the ground…

Jul 20th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

I love watching buzzards fly, but when I'm at the Osprey site I generally give them scant attention. However on Sunday 19/07/09 both Buzzard adults were in the air mewing together, from the week before I knew a juv was out and about, that's why I got a picture of a mewing adult buzzard chastising me. This week I eventually spotted the juv and managed a pic before it was off, not to fly majestically,  just off, disappeared into the herbage. Talking of disappeared, two weeks now and no signs of the marsh harriers, I was hoping…
These sand martins have found a sand pile between two piles of crushed concrete, on the site of the M74 extension. Is this a statement of desperation for nesting sites? I believe this is the case, should not parks, national trust ground and other publicly held ground not erect artificial nest sites? see links http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/advice/sandmartins/index.asp http://www.users.freenetname.co.uk/~sandmartin/page2.html Needless to say the birds have been protected by those cuddly construction chaps. David Welsh, I know you are a busy man, but the artificial site on concrete legs would be an easy construction project using mostly spare materials. If you…

Jul 11th by Ian under Bird Watching

I did predict to myself that the the Osprey juvs would be flying soon, and both chicks are now on the wing. It really is great to see these birds arrive, produce fledglings and subsequently leave. I got a bit confused as a juvenile was on the branch that later was occupied by an Osprey with a Pike, still alive and I'm afraid being eaten. I thought well that's cool, hardly on the wing and it  has a fish! Of course it was the male and after he had his bit from the head I watched him…
http://www.ukmotorwayarchive.org/ I had forgotten about this site above, for those of us who have constructed a few of these it is a nice trip down memory lane. In those days the testing consultant was appointed by the client and under the control of the consulting engineer. Staff for the summer was the staff for the winter, difficult to find work for ten techs in the middle of winter. In the 70's and up to the middle 80's there was no computers either, so no  reports could be complied. We had to do the end of contract reports calculating standard deviations…

Jul 10th by Ian under Bird Watching

This was taken in daylight as you can see, on a golf course. My pal Neil Davidson took this with a Nikon D60 with a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor Lens. The benefit of being on a golf course is the owls are perfectly used to people and being long eared do hunt in the daylight. I have been to this site with Neil and you get the most amazing views of these splendid birds, if the midges let you. They do make a noise like a squeaky hinge as advertised. Neil has a collection of good…
My Palestinian pal has been given his letter for his finalisation of employment, and has had his final redundancy meeting which I attended.  Bassam Haj Ibrahim (Bass or Baz) is our QA and environmental manager and a casualty of our recent round of redundancies. A man, given his Palestinian background, who needs luck now, more than ever. He has an obvious advantage in Middle East employment as Arabic is his first language, so I hope his work search in that direction goes well. Inshallah. Although retrenchment is a tool to use in times such as these, you do wonder at…
I have seen a few dead Greenfinches during the last couple of years, near my feeders, but tonight I disturbed this poor Greenfinch while weeding. It almost certainly has trichomoniasis as it was displaying all the symptoms. Make sure all your feeders are keep clean, for more info go to http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/health/sickbirds/greenfinches.asp When younger I could have killed this bird saying it was a better and quicker end for it, thought about it tonight and could not do it. old age cometh not alone !…

Jul 5th by Ian under Materials and Construction

Tags: Nae tags again!

In the old Morrisons (just a bit before my time) when we were owned by the Morrison family there were two Ian Raes, one was sales and one was techy. I never knew this appellation applied to Ian Rae (techy) until a few months ago when I visited a Tarmac quarry that Morrisons used to own and I was having the crack with the guys. Well Ian Rae (techy) hung up his boots at the end of June 09 (metaphorically), as Ian will wear them till they have holes in them, not that he is tight, it's just to get…
4 July, and from the picture here you can see the Ospreys are now well grown. I spent some time watching them, that is the female on the right, you need to open the picture, she has more brown across her chest, and this photo could have been the last as nothing happened. This is often the case, the male must be bringing in plenty to eat as the female was at the nest and you can see from the chicks size, could be left ( in my opinion anyway). I had good views of the female…
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