A snip at £435,000!
See more by clicking this link - ooh get me with my parallel blogging!
A snip at £435,000!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I’m going to miss a website. As the website is not closing that may sound a bit strange, but I will miss it because it will cease to be entirely relevant to my new patch and I will have little cause to read it.
The website is the Londonbirders Wiki.
You may think that as London is a generally a more frosty place to live on an interpersonal level that you would have more coherence amongst birders in the idyllic flatlands of Norfolk than you do in London. It is my opinion that the reverse is true. Londonbirders seem to be able to work better as a unit in spite of the difficulties that the city presents whereas the individuals in the Norfolk birding scene don’t seem to be able to get it together to maintain a project as good as the wiki, which is a pity. They have yahoo groups and what not but they don’t seem to be able to unite behind a common technowebical cause. As far as I know the most popular venue for discussion is a thread on Birdforum that is as long as it is chaotic, and I’m willing to be corrected. Yes, it is true that the Londonbirders mail group does have the odd barny, and a certain Mr Evans of the parish of Amersham has been, erm ‘deselected’ but that was a rarity. I suppose it could be that Norfolk birders are all out in the field seeing birds, and London birders are all keeping the interweb up to date rather than doing their employers will. Something that I would obviously have no truck with. No that would be very naughty indeed. The nub of my point is that the birders in London have got all this interweb thing all sorted and have an excellent resource. I will miss it.
Meanwhile in another land, a listers list is listed.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Part 1 of how many, I don't know. But certainly at least two.
When I leave this patch to go here, I will miss this.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Did I mention that I've got a new patch coming? I did?
Well, I reckon that a new patch deserves a new blog (might have mentioned that too).
It's still in it's infancy, and lots of honourable links are yet to be added and all that kind of malarkey, but for the moment feel free to enjoy the first, and reasonably uninspiring entry to Norfolk'n Birds.
Click on the bluey bit - it's a link...
Friday, August 20, 2010
Unless it regurgitates it (which I have seen in gulls before) it's shortly going to be a very, very, dead gull indeed. I know it's only a gull, and not an uncommon one and that I am not one for shying away from nature when it is at it's most raw and unforgiving. If this gull was killed by a Peregrine I would have loved it. But this is at the other end of the scale, the shitty end of urban birding.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
If you look at the Birdguides reports of rarities that are knocking about these fair isles, you will occasionally see that there are entries for Yellow Legged Gulls. That means that they are unusual. So I should make more of a song and dance about this bird as it is still hanging about in Fulham and seen yesterday.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
You know those waffle free posts where someone that birds in a patch actually puts up a list of birds they saw in the patch? The ones like what I don't do very often? Lets have one for yesterday.
Mute Swan - 2 adults, 5 cygnets
Mallard - loads
Tufted Duck - 1 female, 6 ducklings (no, really)
Grey Heron - 7
Cormorant - c15
Lesser Black Backed Gull - 5+
Herring Gull - 15+
Common Gull - 1
Black-headed Gull - 30+
Long Tailed Tit - c7
Blue Tit - 1
Goldfinch - 3
Magpie - 5
Carrion Crow - loads
Starling - c20
Moorhen - 2
Coot - 4
Pigeons - loads
Wood Pigeon - 10+
Ring-necked Parakeet - 3
Pied Wagtail - 1
Blackbird - 2
House Sparrow - 6+
Canada Goose - 2
Not very exciting I grant you. The only notable from that list is the Tufted Duck with ducklings. If they stay loyal to the site over the coming weeks it may be proof of breeding, which will be a first. But there are Tufties on Wandsworth Common, and it is not unknown for ducks to take their progeny for a walk. But round here it seems a little unlikely.
Monday, August 16, 2010
What was the relevance of the title of Friday's post? What is the relevance of this one? Firstly, none whatsoever and secondly none until I'm done here today. You still with me?
Here is how it all ties together. Trying to find witty or even slightly different titles for posts can be a bit taxing. Now, on the way to work on Friday, rather than the dulcit tones of John Humphreys, I was listening to some of Screamadelica by Primal Scream, as you do. In the track Don't Fight It, Feel It the backing singer(s) sing the line (taken from the superb Rocket Reducer No. 62 by the MC5 as some of you know) 'Rama Lama Lama Fa Fa Fa'. And it stuck in my head. So for my own amusement, I put it as the title of the post. So far so innocent. That's the first bit out of the way. The second answer, and a little installment of wierdness is that because of that post title a link to my blog ended up on a kind of daily whereabouts blog thing for the Dalai Lama.
No shit - click here.
How totally bizarre.
Erm, have a picture?
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Don't worry, I'll stop soon.
However, if you want to know what a decent picture of a Sparrowhawk looks like check this out.
Birdguides photo of the week
Friday, August 13, 2010
Yes, I know I said that there were four, but they don't exactly understand how to pose for a family photo you know.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
What do you do if you know where to find Sparrowhawks in your patch? Easily. Well, if you are me, you just keep going to go and watch them. At every available moment. So I did again yesterday, and have done so already this morning. I mean why not? What’s not to like about watching a couple of raptors in your patch? What could be better? Not much is the answer. Not much at all. Still not seen a definite toid boid, but I'm hoping that it is only a matter of time before a parent pops up with some food while I'm there. Either way, the two regulars are still well worth the effort. Yesterday lunchtime they were pretty static, but again this morning the Magpies were giving it some (do Magpies prefer mobbing in the morning?) and they were flying about lots and calling all the while.
Other than this excellent bit of patch birderism, there was an Egyptian Goose on the Thames this morning and a Common Sandpiper yesterday. Haven’t seen a Swift for ages, which is a bummer.
Have a picture.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
On Monday I spent about 40 minutes watching a Sparrowhawk in a tree. It didn’t do much other than sitting in the tree and calling incessantly while looking west.
Yesterday, from a different vantage point, I watched what I assumed to be the same bird doing much the same thing. Occasionally I could see another Sparrowhawk moving around the area. From this bird’s behaviour, and reasonably shabby plumage, I have assumed that it is a juvenile. This is good. It makes me think that the Sparrowhawks that I have seen over the year in one particular area have bred again (again assuming that the juvenile that was seen last autumn was a local bird).
But this is an assumption. One reasonably distant and shabby bird acting up isn’t much proof of breeding. Ideally, I need at least a second bird.
This morning I was at my place of employ quite early. I considered getting stuck in for the good of the cause and all that, but as I will be leaving soon I felt more inclined to go and look for Sparrowhawks. So I did. Again I found a second bird, but this time it was sitting with the original bird and doing much the same thing as the first – calling a lot and facing west – and it looked pretty much identical. Like this.
Hmmm. That makes me think that there are two juveniles (which is very good) but they are still distant and shabby. Not quite the proof I was after. So now I need a third bird. Not quite a three bird theory, but certainly a three bird proposition. I thought that I might have found it at one point this morning. While the two probable juveniles were sitting on the tree they attracted the attention of some Magpies and after a short while there was at least half a dozen Magpies mobbing the hawks, who were giving plenty back. There ensued about half an hour of flying around at each other with some lovely views of the two hawks. Sometimes visible, sometimes not, but always audible. During the aerial skirmish I was certain that I saw a slaty-backed bird pop out of the foliage which may have been bigger than the other two. The third bird. I’m now reasonably confident that Sparrowhawks have been breeding on my patch in 2010. I do intend to chase the third bird for a while though. For the sake of proof.
The Heron ignored everything.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 09, 2010
A brief visit to Brent Res on Saturday produced the goods that I had been hoping for in the shape of a small mainly brown bird. On the way to the hide, there was a nice warbler frenzy and I managed to pick up a Lesser Whitethroat, juvenile Blackcap and Garden Warbler. Once in the hide I set about finding the mainly brown bird, which took some time as it may have been sheltering from the recent showers. However, once it was out, it stayed out. It's name? Wood Sandpiper - patch tick. Nice.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
To assuage some kind of guilt regarding the eponymous Coots of this blog and the lack of interest I was showing (what, when there are Redshanks all over the show?) I went to check them out yesterday. I hadn't been to the shopping trolley since the end of the family that appeared against all belief earlier in the year. Not once. Which is a bit pants, but that particluar drama had left me a bit flat. And besides, I had a fair idea of what was going to happen. The days are still long, the sun is still warm, there is still plenty of food about. What is a Coot supposed to do?
Nest, that's what.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
I went to see a man last week right, and we had a chat about some stuff. He liked what I said, and I was intrigued by what he said. “We should have another chat” he said. “That’s a good idea” I said. So earlier this week, suitably attired, I went and had another chat with him. Another man was there too. We all chatted for, like, ages yeah? Then the other chap showed me around this place that we were at, which was nice of him.
Subsequent to all this chatting and stuff, they only went and offered me a bloody job. With money and benefits and stuff. I've only then gone and accepted the bloody job.
There is still the due diligence and what not to go through, but essentially I'm hired. Professionally this really is very good news. But this blog is not about my chosen profession. Never has been, never will be. It’s about patch birding, and largely about the inadequacies of this particular patch by the Thames in Fulham. But it cannot be thus for ever dear reader, and nor will it be. This new job, you see, is nowhere near Fulham and thus nowhere near this patch. So I will need to go somewhere in the breaks between the times when I'm not contractually obliged to be sitting behind a desk or pointing at things and telling people to do stuff (I believe they call it 'managing').
“Now just hang on one cotton pickin' minute...” I hear you cry dear reader “...your patch isn’t that bad really, what with it being by the river and everything. Will you have anywhere to go in your new job? What could possibly be right outside the front door of your new place of employment that could compare? How lucky can one person get? I mean really, what’s the likelihood of finding something like that somewhere else?”
Exactly. Life isn't like that. I'm supposed to be resigned to the futility of modern life, in that I am forced to work for 'the man' and take the tainted dollar and abandoning what little morality I have left for the sake of an easy life. I couldn't realistically apply for a job based on how close the birds are at lunchtime, that would be silly and financially I don't think it entirely sensible. But what if it works out that both job and birding can reach some convenient geographical integration. Yeah, right. What are the chances of that happening, eh? What are the real chances of being a hundred yards or so from somewhere worth watching on a daily basis?
Oh, I dunno.
Maybe this picture of the new patch answers the question...
A new patch, doing rock the fuck on!.