Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sussex sidlesham and sun!

Well a last minute booked trip to Sidlesham with a stay over at the Jolly Fisherman B and B and Dinner st the Crab and Lobster. Photos will be added once Pat has downloaded and passed on a few for me! Really fantastic weather added to the mini break away from London and part of a week off of Mayoral duties! The birds sere a bonus too - I haven@t yet written up the list as I was concentrating on enjoying myself! We visited East Wittering, West Wittering (I really like WW)Birdham and then Church Norton after the briefest stop at the Pagham Harbour NR Information Centre (for the loos!) then to find the Jolly Fisherman! Hahaha we went up and down the Selsey road in the rush hour a total nightmare - as the google maps I had seen were wrong! So sat nav had to be turned on both- mine and Pat's mobile phone and we eventually found the place! But birds..... Dinner was lovely - The Crab and Lobster turned out to be a ten min alk opposite where we ee staying and the night sky was brilliantly full of stars on our return....no street lamps in Sidlesham! Buzzards, Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine were the birds of prey - a Barn Owl the only owl spotted but then the waders and gulls and wildfowl in abundance! Wagtails, Dunnocks and Robins. Tits assorted and flitty brown jobs some of which were pipits - mipit, ripit but no wipits! The corvids were out in force - Crows, Jackdaws and a few Rooks but best of all were a pair of Ravens flying along the ridge outside the Arudel WWT ! Oh and the display of at least one maybe two Kingfishers at Arudel was lovely and delightful! We had to be back for mid afternoon owing to Pat attending a concert at the Albert Hall - Van Morrision! :) great couple of days and great company!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Trip to the North- well North Lincolnshire , Hull and Yorkshire!

Last week I went on a mission - to see friends from the past 4 of hom I hadn't seen for over 30 years! I also visited friends ho had newly moved to Hull! The weather as kind in fact it was amazingly sunny and warm! The Friends in Grantham for that's the first venue Adrian and Kate were lovely! We got on as if we had seen each other the other week albet a little catching up to do but since we have been friends on facebook for the last 18 months we kinda knew each other! :) Their dog Daisy and the delightful Henry were lovely! I visited Far Ings nature reserve on the Tuesday morning - and saw an amazingly close Kingfisher- fishing and displaying and perching! I even got pics- I think I made a new birding friend too who helped me with my camera as I helped him with some bird id! My friends in Hull fed me well and it as good to see them again. On the Wednesday I met up with another birding friend Cheryl and we went to see a mega rare at Kilnsea ( we had planned to go to Spurn anyway and it was on the route! )A Masked Shrike - only the 3rd ever to grace our shores! We had a lovely walk towards spurn head and lots of laughs as well as viewing thousands pf waders! On Thursday it was a quick sprint across to Hornsea where my last lot of friends have a house altho they live at the mo in a village called Wetwang! Pat and I soon were falling about laughing as we alkd to Hornsea Mere and did some birding - we felt the call of the bacon butty and cup of tea - before walking to second field to view the lavonian Grebe that had been spotted there! Plus a Red crested Pochard plus hundreds of Coots other ducks and lots of Mute Swans....oh and a Black Swan that appears here every winter! In the afternoon we were joined by Dave - as his day off is a Friday so we could spend a while together! It was very good to catch up. The odd thing is that Adrian, Pat and I had joined the same school for our probationary year - they were in the same dept and I lost touch with them in the same year 1982....both had got married I was Usher at Adrian and Kate wedding and meet their first born. I sang with a couple of others at Pat and Dave's wedding - as well as her sisters..... so why the lost touch? These things happen - Great though to be back in proper touch and I shall be visiting them again! In fact I need to go to stay with Pat and Dave fairly soon so I can see all the churches that Dave is vicar of- they sound special a all are grade 1 listed! I have to add photos but its proving difficult so just the prose at mo!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This should be an interesting day!

I am just going to take a leaf out of a friends book and be cryptic. This could be an amazing day! Will be back tonight with hopefully some photos to tell the tale!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hampton to Kempton Waterworks (Steam ) Railway

2013 not 2014 Superb organization and a very enjoyable event! I cant remember everyone's name but they were undoubtedly a very friendly and knowledgeable bunch! The traffic between Isleworth and destination was remarkably clear with Uday driving safely through my ward (full of parked cars everywhere as The Mosque was busy). Into a Listed Building which anyone passing by on the A316 would recognise - two towers - http://www.hamptonkemptonrailway.org.uk/

Friday 17th May Opening a Steam Railway Station.

2013 not 2014
July 2014 No resolutions just going to try to keep this updated - almost a year has passed since my last blog post! So its been a busy year too! Mostly to do with Local Elections - with some birding in between and some Deputy Mayor events. So in May we had the Local elections in London and Labour did really well - in the Euro's I was so pleased to see that we won 4 seats in London- we ere expecting to hold our 2 and add one but with the results going so well in the locals there was every chance we might just get the 4th and Seb Dance - I will remember his face on being elected for a very long time- what a great bunch our London Team were - fantastic! Now the 4 are working hard for us in the European Parliament! I am now The Mayor of the LB Hounslow.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I am making a mid summer resolution! to blog at least once a week until the end of the year! 5th June was the last effort! So much has happened - if you are on fb you ill already know so I shall do a quick update next w/e. Just to say the bird count is up to 256 - and then there has been a stall. Should be able to add to that with a trip to North Wales next week! On official Council leave at mo. But it has been busy as DM!lol Have also been busy getting re-selected to be a candidate for the next Council Elections very proud and happy that my Ward Hounslow Heath have selected me to stand next May! This was great as last time it as done by interview by a Board selected by London Region as the ward was in special measures they are now out - so were allowed to select as usual. A real fillip for me after working hard in the ward for three and a bit years they want me to continue! :) Lots of functions as DM Quite a bit of local birding including watching 2 Little owl juveniles..... oh and my Team Crystal Palace are back in the Premiership and I went to their first home game last Sat v Spurs losing 1-0 to a very dodgy pen....

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Fledge Watch Charing X Hospital Peregrines Some record shots from yesterday - for great photos go to Facebook to see Fulham and Barnes Peregrines but also Wendy's blog dont seem to have done a link! There is now! Blogger working! lol No special order and later I'll put the Jay and Magpie photos up too!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Citizenship Ceremony Part 1

Part 1 as I ant to go into detail about these Ceremonies when I have explored the background and been taken through the process by the Officers/Registrars. My first Official engagement was on Wednesday afternoon 15th May........in Robes and regalia over to the Registrars on the same site as The Civic Centre. They have a lovely room (for Weddings/Ceremonies) hen its the Citizenship Ceremony there is a large framed Portrait of the Queen draped over by the Union Flag - the room has lovely flowers everywhere. Its a formal ceremony but also informal in that its a very special day for the individuals but also they can relax as they are at the end of one journey and at the begining of another. People from all over the World go through this ceremony - Wednesday they were from New Zealand, USA, Somalia, Afganistan, India , Venezula, Hungary, Poland.....and others.... They nearly all anted photos in front of the Queen/flag with the Deputy Mayor! I will illustrate this further as the year progresses as there is usually one ceremony a week!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Deputy Mayor LBHounslow

On Tuesday evening at the AGM of the Borough Council I was appointed as the Deputy Mayor for Hounslow Mayor is Cllr Sachin Gupta

Thursday, April 25, 2013

So I have passed 200 birds for the year- I have enjoyed several fantastic days birding and I have tried to get my head around the Pan-species listing for the 1 km square. I have managed some decent photos and messed up big time on others. I have shared some birds that friends have taken great photos of and I would like these on my blog!
Wondering why I have trouble uploading my photos to this site....I have attempted to post on several days over the last month and a half and everytime the upload fails! eeek!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hopelessly behind blogging!

Well I have been out and about birding since my last blog and doing other things too! The famous Black Redstart that is making its self at home at Ferry Lane on the Thames foreshore was seen yesterday . The photo was taken by Trev Bird that morning we missed each other by an hour! I like the photo as it shows an Urban Bird in an urban setting! Plus its sharpe too! For once I didn't drop into Rainham Marshes as I then had to go to Crayford Marshes to try for a Spotted Redshank - fortunately said bird appeared and had a forage! What a miserable day weather wise blowin a hooly and mizzle.....plus showers which became very wet!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Poole Visit

I went down to Poole w/e of 15th February for my nephew Richard's wedding to the lovely Barbara. I have posted wedding pics on my facebook site. On the way down I saw Buzzards and visited the New Forest - Beaulieu Road Station and Keyhaven Harbour and Marsh plus a visit to Blackwater Arboretum. New birds for the year.... I was pleased to see Crossbills, Dartford Warbler, Stonechat and Woodlarks plus Hawfinch and Bullfinch at BA. On Sunday I saw Sandling in the Poole Harbour - then managed to catch up with Great Grey Shrike at Six Penny Handley along with a SEO! On the way back I saw a couple of Red Kites - one on the M3 near the Winchester turn off and one later just as the M3 joins the M25 (I as on the M3). What an amazing w/e .....the weather was sunny and dry! The Wedding was really enjoyable and it was good to catch up with my relatives and the Foster Family! Plus good friends of Kathy and Nigel (known as Nick). On Monday after a long walk in Richmond Park with my friends Belgium Shepherd dog Enzo - I went to Manchester. We went to watch Man Utd v Reading in the FA Cup. Pics on Facebook. (takes so long to post pics on here I might put up one or two later! We stayed at Old Trafford Lodge with a balcony overlooking Old Trafford Cricket Ground. On route for the Theatre of Dreams we found a Hotel that had a steak house and we had a nice 3 course meal with wine- bit different as we weren't sure we would get there in time to have anything but a bag of chips! ;) lol The atmosphere at OT is something special - I like live Football matches. Well they could have been 4-0 up by ht but chances ent begging and individuals played in fits and starts. However that really changed in the 2nd half hen Robin came on! He seemed to inspire the others and their confidence grew - and at 2-0 I think we thought MU would score more but Reading staged a comeback but MU gave away a sloppy goal and the last part of the game they were under pressure! Still a win is a win!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Pine Grosbeak

In Finland!
My Pine Grosbeaks from Finland 2012. Why this post? Easy I am looking at lots of photos of the Pine Grosbeak that is presently in Shetland! This bird came to light when I came back! It now emerges that it was there from November id as a Crossbill (no shame there). No way can I go back...commitments! I thought I would look at my photographs from last year....here is a pair who were passing seeds to each other! Just before Christmas I finally received the Trip report! If you wish to read it - its here

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Up Helly Aa Morning Parade

Showers ....but as the hour approached for the Parade the sun shone!
Jarl Stevie
The impressive line up of the Vikings and their boat!
The Chief Constable with the Vikings!
The proclamation

Kempton Park Nature Reserve Open Day

Spent a couple of hours at Kempton Park Nature Reserve this morning - it was an open day to celebrate World Wetlands Day. It belongs to London Borough of Hounslow but is run by Thames Water. I met the Manager, the pt Warden Colin, someone from LWT (London Wildlife Trust) and Thames Waters Local Authority Liaison person (who I knew) all really helpful and friendly. I have been meaning to visit over the last year but each time something else has prevented this! I signed up afterwards to be a Friend as its a delightful site and has some interesting flora and fauna on site including lots of Reed Buntings! More information as I get to know it! 2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general, and the Ramsar Convention in particular. 2013 is the UN International Year for Water Cooperation and an ideal opportunity for Ramsar to look at the connection between water and wetlands.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Up Helly Aa Morning thoughts

Hi all I was thinking that I haven't reflected the atmosphere very well in my posts. A key on trips like this is how the members in the 'bus get on and gel. Usually I find that as we are like minded - love birds and wildlife its really easy to get on with most people . OK sometimes you get the odd person but if you avoid religion and politics it usually works out- unless they are late to stuff- I have to admit I hate it if people are always late...being a punctual person myself. Yes things happen but sometimes a couple are always late and it irritates me beyond belief and on holiday I am quite a laid back person! To say our minibus of 8 plus Hugh was great is under-stating it - we worked well as a group and we had a terrific laugh! We also appeared to understand fieldcraft and when to be quiet without anyone having to say anything. Hugh Harrop is an outstanding guide and always goes several extra miles for his guests! I dont really feel like a guest anymore but a friend. Fortunately Hugh picks his guides well and Jon Dunn (who lives on Whalsay) is a brilliant guide and has a great sense of humour - I mention Jon as he was with the other group (we often met up in the course of the day) obviously we meet up in the evenings. I have been fortunate in the past to have been guided by Jon and he is full of fascinating stories and information.

Tuesday 29th Up Helly Aa Day Part1 Wildlife

We have three parts of the Fire Festival - so i thought I'd put the Wildlife together in one post and the UHA in another. First Port of call was Shetland Catch in Lerwick today there were more gulls than there had been and we were hopeful of an Iceland Gull. But alas not to be! Seals were very interested in the bread- as they are fed fish by the trawlermen and think thats what we have! So they come very close!
The water is so clear in the Harbour you can see the seals body! But I do love the very big guy! Next are some reflective shots using the colour of the hulls on the water for light interest! The Eider shot was a surprise just as I had both males in focus one dived!
After the Harbour we went to Scalloway to have lunch - superb fresh fried fish and chunky chips at Scalloway Hotel. Huge portions! Then to Laxfirth as Twite had been seen by the other group the other day - by the time e ent there as too much working going on! We arrived and heard them as we got out the minibus! Eventually they fle up to the wires and about 25-30 were sitting and calling! Happy Corinna. After looking at several Slav Grebes and a few other bits and pieces it as back to the site of the Mountain Hares nearby. Would they show? Could I get a pic or record shot this time?
I took a pic of the area where we had seen Mountain Hares - then one appeared and I managed a record shot! Later on as we ent to pick up the treking photographers another Hare appeared closer to the bus and I just shot a pic- really pleased as its the one standing up!

Scalloway and Gulls

The delightful Ring-billed Gull at Scalloway. We tried on two occasions yesterday to see this bird - our other Shetland Wildlife group tried once (?) and a local birder as there for a long time in the afternoon....no sightings had the bird flown? Fortunately not! Also here were Common and Herring Gulls.
I really enjoyed watching the antics of the Gulls chasing the bread!