Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Nesting owls swoop on dog walkers

This is for my North American friends (and any one else outside of UK) as you will have missed this.
Recently I heard about some nesting Eagle Owls in Lancashire (we have had Eagle Owls nesting in the NE before)- these were originally escapes but seem to be able to rear their young sucessfully.

Then on the pager the other day came the news "Collie Dog taken"!!
I waited for the BBC to gather the news and to my relief see it wasn't "taken" to the nest as my imagination had run riot!!

There had been warnings so what this "dog lover was doing...goodnesss knows!

click on the title to read all about it!

England win 2nd Test

Despite the rain and the cold (7 degrees c at one point) England finally and in fits and stops put this test to bed with a record win over the Windies.

Viv Richards, Gary Sobers and the wonderful fast bowlers of yore will be soooooooo
upset to see the sorry state that the WI have come to...not the fault of this team particularly but the mess that the administration have let happen presumably over petty bickering!For soo many years now....I guess Brian Lara papered over the cracks somewhat with his runs but.......he too played his part in the WI downfall.
Sounds like an exam question
How far and in what way were the Cricket Administrators of the West Indies to blame for the ignominy faced in 2007 in Headingley?
Or "Brian Lara - his part in our downfall" Discuss.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

30 years of Star Wars

30 years since Star Wars burst onto our screens.
I dont claim to be a Trekkie but I did see the film almost as soon as it was released.
I was an avid cinema goer then and went to lots of films in the West end before they hit the High Streets.(I usually wait til films are on in Richmond, nowadays!!)
I fell in love with a Wookie!
Actually R2D2 was my favourite and Hans Solo was such a great character!!

Some parts of the film still stand up to todays computer generated special effects but some parts dont. The first film to be released has a special place in our sf history.

Click on the title and discover 30 facts about SW!!

2nd Test and other matters

KP does it again! scores over 200 runs and the slightly unorthodox call up of Ryan Sidebottom worked a treat!!
Whoevers call that was well done!!

6 wickets in one day, he also fired the other seamers up!!

Even tho the weather might be against us with a lead of 400 runs and 8 wickets to get- well they have done well! If The forecast is correct and Tuesday is okay then it is a possibility of a win.We will see!

David Beckham called up again for Englands football team.

Now I know he has been playing well in Espana.but is this a backward step?
I think I would have preferred it if we had gone with the future and not the past.
David Bentley played well enough to show he could be on the bench if Mr Lennon is fit and I would prefer to play a wide man who can actually go past defenders something Beckham hasn't been able to do in a long time.
Yes he can take free kicks.....but do we really want to go back to all the media speculation and not progress.
I think the manager has lost the plot again....still there are 3 matches in Espana and DB might have an injury and we can wonder all we like!!
See I'm talking about it!!

Move on!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Goose smashes sea crossing record

Well a Barnacle goose has now broken the record for a sea crossing!!
Click on the title to read more!!

Cricket again

I havent been very well lately and didn't finish the blog on the first test...the rain won and it was a draw but not until England could have won!!

KP scored a wonderful century.

We are now into the 2nd Test.

Same team with Sidebottom in for injured Hoggard..not sure about that!! And the Captain who hasn't played any cricket for 18 months or so back in...I had my doubts...

What does Vaughan do scores a Century and some of the shots were like his old elegant self!! Well done to him!!

KP scored an impressive century again and England are in a good position.

Guess what is expected on Sunday and Monday yes rain...fingers and toes crossed it is just cloudy over Leeds!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gorgeted Puffleg Hummingbird

Just look at this beauty!!

Newly discovered but also endangered

What a stunner.....Pufflegs are but this one wow!!

1st test - 2nd day

Well 550 runs for 5 wickets and 4 players scoring centuries.

OK its the Windies attack...well their attempt at an attack!! However batsmen still have to get those runs and boy did they.

Prior on debut a magnificent 126 not out - terrific now to hold them catches!!

I am happy to see England playing at Lords and enjoying themselves!!

Famous Galápagos Tortoise, Lonesome George, May Not Be Alone

Well some good news from the Galapagos...

click on the title.

I have been looking at Galapagos on the net as I am thinking about a trip there next year!
I wonder if Lonesome will still be alive by the time I may get there.

On another note I have just watched 4 Great Tit babies fledge from their bird box

you can read about this years stories here

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cranes are breeding in the Fens

The RSPB have reported finding a nest at Lakenheath Reserve in Suffolk...better known as one place we can hear and sometimes see Golden Orioles.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Here we go Cricket Test

Indeed it is time for test matches again...starting on Thursday.

The new regime...new coach and new Captain.

Ok Andrew can we beat the new look Windies?

Well Pete will be pleased as the wicket keeper is Prior ( Pete has been on and on about him being the best for ages...so lets see..

The Team have injuries...Harmison and Freddie but we will see.

We ought to beat the Windies!!

Charles Darwin online

Charles Darwin is now online!!

Well his letters and some other written papers!!

This could prove a very interesting site.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bar tailed Godwits migratory journey

How about this....

The kiwi might be New Zealand's iconic flightless bird, but another inhabitant of these antipodean islands more than makes up for the kiwi's ground-dwelling nature.

The bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri) - or kuaka in the Maori language - sets off at the end of each austral summer for Alaska, stopping en route in Asia.

This year, for the first time, scientists have tracked the godwits' northern route with satellite tags. And it shows the godwits really are the champion migrants of the avian world.

"When you feel them in your hands, they're not fragile little things," says Massey University ecologist Dr Phil Battley, the New Zealand coordinator for the international study.

"They are built to travel. They get incredibly fat. When you get a really fat one, it almost has trouble balancing - it's like it has a pound of butter under its skin.

"Once they get into the air, it's flap-flap, and that's all they do really."

See where the birds are flying

By tagging them, the researchers hope to show just far these birds fly.

"We know that the godwits leave New Zealand, and we know that they arrive in the Yellow Sea, but we really haven't had any information in between that," Dr Battley explains.

"We don't know whether they make stop-offs on the way; and if they do, where they are. And we don't know anything about the security of those sites - how safe they are from development."

Back in March and April, after their summer sojourn, 13 satellite-tagged bar-tailed godwits left New Zealand to fly north.

Six of those birds flew directly to South Korea, China, and Japan, flying more than 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) in just over a week.

With some of the other birds, the tracking device fell off en route, and in one case a bird island-hopped his way up to the Yellow Sea. "We suspect this is because he doesn't like having a 'matchbox' strapped to his back," says Dr Battley.

The direct flights are some of the longest migratory bird flights ever recorded - and some of the toughest.

Seabirds feed and rest on their long journeys, swifts feed whilst in flight; but for the godwits, says Dr Battley, it is essentially a non-eating, non-drinking flight. They also fly pretty well true.

"Their navigational expertise must be very high because the distances they were actually flying, as best we can estimate from the data, are not greatly different from the shortest possible distance between those two spots," the researcher says.

Also the godwits are very faithful to the stopover sites they use. One godwit, for instance, looks likely to have only two stopovers on the whole round trip: Yalu Jiang in China and then the Yukon Delta.

"It really reinforces how critical these sites are to these birds," says Dr Battley.

"If something were to happen to that area, [the godwit] may not know any of the other areas around that, and that would put it at a disadvantage in trying to find food."

And the godwit population is in decline.

New Zealand hosts 70,000 godwits each summer, but it used to be home to 100,000. It is the same throughout the East Asian and Australasian flyways, where up to 85% of the shorebird populations are declining.

Just what is going on is part of what the godwit tracking and the broader Pacific Shorebird Migration Program, a joint initiative between the US Geological Survey and PRBO Conservation Science, hopes to find out.

The increasing reclamation of tidal mud flats in Korea and China, and the changes in geography due to projects such as the Three Gorges Dam, are part of the problem, Dr Battley suggests.

Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam is accused of damaging bird habitats
"Everywhere is under threat to a certain degree. You just have to zoom in on any spot around the Yellow Sea [on Google Earth] and it's getting reclaimed in one way or another."

But one thing the godwits are probably not is a potential carrier of avian influenza, scientists believe.

"It's clear these birds are going straight up to their destination and that's where they are stopping and then moving on," says Dr Battley.

"It's not like they are going around the coast of Southern China and stopping off in lots of places where they have the potential to pick this up."

Four of the tagged godwits have now left Asia for the 5,000km (3,000 mile) journey to their breeding grounds in Alaska.

That's where they will stay for the Northern Hemisphere summer before returning in September to New Zealand.

Godwit migration (Source: USGS Alaska Science Center)

What I really am thrilled about is I saw Bar tailed Godwits in NZ in NOvember 2006- just think of their journey!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Confused penguin strays 5,000km

A Magellanic penguin whose natural habitat is the cool climes of southern Chile has strayed thousands of miles from his home, arriving in Peru.

The penguin, native to the Strait of Magellan region of Chile, swam all the way to Peru's Paracas national reserve.

Scientists say the bird appeared to have made the 5,000km (3,000-mile) journey alone.

They say the penguin must have "got off course" to end up just 14 degrees south of the equator.

Read the rest here(click on the title) there is also a link to a video

Saturday, May 12, 2007

World Migratory Bird Day

Its all weekend. Click on the title for more information.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Boy hatches chick from shop bought eggs.

see here



Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Golden Compass

Just been alerted to this book (well books) by a fellow blogger. As a kinda tribute to a friend I have met online whose funeral was yeaterday I decided to see what my Daemon might be.
People who knew Boo will understand why I think this might be the kind of tribute she would appreciate.


Dont know if this will work or I have to do some thing else!
Here goes

Thursday, May 03, 2007

More Costa Rican photos these and the Aracari are Sean's again!!

Keel billed Toucan.

Shock cool weather!!

So more Photos from Costa Rica to make me feel warm!! We have had such hot weather for April now its cloudy and quite cool!!

The Fiery Billed Aracari.
A good name for a fine fella!!