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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My photo of the day

This cheeky little chaffinch perched on my wing mirror hoping to be given some food. There is always a delay following click of my camera shutter and the actual picture capture and so he has just taken off again! Taken on a rainy day at Lake Vyrnwy in Mid-Wales.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Update and Picture

The sun is shining and I'm just about recovering from a virus throat infection that has laid me low since last Thursday and so I better stir myself into action and get out of the house soon. For now just this brief update and a picture of a King Penguin at the enormous colony on South Georgia's St Andrew's Bay.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

European Kestrel

This stunning photo was taken by a friend in Austria who has a new camera and is achieving great results.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Clifton Rocks Railway

Yesterday I visited the Clifton Rocks Railway here in Bristol. First opened in 1891 to to take people between the fashionable suburb of Clifton and down to the Hotwells Spa through a steep tunnel in the limestone cliff 500 ft [152 metres] long. The railway was never very successful having been built at the very end of the era when the Hotwells spring was popular. I seem to remember being told by a geologist friend that the taste of the water was disgusting! The railway was operated until the 1930's then during the Second World War used as a well protected facility for BBC transmissions and as an air raid shelter. Derelict for many years the future of the railway is still uncertain, but over the last two years a group of enthusiasts has been making a valiant effort of restoration. This weekend is the second annual open day and crowds of people were around to look at the ongoing work. It would take many more years and millions of pounds to restore it fully and even then would not be a profit making attraction. Crucially, parking is almost impossible at the base station by the river and difficult at the top in Clifton. Nevertheless it was well worth the visit to see what had been recovered and to see demonstrations of the hydraulic system by which the passenger cars operated. Do please have a look at the fascinating website.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Puzzle Picture - See Comment for answer

Why are these dancers dancing? (It's not for the fun of it). Photo taken somewhere in South East Asia last Sunday - but where?

[Puzzle, quiz, general knowledge, in the news, culture ]

Good Herefordshire Onions

Photo taken in the garden at Woofields Farm near Ledbury

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ancestral home of the Clan Maclean

Approaching Castle Duart on the East coast of the Isle of Mull

Monday, May 15, 2006

My Photo of the Day

The little Norwegian church at Grytviken - the "capital" of South Georgia. The church has been restored over the last few years by the British Army. Whaling operations from Grytviken ceased in the 1960's but there is a lively museum and many of the former whaling station buildings have been made safe for the summer season visitors from cruise ships. The permanent population of South Georgia is less than 5 people, increasing in summer and winter by the influx of scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and others.

Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave is in the cemetery to the east side of Grytviken Bay.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Any idea what this is? See Comment for Answer

A shrub - about 2m high with pine like leaves and these complex scarlet flowers? Photo taken at Spinner's Gardens in the New Forest.
this is an audio post - click to play

Little Egrets

On Thursday I joined a trip organised by an old friend to the New Forest and have to write an account of the day for the group magazine. I will start on that later! For now I just wanted to post this to celebrate the fact that I saw a bird, fairly new to the British list that I had never seen in this country before. All is explained in my link here to the RSPB. Egrets have not reached the Severn Estuary as far as I'm aware, but are becoming increasingly common in estuaries around the South and East Coast, first appearing in significant numbers in 1989.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Photo of the Day

Trees by the riverside - River Vyrnwy in Mid Wales

This on a section of the Ann Griffiths Walk

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A parliament of owls and a warren of wombats

A Murmuration of Starlings

The English language has many quirky and fascinating words, not least the "
Collective Nouns"

Here is a link to one of many web-sites - Some of the words date from the middle ages but some are much more recent.

An enviable view

In memory of my mother Pauline who would have been 90 years old today. This is the view from her cottage looking towards Meifod in Montgomeryshire