Blog

Thu 17th December 2009

Posted on December 18, 2009 at 12:15 AM

birds : Nothing new appearing in the last week on the island, but with the wind swinging to a cold NE in the last day or so, we may get some continental species arriving. The main troubles I've had were with divers - well one in particular. Stopping at Rousse on the way home on Tuesday, there was a distant diver on the far side of Grandes Havres and I was happy it was Great Northern, although it was too dull and dingy to be sure. Then on Wednesday, I saw it again, and again it was dull and distant by Chouet and it looked very different this time - more like Black-throated. Then today I had it close in off Rousse and it was clearly a Great Northern Diver. Although two birds is not that unlikely. A Black Redstart visited the garden at the weekend and there was a juvenile Brent Goose sitting around on the grass by Rousse kiosk on Tuesday. I thought I was going to have to call the Animal Shelter but when I approached it, it flew away strongly although it's leg seemed a bit manky.

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dull, distant diver

 

British Birds had a couple of interesting articles this month. First was an update on the Ruddy Duck cull and a summary of the reasons behind the shootings. They seem to have really decimated the population and it will be extinct soon it seems. The emotional response is how terrible it is killing so many creatures but it is difficult to argue against the reasons why. Ruddy Duck will slowly extend its range all across Europe and swamp the White-headed Duck genes and make that species extinct without a doubt, so why not stop it whilst we can. Millions of birds are shot for fun every year, not to mention the multi-million killed by cats, so a few thousand birds isn't a lot. We used to get flocks of c.300 Ruddies at Swillington Ings when I used to watch there, one of the most important sites for the species in the country, but I feel no love for them. I find them quite ugly and displeasing to the eye. The other article was about a Baikal Teal shot in the UK about 100 years ago. Analysing the proportion of Hydrogen isotopes in the feathers of the specimen proved that the newer wing feathers were grown in western Europe whilst the older juvenile feathers were grown in Siberia, so a genuine vagrant. It's astounding that you can prove this after so many years. I think that they should dramatise this 'cold case' on TV in an episode of "Waking the Dead".

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nonsense : Aidan was still recovering from his virus earlier this week. We tried returning him to school early but he fell asleep there! He spent 2 days on the sofa without eating hardly anything and refused to take any medicine. He seems to have recovered now which is good since he seems a natural "lolloper", genes he has clearly inherited from me (according to Rosie!).

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Natural-born lolloper

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Since it is the last week of the school term, the children have given up working it seems. So we still set them work to do, we get it in the ear that we are actually 'The Grinch'. In fact I have changed the "word-of-the-week" poster in my room to "HUMBUG". We have decorated the form room, since there is a house competition for the best decorated class, and my year 7's wanted to do it. As well as the usual trimmings we have made lots of Pantomime posters of the pupils and mine is shown below! Abigail's school are also Xmassing it up and they had a party the other day. It was a pirate-theme and Abigail won the prize for the best Pirate costume! I think it was mainly because of the gigantic kick-ass pirate hat I made her out of card and silver paint, which was about 5X bigger than her head. The home-made fancy-dress is a dying art since nearly everyone else just bought cheap crap pirate costumes from a shop. I don't see the point of fancy dress if you are just buying it - any fancy-dress should be made yourself. (btw, two of my pet hates - Pantomimes and Fancy Dress!). So last day of school tomorrow - yeeee-hah!

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Oh no he bloody isn't!                                                         To err is human, to arr is pirate.

Categories: 2009-2010 Winter