Blog

Fri 29th January 2010

Posted on January 30, 2010 at 1:15 AM

birds : Just a bit of lunchtime birding this week. It is starting to quieten down a bit - getting ready for the February birding doldrums. Apart from another Mistle Thrush by the Claire Mare, I finally saw a Lesser Scaup at La Grande Mare after the third time of searching in 2010. And I almost missed it since I was already by the exit track when I scanned back for the last time and saw it appear from the corner.

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Lesser Scaup, Grande Mare

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a Herring Gull from the local colour-ringing project

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Well it seems that the Earth is not at the centre of the Universe, that the World is not actually flat and Grebes don't come after Divers!!! One of the great constants of my life has now been thrown into disarray and I don't know if I'll be able to cope. No matter where I was in the world, what I was doing and what was going on, at least I was safe in the knowledge that the list in my head goes "Wren - Dunnock - Robin". But no, not any more apparently - it's "Wren - Starling - Blackbird"! Don't the taxonomists realise they are playing with people's minds and it may tip people over the edge. The latest British List produced by the BOU has been put together looking at all the latest DNA research on relationships between families and it has all been mixed up. Grebes are now next to Flamingos and all the passerine families are effectively random - Crows are before Larks, Warblers are before Thrushes, and Sparrows are before Pipits. Also the warblers are now split into 7 separate families and Spotted and Pied Flycatchers are now split up, either side of the chats! It's all very strange and will take some learning, but I'm sure it'll change again just as I have got used to it.

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nonsense : I love a nice garden but I am not keen on spending hours doing the gardening. So our back garden is quite minimalistic. My favourite bits are the tropical plant corner (with Yucca, Fan Palm and Banana all growing nicely without any intervention in these warm climes), the crazy Grapevine, and the hanging baskets. Most hanging baskets that you see have wonderful flowers flowing out of them, but years of neglect and zero drainage have turned ours into a miniature 'primative' plant garden, with mosses, ferns and lichens abounding. I love them and I took a few photos the other day.

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Categories: 2009-2010 Winter