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    Have a Chat - September

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    chris c
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Wed Sep 09 2015, 21:01

    We used to have loads of magpies where I used to live. Not so many here, but we still have gazillions of rooks which had pretty much died out there. Through the winter the rooks go to roost in huge flocks which are starting to build up now and can be spectacular. Less so first thing in the morning when they are stomping on the roof in their hobnail boots and cawing like crazy, and when I put out birdseed the garden turns into a Hitchcock film set.

    I'm less fond of magpies because they are major nest predators on smaller species. Jays too, but as long as the population stays in balance they don't do too much harm.

    From now on you may see jays, which are often skulking, flying high from oak trees carrying off acorns to bury for winter dinners.
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Jan1 on Wed Sep 09 2015, 22:45

    Talking of acorns and oak trees - aren't they magnificent?


    We have quite a few locally and the acorns are looking good!

    Did you know " Interesting Fact: Acorns are not produced until the tree is at least 40 years old. Peak acorn fecundity usually occurs around 80 – 120 years."

    Read more here - it's fascinating (well I think so)

    http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/native-trees/english-oak/

    All the best Jan

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    chris c
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Fri Sep 11 2015, 19:06

    Yes the Woodland Trust do good works and have brought many woods back into some semblance of economic use as well as nature reserves.

    Some of the woods in Sussex were fuel sources for the original iron industry, and the great oaks in the New Forest were used to build ships, including warships.

    Oaks provide huge quantities of food for huge numbers of species. We have several at the end of our gardens, probably the remnants of a hedge when this was farmland.
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Jan1 on Sat Sep 12 2015, 17:28

    So often we can take what is on our doorstep for granted ...

    We have so much to see and learn about nature, I always think it a shame when some people almost ignore this! But our interests are all different ...

    I do think if you can get young children interested in nature and encourage fun learning it may help. This is also an activity that needn't coat a lot of money.

    ... any way lovely to see the sunshine recently but apparently it's not going to last for long rain is on it's way

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Sat Sep 12 2015, 21:11

    The magpies where we used to live nested in a neighbour's oak tree. They never planted the tree and there weren't any more in the immediate vicinity, but loads not far away. Very likely it grew from an acorn buried or dropped by a jay. There's altruism for you!

    The rooks nested in elms which were cut down or fell down after Dutch Elm Disease back in the early seventies. Something else was going on though as there were only a few small rookeries left, yet 20 - 30 miles west and they were back to their original numbers.

    All the houses had various apple and other fruit trees, probably because the land was an orchard before they were built around the turn of the century.

    There was a field opposite, and a wood the other side of the field, and farmland just down the lane. Then the North and South Downs and Ashdown Forest and some reservoirs weren't far away, and the coast not much further although it was mostly built up by the time I was born.

    Some of my earliest memories were of feeding the ducks on one of several ponds.

    Here a stream runs through the centre of town and through a park which turns into a nature reserve and then some cow fields. It takes me back to see the current generation of kids feeding the ducks, in fact one footpath is known locally as "duck lane".
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    Baruney
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Baruney on Sat Sep 12 2015, 21:49

    Just had a glorious week glamping near bewl water. Little Ted starts school on Monday. Last cheap holiday for a while then!
    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150916.jpg
    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150917.jpg
    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150918.jpg

    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150919.jpg
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by graham64 on Sat Sep 12 2015, 23:38

    @Baruney wrote:Just had a glorious week glamping near bewl water. Little Ted starts school on Monday. Last cheap holiday for a while then!
    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150916.jpg
    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150917.jpg
    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150918.jpg

    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150919.jpg

    Nice pics but a carpet, coffee table and a sofa in a tent Shocked do you have a full en suite bathroom too  Question


    Last edited by graham64 on Sun Sep 13 2015, 23:22; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Baruney on Sun Sep 13 2015, 00:34

    Nope the final PIC is the poop deck and although Mrs baruney was vastly underwhelmed the boys; big ed; little Ted and Monty did their best bears in the woods impressions. Only Mrs baruney visited the poop deck!

    If you think the paleo experiment was a bit soft. Shoot me. I'm a southern softy.
    http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/19/31/08/17/20150920.jpg
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Sun Sep 13 2015, 18:23

    I remember that place before the reservoir was built
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Mon Sep 14 2015, 20:26

    @Jan1 wrote:I spotted this story today

    " Dad Collects Leftover Crayons At Restaurants And Launches 'The Crayon Initiative' For Sick Children

    I just had a vision of children using the crayons to scribble on their Smartphones . . .
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Jan1 on Sat Sep 19 2015, 16:48

    ... out and about spotted some of these


    Didn't see them flying they were just on the grass near some water.

    I do like this time of year, especially a day like to today with a fair bit of sunshine.

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Sun Sep 20 2015, 19:34

    Ha, Canada Geese. A few years back we had a huge flock of Greylags - the classic farmyard goose and feral like the Canadas - which went to roost on a local farmer's lake which he dug on top of the hill behind his farm. He had a pair of black swans and some other tame wildfowl, and a lot of wild stuff used to make itself at home too. He moved a footpath and put in a hedge so you could creep up on them unobserved. Another one now dead Sad

    I haven't been up there for a long while now, it's quite an uphill trek from the nearest road. On the way up and down there were Barn Owls, and sometimes Golden Plover flocks, and a surprising number of other things which went onto the farmland from the estuaries at night.

    I was going to take a casserole and try to train the geese to climb in of their own accord <evil grin>
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Jan1 on Wed Sep 23 2015, 10:19

    What a beautiful September Day at the moment.
    Blue sky and sunshine from my window by my keyboard - a little like this!


    Have a great day! sunny

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Paul1976 on Wed Sep 23 2015, 10:23

    It's the same here! Smile Definitely not a day to stay indoors methinks! Smile


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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Jan1 on Wed Sep 23 2015, 18:58

    Out and about earlier this afternoon, and saw lots of sedum in the local gardens


    a great Autumn flower / plant, and so many different varieties

    tonights evening meal is fish ... well why not, great tasting low carb food

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Wed Sep 23 2015, 21:23

    Went around one of the nature reserves again today, after doing some of the shopping. There have been lots of migrants mostly from the north and west congregating along the east (and south) coasts prior to leaving for the winter, this has largely died down now. Winter birds like ducks and some other waders are now building up in numbers.

    Saw a short eared owl sitting on a post much like this illustration, something much rarer than they used to was, and a great white egret, a species just beginning to colonise. Twice in the last week I've seen a peregrine flash over the fields from my back window, something vanishingly rare in my childhood and finally starting to recolonise. I used to see them in a quarry behind a friend's house in Cumbria and off the sea cliffs in West Wales. Then they twigged that tall buildings in towns are just as good as sea cliffs and often come with a free supply of pigeons. I'm told there's one on the church tower in a neighbouring town, only a few minutes away at peregrine speed - they've spread from the original local sites on Norwich cathedral and the Orwell Bridge at Ipswich, and starred in a magnificent book - we would often see them around the coast and estuaries in winter then they'd bugger off back oop north and west in summer.

    Yup my sedums are now flowering, roses and other stuff are having a second wind. Not much sign of autumn leaves yet, except some of the horse chestnuts which have become diseased and their leaves gone brown and dead, but masses of haws and rose hips and other berries.

    Finally my Virginia Creeper is starting to turn colour. Every year it grows all over my roses and clematis and over the fence into next door (they have my blessing to cut it back as much as they want). For about three weeks in autumn it becomes fiery orange and red and as spectacular as a sunset which is the only reason I put up with it. After it drops its leaves I cut it back to stumps and feed it through the shredder and every year it comes back bigger than ever.
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Jan1 on Wed Sep 23 2015, 22:28

    @chris c wrote:Went around one of the nature reserves again today, after doing some of the shopping. There have been lots of migrants mostly from the north and west congregating along the east (and south) coasts prior to leaving for the winter, this has largely died down now. Winter birds like ducks and some other waders are now building up in numbers.

    Saw a short eared owl sitting on a post much like this illustration, something much rarer than they used to was, and a great white egret, a species just beginning to colonise. Twice in the last week I've seen a peregrine flash over the fields from my back window, something vanishingly rare in my childhood and finally starting to recolonise. I used to see them in a quarry behind a friend's house in Cumbria and off the sea cliffs in West Wales. Then they twigged that tall buildings in towns are just as good as sea cliffs and often come with a free supply of pigeons. I'm told there's one on the church tower in a neighbouring town, only a few minutes away at peregrine speed - they've spread from the original local sites on Norwich cathedral and the Orwell Bridge at Ipswich, and starred in a magnificent book - we would often see them around the coast and estuaries in winter then they'd bugger off back oop north and west in summer.

    Yup my sedums are now flowering, roses and other stuff are having a second wind. Not much sign of autumn leaves yet, except some of the horse chestnuts which have become diseased and their leaves gone brown and dead, but masses of haws and rose hips and other berries.

    Finally my Virginia Creeper is starting to turn colour. Every year it grows all over my roses and clematis and over the fence into next door (they have my blessing to cut it back as much as they want). For about three weeks in autumn it becomes fiery orange and red and as spectacular as a sunset which is the only reason I put up with it. After it drops its leaves I cut it back to stumps and feed it through the shredder and every year it comes back bigger than ever.

    So enjoyed reading this Chris, and I love the links you've put in ... thank you.  Smile  

    One of our sons has got the most amazing Virginia Creeper - it's quite a new addition to his garden and it has done so well. I did warn him he'd have to cut it back, but the colour is just amazing and fiery orange and red just describes it so well.

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Thu Sep 24 2015, 20:36

    You should have told him to plant it three doors down the road! <G>

    Went back and walked the other half of the reserve today, saw several hobbies which are widespread here in small numbers but have been eluding me all year since I had one in the garden for 0.02 seconds in early spring, and saw two or three newly arrived on the reserve. They catch dragonflies and other large insects and small birds which they eat while flying. Chatted to a whole bunch of people and saw mostly expected things.

    Then because I'm getting so much better at walking I redid some of the part I did yesterday. No sign of the  egret or the owl. As I strolled back it was getting dark, and a huge flock of mostly greylag geese with a few Canadas flew off the marsh and wheeled around overhead, splitting into vees and going every which way which honking maniacally as the sun set. Quite a spectacle!

    I heard a couple of water rails which make a noise like a stuck pig. I knew it was water rails because I didn't see David Cameron.

    Had breakfast around 11 and it's now 8.30, I have some runner beans and a stir fry including pheasant breast on the stove now because I'm just starting to feel slightly hungry.
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Eddie on Sun Sep 27 2015, 19:26

    Looking out tonight in London we see a huge Moon. Of course not completely dark, far too much air and light pollution. One thing we love doing when down on the coast, is standing on the cliff tops on a clear night and looking up at the stars. It's amazing how many shooting stars we see, and still marvel, and still making wishes like a pair of kids.


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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Sun Sep 27 2015, 20:23

    I used to live near one end of the Gatwick runway. Got some spectacular pics of planes landing into the sunset. Later and earlier I lived in between Gatwick, Heathrow and the M25.

    When we moved here I'd forgotten just how many stars you could see when they weren't hidden behind clouds of pollution. Yes shooting stars too especially during some of the meteor showers.

    Is it tonight or tomorrow night there's a lunar eclipse?
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Paul1976 on Sun Sep 27 2015, 20:28

    @chris c wrote:I used to live near one end of the Gatwick runway. Got some spectacular pics of planes landing into the sunset. Later and earlier I lived in between Gatwick, Heathrow and the M25.

    When we moved here I'd forgotten just how many stars you could see when they weren't hidden behind clouds of pollution. Yes shooting stars too especially during some of the meteor showers.

    Is it tonight or tomorrow night there's a lunar eclipse?

    The wee small hours of tomorrow morning for the eclipse and hopefully great view of a blood red 'megamoon',gotta find the optimum times for my part of the country and hopefully not switch the alarm off if it's set to stupidly early o'clock!
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Eddie on Sun Sep 27 2015, 20:33

    I will give it a miss Sleep once you have seen one blood red Moon eclipse you have seen 'em all. rofl


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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by chris c on Sun Sep 27 2015, 20:41

    @Paul1976 wrote:
    @chris c wrote:I used to live near one end of the Gatwick runway. Got some spectacular pics of planes landing into the sunset. Later and earlier I lived in between Gatwick, Heathrow and the M25.

    When we moved here I'd forgotten just how many stars you could see when they weren't hidden behind clouds of pollution. Yes shooting stars too especially during some of the meteor showers.

    Is it tonight or tomorrow night there's a lunar eclipse?

    The wee small hours of tomorrow morning for the eclipse and hopefully great view of a blood red 'megamoon',gotta find the optimum times for my part of the country and hopefully not switch the alarm off if it's set to stupidly early o'clock!
    Thanks!

    Just looked out and the moon looks pretty big although I suspect it would look even bigger ("harvest moon") nearer the horizon.

    Yesterday I saw a flock of fifty or so Golden Plovers wheeling around although they didn't land. This evening I had thought about walking up to the lake on top of the hill to see if the geese have started roosting there again yet and if the plovers were coming down for the night (they make noises like ghosts over the fields), and if the Barn Owls are still around cos I haven't seen them recently. But I was too knackered after another day gardening and mowing the lawn AGAIN.

    Might trek up there tomorrow, and take a torch and a white stick so I can find my way back down again. Or I might just look out the back window . . .
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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Eddie on Mon Sep 28 2015, 20:00

    Out for some R and R today at my clubs lakes, and what a fantastic autumnal day, not a cloud in the sky and some great fishing. The fish below is a Common Carp some call the Common Golden Carp which are actually not that common. The landing net ls a an 18" to give you an idea of the size of the fish. This was the first fish of the day, the last fish I caught was the second largest carp I have ever caught, defiantly double figures, but a minnow compared to what the carp experts catch. I need to get out more especially on days like today.




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    Re: Have a Chat - September

    Post by Paul1976 on Mon Sep 28 2015, 20:13

    Looks good Eddie! Any Mirror carp or Zanders in your lake that you know of? Cracking beasts of a freshwater fish to catch I reckon!


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