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    Eddie
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    ChrisC will like this.

    Post by Eddie on Mon Dec 07 2015, 21:18


    A rare grey Robin photo from Western Morning News.


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    Type two diabetic-low carb diet (50 carbs per day) and two 500mg Metformin pills per day. Apart from diagnosis HbA1c almost 12-all HbA1c results none diabetic. For over eight years my diabetes medication has not changed. My weight has remained stable, I have suffered no ill effects from my diet whatsoever. Every blood test has proved, I took the right road to my diabetic salvation. For almost seven years, I have asked medical professionals and naysayers, how do I maintain non diabetic BG levels on two Metformin other than low carb ? The silence has been deafening !
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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by Derek on Tue Dec 08 2015, 09:11

    Is Chris C a birder?
    Derek
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    Post by chris c on Wed Dec 09 2015, 20:29

    Just a bit, yes. Poor thing looks like it was photoshopped! I've had black-billed blackbirds here in winter (immigrants) and where we used to live we had some blackbirds with white spots and patches and occasional white squirrels. Buzzards can be almost anything from nearly black to nearly white, and barn owls vary between white and brown, but all the robins I ever saw were the standard red colour.
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    Post by Derek on Wed Dec 09 2015, 22:39

    Hi Chris,
    I been interested most of my life but never seen a leucistic robin.
    Some chaffinches get washed out plumage.
    regards
    Derek
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    Post by chris c on Thu Dec 10 2015, 19:25

    Sure they weren't bramblings? We get them occasionally. But yes there can be quite a lot of variation, in size as well as colour. Gulls are my big bugbear, especially young ones. We get all the usual species here, and scattered among them Mediterranean gulls (which I have just about learned to pick out), Yellow Legged (not too difficult if you can actually see the legs) and Caspian gulls. I suggested to the reserve warden that they should barcode them so we could tell what we were looking at.
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    Post by Derek on Thu Dec 10 2015, 22:33

    I saw my first brambling in 1955 and found my first bbrc rarity on 1957.

    I have been around a long time Chris! Smile
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    Post by chris c on Sun Dec 13 2015, 17:51

    You'll have seen some changes then! I think it was in the sixties that I started birdwatching, I can remember my father pointing out red backed shrikes and wrynecks, but there were hardly any sparrowhawks. I had to climb halfway up a mountain near Rhayader to catch a glimpse of a red kite - now they are here in Suffolk/Norfolk in small numbers, mostly singletons but I've been told of at least one successful breeding pair. I used to see peregrines off the west welsh coast and in a quarry behind a friend's house in Cumbria, now I've seen them out of my back window. I remember the first collared doves, green parrots and little egrets, but turtle doves and spotted flycatchers which used to be garden birds have mostly gone.

    Here on the east coast we get a lot of continental migrants which have some plumage and size differences from the UK versions. Probably most annoying are the winter starlings from Scandinavia and elsewhere - they look the same as local starlings but imitate rare species. Many's the time I've looked into the sky to see some rarity fly over on hearing its call, then spotted a starling with a smug expression on my TV aerial!

    Recently there was a brambling on the seed feeders at Minsmere. I failed to see it but heard a call I couldn't quite recognise in some nearby trees. Yup, you guessed it!
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    Post by Derek on Mon Dec 14 2015, 18:54

    Hi Chris,
    I saw my first Red backed Shrikes on Westleton Walks in the mid fifties, where they bred. By the early sixties just the odd ones were left.  
    Yes, a friend and I cycled to Overstrand to see the first pair of breeding collard doves.
    We lived in Linc's then.

    Do you know Corton? a birding friend of mine moved there two years ago from up here in Cumbria..he has a blog. Craig Shaw...he takes a lot of good pictures through his Leica scope. His language can be a bit fruity at times!
    atb
    Derek


    Last edited by Derek on Tue Dec 15 2015, 17:12; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : pridiictive text errors from phone)
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    Post by chris c on Wed Dec 16 2015, 17:24

    Thanks, I'll take a look. I used to see the shrikes in the New Forest and Surrey. Saw one on Blaxhall Common in the early eighties, must have been one of the last in the county apart from passage migrants. Not sure what made them die out, I understand they are still widespread in Europe and have bred more recently in Scotland and Devon, but now we get more Great Greys in winter. Maybe the Marsh Harriers ate them all! Overall there's quite a good balance between old things diminishing and new things increasing - keeps life interesting!
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    Post by Derek on Thu Dec 17 2015, 18:36

    I think we have lost more than we have gained.
    However, it was grand to see breeding Beeeaters in Cumbria this summer.

    There has been a massive amount of habitat created in East Anglia in the last 50 years so there has probably been a net gain in the specie list but small birds are much reduced everywhere.
    D.
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    Post by Eddie on Thu Dec 17 2015, 20:26

    I love being outdoors. I carry in my pockets the Observers Books of Birds and Fresh Water Fish. I have much to learn. I have a very humble blog that tries to explain the beauty of the great outdoors. Check out some of the vids, I never get tired of watching them. GB is a fantastic place for sure.

    http://solentsearcher.blogspot.co.uk/


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    Type two diabetic-low carb diet (50 carbs per day) and two 500mg Metformin pills per day. Apart from diagnosis HbA1c almost 12-all HbA1c results none diabetic. For over eight years my diabetes medication has not changed. My weight has remained stable, I have suffered no ill effects from my diet whatsoever. Every blood test has proved, I took the right road to my diabetic salvation. For almost seven years, I have asked medical professionals and naysayers, how do I maintain non diabetic BG levels on two Metformin other than low carb ? The silence has been deafening !
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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by Derek on Fri Dec 18 2015, 15:45

    Hi Eddie,
    I feel you are a very calm and happy soul.
    It comes over in your blog.

    It has been a tremendous pleasure in life to me that I never got over the awe and wonder of the natural world and the expanses of the starry skies that I had as a child when I got much older.
    atb
    Derek

    Eddie wrote:I love being outdoors. I carry in my pockets the Observers Books of Birds and Fresh Water Fish. I have much to learn. I have a very humble blog that tries to explain the beauty of the great outdoors. Check out some of the vids, I never get tired of watching them. GB is a fantastic place for sure.

    http://solentsearcher.blogspot.co.uk/
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    Post by chris c on Fri Dec 18 2015, 19:24

    Yes!

    I'm not so obsessive <G> as Craig (I've been going through his blog) I'm quite happy to see "common" species, bearing in mind that "common" here includes hundreds of avocets and black tailed godwits and dozens of marsh harriers, barn owls, spotted redshanks and nightingales depending on season.

    Currently we have loads of your curlews, lapwings, golden plover etc. We'll send them back when we are finished with them <G>

    My mother first brought me here 45 years ago (we have family connections to Suffolk) and we moved here ten nearly eleven years ago. Corton is further north than most of the places I know but I'll be visiting before long! I'm surrounded by Big Arable but every other farm has barn owls, we still have house sparrows and sometimes tree sparrows and quite a lot of other stuff which has all but died out elsewhere. The coast is the exact opposite of the south coast, wall to wall nature with just the occasional town.

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    Post by Derek on Sat Dec 19 2015, 18:50

    Hi Chris,
    I used to be out every day birding in Cumbria and found some interesting birds.
    I do most of my birding looking at my garden feeders nowadays and seeing local birds.
    We have Dippers, Grey Wagtails and Kingfisher in the nearby river and occasional the odd Green Sandpiper.
    The garden has been very productive over the years with massive numbers of Tree Sparrows and Yellow Hammers pulled in from the surrounding hedgerows and fields at times.  There is a nexus of two streams and eight hedges near our property.
    We had our second Y.B.Warbler in October.  
    Recently Nuthatches have got more common and we have two coming to feed.

    It costs a lot to keep them fed and I have four dustbins in the shed; one for nuts, one for fat balls, one for sunflower hearts and one for mixed corn.

    Birds give my wife and I a lot of pleasure when we watch them, mostly at meal times through the patio window.
    I find twitching not to my liking but I do on occasions look at other peoples birds if they are in the area.
    We had a bad experience of twitching nearly twenty years ago when a very rare bird was in our garden for two and half years. I was tempted to ask a ringer friend to move it.
    regards
    Derek
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    Post by chris c on Sun Dec 20 2015, 22:54

    Oh yes, twitchers can be very macho and uncaring about other people's property, the environment etc. I remember a cartoon of a birdwatcher looking menacingly at another and saying

    "You looking at my bird?"

    I do the rounds of some local reserves, estuaries, beaches, woods and farmland, mostly places I've known for many years but I'm still finding new ones. Most of the birders I meet are laidback and interesting and it's nice to hear of the changes in other parts of the country that I no longer get to.

    I get through more sunflower hearts than anything, and also quite a few live mealworms, not so much birdseed and peanuts except for the rooks and jackdaws, and the damn pigeons, and a rat that seems to have dug out a mole run and pops up under one of the feeders.

    Mostly in winter I collect chaffinches and greenfinches. The goldfinches we get in spring and summer mostly end up at a friend's garden the other end of the road, along with siskins, but this year I still have a couple of pairs. My garden backs onto fields so I get pheasants and (red legged) partridges, and see all sorts of raptors and owls and even little egrets and waders, along with the marsh harriers they come a long way inland in winter. Most of the "garden birds" stay the other side of the road where the gardens back onto more gardens but pop in for food, especially the mealworms, when they are breeding. Hard weather may bring bramblings and bullfinches and once a woodcock, migration brings other things even a nightingale (they don't usually inhabit this town but are common in the area). I missed out on the yellow browed warblers which were all over the place last autumn but saw loads of whinchats and a whole bunch of redstarts, wheatears and wood sandpipers, a couple of ospreys and a red necked phalarope. That'll do me!
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    Post by Derek on Tue Dec 22 2015, 17:23

    In the 50's there used to be a fantastic place for waders and then it got drained. It was a shame. Have you heard of Buss Creek? It will be in Suffolk's birding records but long before your time Chris.

    Not tried meal worms but some find they can get Robins to feed out of the hand with them.
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    Post by chris c on Wed Dec 23 2015, 23:29

    Oh no, don't know that one. I do know several places where the farmers were paid to drain them in the seventies, and later paid to reestablish them. Several have put in extra water features, one farm lake attracted a huge roosting flock of greylags sometimes accompanied by a bean goose and various waders. The black swans were tame though.

    Oh yes I've had robins and blackbirds come to my hand for mealworms. One blackbird was so tame I nearly trod on him. I've also had pheasants run up and beg for peanuts, I stopped feeding him though when he ran up to a neighbour hoping to be fed and she was terrified and thought he was attacking her!

    Forgot to mention the bee eaters, we had a load here (all of which I missed) in late summer. Theory is they came over from the continent. I had no idea they bred as far north as Cumbria, I'd heard the Isle of Wight. Likewise someone told me they had great white egrets in Southport, they also appear to be moving in mainly from the south and east.
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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by Eddie on Thu Dec 24 2015, 18:10


    The Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, also known as Eurasian Kingfisher or River Kingfisher, is a small kingfisher with seven subspecies recognized within its wide distribution across Eurasia and North Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but migrates from areas where rivers freeze in winter.This sparrow-sized bird has the typical short-tailed, large-headed kingfisher profile; it has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. It feeds mainly on fish, caught by diving, and has special visual adaptions to enable it to see prey under water. The glossy white eggs are laid in a nest at the end of a burrow in a riverbank.

    My favourite British bird, I see these a lot when out fishing, I have even had one perch on the end of my fishing rod. Is there a more beautiful looking bird? and fantastic flyers, so fast.


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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by chris c on Fri Dec 25 2015, 17:31

    My cousin was bemoaning the fact that he'd never seen a kingfisher. We used to have them in the garden! Well they bred in a stream bank over the fields, and brought their young into the garden to the pond, and even sat on the greenhouse roof and plunged for sticklebacks in the water butt. The problem was that they made exactly the same squeak as the landlord's wheelbarrow!

    He lived in Southampton and now in Romsey. I used to see them on the Hampshire Avon, and even in the middle of Dorking in Surrey. They're widespread but have long thin territories and go very fast so are easy to miss.

    Bee eaters  are equally stunning, I've seen them around the Mediterranean and southern Europe but not so far in the UK.

    Had a pleasant surprise this morning when I went to put out the birdseed - a Sparrowhawk shot past my head about a foot away and tapped its talons on the top of the bird table. It would be nice to think it was thanking me for all the food I have provided, but actually I suspect it was doing some target practice and I walked into its path.
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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by Eddie on Sat Dec 26 2015, 17:20

    Derek wrote:Hi Eddie,
    I feel you are a very calm and happy soul.
    It comes over in your blog.

    It has been a tremendous pleasure in life to me that I never got over the awe and wonder of the natural world and the expanses of the starry skies that I had as a child when I got much older.
    atb
    Derek

    Eddie wrote:I love being outdoors. I carry in my pockets the Observers Books of Birds and Fresh Water Fish. I have much to learn. I have a very humble blog that tries to explain the beauty of the great outdoors. Check out some of the vids, I never get tired of watching them. GB is a fantastic place for sure.

    http://solentsearcher.blogspot.co.uk/

    If only. I spend much of my time so angry about the lunacy I see all around us, especially the ridiculous advice handed out to diabetics. I get to a point I have to turn off completely and head for a lake or a river, maybe down to the New Forest or the Lake District and chill out. No computers, phones or people other than those closest to me. Jan reckons I am the calmest person she has ever known in a crisis, I don't see it. I am lucky I can totally compartmentalise my head, maybe I am part schizophrenic who knows.

    One thing for sure, at my age I need to get out more and cut down on time spent on blogs and forums, us low carbers have won, but a very long way to go before all diabetics are given the option of diet and exercise as the most viable option for diabetes control. Obviously I am fully aware that many diabetics have to use injected insulin. But even for these people less is more when it comes to safe control and general health and well-being.


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    Type two diabetic-low carb diet (50 carbs per day) and two 500mg Metformin pills per day. Apart from diagnosis HbA1c almost 12-all HbA1c results none diabetic. For over eight years my diabetes medication has not changed. My weight has remained stable, I have suffered no ill effects from my diet whatsoever. Every blood test has proved, I took the right road to my diabetic salvation. For almost seven years, I have asked medical professionals and naysayers, how do I maintain non diabetic BG levels on two Metformin other than low carb ? The silence has been deafening !
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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by chris c on Thu Dec 31 2015, 18:19

    Yes I've been doing some chilling out, on some days literally. Walked along the estuary and the only people I met were an elderly couple with two little terriers wearing Christmas jumpers, which was cute. Masses of birds, no rarities but who cares when you can watch a couple of hundred Dunlin flashing back and forth just above the water, alternating dark and silver in the sun.

    Walked round the back of town and saw my first daffodils out by the church. I asked someone to confirm that I wasn't seeing things and when they agreed I wished them happy Easter.

    Then I walked a track up the hill, and along the road, and watched a huge rook roost. They were wheeling about the sky from the fields into the woods like slow motion starlings, accompanied by a buzzard. On the way back to the car I was accompanied by a Barn Owl.

    Yesterday I didn't even need to go anywhere, the rooks came to me. They were in and over the next field from my back window and I watched them swirling back and forth while I cooked dinner, then a kestrel came and hovered over the garden. Better than most of the crap that's been on TV.
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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by Eddie on Thu Dec 31 2015, 18:29

    Have you seen this Chris, from a great drama series, the sound track, but check out the birds, the music works a treat. How do they fly so close but still miss each other? No one has the answer to that I bet.



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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by chris c on Thu Dec 31 2015, 18:42

    As I understand it, being small they have short neurons and hence fast reflexes, so from their perspective they are working in slow motion, and respond to the actions of their nearest neighbours. This has been emulated with computer simulations. WHY they make such amazing patterns is another story altogether. A mathematician might talk about fractals, chaos theory, strange attractors and the like. The rest of us just go "WOW!"
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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by Eddie on Thu Dec 31 2015, 19:19

    chris c wrote:As I understand it, being small they have short neurons and hence fast reflexes, so from their perspective they are working in slow motion, and respond to the actions of their nearest neighbours. This has been emulated with computer simulations. WHY they make such amazing patterns is another story altogether. A mathematician might talk about fractals, chaos theory, strange attractors and the like. The rest of us just go "WOW!"

    Jeez Chris, I stand back in wonder, and you have to get all technical on me rofl I like the mystery of nature, some-things I don't want to know the answer. I remember as a kid staring at the sea and rock pools on the beach and was mesmerised by it all. Over the years I have leaned things I wish I hadn't. But we can't go back. Kids should stay kids as long as possible, probably why we love being around kids. We work with kids and our grandchildren never fail to blow our minds. I phoned one of our sons tonight to thank him for the cards and presents. His six year old son answered the phone and said to me " hi old fella how are you" I love it.


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    Re: ChrisC will like this.

    Post by Derek on Fri Jan 01 2016, 12:02

    Snow on the top few hundred feet of the higher fells this am and ice on the roads in Cumbria.
    Skiddaw looks more normal today. It wouldn't be the shape it is if hadn't once had glaciers.
    Derek

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