19 Nov 2009

The ingenuity of birds.

Above is a short clip depicting the versatility and ingenuity of birds, and in this case Starlings, seen here utilising its wing as as an arm. I wonder does it still have in its small brain a spark of memory of the prior use of this limb
It is perhaps why these birds are so successful and that they do not seem to suffer the ups and downs of numbers as do our other resident uk birds.
Well! Its something to ponder over.

18 Nov 2009


THE ENEMIES OF BIRDS. Excerpt from a book. THE activities of the Inverness and Nairn Agricultural Executive Committee destroyed 2,500 Hoodie Crows in 1946. The Oban Times, of 2oth September 1947, reported that 2,284 Hoodie Crows were destroyed in 1947 in Inverness-shire. At one estate at Ware, in Hertfordshire, in 1946, 65 Jays and 63 Magpies were shot by the gamekeepers in nine months. The Birds of the Liverpool Area mentions 5 o Magpies on a gibbet one winter in Cheshire. The famous game-book Gammoma includes in the Knowsley Park vermin lists 148 Magpies shot in 1829, 136 in 1830, 114 in 1831, and 82 in 1832. The following birds, seen on a gamekeepers' gibbet near Scarborough in 1890, were recorded by W. Gyngell in The Naturalist for 1905: 20 Long-eared Owls, 17 Carrion-Crows, 7 Tawny Owls, 4 Short-eared Owls, 4 Sparrowhawks, 2. Barn-Owls, 2 Kestrels, 2 Magpies, i Jay, and 736 head of other "vermin." In Bulletin 81 (1948) of the Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society, 11Tawny Owls were reported found on one recent gibbet and 3 Great Crested Grebes on another. The late Lord Sefton and party shot 2,939 Red Grouse on the opening day of the 1915 season upon his 12,000 acres Abbey stead moor in Lancashire, and 17,078 grouse in the season. In one drive at Cannock Chase, in Staffordshire, about 1860, 252 Blackgame were shot. Hugh Gladstone records, in his book Record Bags and Shooting Records, that, on 12th October 1916, Lord Elphinstone and party shot 249 Snipe at Tiree, in the Hebrides. 358 Woodcock were shot by thirteen guns at Powerscourt, County Wickow, on 2jth September 1890, and at the mouth of the River Maigue, in Limerick, a fowler killed 43 Bean-Geese at one punt-gun shot. Another punt-gun killed 150 Golden Plover. The Rev Mr. Close, of Kileel Rectory, last century shot 60 Curlew at one discharge of his punt-gun in Carlingford Lough, and in 1845 a fowler shot upwards of 300 Dunlin with one swivel gun shot. Firing 1,510 cartridges, the 6th Lord Walsingham killed 1,070 Grouse in a single day at Blubberhouses, on the Yorkshire moors, and it is reputed that the carcases were stacked in piles three or four feet high in the farm­house passages and corridors, and for a week the building was crawling with vermin which had left the dead birds. A ball bowled by Jehangir Khan, of Cambridge Univer­sity, to T. N. Pearce, of the M.C.C., in a cricket match at Lords on 3rd July 1936, killed a Sparrow, which fell dead against the stumps as Pearce played the ball. The Sparrow is now stuffed, mounted upon the ball, and the whole set up on a stand with a plaque commemorating the feat. "Corncrake Wings, 2s. 6d. Pair. Jays, 6d. Starlings, 2d In winter the Starlings which visit Spain from Germany and North Europe are caught at their winter roosts and used for human food. 22,000 dozen, or over a quarter of a million, have been taken in a season near Cadiz and sold for eating at three pesetas a dozen. I will, if interest is shown, publish more facts, although shameful it perhaps does point to some progress in conservation.

9 Nov 2009

Something that will concern all of you eventually

Hi Field guy's and Visitors I have just purchased an all singing and dancing desktop computer, ( which will probably be outdated by the New Year ) and it has been loaded with the all new Windows 7 which microsoft will have us believe is the answer to all our problems, on the face of it yes! but hold on here and consider what you have purchased or will be in the future, as they are washing their hands of XP and will not be giving this windows edition any support, it is already enjoying an extension due to an outcry from the public. They then they marketed Vista, home , Pro and Student editions, not even arguably the most unstable windows edition to date and charged us a premium for it's use despite numerous updates via SP1, SP2 and numerous other corrections to the unstable program they never got it right and some updates even caused crashes serious enough for a visit from an engineer, and then to be told your PC would have to go back to the Engineers lab as this problem cannot be corrected on site, that's £50+ before he's started. Microsoft now get really devious, they have given you a much more stable operating system but at a cost. Yes it is better, smoother, because they have taken away all the faults and the parts of the programme that slowed down everything, you do not have video editing, photo editing and most importantly no email programme, I was okay I just switched over to Outlook, so again Mr Gates is advocating "Less is More" but I do not agree, we should have had a stable programme in the first place, by adequately testing the product and doing away with all those annoying updates which only proves the programmes instability, Shops and businesses can be brought to book for shoddy practice, but not Mr Gates. I will now get off my soapbox.

6 Nov 2009

Strange Colouration

This little chappie is a very recent visitor to my bird feeding station he has unusual colouring I also noticed that it was being picked on by the other Jackdaws and that the only way he could get a lookin was to wait until all of his kind had fed, then move in and have his fill. I can only assume from my observations that he is being victimised for his colour, which makes him different. So what's new!!!!

Degree of forward vision.

I always thought that birds only had sideways sight and that is why the heads are so active, in this picture interestingly it proves otherwise, in that they have a better all round view than we have.