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Wiltshire Warrior Dragon

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Everything posted by Wiltshire Warrior Dragon

  1. In the spirit of the thread's title, I note that it was started a day before my 58th birthday.
  2. Sorry, FD, but I have a slight problem with this. Are you implying that, in your opinion, Kevin Borich (of whom, I confess, I have never heard) has aged well, or that your sister and friend have aged badly? I ask in a spirit of seasonal frivolity, of course!
  3. No. In my experience, advocates of technological change sometimes promote their beliefs by exaggerating the rate of decline of older systems and processes. Like cash in the pocket, cheque books are alive and well.
  4. I agree with you, LW. Down here in the south, I really miss the late spring/early summer burbling trills of curlews - a truly magical sound, which I used to enjoy when living in, first, the Yorkshire Dales and, then, Teesdale. That said, the New Forest has its merits - churring nightjars (or 'whirring nighthawks' as the Dorset novelist Thomas Hardy would have put it) in some numbers being an obvious one.
  5. To add to Ullman's good response to your query, LW, there are lots of bird species that defend territory as single birds, then mated pairs, and do so from later winter through spring and summer, but then flock in large numbers from autumn through much of winter. Many smaller species do this, but of course are not as spectacular a sight as something the size of a lapwing. I am pleased to hear that you saw so many (and not a little jealous!), as there are concerns nationally about their declining numbers. I saw about forty the other week in the Avon valley, while driving into Salisbury. Some flocking birds, of course, having foregathered, then migrate for part of the year. Ullman reports a big fieldfare flock. These and the other winter-visiting (for us in the UK) thrush, the redwing, will have hopped across the North Sea from northern continental Europe.
  6. Great picture. My mother-in-law's brother was there, though, to tell you the truth, I cannot pick him out!
  7. It's easy to get depressed about the statistics on various species of bird being in decline, either in this country or elsewhere or both. However, in a UK context, the egret family are doing well and give us something to be cheerful about. It's interesting, Ullman, that you are now seeing little egrets in the East Riding. I saw my first, decades ago, in France and got very excited at the time. Then they spread across the channel, initially I suspect to over-winter on river estuaries, and then they began to breed here. I know see them in quite urban contexts (eg flying over and within Salisbury city centre), and at all times of year. Next, there were occasional sightings of wintering great white egrets, and now they are sometimes reported in places like old mineral working based bird reserves in totals up to four or five (eg that sort of number at Blashford Lakes between Salisbury and Bournemouth, just the other day) And now, on top of all that, we seem to be getting increasing numbers of cattle egrets too. There are currently nine spending their time in a field near Romsey, in Hampshire. So, if you haven't seen great white and cattle egrets up your way yet, Ullman, keep looking! I am sure that they too, like their smaller, daintier relatives, will gradually spread north up the country!
  8. Agreed, on all counts (well, except that I don't run!) Also, it's a good place in April and May for hearing - and seeing - the sadly increasingly rare cuckoo. My record count there was, if I remember correctly, five in one visit. They criss-cross from side to side over the open heathland, to and from the woods on either side, stopping to sing in some of the individual trees in the open heathland. I once saw one being seriously chased and hassled by two small brown birds, possibly pipits that had disturbed the cuckoo trying to lay its egg in their nest. Also in spring, it is a place to keep an eye out for nesting redstarts and Dartford warblers, both of which I have seen there, albeit the latter only once.
  9. Both redwings and fieldfares now making it south-west into the New Forest in some numbers. I saw probably about 45 redwings and 25 fieldfares during a short walk I had at Fritham Plain in the forest this morning. I haven't seen - but have noticed a report - of the first overwintering hen harrier in the forest, and a couple of great grey shrikes have been reported too.
  10. Tony Gigot at Les Dracs possibly worth a euro or two for MoS, if he stays fit and behaves himself!
  11. Thanks for the reminder, ckn - two of my favourites. Have you ever tried Aberdeen butteries (aka rowies)? A wonderful breakfast, comfort food (if not the healthiest ever created!)
  12. plenty of them ripening nicely in the New Forest, just now, MS.
  13. Oh yes. I was picking some only yesterday - delicious in a pie with apples!
  14. Thanks, as ever, ABK. It is good to have some positive ground news, somewhere! A detailed point, but I would have assumed that the contractors would have factored in a delaying factor for winter weather, so unless the next few months are abnormally grotty, if building is ahead of schedule now, I would expect it to still be so in the spring. I wonder if there is a penalty clause which will impact adversely on the contractor if they fall too far behind and handover the completed stadium is delayed.
  15. Ospreys still drifting through Hampshire pretty well daily, albeit in penny numbers. Quite a few hobby reports too. They are, of course, summer residents and breeders hereabouts. Now, I suspect, before they themselves head south over the channel, they are eagerly following the ever larger flocks of martins and swallows which are foregathering, particularly over inland water.
  16. Just listening on YouTube to some versions of the Catalonian anthem Els Segadors as I had not heard it before Saturday at Wembley. Incidentally, the Wembley performance - unaccompanied by a sextet of singers - is itself now on YouTube, but the sound quality is poor. The one by La Capella Reial is good.
  17. Many a true word spoken in jest, Oxford! I believe that the Miles Davis-recorded piece, Solea, written by the Canadian jazz pianist and composer, Gil Evans, is in the Phrygian mode.
  18. Currently, I am mostly listening to a CD of Wakefield Cathedral Choir singing Charles Woods' Short Communion Service in the Phrygian Mode. I have chosen it for my own church choir to sing, when we sing the eucharist service in Salisbury Cathedral on All Saints Day, the resident choir being on holiday for half-term. So, I thought I ought to know it, if I am to direct it!
  19. This is the time of year when many birds start to drift south towards Africa. If you live near a decent sized stretch of water, it's worth looking out for an osprey. A female, born in 2016 at Loch Fleet, near Dornoch, north of Inverness, has been at Romsey in Hampshire for the last few days, presumably stocking up before heading across the channel and, in due course, the Med.
  20. That's a bit worrying, DD. As public houses go, you're making it sound a bit bleak!
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