Wednesday, January 30, 2013

my turn now

Just in time for RSPB bird count weekend, the woodpecker returned. Otherwise only the usual suspects turned up apart from a solitary mistle thrush.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

frost beard

The best example yet of this strange phenomenon. 

And the eerie light on a snowy Kit Hill this morning.

Friday, January 18, 2013

snow falls

and so it snowed a few inches, enough to bring everything to a slippery halt. The quick thaw allowed some colour to creep through the white.

white feathers

a male chaffinch with unusually white tail feathers, suitable for a snowy day. The male chaffinches are at their smartest now as the competition for mates begin. This one although very colourful was quite timid and easily chased away by other males

Monday, January 14, 2013

frost tricks

the magical frost sticks are back (see previous pages and this link). This was a surprising find because it has not been that cold and there was no frost on the ground at all. The ice crystals must be the product of an unusual combination of air temperature and saturated vapour pressure in the still air of the sheltered river valleys. The picture below shows butterbur beginning to flower, this is very early indeed based on past years at this spot where it normally comes intop flower towards the end of February. The  ground has been scoured clean by the floods over the Christmas period. It may be that that butterbur likes a good soaking. At this point where the Inny runs into the Tamar the flood waters can reach 3 or 4 meters above normal, and very large trunks etc can be found well above river level. The volume of water involved in these floods is massive.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

the empire declines

when the Romans left Britain in the fifth century amongst the first things to deteriorate were the magnificent roads they had built and maintained.  It looks like we are repeating history post empire. People before infrastructure?

Friday, January 04, 2013

first strirrings

The mistle thrush loves to sing from the top of the tallest tree in the area. It is one of the first to stake out a territory and breed. They are not very tuneful but what they lack in tunefulness they make up for with amazing energy and range.