Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Not so social media, health and other stuff

As the last days of March creep by, and April raises its head, I thought I'd do a post.

Meadow Pipit

I've been doing this blog since January 2009; that's a little over 8 years by my reckoning, and it's seen a few changes over that time.
My very first comment was from someone called 'Chris', from the old 'Windows Spaces' days.

(Good days they were, with a great sense of community to it. Sadly, like all good things, it came to an end when 'spaces' was killed off and was resurrected over to Wordpress.
Some people stayed with the new form, some went to Facebook, or My Space, and some came to Blogger.)

The comments on the blog took a while to build, (a few months), and eventually a following of regular readers and commenters.
But over time, it has slowly dwindled. People stop commenting for various reasons, or stop blogging, or move on to other 'social media' things.
Some comments stop because you don't comment on their blogs, or maybe they just don't like what you have to say.
As the old saying goes, 'there's nowt so queer as folk'.

Red Breasted Merganser

I spread my online time a bit these days, to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, a few video uploads to YouTube, and my website.
But in all honesty, I don't think I'm really cut out for this 'social media' stuff. I'm not a very 'social' person. I much prefer the company of animals.

Long Tailed Tit

Flickr has been a good place in the past to showcase some pictures, a bit like blogging has been, and recently some have found their way to Twitter and Facebook.
For some reason Twitter has attracted over 1700 followers, but again attracts just a handful of people who bother to leave comments.

Facebook seems to be a very strange beast. I have a few 'friends' on there, all of which requested to be my friend, and even more in my 'friends request' list.
I never publicly advertised my FB page, my profile picture is just a camera with a red line through it, but a few people did manage to find it, and guess it was me.
I'm not sure if I like Facebook that much though. It has a lot of crap on there amongst the good stuff. Some good 'groups' to join and follow, but some of the posts by people leave a lot to be desired. And it is so easy to have so called friends 'unfriend' you or block you altogether. I've had 2 so far.
One, because of a post I did about the hypocrisy of some people on there, (obviously touched a nerve there), and the second, because her views of a subject, were very different to mine.

Oystercatcher from the local lake

As I get older, I accept the fact that my body will show signs of 'wear and tear'; especially after having such a big heart attack 7 years ago.
Tiredness, not being able to do things that you found easy a few years ago, the odd ache and pain ...................... the trouble with the internet though is you can find the answer to almost anything if you search. And that's the problem. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing; or a great worry, if you let it.
Without going into too much detail, various symptoms of things I've had/got, will tell me I'm suffering from high blood pressure, low blood pressure, dehydration, kidney problems or even cancer.
In most things it's a case of 'go see your doctor'.
Easier said than done here. Easier to win the lottery than it is to get a quick appointment. Needless to say I've not visited a doctor for some time.

I recently had a letter though, to go for a renal blood test at the doctors. This was done by a nurse there, and when I asked what it was for, I was told it was to make sure my heart medication isn't causing problems to my kidneys.
My last renal blood test was 5 years ago and I've been on the same medication, so not a big deal then.

I mentioned I was having a few dizzy spells occasionally, and could she take my blood pressure while I was here.
No, she was running behind, (my appointment time was 4 minutes late),  but I could do my own out in reception on their machine when I leave.
I didn't bother. 
I'm not doing that in a waiting room full of people, and get a tickertape result that means absolutely fuck all to me. I thought that's what we had medical staff for.

Mediterranean Gull 

I recently came back from a few weeks in Wales. Good to get away when you can.


But on return, apart from the usual bills waiting to be paid, my garden fence had succumbed to a recent storm whilst I was away. Four posts snapped at ground level, taking four fence panels with them, and dumping them in the next door garden.
Oh dear.

My neighbour hadn't bothered to move them whilst they had laid there blocking the light to his grass and slowly killing it off, so a couple of days later, after I got back home, I was out there trying to lift them up and put them back in my garden. Not easy, as they were quite heavy.
His back door opened, and he came out.

No offer to help, but instead said, 'could I keep the noise down a bit?'

Some people of a certain race, do seem to carry a big chip on their shoulders.
At the moment repair options are being considered, but in no rush.


My birding has taken a bit of a slide recently. Mainly due to tiredness and apathy.

I still keep a list of what I've seen, but really have no desire to rush out and increase my bird list, even though some new ones for the year have been seen quite locally.
I did mange a couple of new ones whilst walking Whisky round the local lake a couple of days ago though.
My first Sand Martins of the year over the water, and a first for me here at the lake, a Water Pipit, with a group of Pied Wagtails near the waters edge.
Did I rush to put the news out on the local bird group?

Since most of my posts I put on there are censored or banned for whatever reason anyway, I didn't feel the need to share my fortune. And if I find another rarity at the lake, like the Spotted Sandpiper I found a few years ago, that won't make the news either. Fuck 'em.

Last year I invested more time in the search of wild flowers and learning their names.

Escapee cultivated Dog Violets

A long post this, so finally I'll add that my mother continues to deteriorate health wise. Her dementia and general health are in decline. She's losing weight, falling frequently and becoming less like the mum I knew a few years ago. Sad to see.

Enjoy your day

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A selection

Meadow Pipit

Mediterranean Gull

Red-breasted Merganser displaying

Short video of displaying males

Wren, gathering nesting material



Snow Bunting

A short video

 Reed Bunting

 Purple Sandpiper

Bank Vole

My first Chiffchaff of the year

Enjoy your day

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Dippers; nest building.

A few days ago I visited an area that I knew where I could find a Dipper.

The European, or White-throated Dipper is a small, resident breeding bird in the UK.
A length of 18cm, (7 inches), a wingspan of 28cm, (11 inches) and weighing just 64g, (2.2 ounces), they are a fascinating little bird to watch.

They feed by walking underwater of fast flowing streams or rivers and they can remain underwater for up to 30 seconds.

This particular day, the river was flowing very fast after a lot of recent rain.
The area along the river I headed to, was one where I was pretty certain I'd find them.

There are 3 metal tubes at the edge of the river, with a small stream that cascades over them, into the river. That's on a normal day.
This particular day, the small stream was more like a raging waterfall pouring over the opening of the tubes.

I was on the opposite side of the river, high on a steep bank, looking down. Trees are all around and along the bank, so picture taking is challenging to say the least. And the light quality is poor, especially on a dull day.

It wasn't long though, when I spotted a Dipper. He'd been foraging for nesting material.

 A beak full of moss.

He quickly made his way closer to the raging waters.

 Waiting for the right moment.

Once he'd judged the safest and perfect time to move, he flew up to the tube, through the falling water, and into the safety of the tube.

Coming back out was no mean feat either.
As he left the opening of the tube, the force of the water every time would knock him into the river below.

While I was watching, there was a second Dipper, taking in nesting material too.

I've watched them nest here in the past, but never under such tough conditions.

I hope they are successful again.

 A short video.

 Enjoy your day