Sunday, 6 October 2013


....and not one image of a bird taken. Saturday despite being a workday, my transport coordinator (tells me what to do, and I normally tell where to go) is a mad F1fan and has already attended Spa, Le Mans and wants to go to Brazil too, felt sorry for me and put me on local runs (Milton Keynes and moving trailers around the yard) so I could watch the qualifying on Saturday in the canteen, nice one Nigel.
Sunday I had the greyhound club (not rescue but Kennel Club show) show at Steventon in Oxfordshire. When I left Northants this morning it was nice and sunny, by the time I got past Brackley there was fog by the side of the M40 stopping me from seeing any Kites.
The show was being held on the village green/sports field so was not counting on getting any images so was quite glad I left the camera behind at home....not for long. I could hear in the trees surrounding the green Great Spotted Woodpeckers, A LOT OF Meadow Pipits passing over, is it me or is there a higher number of Meadow Pipits around this Autumn, did they have a good breeding season? Then the tell-tell whistle of a RedKite, in fact three circling in the distance.....
 Not close but the closest I got to birding, so I thought. Now Redkites in Oxfordshire behave differently to Redkites in other regions, I have no scientific proof of that, but they do! I'm sure it's the human interaction between the residents of Oxfordshire and the Kites. Seriously whilst stopped at a set of traffic lights I saw a poster with a Redkite on it, "must be some bird related event" I thought, no it was advertising a social event at the local working men's club, made me chuckle, we all know how people in Oxford chuck scraps out for the Kites, and this is where the difference is in their behaviour.
I was sat at the side of the show ring with a fag (that's a cigarette by the way) in my hand when this Kite at HEAD height glided in briefly landed in a tree within feet of me before flying off...WHY DOES THIS ONLY HAPPEN WHEN I LEAVE MY CAMERA BEHIND? But what a great view, no binoculars needed at all, needless to say we saw many redkites today all very close up and fear whats so ever, when person did remark when I said how they behave differently to Kites in Northants said something I thought was profound "perhaps this is how they would have behaved if we hadn't give them reasons to fear humans"...maybe the woman was right?
As for the dogs Jimmy was in two classes, got first in one and second in the other, he also got Reserve (second) Best R/C in Show, R/C is a special class for Racers and Coursers. For those that care there is a small difference in "standards" between Racers and "show" dogs, show dogs have a big/deep chest, whilst racers have a smaller/shallower chest plus some racers get injuries hence the "special" class for them, so he won a very nice bronze statue, Mack is no longer a puppy, now he's 12 months old and got a first and second in his class and also with Jim got second in brace (two dogs walking together) and poor old Whimmsy who normally does the best come away with a Reserve or in non doggy speak 5th or as I say last, oh well can't win them all, but to add to my weekend joys not only did Chelsea win but the San Francisco 49'ers are live on TV tonight (and had better win!!) and we had an interesting Grand Prix that made my predictions look s............
I promise a bird related post soon...probably.


  1. It was a great weekend. Well done with the dogs. I wish I had room for a greyhound. They are gentle giants.
    The GP, was enlivened by a fire. I can see it being a busy week in Milton Keynes.

    1. Cheers Adrian, get a whippet lol. I think as I type the guy/gals in MK are busy appying stickers to a new car, it didn't take long for it to burn though which is a bit of worry also I've seen worse imapcts that haven't resulted in fires, very odd situation.

  2. Sounds like you had a successful show Douglas?...well done the boys!
    It's a shame you hadn't got your camera with you for those Kites!...a lesson learned?!!! Maybe it might be worth a trip back there one day?

    Well what do you reckon about the GP? The drivers have started making noises that the tyres are on the verge of being dangerous, they've got a point I guess, but only because the teams (strategy) are pushing them to the absolute limit (driver and general safety seems to be a secondary consideration) Looking at it from a different angle they all start out with the same equipment so it's up to them how much of a risk they need to take! Pirelli are getting all the stick but they are only supplying the tyres that Bernie asked for, it's strange (or not!) how he's being very quiet on the subject!
    It's going to be a tough week for Webber's mechanics...pack up in Korea ship everything to Japan and then a complete rebuild before next Friday, it's tough at the top!
    I bet there'll be some large scale hand baggage leaving MK for Japan in the next couple of days? I've seen it all before, it's surprising what you can fit into an oversize suitcase!
    Sorry for the long comment I got carried away!![;o)

    1. I'm not normally one for going to dog shows, it's a bit "weird" but I like the greyhound shows, good people and great dogs. What annoyed me is I always take my camera with me but the one time I don't...doh!
      If I didn't have a pair of kites living quite close (3 miles) then I would have gone back today, I haven't completely ruled it out mind, Stoken Church (I know it's not quite Oxfordshire) is mental I counted 37 circling and diving kites over a housing estate (the residents feed them) it's great to see but one kite is going to get hit by traffic sooner or later....
      The GP left me with a lot of questions. Pirrelli seemed to be on the defensive after Alonso's comment and Alonso seemed to be have told to be quiet by the team. In my opinion last years tyres were close to being dangerous and this year we've been lucky, so far. The moment you try to make a tyre to wear quicker it's a gamble, sure in simulation the tyre my fade at a certain and predictible fashion however once out on track where the variables aren't so constant those tests done by pirrelli are pretty much useless. But the question remains unanswered, why mess with them in the first place? There was plenty of overtaking last season and the season before, if Bernie wants more exciting racing, unpredictible racing, what's wrong with tougher aerodynamic rules or standardised parts such as the e.c.u like in Touring Cars, simply put I believe Bernie is smiling as all the teams get a few seconds promotion as their cars pull in for a pitstop, when else during a race would we see an HRT? We've seen a trend in motorsport for tyres of a certain type from touring cars to moto GP so yes Pirrelli aren't to blame entirely but I want to see great racing, fantastic and radical car design drivers you want to push 100% every lap, none of that is happening, in Bernies old age F1 is being reducded to nothing more then a poor joke, what if the worse happens and flying debris goes into the crowd or back into the following drivers face (did you see Dario's crash in Indy car this weekend) could Bernie succesfuly defend himself in court (probably why he's so silent, plus he doesn't speak to BBC now it's all on Sky).
      Definately a busy week for the RB mechanics, looking at next years calender it will make for good practise though :0) and you never know mark might accidently get the same car as Seb....

    2. Douglas, The teams/drivers know how far they can push the tyres and will always try and push them that little bit further..too far!! Perez's tyre failed because they had run it so far that there was very little tread depth left and when he had a massive lock up it burnt through to the carcass! so I guess it wasn't really Pirelli's fault? I've just had an idea! about a layer of brightly coloured rubber that works like a tread depth indicator and when it starts to show the car must pit, or receive a fine? btw they do use a standard e.c.u. made by McLaren, no less!!

      Dario was a lucky lad, and the spectators, it could have been a lot worse! it's all the more poignant as he drove for the AMG DTM team in Germany when I worked for them in the mid nineties, as he couldn't speak German he used to spend a lot of time with us Brits! I hope he makes a good recovery...time to retire maybe?
      I don't think there's any chance that Webber will get anywhere near Vettels parts!...[;o)

    3. Never knew that about the e.c.u's, I knew other bits were.
      I still want the best tyres that last the distance, however I as reading what Alonso said when he said " It's a shame we can only push at a 95% level for most of the race for fear of the tyres llosing all grip", that statement was later changed a reported slightly differently on the Beeb's red button service, shame beacuse it is a sprint and not an endurance race, there are better ways like reducing the number of tyres per race etc...thinking about Bernies job ain't that easy :o), Dario was lucky as were the spectators, maybe it is time to retire, he's a good race carrer spanding many formulas/series, can Dario speak English? :o)

  3. Beautiful shots of the dogs Doug, and congratulations to them. Hope they got a special treat.
    While I was in Wales, I was seeing lots of Meadow Pipits.
    And I think that woman was right about the Kites.

    1. Cheers Keith, yeah they got spilt, chicken and rice added to their food and loads of fuss from people.
      I'm trying to find out about Meadow Pipits as along with Grey Wagtails I've seen/heard a lot pass over, had a steady flow over the house today, I'll give it a few more weeks for the ringing data to be compiled before searching too hard.
      I think the woman was spot on too, it made me smile in a nice way.

  4. What are beautiful dogs, they are superb, and well taken.

    1. Thanks Bob, greyhounds are beauties but they make a better photograph when they're running I'm looking for a nice running surface to photograph mine.