Saturday, 26 April 2014

ROUTER ISSUES

Hi all, just a quick post to tell you that I might me off line for a few days. I've been having some real strange issues with my internet router that has left mestruggling to get online. Aparrently mine and about 600 other users have had the same problem so the internet provider has had problems getting new routers out to customers, great!
It keeps logging out/dropping signal coverage and is an issue with the router (not hacking etc) itself, cheap plastic crap.
I will catch up with you all as soon as the new router arrives (Monday apparently!), please don't leave a comment on the blog as I'm not sure when I'll be able to get on the net to check/publish comments.
OH and just to add BELKIN YOUR ROUTERS ARE SHIT! Anyone thinking of buying a Belkin router or going with a internet provider who uses Belkin DON'T BUY AND INSIST ON A DIFFERENT ROUTER FROM YOUR PROVIDER.


BELKIN MAKE CRAP ROUTERS...just in case you missed the point of this post!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A RING OUZEL AND CHINA GP PREDICTIONS

I went out again by bike yesterday and explored some public footpaths and byways around my area. I decided I'd head towards Pitsford and Moulton as they were quite close to home and easy to get to by bike.
I was a bit gutted as for all my pedalling efforts the best I saw were a few Blackcaps, a male Kestrel chasing and catching Pied Wagtails, one new Little Owl site in a tree by the side of the road at Moulton College by the time I got my camera out of the bag the owl had fled into it's hole and never came out (swine) and a large white rabbit (I kid you not), I turned down Spectacle Lane from the college end, it can be a bit dodgy down here at times with yoof's smoking weed and fly tippers tipping their waste which is a shame as the hedgerow was buzzing with small common species plus a few Yellow Wagtails in the first ploughed field, three buzzards circling overhead, more Blackcaps, one solitary Swallow (still no Swifts!) and a nice Grey Wagtail at the ford.
I was pushing my bike (makes it easier to photograph) up the hill in the lane heading towards Spectacle Lodge when a fox ran across the lane, missed it but a quick glance into the field next to the Lodge I spotted a Ring Ouzel....record shot time as the bird never came close enough which was a shame.
Crap shot but seeing the bird made the bike ride a little more satisfying.
CHINA GP RACE PREDICTIONS
WET RACE
1st Daniel Riccardo
2nd Lewis Hamilton
3rd Seb
DRY RACE
1st LEWIS HAMILTON
2nd NICO ROSEBERG
3rd NICO HULKENBERG
As a curious side bet if you're that way inclined if Man.Utd loose to Everton put some money on David Moyes being sacked, I heard he's being sacked regardless of the result after this weekend!!

Monday, 14 April 2014

A CHIFF-CHAFF AND ME ON A BIKE??

I have to travel six miles to work and six miles back, of late I've been somewhat annoyed at the start/stop nature of the commute, it seems like a complete waste of money and petrol so made a conscious effort that once the weather improved I would start cycling...secretly I was hoping for a monsoon but that never happened.
So far in a week I covered over 60 miles and weirdly I've enjoyed it except the up hill bits but even now I'm cycling these though it was rather embarrassing when a 11 year old on a BMX with a flat rear wheel overtook me, he giggled too as he went pass, I would've swotted the little twerp but I was to knackered :o).
The other reason for cycling was to shed a bit of weight too. On the way to work there is a short little path that not many people use, it's not very long and isn't much of a shortcut to work, I think it was once part of the old Northampton/Bedford railway line, as it is the path passes under the existing railway line, you have to get off your bike to get pass some tricky gates (stops kids on motorbikes) zig-zag a down hill path and pass another set of tricky gates before you cycle along a level gravel path with steep embankments either side, it definitely feels like an old railway cutting as a result of the tricky gates and it not being a shortcut not many cyclist nor pedestrians come along it.
But it's a little gem of a place, every morning the dawn chorus has been getting louder and louder, everything from Song Thrush, Blackbirds, Robins, Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming some Blackcaps and Chiff-Chaffs, the cycle home has highlighted the other aspect of this pathway, I counted six species yesterday, mostly Orange Tips and weirdly mostly males and with my mouth open gasping for air I've collected plenty of bugs too!
I went back on Sunday (by bike) with my camera Blackcaps and Chiff-Chaffs were what I was after so was the Peregrine I'd recently blogged about, sadly no sign of the Peregrine and the Blackcaps were sticking to the back of the trees out of "photographic" sight and it's not an excuse look below at the image, no "tidying" nor trimming of trees here......
 See what I mean it was going to be hard to get an image of any birds, I got this butterfly which is crap I kept blowing it's lime green wings in the bright light even when exposed at a minus 2 it was still blown.
 So I got a brainwave, it hurt, and headed for the zig-zag path as you could hide a bit behind the fence plus with the steep banks the Chiff's that were high up were now either at eye level or looking down at them. Still getting an un-obscured shot was tricky.


 Not actually searching for food but peeling the bark away for nesting material which was really interesting to watch, never knew a bird would use tree bark for nesting material.
 And finally one in song which is what I hear every morning, this cycling lark could be fun!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

URBAN PEREGRINE PART TWO AND THREE

Working in the St.James area of Northampton now two days on a trot I've spotted an urban Peregrine. Yesterday afternoon I saw one hunting feral stock doves over the rugby ground/old bus depot area.
Today whilst waiting to do a delivery again in the St.James area of town I heard the unmistakable sound of a Peregrine, I quickly located the bird, spiralling ground wards but there was two birds, it had caught something a female Peregrine, it was two Peregrine's spiralling towards the ground before releasing their grip, the female flew over towards the lift tower, a previous nesting site a few years back but it flew around the back of the building and I was unable to check the backside of the building  to see if it roosted up (side facing rugby ground/bus depot) the male flew towards me and over Stortons gravel pits, it'll be good if they nest successfully again but seeing as the old building is slap bang in the middle of a housing estate, the building gets used for the odd bit of abseiling and used for engineering students at the local uni' so might get a fair bit of disturbance...not to mention nosey buggers like me working nearby too lol.........

Sunday, 6 April 2014

BAHRAIN F1 PREDICTIONS

Sadly the weather didn't get the message that I wished to get out with my camera with it looking quite grey and gloomy outside so no piccy's today...so far.
So to the race predictions, Bottas is going to take some drivers out in the first corner, some Renault engines will go kaput and Mercedes will dominate as long as they stay away fom Cottas at the first corner!
1st Lewis Hamilton
2nd Nico Roseberg
3rd Jenson Button or maybe Perez.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

NEW URBAN BIRD TICK AND A CRACKER TOO

I thought the peregrine was going to be my best bird in the town centre but on my ciggy break at 12:30 I had an Osprey flying really low, roof top low, couldn't believe it just wished I had my camera. I'll have to console myself it would've been a rubbish image with all the smog, maybe that's why it was flying so low.
If it carried on flying on it's flight path it would've hit Kingsthorpe, so it was heading North'ish, still people either had their heads down or buried into the screen of their "smartphones". The feral pigeons didn't though.....

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

"SO WHY NO PROPER BIRIDING OF LATE THEN DOUG" & WEDNESDAY QUIZ

Is one question I was asked recently, to be fair I thought I had but the person in question meant around Summer Leys etc....I think that's what he meant. But I had sadly, made a few bad judgement calls which meant the locations I had chose were a bit thin on the ground bird wise. I was really hoping to be doing a post of Yellowhammers sadly a field where I knew there were good numbers all the way up to Autumn last year had just one male bird calling forlornly to no other bird and it was distant and quiet depressing as I've always known this field at this time of the year to hold about 20 birds! I hope at least one other bird turns up to keep him happy.
The other reason I haven't been out and about is a lot of my spare time has been taking up with a course I had taken at the local college, which luckily ends this Friday hopefully freeing up some time, just in time for the wader season at Summer Leys, I hope.
The course (which isn't going to be named until I know I "passed", superstitious me) has been taking part up at Lower Mounts College, for those unaware of the geography of my home town of Northampton (lucky buggers) it's dead centre of town, sandwiched between a multi-story carpark and a derelict shoe factory, Trickers I believe it was called so not much birding, how wrong was I.
There's this bit of old scrap land from an old factory it's bit weird to explain exactly what it looks like (I'll do a photo on Friday) but it's covered in Budleia, so far I have clocked/listed mostly common birds Goldfinch,Blue Tit,Great Tit, Blackbird,House Sparrow,Dunnock,Wren,Robin,Collared Dove,Wood Pigeon,Crow, 2 Grey Wagtails and 1 Pied Wagtail and Feral Pigeons which brings me nicely to the two stars of the show 1 female Sparrowhawk and the best a male Peregrine so far out out of twenty six days on the course I have witnessed the Peregrine hassling the feral Pigeons a total of 10 times and on a couple occasions catching it's prey, so how many people saw this amazing spectacle weirdly just me and one lady who was amazed when she told her colleagues of what was happening in the skies above their heads that all she got was a grunt and shrug of shoulders "Typical response from some" was my reply, she pointed out the House Sparrows and Goldfinches using the holes where bricks were once of the old buildings, I was polite and made out I hadn't, I not sure what was better watching a hunting Peregrine without having to worry about photographing it or sharing a "birding" moment with a complete stranger in such an urban environment? I pointed out the old posters promoting The Beatles "Hard Days Night" that was on one of the walls, which shows the last time the building had been touched, our town is dying!
WEDNESDAY QUIZ: SPOT DOUGLAS IN THE PHOTO BELOW.
CRIMEWATCH UPDATE!
A few rules, anyone who has met me (sorry about that) your answers won't be published until everyone has had a go. Anyone who gets it right will win either 1 Toffee, 1 Fudge or whatever else happens to be in my pocket when I meet you, anyone who says the one with red long hair gets a completely different prize! And no I didn't take the photo our tutor did, God we are a scary looking bunch lol
And finally one bird picture for now, the same wren as last time.