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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Lets get rid...

of some more bits and pieces. 

Another early Comma and another Bee – I know it sounds daft and I have been seeing the willow burst into bud and flower (can you call catkins flowers?) but it never occurred to me that they would be pollinated by insects, especially at this time of the year when it has turned quite chilly again. Look and learn (something new everyday – a message to myself). 

I caught this Blackcap in the tree where I normally find it this time of year (where I have also had a female and a juvenile) – not great and the light against me but I quite liked the light on the leaves anyway. 

On a walk along the Ribble Link (west Preston) I realised there were Moorhens about every 600m (not 400m, too close, 800m too far) and as I normally don't give them a second look, I thought I would while I could – normally secretive and disappearing out of sight. 

The chiffchaff I found in the same tree as last year, but I have been 'chasing' it down for about two weeks – drives me nuts, you can hear it but can't see it; it has been singing in a copse and here it was high, high up in the canopy. 

I was surprised to come across a glade of bluebells, but that's only because I don't get out enough and in the dappled sunlight (albeit a cold wind) I suddenly felt very English – there are too many Spaniards about! 

A female chaffinch, must be nesting somewhere nearby, was with a male in and out and about of the same location. I came across this detail of a horses head (the Godfather) on a paddock fence and thought – 'nice one', somebody has gone to that trouble (too much money!). 

And finally out of the wind this Peacock was warming itself in the rays... I shared the same enjoyment. (sad!).

...not quite finally

Now in my last post, or one of them, I made reference to 'Attenborough does Africa' when referencing Collared/Ring-necked Doves (whatever you want to call them) and driving across the Fylde as you do, I thought perhaps this may have appeared derogatory – far from it, it is all his fault and I am great admirer... so much so dear reader I feel I should bore you with; 

a long long time ago, in a dim, dark and distant past there was a thing called 'a book' – long before computers and I was fortunate to be given one and read it as a young innocent boy (nothing changed then)... it had lots of pages and lots of words and a few black and white photographs and no pictures to colour-in! It was called 'Zoo Quest for a Dragon' and was David Attenborough's first book (not that I knew that at the time) and his first venture collecting animals (!) for London Zoo (I may have the zoo wrong). 

This trip, collecting animals was focused on a trip to Bali and accompanying islands to find the infamous (then), Komodo Dragon. Hence the title! ... 1956! 

I read it many years later !!! but long before Dickie, as he likes me to call him (which is a bit strange as that's the name of his brother, darling), became the famous presenter of today. He did of course present the same as a TV series for the BBC (See http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/attenborough/) in 1956 but of course nobody had a TV in them days anyway, so it didn't have a big audience. See the benefits of a book! (TV, TV... Garlic bread, GARLIC BREAD!)

The book, 'Zoo Quest for a Dragon' entranced me as a child and created three elements (two to go) in me, an endearing relationship with my good friend Dickie, a fascination for wildlife and including Bali in my 'top three places to visit before I die' – but that was when I was young, before Bali became Australia's Benidorm, the population of the planet is half it is now and it took three weeks to get there – an adventure in itself. Frightening to think I could leave home now and be there in twenty four hours! Or less! I might do Bali yet. So 'Zoo Quest for a Dragon', recommended reading.

And while I am on the subject, the other great book to have on your bookshelf is Gerald Durrell's 'My Family and Other Animals' – in fact I must get another copy, read so many times I split the spine and it fell apart (paperback version). Inspired me to visit Corfu and I have been three times – again in quieter times, not long after the country was still run by the Army (complete with CIA interference!). Stories perhaps for another day... or buy me a pint sometime. Mind you I went to Lesvos a long time ago too,  before anyone had heard of it... nearly stayed but what a great place that is for birding in spring.... two beers!


Geoff Gradwell said...

Dear Reader
For those kind souls who pass this way and leave a message. THANK YOU. For those that don't leave a message, thank you for calling by.

For those that do, I am never quite sure when and how to reply, if you have left a message, will you bother coming back to see if I have replied? See what I mean. Is there any point me leaving a message after your message?

SO if you think I am ignoring you, forgive me and may I take this opportunity to thank you, sincerely, for taking the time and effort to add comments, it is appreciated and of course if it warrants a reply, more than happy to do so – but I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.

Geoff Gradwell said...

I have in fact been to Bali... if sitting in the airport for 18 hours counts! So close yet so far...

Brian Rafferty said...

Geoff. A great read about the great man..I know of the books but haven't read them yet !! Don't seem to get the time too busy photographing and blogging !! Lovely selection of images..keep up the good work.