Quick Links 5th December 2016

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


Life

2016-11-30-07-32-06Most of this week has been taken up with things related to my Dad, plus my maternal Grandmother is sick, so that’s been taking some time too, leaving little time for anything else.

We’ve had freezing weather all week long with temperatures dipping down to between -3°C & -5°C in the early hours of the morning.

I’ve been up and out with the dogs most mornings before sunrise, so have got to enjoy the sunrise most mornings, and the weather conditions and clear skies have made for some pretty spectualar sunrises.



This Is The Most Dangerous Time For Our Planet – Prof. Stephen Hawking


Currently Reading 

Not much time to really read anything much apart from the next part of the book in my online discussion (see below). I’ve been listening to (or rather re-listening to), the excellent audiobook by David Hewson – “The Flood“, in the car, but I finished this on Saturday so I’ll be looking for something else. I have a few to choose from.

Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer: 2 (The Journals of Thomas Merton) by Thomas Merton [GoodReads].

The Wastelands (Dark Tower III) by Stephen King [GoodReads], reading this for an online disucssion group


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


If you should also happen to play Words With Friends and fancy challenging me to a game or two, my user name is Tontowilliams.

Surprise Buzzard & Sparrowhawk

Buzzards
Buzzards

My morning dog walks are tending to be a little longer at the moment as there is no train to catch to work (at least for now). The chance to take a little longer and walk a little further is good for my mental health if nothing else. When I get back I tend to sit down and look through the job alerts that have come through, earmarking any that I am going to submit an application for, and if there is nothing else to do (the last two days, I’ve been preparing a proposal for a client), get on with the applications.

This morning, just as we were heading for home, I heard a bird of prey calling. When I turned and looked up I saw first one and then a second buzzard circling. As I continued to watch a Sparrowhawk appeared.

IMG_20150804_075150511_HDR

I wonder whether she was hoping for some smaller birds to be spooked by the buzzards and then be able to swoop in for a meal.

Quite pleased with the camera phone photos above, cropped in google photos.

Bullfinch

Its not everyday that something special happens to make your day early on, if at all; but this morning was one where that did happen.

I take part in the BTO’s (British Trust for Ornithology) Breeding Bird Survey. I have a set area which I survey twice a year and record all the birds I see and hear. As today was a bank holiday, I thought I’d undertake my early visit of the year (I’ll do another one after four weeks, and by mid-June).

The reason for such a great morning was three-fold.

  1. There were good numbers of birds generally. Often I’ve visited and counts have been quite low.
  2. I also got a watch a pair of roe deer feeding.
  3. I saw bullfinchs.

The latter was the highlight. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a bullfinch up close and this morning I was able to watch for a good ten minutes. The only downside is that I only had my phone with me, so the photographs are poor. I really must start carrying a proper camera with me more often.

Roe deer
Roe deer (zoomed and cropped)

Bullfinch (yes really)