Archives for the month of: March, 2014

On my way to a gig in Scarborough, I came across this delightful gift . 

Woodcock, dead

The knife isn’t the murder weapon, but instead a tool I used to remove the head from the rest of the body. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite got into the habit of carrying cutlery everywhere with me, like the gourmand I’m destined to become, so instead I had to “borrow” the knife from a local cafe. I have checked with my moral cleric though and apparently I’m in the karmic clear due to the fact I bought a plate of chips and didn’t go mad with the salt. I think I might clean it and post it back to them just to be on safe side. Don’t want the 5-0 on my tail again.

I had to stash my haul in a nearby bush until I could purloin the aforementioned cutlery but it was originally found laying in the middle of a very public path. My working theory is that it’s the work of a peregrine, with the “angel wings” remnants being their classic leavings. Not leavings, that implies poo. There are also a butt-load of peregrines in the area. A plague in fact. One stole my crisps. Another the spirit of Christmas.

Any who, this should keep the braying public (i.e. you) happy until I get round to writing up the recent trip to Derbyshire and Bedfordshire.

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Patch League

February has been slow. Well, it has for my good self. Not getting out as much as I’d hoped to and being distracted by other, more far-flung endeavors. I’ve only added a mere 24 species, largely invertebrates and plants, but several of them are new species. 3 species of beetle from the tribe Lebiinae were found on various trees. Also the strips of plastic used to protect saplings are a treasure trove of fun new species in these bleak unforgiving months. 2 of lebiinae beetles, an aphid, a Chrysomelidae beetle and enough earwigs to make someone averse to earwigs queasy were all found under these strips of plastic. They are also high enough on trees were I don’t have to bend over.

James added a revolting 69 species (16 of which were entirely new to him). He was very pleased with Roman Snail, which is understandable because it is massive. I’ve never seen one so my mental image of it being the size of a moped with bowling ball sized eyes might not be entirely accurate. Richard Comont has been steaming ahead (as expected) and everyone else has been ticking over nicely. Except Jess. Jess, if you are reading this, do more.

As is traditional, here is an extrapolation of the data

graph

 

100 Birds in Hull Challenge

I have continued my attempt to see 100 birds in Hull within a year. I’m still not entirely sure what I’m considering Hull. Paull Holme Strays doesn’t count. I am including Cottingham and Hessle though. Everything I’ve included so wouldn’t be considered too controversial so I think I’m safe from the scorn of my peers, for now.

Since my last entry on the subject my total has risen to 70 birds, which is better than completely turd. A tawny owl calling at the beginning of the month is my only entry on voice alone. At the beginning of the month I travelled to Paull with Africa and Gui and looked at Hull from the other side of Hedon Haven. This was a requirement for many species as getting to the waters edge within Hull is made very difficult by the security of the chemical works and docks. Using the public footpaths requires an 8 mile round journey and luck of the tides. Shelduck, Dunlin, Lapwing and Curlew were the rewards for our effort, but a small flock of Golden Plover failed to emerge at the correct side of the river. A Lesser Black Backed Gull was found amidst a flock of Gulls on my patch which may have held other treasures but some cads decided they were suitable targets for their golf swings. East Park kept a Jay and treecreeper hidden from my ever watchful gaze but it added Pink-footed Goose, Great Crested Grebe and Ring-Necked Parakeet to the tally. Noddle Hill found my skylarks and Priory Fields provided Rook and a real gain in the form of a Peregrine carrying its magpie quarry. Still missing several common species, sea species on the humber, summer migrants, a bunch of farmland stuff and many potential waders. This is an uncomfortably long paragraph