Monday, 31 January 2011

January 31st 2011

Recently when ever I have mentioned the Space Station the weather conspires against me so I kept quiet this time. With a clear sky's when I woke and the tracker showing it off Colombia at 6:20am heading for Porto Rica I was in the garden 20 minutes later watching its approach high up in the south west sky. I finally lost it when it was over Poland and interestingly it had changed colour as it headed east becoming dull reddish orange compared to the bright light yellow when first seen due to the reflection of the sun – magic alls well with my world.
Tough luck if I have bored you. In fact more useless information but when I went to log off the tracker site it was over Mumbai, India 13 minutes after I had last seen it.
OK – moth news, cold this morning but yesterday I had Grey Shoulder-knot and Dave had 5 Dark Chestnuts.
Might as well complete my hobbies - no train news so better give you want you have logged in for – bird news.
A visit to the pond this morning with Bob and the reservoir was half frozen due to overnight temperatures of -6c and no wind. The male Smew was off farborough bank and a slight increase in duck number due to a small cold weather movement with 50 Wigeon, 20 Gadwall, 34 Goldeneye and 74 Goosander (28 males)(JJ had 56 yesterday). While I was double checking the Goosander count I found a female Smew 300 yards off the inlet so phoned Bob who was on the other side of the res and he legged it round hoping for a decent photo but could only manage a heavily cropped record shot due to the distance. She was flighty but Francoise waited an hour to get her shot after we had left.

Smew by Bob Hazell

Smew by Francoise Farrington
Unfortunately the finch flock behind the inlet was elusive and I found only 30 birds including 7 Brambling after a 30 minute search but they were very flighty.
Other birds of note included adult male Yellow-legged Gull, male Siskin wind surfing car park, Raven behind hensborough bank with Bob having another over toft bay, 10 Stock Dove, 40 Lapwing, 4 Barnacle Geese, 5 Greylag, 50 Fieldfare and 30 Redwing.
Back home mid-day in time to see the Tree Sparrow in my garden, a species I don’t record very often these days and possibly 5 Waxwing overhead but got on to them to late.


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