A nice dusting of snow last night. A couple of Skylarks flying over the garden might have been cold weather displaced. 3 Siskins again. Otherwise nice conditions for a few photos.
Monday, 29 November 2021
Sunday, 28 November 2021
Did a couple of hours in the garden today. 208 individuals of 31 species (in and from). Ebird list HERE. The new bird feeders are in constant use now, added Niger seeds to the menu to try and get the Siskins down (only two today, feeding in the Lawson's Cypress again). Three Pied Wagtails are feeding in the horse paddock and good numbers of Redwings around.
The usual Kestrel showed well today (I haven't seen our Buzzard for a few weeks so presumed it's got a new favoured perch).
Saturday, 27 November 2021
I've noticed a reluctance for people to comment on this blog and some would rather start separate threads on twitter, discuss things I've said privately or message me personally (which is great too). I'm just trying to do my bit and using this blog to try to record information, sightings etc and straighten my thoughts that I will then apply to Little Oak Group, our business and our projects. It's extremely difficult (impossible probably) to go against the flow and try and run and grow an independent self funding small nature conservation/birding venture so feedback, counter argument and engagement is really helpful. I'm always indebted to anyone who helps with validating/correcting identification on moths etc (I might even make the odd birding mistake- I will punish myself if I do!) and if any opinion piece blogs cause offence or any kind of reaction please do weigh in in the comments section. As what I'm trying to do is basically impossible and involves various contradictory trade offs, what any of us can hope for is to gain optimisation (making the best out of an impossible situation) and that requires checks and balances so feedback and criticism is vital.
I had to apply comment moderation on this blog because a parrot selling company kept spamming my posts with literally hundreds of parrot ads but I won't censor anything apart from spam.
As an example of the disconnection between readers and the comments section here is a recent tweet from Low Carbon Birding's Tim Allwood. I had over a thousand reads of the Bird Fair post he was referring to but no comments (update. there are comments now) on the blog but plenty of feedback from various other sources. Tim is a zealot advocate of low carbon birding, an extreme critic and hard liner. I've called him a Carbon Inquisition Priest in a previous spat which is pretty accurate as he is very judgemental, damning and critical of other people's behaviour (remind's me of my mother a lot). However, he certainly doesn't mind putting his neck out and seems pretty fearless and while I don't agree with the absolutism in his preaching I do agree with a lot of what he says and I do try to take it on board. I find blogger (and facebook even) is a better place for discussion than twitter although the character restrictions on twitter do help with choosing words carefully but its not a good platform for discussion. Blogger comments section is better for that. Of course meeting up and discussing things in person is the best way so I've asked Tim to meet up for a drink so hopefully will meet soon.
So please do feel free to comment and criticise. It might not come across like it (or maybe it does, come to think of it maybe it does too much and I'm not keeping up the farce-in-which-we-are-all-compelled-to-act-in enough) but like everyone I struggle everyday to make sense of things and act in a way which makes that struggle easier with enjoyable break throughs and moments that make it all worthwhile, a struggle to find meaning and purpose , direction and progress (in my case through the window of natural history) so any comments and help much appreciated! I do all I can to share everything I think might be useful or interesting to others (most people don't give a flying fuck but that's all part of this challenge) so appreciate any help back too. So please do comment and criticise.
Peter Alfrey is a vocal critic of #lowcarbonbirding & lifestyles (I think - hard to tell at times) Here are his views on Birdfair. Strongly opinionated, rather rambling & full of internal contradictions, but something you should definitely read anyway.https://t.co/V5XHlOtn9M— TG42Birder (⧖)💙 (@TG42Birder) November 25, 2021
Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Did a few hours at Otmoor today. Highlights included Hen Harrier, 3-4 Marsh Harriers, good numbers of winter thrushes on Morleys and a few Stonechats. My rarity drought not only continues but has quite remarkably headed even further south as I was hoping to see the Red-breasted Geese that have been around for a few days (presumably the same ones that were in Essex last week HERE and appear to be given the benefit of the doubt by Birdguides HERE) and once again failed in my quest. This is the longest run of bad luck in birding I can remember, a Black Patch as opposed to a Purple Patch. Dipping potential plastic is a new low.
Meanwhile back at the Old Vicarage its been pretty static, the odd Winter moth on the side of the house, a small flock of Siskin still around. Weekend family stuff included a visit to the Falconry centre at Millets Farm. Steppe Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Laggar Falcon and about 30 other raptor species have now been added to my list of the curious captive species lurking in Oxon/Bucks.
Definite undercurrent to this story -@LeicsWildlife pointedly says @BirdLife_News received all money raised while it got none, massive downplaying of @TheBirdfair's achievements & little credit for huge role played by @Rutlandbirds in putting event, reserve & Trust on map! https://t.co/DLpP50tFFv— Dominic Mitchell (@birdingetc) November 23, 2021
Monday, 22 November 2021
Friday, 19 November 2021
Wednesday, 17 November 2021
Doing this big tree at the moment on the tree and garden care front. We don't do many big fells as we generally refuse to do them (unless dead or dangerous) but sadly this majestic old Oak was dead and could become potentially dangerous. We will monolith it instead of taking it down altogether and leave a safe standing pollard which will be good for woodpeckers and anything else that likes deadwood.
Tuesday, 16 November 2021
Nice to have Siskins as a recent daily feature of the garden this autumn. There's been up to 10 or so, often feeding on the Lawson's Cypress trees. Also had another flock of Golden Plovers flying over and small groups of Redwings and Fieldfares. Tawny Owls calling most nights and Coal Tit on the new feeders.
Nothing in the moth trap last night but there was a winter moth by the light in the porch.
As is customary in winter, I've been reading a lot recently and came across a picture in the 2012 Beddington Farmlands report of a moth that I didn't recognise and was un-titled in the report. Nowadays if there is a moth I don't recognise then its something not too bad (or rather not very common) . Back in 2012 I was a complete novice and I didn't recognise hardly anything so I've started to go through old photos in UFO albums and blog posts. The moth in question looks like one of the more distinctive Coleophora species perhaps something like C.ochrea which would be a vagrant from the nearby Chalk downlands. Presumably it's a gen den one so I still don't know what it is.
Monday, 15 November 2021
7274 birds of 61 species today at Shellness HERE. In true autumn 2021 form I didn't find anything particularly interesting in what was my last ditch attempt on the back of a short period of easterlies in the dusk of autumn before winter true unfolds. Even dipped the Shorelarks that were there yesterday and my target species to find, which was Snow Bunting, were found in a couple of sites nearby. However it was still brilliant to see the Thames Estuary winter waterbirds and Black-throated Diver and Razorbill are not too bad for the area.
In the afternoon I decided to check out Warden Point but for a different type of birding. The Eocene geology here has hosted some prehistoric bird species fossils and I've been meaning to do a quick recee for a while. Jacob is dinosaur and prehistoric creature mad so am hoping to start doing some fossil hunting with him soon. Fortunately I bumped into one of the admin of the London Clay Fossil Facebook Group who very generously gave me two shark teeth and a fossil crab (which he had just found) from 48-52 million years ago when Sheppey was joint to North America, situated nearer the equator and was a sub-tropical sea teeming with prehistoric shark, turtles, crabs, lobsters with a delta nearby populated by prehistoric pelicans, rollers and waterfowl. The guy I spoke to has actually found a new prehistoric bird species for science on Sheppey, now that is a rarity find in a different league.
Sunday, 14 November 2021
So another political post, yes because we are at a major cross roads in human history. People often claim that they don't do politics but of course that is delusional nonsense as politics permeates everything from consumer behaviour, to world views, engagement in life in general and involvement in our pseudo-democracy. Presumably what they mean is that they don't do party or policy politics but of course that is also delusional nonsense as by going with the flow in the current policy framework you are effectively endorsing and validating it. So everyone does politics whether we like it or not, in fact the most 'non-political' people are the most politically active, maintaining the status quo and resisting change.
So COP26 as presumed was a greenwash festival resulting in pledges that won't be kept and that won't involve solving the problem even if they were kept (see image below) . President of COP26 Alok Sharma concluded the conference by saying he was deeply sorry for the whole thing. SEE HERE.
So like every crossroads there are several routes to take to avoid the consequences of not taking any routes and ending up being swallowed by the ground which will disappear as history moves on if we don't choose individual paths. So as usual it's a tit spanner that we are dealing with here.
So from what I can tell here are the three main paths/camps to choose to be in or between.
1) Fundamental Capitalist Global Warlords and associated Armies (Billionaire oligarchs, corporations, employees and shareholders)
2) Fundamental Socio-environmentalist Global Warlords and associated Armies (Millionaire oligarchs, Charities and Campaign leaders and followers/members)
3) The Independent Autonomous Sustainable Network (anyone who doesn't fancy being slaughtered or enslaved for the benefit of rich bastads)
So COP26 was a failure in terms of those main groups working together to avert disaster for all but it certainly was not a failure for the interests of each group involved to exact maximum damage on their opposing armies which will be sacrificed for the overlords mutual gain. World War 3 is almost here (in fact it probably started right at the end of the last war in 1945 but is now heading towards peak chaos) and it won't be a war like the previous world wars, this war will be total global war (not confined to imperial territories but everywhere in every corner), families, communities and countries ripping themselves apart over ideological differences and becoming powerless in global slave camps ruled by both left and right wing global warlords.
There won't be many bullets fired or bombs dropped in this war either (maybe some flash points, terrorist attacks, proxy nationalist wars, pseudo-nationalist posturing etc). It will be a war of weaponizing climate, detaching us from nature to destabilise us from our foundations, using computer algorithms to polarise, using financial markets to enslave, politics to distract, Disney like fantasy worlds to become trapped in, soap operas, dating apps, bird listing and game shows to melt our minds, sedatives to neutralise us vaccine programmes to control narratives, and conditioning and programming individuals to self destruct and self-incarcerate. It will be the ultimate type of war, multi-narrated, global, efficient and quiet forged from millennia of warfare evolving.
It will basically be an escalation of everything we have become familiar with over the last few decades, a familiarity which is both contemptuous and comforting, a comfort that will slowly suffocate and drain most of our energies that will be transferred to create the most powerful and wealthy elite group of humans in history within the nucleus of global society. The objective of the masses is to resist that soul drain, resist the dehumanising, resist the self destruction which will ensure those superhumans rule the world in the most optimum way for people and nature. The objective of the elites is to push us to our limits to enable natural selection to separate the gold from the sand, the resulting push back will push them to their limits driving natural selection in the nucleus.
So the Capitalists have got a new lease of guilt reduced life with the $100 trillion green transition fund and endless greenwashing opportunities which will drive global destruction even faster and make the rich even richer, the 'lefties' Socio-Environmentalists have got more anger now than they could ever wish for to energise wave after wave of protests, road blocking, head gluing, marching, charities and wailing (this really is big business with huge sums of money involved for the coordinators of all this especially for the directors of big charities like the WWF whose CEO, Carter Roberts is on nearly one million dollars a year and Mark Constantine (and partner) of LUSH (a hybrid group) who funds groups like XR is worth £330 million ).
Finally for anyone who doesn't want to either be a corporate pawn and work 60 hour weeks for a few crumbs off the overlords table or also don't fancy martyring themselves on the M25 for the cause of loft insulation then the third way of independence have also benefited from COP26 in full confirmation that any hope of a Global Socialist State, Global Ethical-Capitalist State or Global Sustainable State is well and truly in the realms of pure fantasy (for now but will be the end result of this coming war) and it really is time for every person for themselves and to go AWOL from the global armies (or into a higher rank where you can sacrifice your people for your own gain) who are currently lining up for mutual massacre. Get out of the self destructive armies and into the network is my advice to anyone, move between the camps, move along the red thread.
Eventually this war won't be won by the warlords but by an ethical and moral thread that runs through and unites people in all three camps. They will be the ones left holding the world together (same as the result of any world war). Good (a critical mass of positive cohesive bonds in society) always wins at the end of the very long day.... and then it looses again. Same old, same old.
We at Little Oak Group need to up our game big time to survive this latest escalation. We are a tiny battle ship in a massive war. This is going to be so much fun (and horrific) ! Anyway that is the rather long winded explanation of why we have done our loft up (see below).
The final summary for Corvo 2021 is now on the blog: https://t.co/VaeLpzlYa5In short, 38 American species were recorded involving 74 individual birds. Highlights included Warbling Vireo (first for WP), Prothonotary Warbler (2nd for WP) and Chestnut-sided and Cape May Warbler. pic.twitter.com/FLA32qFs79— Peter Alfrey (@PeterAlfrey) November 13, 2021
Saturday, 13 November 2021
Did a couple of hours at Beddington on Thursday afternoon, had a first-winter Caspian Gull (a bird that arrived as a juvenile a few months ago). Also a couple of Green Sandpipers flying over the old obs (I had some work to do there).
Back at the Old Vic, not much happening, Siskins are now a permanent feature of the garden (getting in with the Goldfinches too) , a few Redwings and Fieldfares are still buzzing about and the new feeding station is becoming more established with Coal Tits coming down regularly now too.
A few moths last night in temperatures around 10 C. Had a Rusty-dot Pearl in the porch on way to London on Wednesday morning, another Acrolepia autumnitella flying around the office (and a Harlequin Lady bird looking for somewhere to hibernate), nothing at all in the trap on Thursday night but yesterday had 4 December moth, a Red-green Carpet, Feathered Thorn, Sprawler and a Yellow-line Quaker.