Penguin Awareness Day Special: How the Galapagos penguin keeps its cool…

Penguin Awareness Day Special: How the Galapagos penguin keeps its cool….

I love this.  I wanted to go to the Galapagos in about 2003, but for one reason or another I had to cancel.  Maybe in a couple of years’ time now…

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A dirty smudge and some dirt

I’ve seen Panstarrs!  Well, it seemed to be a dirty smudge in the right place, towards the northwest close to the Andromeda Galaxy.  I had to find it from Cassiopeia since the trees are too low to see Pegasus at this time of year.  I had to dodge around to get a gap in the trees, too, and to avoid the street lights, but I succeeded. It will get closer to Cassiopeia up to early June, but also fainter.  Maybe I’ll see it again, but if not, so long, buddy, and good luck! Continue reading

PANSTARRS and Wildflowers

Look up, look down.  It’s an exciting week if only the weather was better.  Excitement mounts as PANSTARRS, the first naked-eye coment to be seen in our skies since Hale-Bopp, arrives in the northern hemisphere in the west just after sundown (it is there earlier, but heading towards the sun, so can’t be seen).  Tuesday 12th should be its best chance of a good view for UK observers as it is close to the crescent moon, then still visible till until after Easter.  The current forecast for 12th March is poor. Continue reading

Venus and Diamonds

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend has been really enjoyable, if frustrating with the ‘typical’ English weather.  It’s unseasonably cold and I’ve had fires lit to get over the chill.  I’m never quite sure whether it’s too cold to put the tomatoes and corn out on the patio bench to harden off, or whether it’s too cold for that.  I hope they survive and I expect they will. Continue reading

April Up-date

As I said in previous posts this year, my new business interests are engrossing me, and I’m putting my energies into promoting them, developing new product lines, blogging about them (making use of the A to Z Blog Challenge for April) and tweeting them!  I just looked at my Year of the Dragon post here which looks astonishingly accurate, but reminded me to pay attention to study.  So it’s a good thing I read a book on marketing in my field at the weekend.  Of course, that just gave me more ideas, but most importantly it made me think about it strategically. Continue reading

No Survey November

It’s the first year since I came to Norfolk that I haven’t had bird surveys to do in November.  First year it was the Plover survey, then the Bird Atlas started.  Today was the sort of day I would have been up and out to do them.  We’ve had some cool cloudy days and the migrants are in, but the cloud has got a hole in it over Norfolk and we have a lovely sunny day. True, there’s a keen east wind, which is putting a little bit of a taint in the air from all the cooking going on at a well known factory, but it’s not as bad as freshly strewn silage! Continue reading

Fieldfare and Otter

The BTO web-alerts have been advising us to look out for redwings and fieldfares, as they are on their way from Siberia to winter here.  They are planning a Winter Thrush survey starting in 2012, so we’ll probably be quartering our areas searching for the flocks this time next year.  But I was doing my regular walk round my nearest favourite patch yesterday when I heard a scolding sort of ‘chuck’ noise high up in the tree.  I couldn’t see what was making it, but it sounded like something I knew but hadn’t heard for a while.  Then of course I realised, it was my first fieldfare of the season!  Hi, Fieldfare! Continue reading