Archive for May, 2013

Bird Pictures: Mallard

Posted: May 31, 2013 in Birds, Natural History
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A4 festival 2013

Posted: May 31, 2013 in Trains
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3 A4s on display at National Railway Museum

Some other items of interest from Fishbourne Roman Palace

Painted wall Plaster

Painted wall Plaster

Hypocaust underfloor heating

Hypocaust underfloor heating

Hypocaust underfloor heating

Hypocaust underfloor heating

Oven for cooking Food

Oven for cooking Food

A horrible start to the day as torrential rain fell in London. Despite this there was a lot of activity in the Garden. A group of Common swifts remain in the area – I wonder if they will stay in the area and nest this year. The highlight of the day occurred at 1725 as looking out of my study window I saw a large bird approaching from the north. As it drew closer I could see it was a Common Buzzard, a first ever sighting for the patch. The Bird continued to fly South over the garden and over the Tarn.

Buzzard

Photo by Paul (http://www.flickr.com/photos/penguinbush/)

Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Dumbbell Nebula

Posted: May 29, 2013 in Astronomy
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Today’s pictures are of the dumbbell nebula (M27/NGC6853). It is a planetary nebula found in the constellation Velpecula. Like most nebula it consists of dust and gas surrounding a central core. In the case of the dumbbell nebula there is a central star, a white dwarf -the largest known of its kind. The nebula was first described by Charles Messier in 1764. It is 1200 to 1400 light years from Earth, but its brightness it means it is easily visible with binoculars or a small telescope.

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Taken with Bradford robotic telescope

Planetary nebulae are formed in the dying stages of a star when the core fusion reactions decline to the extent that the star’s structure cannot be supported – gravity forces the outer part of the star to collapse inwards, causing the inner part to condense and heat up. The intense build up of pressure and radiation causes the outer shell to ‘explode’ and be driven away. The intense stellar wind causes the surrounding gases to ionize in bright colours. (Taken from astrocruise.com)

At home over the weekend which gave me the opportunity to watch the garden and check on its resident species. The highlight was the appearance on Saturday afternoon of a party of eight Common Swift which appeared over the garden for about 20 minutes. This was the first time that we had seen them on the patch this year.

Common Swift (Apus apus) silhouette

photo by Chris Moody (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zpyder/)

Tornseglare / Common Swift

photo by Stefan Berndtsson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbern/with/8528914788/)

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus) 25/05/2013
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

The malachite is one of the commonest butterfly species in South America with a range spreading from Brasil to the South of the USA. It gets its name from the Malchite green colouring on its wings.

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Arundel Castle

Posted: May 27, 2013 in History, Post medieval history, UK
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Arundel Castle is situated on a rock bluff overlooking the valley of the River Arun. The first castle on this site was built is 1068, just two years after the Norman conquest. By 1155 the original wooden structure had been replaced by a stone castle. In the 13th century the castle passed into the hands of the Howard family. Sir John Howard was created Duke of Norfolk in 1483 and the castle remains the home of his descendants to this day. It was besieged during the Civil War (1642 to 45) first by the Royalists and then by the Parliamentarians. It was badly damaged and repairs were not commenced until 1718. Queen Victoria stayed at the castle for three days in 1846 and the castle as it is today owes much to the restoration carried out around 1900.

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Pictures of Little Grebe taken at Rye Meads RSPB reserve

Today we visit the carriage shop, the boiler shop and the erecting shop

The Carriage shop was where all the wooden bodies for the carriages were made The Carriage shop was where all the wooden bodies for the carriages were made[/caption]

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The boiler shop was where the boiler units for the locomotives were assembled

The boiler shop was where the boiler units for the locomotives were assembled

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The erecting shop was all the parts came together to form the finished locomotive

The erecting shop was all the parts came together to form the finished locomotive

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