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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Shaky Start To The Year - on 1st January, 2013

Armed with some bright sunshine and a pair of wellies, I went out to see if I could find some owls as I'd not seen an owl since 19th December!

I made a brief 'token' stop at my Little Owl Site No.01 where I've not seen an owl since late 2009, but then had a more detailed look around at Site No.08. The ground was so wet that I was sinking into the grass about 4 inches (100mm) with every step. Unfortunately it was also a bit breezy, and no owl was seen. I gave up after half an hour or so, and set off for Site No.32. No luck at 32 so I walked into Calke Park, where I spotted a LO at about 70 metres distance sunning itself on its favourite perching place - Site No.31.

During the next couple of hours, the only movement it made were a few brief preening efforts. Fortunately there were other birds to amuse me - see below.


Nuthatch - Calke Park
Treecreeper - Calke Park
I walked back to the car, and set off for my LO Site No.02, where I sat for an hour, having a picnic lunch and watching for an owl - with no luck. The wind was getting a bit stronger, so I went to nearby Site No.12, where the owls can often be found in a barn - again I drew a blank.

I then went a bit further afield and tried my Site No.17 (no luck) and then Site No.03 (no luck). By now the clouds had rolled in and the wind was strong and chilling - I'd had enough, and set off home! Eight sites visited and only one owl seen!

Musical Influences

As a bit of an experiment, inspired by other bloggers (primarily Bob Bushell), it's my intention to add music clips to my posts - at least for a while. My interest in music started at quite an early age (I guess at about ten years old), and my influences have been many and varied. However, I didn't get to see a live band until I was about 17. I was labouring on a building site earning some pocket money in the school holidays. Another guy of about my age, doing exactly the same thing as me, said that some friends of his were playing in Ruislip Manor (just up the road from me), and invited me to go to the gig with him. If my memory serves me correctly, the venue was the 'youff club'. The band was The Birds (a bit appropriate for this blog really!). I can remember that the music was exciting, and I was struck by the flares that one of the guys (I think it was Ron) was wearing - they were yellow ochre with large black inverted chevrons down the top part of one leg. My workmate told me that Ron's dad was also musical, and played spoons down the local boozer. Ron was, of course, Ronnie Wood who now plays guitar with the Rolling Stones! This number was written by Ron, who also does the vocals.

Soon after this gig, I went out and bought a harmonica ('blues harp' in the parlance of that time), and it wasn't very long before I was in a band myself.

If the musical addendum to my posts is received favourably, I'll continue (but with far fewer words!). I will also probably try for linked themes!

17 comments:

  1. Hi Richard,your first two images would look great on my 2013 Calender,superb images.
    John.

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    1. Thank you John. Unless your calendar was quite small, I don't think they'd stand up to too much enlargement!

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  2. Well done with the music track Richard. And what about the birds, the feathered ones, they are marvelous.

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    1. Thank you, Bob, for all your inspiration. Glad you enjoyed the music clip!

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  3. Great pictures Richard! Thanks for sharing it!

    Greetings from Holland,
    Willy

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  4. Northwood Hills London? If so that's were most of my mums side of the family live and grew up, Pinner,Harrow and Northwood Hills. Mum and her sister went to school with Elton John and my mums sister played in Elton's dads band in the pubs in the area. Love the new header image, the other Nuthatches are equally good, the Treecreeper still eludes me, well done.

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    1. Thanks doug.

      It's the very same Northwood Hills. Small world! I lived in River Close (postal address Ruislip, but the nearest shops were Eastcote Village - as distinct from Eastcote.

      For a while I used to do my drinking in the Queens Head, Pinner - used to get the bus to 'The Vagabonds' and then walk. I think that Mr. Dwight was a bit after my time - when I was drinking there, Gordon Waller, of 'Peter and Gordon' fame was around, (but memory may be serving me falsly here - it could have been Peter Asher - I seem to remember a Doctor father - I wasn't a fan!).

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    2. Just realised! Must have had a 'senior moment' when I originally wrote the post, Doug. The gig was at Ruislip Manor, not Northwood Hills. But I still spent quite a lot of time in Northwood Hills.

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  5. Lovely images Richard. Great idea to occasionally add music to your blog. I have a varied taste in music, depends on my mood very much what I listen to. There was an interesting article in the Times today, vinyl records are making a come back, young people are discovering that the quality of the recordings on vinyl are better than on cds, ipods etc.

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    1. Thanks for your comments and encouragement Linda. I'd heard that vinyl was making a comeback - might be time to start putting my extensive vinyl collection on e-bay??

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  7. Your new header......TOP NOTCH!

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  8. They are fantastic Nuthatch images, Richard. I think the one on your header is absolutely magnificent.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words Christian

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