Wednesday, 29 April 2009


Tonight I bring you two of the most efficient hunters to be found on saltwater margins and freshwater rivers & lakes.
How wonderful to watch the Little Egret wading through shallow water, suddenly making small darting runs to pick up small fish or Aquatic Insects or standing still shuffling it's feet and quickly picking off the delights it dislodges. The pristine white feathers and black legs with bright yellow feet,the sharp but savage look in the eye makes this a beauty to behold.

Secondly we have the Grey heron, a much larger bird which has an almost Regal posture. This bird on the Marazion Marshes was moving through the water and not making a ripple, stopping for long periods and letting it's prey come within striking distance. Suddenly striking into the water bringing a fish or frog, or maybe a newt up in its powerful bill. This predator catches large prey, many a time I have seen them catch really big flatfish in the estuaries , and in freshwater Reservoirs Trout that any fisherman would be proud of. Normally in these situations a fearsome struggle ensues from which there is always one victor " The Grey Heron" a King amongst hunters.


Monday, 27 April 2009


Saturday 25th April 05.30am.
So here I am setting off on the 45min drive down to Bass Point on the Lizard Peninsula, the rain is very heavy coming straight down and the wind is gusting very strong. What a change from yesterday when we went down to set up the antenna's for International Marconi Day, warm sunshine and not a breath of wind. By Friday evening we had a thunderstorm and torrential rain. The biggest fear was that the antenna,s and masts had come down overnight. Driving down the 3/4m private track on the last leg the wind was buffeting the car and the rain was now horizontal. The first view of the little wooden museum was when I turned the corner along the cliff track, to my dismay there was only one mast not two, getting out of the car I was almost blown off my feet by the strength of the wind. Resting on top of the gates were the top halves of Geoff's G0FHT home made delta loop, I could see one of the 20ft fibreglass telescopic arms was broken. As I was the first to arrive I set about untangling the wires and feeders, Geoff arrived 10 mins later
and we discussed the situation. He had a spare telescopic pole in the shack, so we set about repairing the damage.After 45mins the antenna was repaired, now it was time to get it back up, the mast for the antenna is 20ft then we had the two 20ft arms in a "V" configuration on a mounting plate on top of this.
Geoff held the base of the mast in a divot to stop it slipping, and I walked the mast and antenna up from the top over my head until we got it vertical. the wind really gave us a hard time during this operation. Finally it was up and Geoff secured the base with clamps and tightened the guy ropes to make it safe, suddenly there was a tremendous gust of wind and both fibreglass poles snapped off at the base above my head. Luckily they stayed partly attached so I did not get them coming down on top of my head. So after clearing up the destroyed antenna we decided to extend the mast a bit higher and erect my home brew G5RV multi band long wire which was brought as a backup. After about 30mins we had this up and tied off and feeders into the shack, by now just over two hours had passed and we were both wet and chilled to the bone, with fingers so numb we could not feel anything. so commenced the days operation, Geoff was working 80 metre band which means he was talking to people all over the UK, this band drops out mid morning so he and Keith the other operator who arrived at 09.30 then went onto 20metres working stations around Europe, Middle East and the USA.
I spent the day on the 40metre band working European ,UK Ireland stations from Scandinavia down to southern Italy and as far out as Moscow in Russia
We did about 250 contacts throughout the day, and I'm still hoarse from talking today.
So why do we do it? well there are about fifty stations with connections to Marconi operating around the world on the day, and if a station can work 15 0f these they can claim a very nice award certificate.
Add to this the surroundings of the museum with all the old radio equipment still in place from 1901, it gives a feeling of how Marconi and his team must have felt being there.
But most of all the memories of the best group of people that Radio Amateurs are, from all walks of life who treat everyone as equals regardless of colour, race ,religion or creed.
They could certainly teach the bureaucrats of this world a thing or two.
Finally would I do it again? YES I will be back next year as I have been for the past 20 years.
Below are a few photo's taken during a drier spell in the afternoon.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Hmmm a warm breeze blows in off the Atlantic sitting here in the early evening sun, smelling the salt air and sitting on a log washed up by the tide. This is the seaward side of Godrevy looking towards Hayle and when the tide is out there is three miles of Golden Sands to stroll along. My mind starts to drift back to the lazy days of the Sixtes spending many days and hours here, swimming, playing football or just hanging around with friends. Or was it the odd occasion when we would all meet up after dark, build a bonfire from driftwood and just chill out laughing and joking around.Ok back to the reality of the 21st century, but a least the view's still the same. Came here to check out the small nesting site of some Sand Martins burrowed into the soft sand of the cliff face. yes they are in residence but hard to get a shot of them moving around with a compact camera.
Instead my lens tracks a surfer riding the small but long curls of the evening tide, don't these small lightweight boards look good moving around this way and that with the young man balancing delicately to every move.
So after a good hour or so of great fun its time for this lad to stroll wearily through the surf, wet a little tired maybe but very very happy.
PS I may not have time for another post this weekend, as I am operating my Ham Radio from the small Marconi museum at Bass Point on the Lizard Peninsula as part of the International Marconi Day celebrations.
So hope you all have a pleasant weekend , and See you soon.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


After several attempts to try and fix my problems with the Blog and failing I have decided to live with what I've got until I can find something better. Even the new Blog would not publish, I think the names were to alike. Anyway to try and make up for the lack of post's I have put together a few Images from the last week, and hope to get back to normal in the coming days. I have not made any comments against the images except for naming them.
Early Grey not Pale Tussock
Many thanks to John Swann for pointing out this name error, as I have always said I am no expert on moths just a mere novice.
Thanks John.
Hebrew Character
Peacock Butterfly

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


Hi folks Just to let everyone know that I have setup a new blog as I could not resolve the problems I was having. I have managed to import all my post's with the exception of the last one. I hope to keep the same format as before with one or two slight changes. I would like to ask if the followers could please add themselves again as I don't think I can import the old list. I will try to bring things back up to normal over the next few days, this blog will run for another week or so and then I will delete it. Many thanks to everyone for their support and patience.

Monday, 13 April 2009


Sitting here on Easter Monday with the rain pouring down outside, who would have thought this change in the weather after Saturday & Sunday. The two days gave us fabulous clear blue skies and warm spring sunshine, with visibility so clear you could see for miles. In true fashion Mother Nature responded with a floral show that was absolutely stunning. It has been many years since I have seen such a profusion of colour, in fact I wondered if the cold winter we had this year held everything in check so regrowth all started at the same time, as in my younger days. Blackthorns filled the hedgerows with their resplendent white blooms. On open spaces and hedgerows the thick yellow colours of Gorse Bushes blazed across the landscape. Even the Bullrushes in the marshes took on a beautiful if disheveled appearance after being stripped of their seeds by Hungary birds.It truly has been a honour and pleasure to witness this auspicious event. I will let the beauty of the images speak for themselves as words cannot do it justice.
As a footnote I am still experiencing problems with editing my settings and a pop up may occur when you open the Blog. I have tried numerous things to correct this from resetting the system back two month's and resetting options in my security settings. So far I have not had any success and am running out of idea's. One final straw could be to delete this Blog and start a new one, I do not want to do this as I will lose all posts and information in my archive. So if I have to do this please bear with me when the new one becomes established

Saturday, 11 April 2009


Sorry if this post is boring to most people, but it is in answer to JR & SUE'S comment from last night. So Here go's, my moth trap is a home built contraption on a fairly small scale, on good night's the maximum number is around fifty to sixty moths I find this number not to large to get through compared with the hundred's that commercial units attract, and at a fraction of the cost. Components 1 twin tube 12v emergency power unit (Found mine at Warrior Discounts at Tuckingmill £13) 2 Changed tubes for 2 x atinic black from Western Electrical at Threemilestone £4 each. 3 Plastic storage bin lucky we use em at work (freebie) to buy a couple of quid. 4 10 amp hour lead free battery + charger from Truro Batteries Threemilestone. Be sure to use correct charger. 5 Small waterproof plastic box make G WIZZ also can be obtained from Western Electrical ( got mine from work) 6 finally 2 pieces of plastic sheet from DIY cut to fit at angles to form open V in storage box, with broken egg cartons in the bottom. I drilled a small hole in the light and fitted a 2way micro switch which was wired up so I could run from the internal 4 amp hr battery for general and switch to the external one for mothing. Drill Storage box and G WIZZ box and attach them together, this makes the unit totally portable. Ok John hope this is of some help to you, have posted pic below. Also included pic of ID book I use Obtained this from Ottekers in Truro
Finally greetings to Clarke who visited the Blog, thanks for the comment and will try to furnish enough Fodder to keep you and everyone else interested.

Friday, 10 April 2009


Hi and firstly may I wish everyone a very "Happy Easter", well weather turned out nice today a balmy 13c, so spent most of the day outside doing some spring jobs around the house & garden. Later this afternoon I was walking up the path to the front of the house when I saw a small movement in the dry stone wall, on closer inspection I found a beautiful moth blending in with the stonework. I recognized it as an "Angle Shades" which is a new garden species for me and totally unexpected. So it turned out to be a Really "Good Friday" in every sense. Below are two Photo's of this beautiful Moth.
Angle Shades
Angle Shades

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Answer to the title question 6 1/2 hours, or between 5 and 6 miles. that is how long it took to pin this elusive customer down on Sunday, and not a decent picture to show for it. The hunt started at Bartinney Downs St Just at 06.30am, up to the area where the bird was seen on Carn Brea, on a beautiful frosty morning. So we searched the area along with a good number of other birders until 11.30, in this time only a brief distant sighting was recorded by another couple. At this point it was decided to call it a day, and make the long trek back to the car park. About two minutes after arriving another birder Royston from Truro had his scope still set up and looked back up the hill, what followed are as I remember were his exact words. "There is a bloke in the field near the top scoping something in the far hedge, now he's waving to other people up there. he's only gone and found the bloody thing". About 30 seconds later mobile phones started ringing all around as the message was passed down.So it was pick up all the gear and make the trek back up for what turned out to be Five minutes of great but distant viewing of this rare visitor to our shore's. Next it flew off to the top we followed it but only had another 30 second view. So finished a frustrating but memorable morning. Did get a couple of other pics while we were searching and have posted them below.

First shot of a Chiffchaff this year

Linnet looked beautiful in the Spring Sunshine

Even the humble Dandilion put on it's best face for Spring

Finally may I say greetings To Nancy Who found the Blog. Thanks for the nice comment and hope you continue to enjoy it.

Monday, 6 April 2009


Hi Folks As you may have noticed my Blog page has changed and I do not seem to be able to restore it to its former setup. I have a message in my top bar telling me that Internet Explorer has blocked this site from downloading files onto my PC. So therefore I cannot change fonts or colours, But it still allows me to setup posts, but images cannot be enlarged when posts are loaded. Has anyone else experienced this, and whats the cure. If no one can help I will contact Google. Thanks in anticipation

Friday, 3 April 2009


Hope's were high when leaving work at 12.30pm today, with Mark another work colleague headed off to St Just near Lands End to see a Gt Spotted Cuckoo that had been there all week, at a place called Carn Brea. When we set out it was quite sunny and bright with hazy visibility, as we neared the Penzance area the conditions started to get very overcast and dull. Arriving at the car park at Crows-an-Wra we set off on the long trek to the top of Carn Brea, 35mins later we met my Birding friend Mark (yes another one) at the top. He told us that a lot of other birders had been around all day and the bird had not been located, but he had seen a Ring Tailed Hen Harrier, and Dartford Warbler. well we trekked around the area for an hour but nothing was seen and the cloud was closing in, so in the end we called it a day and headed for home. Disappointed yes as this would have been a Lifer for me, but there's always tomorrow. Anyway Mark had this bird on Thursday afternoon and managed to get a record shot, which can be seen on the Cornwall Birding Website. So not having posted any thing since Monday I have pulled a couple of shots from the old library.
First is a juvenile Spotted Flycatcher taken at Nanquidno Valley about 5 minutes from today's location. The second is a Snipe at Stithians Res showing it's beautiful under wing pattern.