Weekly Chat, 26 February, 2012

Loch Garten ospreys

Loch Garten ospreys
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Loch Garten ospreys

Weekly Chat, 26 February, 2012


    Time flies and so do ospreys! This week will usher in the month of March. The ospreys are starting to feel that little spark in their hearts that says, "It's time to go home!"

    Don't forget to look back to last week's chat thread or you will miss some good comments, including a post from Emma Peel! Welcome back, Emma!

    News for This Week

    2012 is a Leap Year, and Wednesday, 29 February, is Leap Day. I intend to honor this day by re-evaluating my own life, leaving behind some negative, unproductive old habits and leaping forward with both feet into a brighter future.

    "Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps."
    -- David Lloyd George


    Also: Watch for aurora activity -- Northern Lights -- starting today! On 24 February, an eruption on the sun created a "canyon of fire" that stretched 400,000 km from end to end (video here, scroll down on the page)! The energy cloud is expected to hit the Earth's atmosphere on 26 February at 1:30 p.m. U.K. time (13:30 UT/GMT). The Northern Lights will be visible much further south than normal and may be a good show.

    Also: I had to include this link because I just love birds' nests. Check out this incredible U.S. House Finch nest, which includes a fake flower, sewing scraps, a twisty tie, cellaphane, plastic, paper, and all manner of household items. The photographer has created a book of birds' nests and eggs. You can see more of her gorgeous and interesting bird creations HERE. Just click on a thumbnail photo to start the slideshow. I loved these!!! (EDIT: The nests and eggs were part of collections in science and zoology museums; no current wild birds were disturbed.)

    Also: Especially for Annette and AQ: Australian researchers have revealed that they've filmed a pod of rare Shepherd's beaked whales for the first time in history. These whales are so rare that no population estimates even exist. They've only been seen twice and never filmed at all!

    Everyone have a great week! Roll on spring!

  • Diane  You remind me that thread starting is soon to be a daily chore!  It seemed such a long way away not too long ago.

  • Very true Tiger! Amazing how the time flies!

  • Thanks Diane for starting us off.  Awaiting your your package of coolness!

    Overcast sky, expecting only 37C but high humidity. I can sort of cope with the high temps when the humidity is low as it usually is. Today is not nice. We have one air-con in family room and OH puts a fan in doorway to blow cool air into the room where I usually perch to read or TV. However my back room where computer is, is hot & stuffy. Only a few more weeks until autumn & cooler, yay.

    Heather - My dentist is a great believer in floss. It annoys my OH that he takes extra care with his teeth & gums but gets "told off" for neglect; while I, who doesn't bother, gets praised for good care. Something to do with our differing metabolism.

    Dibnlib - I'll be thinking of you visiting your mother. I do wonder whether deep down in some tiny part of their muddled brain, if they do register something. It encouraged me to persevere.

    bjane - Oh, you must frame that dental reminder - - - on his wall. LOL

    Last night OH started chatting about what he could remember of his g-parents, growing up, etc. 1½ hours later and me scribbling on scraps of paper, his memory ran down. I shall type the waffle up and see if it provokes any more.  Our chn & g-chn will appreciate the stories.

  • Temp has climbed to 32C & now (11 am) 28C with 47% humidity. This hot weather has the advantage that bed-making is easy. Too hot even for a sheet last night when min was 27.9C.

  • AQ: I just added some news to my post above. I gave a link for you and Annette. Australian researchers did a remarkable job in spotting those very rare whales. Stay cool and don't try to do too much in that wretched heat!

    Tiger and Chloe: Yup, time flies and so do ospreys!

  • The comments about bird's nests reminded me of the Woods Hole Osprey nest several years back. It's been a few years since there has been any nesting there but the old pair that did nest there were well known for their bright colored objects they brought to the nest including a bright blue teddy bear that stayed through a whole season while the chicks were raised.

  • Diane - Thanks for the link to the rare Shepherd's beaked whales. I dare say that report will surface in our media in a few days <sigh>

    In the Port River at Port Adelaide there lives a group of dolphins. The art of tail-walking or tail-dancing was handed down from the female Billie who learnt the behaviour during "a period of incarceration" in 1988 at Marineland (long defunct, formerly at West Beach). Tail-walking is when the dolphin rises from the water and does a kind of dance propelled by its powerful tail. Ten years ago her companion, Wave, joined in. More than a year after Billie's death, 5 dolphins were tail-walking many times a day. Now many adult females & a few young males are giving it a go.
    At one stage Wave was dancing 50-60 times a day, apparently just for fun. Now she is a grieving mother,  her week-old calf Misty having died last week. Wave hadn't tail-walked for some time presumably because she was too pregnant. Then just after her little calf died, she was tail-walking around the dead body.
    See Port River Dolphins - the pic labelled 2010-12-06-0011 is a good example.

  • AQ: That's a remarkable story. Thanks for sharing it. It's fascinating that the other dolphins learned the behavior from Billie but even more amazing that they all continue to do it, even though Billie is long passed. I've read lots of accounts lately of dolphins doing things just for fun. They must have a big brain capacity for enjoyment. I'd love to know just how intelligent they really are. I think the truth would surprise us. I looked through those pics. Very interesting. Wish I could visit Australia.

    bjane: I think I've seen a photo of that teddy bear somewhere. So, so cute. It's really amazing the stuff that ends up in birds' nests. I used to have really long hair -- down to my waist. Once I found a bunch of my shed hair in a little nest, probably from when I cleaned out my hair brush.

  • Evening all: Good grief, the first page of the new thread already filled and pages from last week to catch up on, so here goes - apologies for this ultra-long bit of blather and for not being able to acknowledge everyone's posts and lovely pix.

    Diane: Thanks for starting us off again. Gosh, your posts are so filled with interesting information. Never heard of beaked whales but was jealous when I read that the OZ folks were tracking Blue Whales; what a thrill that must be!  I was sweeping the patio the other day and accumulated a handful of fluff near the dryer vent. I put it on the BBQ for any bird looking for some ultra-soft home furnishings.  My, what big ears your Black-Tailed Rabbit has (wonder if they ever get in the way; do they fold down; can they tie them in a bow......)

    Alan: Lovely pix from the Italian cams and the Nottingham shot is great too; peregrines are very handsome birds

    Tiger: Thanks for the ocean link - that's fascinating; I've bookmarked it. (Not sure I felt that comfortable seeing those polystyrene heads.)  Oh, and merci pour les nouvelles sur la page de traduction améliorée nouvelle!  It's a handy link to have given some of the comments about those fabulous Wow photos. The one of the Golden Eagle and the fox is spectacular (wonder who won that encounter!).

    ChloeB: Hey there; good to see you again.

    Bjane: That's hysterical about the reminder from your dentist!  No wonder the USPS is losing money!  :-)  Hope your OH's therapy schedule lets up so you don't get exhausted. I have a lot of family older photos that need to be scanned, but not 57 years worth! Eeek.

    Heather: Must confess both OH and I have shown up early for appointments (better than late I guess).  Thanks again for clarifying "not fish in porridge" dish.  Sorry OH has what sounds like a not-fun upcoming dentist visit. I have a gap where a molar used to be; our dentist has given up asking if I want to replace it; I told him the money would be better spent on my grandkids' mouths at this stage.

    Brenda: I'm trying to figure out where to add even more roses - I've just realized I could put another climber in the front garden against a neighbor's fence.  Easy Does It will go closest to the patio doors; it's a beautiful peach/coral/apricot blend with ruffled petals, but the company - Jackson & Perkins that produces it - declared bankrupty last year.  :-(  Hope quiz night was fun.

    Lynette: Ha! A box of fish cakes beats a gold watch, right?  :-)

    AQ: Our gas (petrol) prices are increasing in leaps and bounds. Poor oil companies aren't making enough money.....   Friday smiles were good! Do hope things cool down a bit - surely Fall must be on its way - we've got blossoms on our trees here. And yes, humidity makes the heat far less easy to tolerate. Ugh.

    NiteOwl: The video of your trip north is really lovely. The area looks quite deserted, even a bit lonely. Great to know your OH used the Windows 7 program - I have that; will have to try it one of these days, months.....  No, didn't go shopping with daughter; we had lunch; popped into her docs to make an appointment, then ended up sorting out her computer (again!)

    Margo: Sounds like you had a nice evening out.

    dibnlib: What kind of stroke do you use when swimming, or do you vary them? Sorry the visits to your Mom have become so difficult, but it's good you continue to visit. I know what you mean about wanting to clean and tidy up - my daughter is something of a pack rat and I have to sit on my hands when I visit so I don't started organizing things and get barked at! :-)

    OG: Great that you're feeling better and managed to get out.

    Emma! How wonderful to see you, but what a pain having to go off for jury duty when you just got things under control.

    Tomorrow is the Academy Awards and must confess I'll be glued to the telly, not that I've seen any of the films nominated!  Still, all the brouhaha is fun. I've got a bunch of silver bits and pieces I'm going to polish while I'm watching the show.

    Have a good, safe, and happy Sunday all, and again, sorry I missed responding to everyone.

  • bjane   Yes  Woods Hole was one of the early osprey webcams. For many years it was not quite streaming but still had a very high refresh rate. It was also on 24/7/365   One could tune in on Christmas Day if one wished.

    It all seemed to come to a shuddering halt in 2010 when we saw some very strange ospreys behaviour. The male did his incubation stints but the female just sat and watched the eggs. That went on all summer and not surprisingly there were no chicks at Woods Hole in 2010. The summary is recounted here by Jazzel who is someone we know a bit.

    Woods hole did have objects in the nest but the blue teddy was more Milford Connectecut 2006. You will find pictures of the blue teddy in this thread.

  • Annette   Merci beaucoup. J'espère que vous le trouverez très utile lors de la lecture tous les sites français balbuzard pêcheur. Rappelez-vous, il est probablement contre les termes et conditions pour écrire dans des langues étrangères!

  • Hi and thanks Annette, yes still very much around.

  • Afternoon all,

    Emma Peel : Great to see you on here again. Glad that your job is settling down and you will have more time for the forums. I have never been called for jury duty so I am amazed that you have a 3rd call.

    Everyone else thanks for the chat etc.

    Another springlike day with temp at 12.4c earlier. This morning we went to Barnwell CP for the first time this year to see if there were any unusual birds around. There had been Pochards and Tufted Duck and a pair of Bullfinches but we did not see any of those. The swans that had 8 cygnets were still around but with only 5 cygnets with them now. The other pair of swans that had 2 cygnets appeared to have just one around and it seemed to have a damaged wing. Quite a lot of visitors to the park today. It seemed as if everyone has emerged from a dark cave for the first time. I did get one pic of a robin in full song:

  • Morning all:

    Tiger: Vraiment? Against terms and conditions to post in a foreign language? Hmmm (not sure what the French for that is). :-)

    Alan: That's a great pic of the Robin - so clear.

    Sun is peeking out now but a 30% chance of rain forecast for tonight and tomorrow. I wish.... Off for a walk.