Monday, 21 July 2014

Ashden woodland camping trip 2014

This weekend I had friends from work come to camp in the woods, as happened about a year ago too. Fortunately the freak storm from the previous night had passed away, and we had mostly good weather!

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As you can see, I'd put a tarpaulin up just in case of rain, and it did get used briefly in the evening! I had a second one set up on our old shelter frame as well:
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There was the obligatory walk around the woods, which the sun came out for:
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During the walk we saw some windblow from the previous night's storm:
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Back at the camp there a couple had a go at chainsawing some logs, then there was the most impressive food preparation I've seen in the wood in a long time, perhaps ever!
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We had a bit of a tent village going on, which was good as there were ten of us sleeping over!
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The kids played on the rope swing until it went dark, then after they went to bed the rest of us went on the swing too - it's much more fun in the pitch black, and after a glass of wine! :-)

We finished up the next day with some target practice with the air rifle and a good breakfast cooked on the fire:
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Looking forward to next time!

Mike

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Freak storm in Rye, and a first responder call!

On Friday a freak storm hit Rye, and while we were outside videoing it with my GoPro we got a first responder call to go and help people injured by the storm! Lots of wind and lightning, and the start of our drive to the incident, are in the video:



There's some photos of the damage on Rye News, and Knoops has a good photo of the storm before it hit.

First time we've done a first responder call in the middle of a large thunderstorm!

Mike

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

'Walkalong' chestnut paling fencing machine

One from the archives here... I found I recorded this video at the Bentley Wood Fair in 2009 and never uploaded it! So here you go, a demo of a very clever machine for making chestnut paling fencing as you walk along the route the fencing needs to take. The demo is by Aly and Toby of Say It With Wood.


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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Avocets, Terns and Gulls at Rye Harbour

Once again the Avocets are the star of the show this week - I captured this video of two pairs of them fighting! Ironically their offspring seem to all be getting along fine, but I'm sure they'll learn from their parents soon enough!



Although the chicks do spend time on their own now, they're never far from their parents, and follow them closely some of the time:
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I was fortunate to get a few pictures of one of the adults flying:
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They weren't the only birds flying though, I also got this Little Egret (which doesn't look so little when it's in flight!):
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and also some Sandwich Terns:
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This Cormorant had other ideas, preferring to head downwards... Watch the video to see how long it dives underwater for! I now understand why they spend time sat around with their wings spread out to dry!


The Common Terns now have their chicks hatched:
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I think the Sandwich Terns do too, but the shrubs on their island have grown up so much I can't see them any more! The Black Headed Gull offspring are now heading into the juvenile stage:
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But this doesn't stop them annoying their parents by begging for food!
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Some of them have hatched much later though, and are still tiny:
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You can see the difference between them and their peers that are just a few weeks older here:
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The adults meanwhile are continuing to model ideal gull behaviour for their offspring...
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Finally, I got my first picture of a Linnet at Rye Harbour, though it's not as sharp as I would like...
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and I also saw a Sparrow, with its beak stuffed full of food! :-)
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Anyway that's all for now. I've been busy up at the woods too, fixing tracks now they've dried out, and processing seasoned wood into logs ready for winter. Doesn't make for exciting photos though!

Mike

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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Avocets and their chicks at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

I reckon the Avocets and their chicks are the most interesting birds to watch at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve at the moment. Check them out in the this video, the chicks are very cute!



The adult Avocets are quite striking in appearance:
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When they're feeding they walk through a shallow pool trawling the bottom for things to eat:
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Sometimes it looks like they're really digging deep!
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I was watching two adults with two chicks. Some of the time they stayed close together:
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But they were also happy to be separated by quite a distance, though I assume the parents were keeping a close eye out for danger.
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The chicks really do look like they are carefully watching and copying the parents!
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I did of course go and see how the Black Headed Gull chicks were doing. They're growing up a bit, but unlike the Avocets, they prefer to sit and wait for the parents to bring food to them.
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They have at least figured out that they can go and get a drink by themselves!
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I wasn't sure about this pair of gulls, maybe they weren't breeding this year, or weren't successful?
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They do look to be good friends though!
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I saw a Redshank again, and this time it landed right in front of the bird hide, so I got some better pictures:
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A Tufted Duck was around again too:
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And an Oyster Catcher too:

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I was also pleased to get a photo of a Sandwich Tern in flight:
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This isn't such a good photo, but I wanted to include it because the Tern appears to not really be looking where it is going!
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Finally, a pleasant sunset as I walked back to the car...
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Mike

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