For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for

Sunday 27 November 2011

Female Hornet unearthed from a compost heap today.

This little beauty on my gloved hand was revealed from a compost heap in Surrey.  Woken up, it tried to fly off but seemed too confused to succeed.

I left it to hibernate in the leaf litter in a border.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Migrating and winter visiting birds on the Adur Estuary, Old Shoreham

The Adur estuary was full of over wintering birds today.
There are more than 3,000,000 Black-headed Gulls in Britain in winter -- a more than ten fold increase on the summer population.  Above is one in winter plumage, without its black head.

The gull in the foreground in much smaller.  If this is a Little Gull, it will probably have come from Siberia and may not stay long.  It may be refuelling before wintering in Egypt and the Nile delta.

Is the smaller one a Little Gull?

It's lovely to see Lapwings on the water's edge on the nearest shoreline.  On the mud bank are Swans, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and what look like Common Gulls, since they are smaller than the Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  Click on any picture to expand it.

In the docks by the sea, Cormorants enjoyed a lamp post with a view.

With thousands on winter visiting birds in Sussex, now is the time to get to the coast to see them.
See also the geese are around Chichester harbour.  Click here for that blog entry from October.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Tony's Remembrance day walk

Tony has lead this annual walk, come rain or shine for many years, in memory of his father who as an RAF fighter pilot was killed in Burma aged 25 years in WWII.

Mid Sussex Ramblers (MSR) greatly appreciate Tony's walks and publicity activities for MSRs.

UPDATE 4th Nov. 2013.  Tony will be leading this walk again in 2013.  Please see  and click on the "WALKS programme" button for information

Remembrance day walk; Ashdown forest

On the 31st July 1941 a Wellington bomber crashed in the forest killing the six crew.  This walk from Mid Sussex Ramblers visits the memorial at the crash site where there is a memorial gathering on this day each year.

This year the weather was perfect.
The forest was looking great in the Autumn sunshine.

We passed Nutley Post Mill.

There were fine views towards Old Lodge...

... a Lodge with a view!
Hundreds of people converged on the "Airman's grave" from all directions; on foot and on horseback.

This is just a sector of the crowd.

The inscription reads "To the glorious memory of Sgt/P. V.R. Sutton, aged 24 years, 142 Bom. Sqdn RAF also his five comrades who lost their lives through enemy action 31-7-41.  Mother"

After a two minutes silence at 11.00hr, a bugler, words of remembrance and wreath laying a biplane circled the crowd scattering poppy leaves -- a very moving experience.

UPDATE 4th Nov. 2013.  Tony will be leading this walk again in 2013.  Please see  and click on the "WALKS programme" button for information

Monday 7 November 2011

Driving a ferry on the Bosphorus

There has been a lull in entries recently as I have been driving a ferry along the Bosphorus towards Istanbul.
A fishing boat.

Something bigger to avoid.

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