Tuesday, 7 July 2009

A Different Noisy Bird

While sampling my first boost of caffeine this morning the peace was broken by a different group of birds. This time it was not the feathered variety but man made metal ones. All day passenger jets cross this area but they are way up in the sky and can rarely be heard. Today it was the turn of the military who fly a lot lower.


At first I thought it might be a couple playing chase as they do from time to time as they practice their manoeuvres. This time several were circling and then heading towards the coast a few miles north of me. Then it dawned, especially after hearing a few hollow explosions, they were using the coastal bombing range. I often hear the explosions of the practice bombs but it is rare for the craft to stack over this part of the countryside as they wait their turn.

After some ten minutes they had moved on and it was so peaceful. Even the Starlings were silenced though they too were stacking up, waiting their turn for breakfast.

Starlings Waiting for Breakfast

From my kitchen window I often observe the cloud formations I can see between the trees at the end of the garden. Where I live the 'weather' is often split as the height of the Lincolnshire Wolds divides the winds and clouds in different directions. It can often rain heavily north and south of me and we will be virtually in the clear.

Ever Changing Cloud Formations

Last week I spotted the first damselfly to spend some time flitting round the pond. Unusually this one did not land once while I was watching, and trying to get a shot of it. This is the only near decent photo I managed. There should be more opportunities later as the dragons and damsels usually visit me during July and August.

Damsel Fly

Henry continues to visit on the early shift but I only see Honey occasionally. The other night Henry (the hedgehog) was drinking when Bobby went out. Bobby had to have a close look - too close as his nose met the spines - but Henry just carried on drinking. After we had been round the front garden Bobby went back to the water bowl but Henry was not there so Detective Bob went investigating.

Bobby Searching for the Hedgehog

It didn't take long to follow the scent. Henry had taken cover.

I keep forgetting to report back on the ringed Starling. I did get a message back after I had sent what details I could make out. Unfortunately, as I thought, there was not enough of the number showing to be able to trace that particular bird.

If you find a ringed bird in Europe, can read all, or most, of the information on the ring and want to report it then go to the following page on the BTO site and choose which type of ring it is. Then you will be shown a form to fill in with as much information as you can. If you are lucky you will get a report back telling where and when the bird was ringed. Reporting will help the various societies who ring birds develop their knowledge about each species. How long they live. How far they travel, etc..

British Trust for Ornithology Euring Web Recoveries.


  1. Sounds as good or bad, depending if you like those large noisy flying birds, as Biggin Hill on Air Fair day:-)Loved your cloud pics and those of Bobby.

  2. Lovely cloud formations John, especially the orange glow one.
    Good capture of the Damselfly; still awaiting my first visitors to my pond.

  3. Coastal Bombing Range?! That's a bit scary, John. The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter flies over us quite often, which makes a bit of a racket.
    Nice that you've got some more peaceful fliers turning up at the pond - damselflies navigate so precisely, don't they, so must have pretty good radar.

  4. Thank you Helen. Fortunately I don't get many low level flights these days. Military jets can make quite a racket, especially when they are climbing fast and the exhaust is pointing at me, even from several thousand feet up.
    It is many years since I visited Biggin Hill. At least sixty but I don't remember it. I think it was at Biggin Hill where my father took a photo of a V2 rocket when one was put on exhibition after the war.

  5. Thanks Keith. Clouds are always changing, often rapidly, which is what I find fascinating.
    I am ever hopeful for some nice crisp photos of the damsels in flight.

  6. Hi Rob.

    Only scary if they miss by a mile or two (not completely unkown I'm told). The range is at Donna Nook these days - where many seals come to breed but the RAF are good about taking them into account.

    Visiting the sand dunes in that area always warrants a close look at the flagpole. If the red flag is fluttering in the breeze get out the ear defenders while the RAF practice fast, low level bombing whilst turning a tight circle. The beach is very shallow and the tide goes out a long way so there is plenty of beach space to aim at as well as the flags on the marked off areas they are aiming at. The practice bombs make a lot of noise but don't do a lot of damage.

  7. You've been busy, a bustling post. Hope the jets are not regular visitors or your Starlings will be imitating them.

  8. I don't like the sound of aircraft at all, I've always had an aversion to it, we sometimes have the same type as you flying low over the rooftops, they make such a thunderous noise, I have to say I hate them!!! I know what I much prefer to see flying across the sky :)
    Oh my goodness, do you run for cover when you see all those Starlings lining up?
    I love the cloud photos, so atmospheric and I'm glad DI Bobby is still doing his job well. I think I may have just promoted him ;)

  9. Hi Adrian. Just catching up on some unused photos as the weather has been so wet here for the past two days.

  10. Hi Jan. When the Lightnings were based at Binbrook, about 30 miles away, we used to get a lot of very low level high speed flying. They were so noisy but you didn't hear them until they were vanishing over the horizon.

    Fortunately the Starlings are easily scared off but they just wait and bide their time. The group in the photo was only part of the gang waiting for me to fill the feeders.

    Cloud formations are fascinating. There was one I couldn't photo as it was too dark. It looked just like the ripples left in wet sand when the tide goes out.

    Bobby says thanks for the promotion. Does that mean he can have extra rations? :)

  11. Not ideal... but great to see something silence the Starlings even if it is just for a short while!! We get jets en route to Leuchars passing over us plus quite a variety of other airborne machines. My fav is always the hot air balloon... it doesn't come near often but it looks great floating about the evening sky.

    Hope your hogs are still about... we aren't seeing many visits just now. My timing for watching isn't matching their timing for passing through :-(

  12. Hi Shirl - nearly forgot this one. I love to see hot air balloons. They look so majestic. Sometimes I think about taking a trip in one but I don't know how I would feel that far off the ground. I would love to photo the views though.

    Every now and then the hogs make the early shift. Other times all I see is the little 'messages' they leave behind. They seem to vary coming here between just after 10 and around 1 a.m..


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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