A bit more birdy activity captured this week. To begin with, after days of trying to find a Chaffinch which had spent many hours singing I managed to capture this bit of video:
Yesterday I was laughing out loud as I watched a Wood Pigeon with a piece of bread which had fallen from the feeder where I put it for the corvids. In its energetic tries to pull small pieces to eat the bread was flying all over the place: A corvid would have stood on the bread to hold it still.
I think I have a friend for life. When I see the Pheasant in the garden I go out and throw a few peanuts on the grass for it. Yesterday I did that twice and each time it moved a short distance away from me. On a third occasion I took some stuff out to put in the recycle bin. This time the Pheasant came rushing over to me expecting more food. In this clip it is swallowing one of the peanuts. I have seen it do this in the past when a peanut is only just big enough for it to eat. (no sound on this clip)
All this week's video were shot using an Hitachi DVC Cam.
The Difficulty of Predicting Auroras.
Yesterday the strong CME (Coronal Mass Ejection / Solar flare) from the Sun did hit the Earth's magnetic field. It did not spark off the possible widespread auroras we had hoped for. Why? There is a good explanation on the NASA site.
Imagine the Earth's magnetic field as a bar magnet. The cloud of charged particles from the Sun also acts like a bar magnet. If both of these imaginary bar magnets are the same way round there is a small disturbance to the Earth's magnetic field resulting in some aurora activity near the Earth's poles. If they are the opposite way round to each other then there can be a large effect resulting in magnetic storms and auroras over a much greater area of the Earth. Although the strength of a solar flare can be measured as it leaves the Sun, the direction of the magnetic field (which way round the bar magnet will be) is not known until it arrives here so it is difficult to predict how widespread auroras will be.
There may be a chance tonight - strong magnetic variations have been detected by the Lancaster University magnetometer in Crooktree, Scotland since about 06.30 GMT Let's hope they continue until tonight.
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