25th Feb. Although Sam and I had planned a days birding over the weekend, waking to the heavy snow fall on Saturday made me realise that sometimes even birding can wait! In this particular case, until some better weather comes along. We took the chance to spend at least part of the weekend working on our presentation concerning the great Crested Grebes on Killingworth Lake that we had both watched for many hours last year. Happily the pair has returned. The presentation is to be given to given to the RSPB Local Group on 12th March and Washington WWT (probably in April) in the near future. Also to any other organisation that may request it. Sam has some top class images and even I have some decent ones, although it will be those of Sam’s we use primarily in the presentation. :-) It was time well spent last year. Could these Great Crested Grebes be the most productive in Northumberland in recent years? Certainly NTBC BINs would suggest that they are indeed an un-common breeding bird in the area. The pair on Killingworth lake has certainly done their bit. We’ll be keeping a close eye on them again this year especially observing progress whilst work is being done in the vicinity of the lake. My email has been sent to the council and to be fair I have to say I received a quick and supportive reply on this occasion.
Cold dark nights have meant I’ve caught up on some reading of late. Not always related to the natural world, but very often it is. A recent read has been Drawn From Paradise, The Discovery, Art and Natural History of the Birds of Paradise/ David Attenborough and Errol Fuller. Inclined towards art, it does include some very good prints and tales of characters involved in the discovery of these birds. Sadly the binding of this book doesn’t seem to be too good. I had to return the first copy I purchased as it fell apart on opening! To my mind if a book is worth printing and publishing it is worth doing well. Often these days this doesn’t happen. Inside the book I noted that the dust jacket is described and in fact it doesn’t have a dust jacket! Makes me wonder if some last minute savings were being made with this one. Sadly books are not made the way they used to be. I’ve been reminded however to read more thoroughly Bird Families of the World, The Birds of Paradise/Frith and Beehler. A much more academic work. I note that it sells now for considerably more than I paid for my copy some years ago.
First Great Crested Grebe presentation for RSPB LG/ Tuesday 12th March 2013 (7:00pm) at St James' Church Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle (£2)