Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A Christmas Appeal from Santa Claus

Santa Claus has asked if I would place a message on my blog as a matter of urgency.  He tells me that in all his many Christmas’s he has never known it be so warm in December and this has meant that he is now having a crisis concerning clothing for himself and his many little helpers during there round of deliveries.  Santa feels they will all over heat never get the work done if they dress as they have in the past and therefore they have an urgent need for tee shirts and wellies (wellies for the many flooded areas they have to visit).  Now this is where your help is required.  Do you have any unwanted tee shirts (good condition only) that you could send to Santa?  Now Santa requires an extra large tee shirt as he has eaten so many mince pies and drank so much over the years (he guessing some readers will have similar problems), although his little helpers are in fact little so would require tee shirts and wellies in small sizes.  Santa’s wellies would need to be size 14.5.  Santa sends his thanks in anticipation and asks that you simply send to Mr S Claus, Santa’s Grotto, Lapland or simply stick ‘em up your chimney.  Any cash donations would be gratefully received too.

I’m wondering if the number of climate change doubters has fallen in recent times or if there are still many with their heads in the sand or under water.  Interestingly I’m reading The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf with outlines the adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt.  It seems that Humboldt forecast man made climate change as early as 1800!  I’ve only ever been vaguely aware of Humboldt so I’m enjoying reading about a man who inspired not only Charles Darwin (who had a set of Humboldt’s books on his shelves on The Beagle), but someone as well known as Simon Bolivar.  Humboldt has more things named after him than any other person.  I will have the book finished before 2016 and be ready to start a new year of reading.

I decided to have a short break from blogging, but in any event circumstances meant I had little choice really.  My outings have been restricted to a trip to Druridge some weeks ago with Sam and Lee where I failed narrowly to catch sight of the Long Billed Dowitcher, but nevertheless enjoyed the skeins of Pink-footed Geese which put a fine show on during the time we were there.  Red-throated Divers into double figures showed well, with some of them very close to shore and we found at least three pairs of Stonechat.  So warm was it that we had a butterfly over the dunes, probably a Small Tortoiseshell.

A female Gadwall appeared on the lake on the 17th and was first seen by Sam.  This gave us both our first Gadwall on patch.  Today it has been joined by two males.  A significant sighting.  Incidentally, it is not known where the term Gadwall is derived from and its meaning is unknown.

The garden has brought me sightings of a Great Spotted Woodpecker, the first one seen by me there for some years, a fleeting visit from the Sparrowhawk yesterday and growing numbers of Greenfinch and thankfully a few House Sparrows have returned to feed but sadly no longer roost at the bottom of the garden and who can blame them with those damn prowling ‘moggies’ about!

Merry Christmas to all.


  1. Merry Christmas Brian! Hopefully you'll be back to more regular birding soon. As for the climate-change doubters, our current weather will hopefully make them have second-thoughts, lol.

  2. Good to hear from you Brian. Slightly concerned when you hadn't blogged. Been advocating climate change for years only to be told "it's just the weather". Things have changed so much in such a short you remember seasons ? snow from Nov to March ? hot summers ? yea things have changed.

  3. Cheers guys.
    We now appear to have a 'flood' season John, which I remember you know only too well!
    I hope to be back blogging on a more regular basis in 2016.

  4. I look forward to the blog in 2016!