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Archive for February, 2011

Scarborough and Whitby

Have had a short break in not so sunny Scarborough on the East coast of Yorkshire.

Stayed at the Clifton Hotel overlooking North Bay.  Very pleasant hotel, would recommend it.  We walked around the north bay and up to the castle on the headland, which gives you smashing views of both bays.  However, plastic carrier bags are a menace, being found all over the place, in trees, bushes, and no litter bins that I noticed!  So I’m afraid Scarborough Council gets a big 0 out of ten.

Our coasts and countryside has enough to beat the best holiday destinations all over the world, apart from the weather!  Just wish people realised this and had holidays in the UK and spent their money here, so that we could make more of our tourist spots.  Glad to say the hotel was pretty full when we stayed.

We took a trip up to Whitby which is one of my most favourite places.  It has such character and is so picturesque.

Click on the photos to see full size.  The statue that always seems to have a gull perched on its head is Captain James Cook.  a replica of the Golden Hind lies in the harbour.  There is still a small fishing fleet working out of Whitby and the fish and chips in the town are some of the best I have ever tasted.  The Magpie cafe is a big favourite with everybody, just on the harbour side.  Further on there are some chippys that are pretty good too.

The “archway” is actually made from the bones of a whales jaw!

There is a big Dracula goth cult here too as it is the place that Dracula first stepped onto English land.  Every year there is a goth week and the town is taken over by sinister looking people in black!  This is all done with good humour.  There is also the Whitby folk week every year too.

It has a beautiful little harbour, surrounded by small fishing cottages with their red roofs.

A great place to wander around just taking in the atmosphere, looking at quaint buildings, gazing down narrow alleyways or doing a bit of shopping.  Whitby is also famous for its “jet” stone, which is incorporated into much silver jewellery being sold.

The ruins of the abbey, founded AD656, on the cliff top  are well worth a visit as is the nearby church.

You really just have to visit to appreciate.

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Busy at the birdfeeders

Well we had a return of the snow yesterday, but has gone again today.  However, the birds have gone into feeding overdrive.  Blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, chaffinch, bullfinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, house sparrow, robin, blackbirds, starlings, dunnock, wood pigeon, collared dove and there’s been a greater spotted woodpecker around that is so close, but I have not been able to locate it.

I’m going way to Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast tomorrow for a few days, so hopefully will get some new sightings and photos.  We are going to visit the newest RSPB reserve – Saltholme – near Middlesborough on the Tees.

So until Thursday………………………………………….Au Revoir


Weather

This is a typically British post!  Other nationalities know that us Brits like to talk about the weather.  To be honest, it’s a bit of a joke isn’t it?  We know ourselves we do it – hardly a day goes by when I don’t hear someone (myself included) talk about the weather!  It’s really not surprising though is it?   We live on a small island and have one heck of a lot of influences on our weather – it is so unpredictable, that the weather forecasters rarely get it right!  (For Leeds anyway).  The BBC weather on the internet site, is updated regularly throughout the day.  Temperatures can go up or down within a mile!

This week we’ve had strong winds, gales, freezing temperatures, temperatures of 12 degrees, sunshine, blue sky and fog, all within days of each other.  If you’re British, you just have to say “to hell with the weather” and just get on with it.  It is hard to plan what you are going to do though – we often say , “let’s see what the weathers like.”

Snowdrops! First sign that spring might have sprung

There are signs that spring might just be around the corner though.  The snowdrops are blooming and the crocus and daffodils are peeping through.  Plenty of birds singing at the park this morning in the rain.  Watched a pair of common crows flying, chasing, some lovely agile acrobatics with each other.


DOMINANCE IN HOUSE SPARROWS

Can you tell which of the House sparrows is more dominant????

And which is not a sparrow??

Can you name the one that is not a sparrow??

Do you know what this bird used to be called??

A

B Not quite in focus

C

D

 

F

E


RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

This weekend just gone, was the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.  This is where the public are asked to watch their garden for an hour and record which birds visit.  A form is filled in online or you can send a form in.  All information is collated and there is a report later in the year, which gives a nationwide view of garden bird distribution.

Its a great thing to do because it gets loads of people interested.  However, I’m not too sure of the scientific credibility of it?  Anybody???

My count was done on Sunday and I didn’t get as many birds as I have done on other days.

Blue tit 2

Great tit 2

Bullfinch 2

House Sparrows 10

Dunnock 1

Blackbird 2

Brambling 1

Goldfinch 1

Robin 1

Greenfinch 2

Collared Dove

Long tailed tit 3

Coal tit 1

Actually, I suppose I did get most of the species I usually get, but not as many.  I didn’t get any Starlings which is unusual or any Wood Pigeon, or Magpies or Chaffinch.

Anybody else????