Archive for April 11, 2013

Went to see the ‘Sky tonight’ show at the planetarium attached to the Royal Observatory Greenwich ( ). This is the regular but ever changing show which describes what you can see in the Sky at that time. This presentation concentrated on galaxies and nebula in particular the Orion nebula and the Andromeda galaxy

Andromeda galaxy

Andromeda galaxy

Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula

The show also looked at (with the aid of some CGI from NASA) what will happen in 4 billion years or so when the Andromeda galaxy collides with the milky way and asked the question whether the Earth could survive this cataclysmic event. The answer of course is we don’t know as it depends on how close the collision point is to earth, whether we actually collide with something and whether anything happens in ‘near’ space such as new star formation

Bird pictures: Siskin

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Birds, Natural History
Tags: ,


The bird on the left in the lower picture is a female Common Chaffinch

At lunchtime found myself near Sutcliffe Park LNR so decided to drop in for a while to see if there were any migrants.


The council seem to have done a lot of scrub clearance since I was last here and the marsh is much more open to view. Had my first sighting here of Common Snipe as one flew away across the marsh. There have been up to 5 reported here at anyone time over the last few months, but until now I’ve never managed to see one. As with other sites this week the resident populations of Blue Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds and Robins are very active. The number of waterfowl on the pond has decreased since my last visit, as have the number of Black-headed Gulls. Other notable sightings were Wren and Grey Heron.

On the way up Eltham Hill, saw 2 House Sparrows in a garden tree.

In the evening went to RSPB meeting in Bromley to hear talk about Iceland’s Birds. On the way saw 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on roof in Sundridge Park area. John Wyatt talk’s was beautifully illustrated with scenes of the rugged Icelandic countryside and its iconic birds including the Harlequin Duck and the white gulls – Iceland and Glaucous.

Iceland Haukadalur
Photo by Niklas Sjöblom (

Harlequin Duck
Harlequin Duck by Rick Leche (

Iceland Gull, Central Park Lake
Iceland Gull by Ed Gaillard (

Day list -24 species

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)