Archive for April 12, 2013

4073 Caerphilly Castle

Posted: April 12, 2013 in Trains

Caerphilly Castle was built in 1923. After only a brief period in service the locomotive was exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley. Its travels saw it based at Old Oak Common in London, Bristol and Cardiff. It was withdrawn in May 1960 and taken into the National Collection. The locomotive was refurbished and went on display at the Science Museum in Kensington, London. After a number of years it was removed from the Museum as part of the refurbishment of its displays Caerphilly Castle spent a brief time on display in the National Railway Museum in York before transferring to its current home at STEAM in Swindon.




The video below from Youtube by gjbarnardtube includes a sequence of the walkway which goes underneath the engine and gives a unique oppprtunity to see the parts of a steam locomotive rarely seen by anyone other than those who worked on them

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Arrived at Regents Park at lunchtime and decided that the first I would check out the Queen Mary’s garden area as a couple of spring migrants had been reported from here the previous day. My first stop was the garden of St John’s Lodge which has plenty of active blackbirds but little else and I could find. As I was surveying the trees, a Peregrine Falcon flew by heading east out of the park. I continued my walk through the gardens but was unable to locate any migrants. I crossed over Longbridge and walked down the North side of the boating lake. Apart from the common wildfowl, there was a pair of Common Shelduck and a female Ruddy Duck. Reaching the west end of the boating lake I stopped to see if the Water Rail was still present in the reed bed and was rewarded with some excellent views.



I understand that they don’t tend to stay around here over the summer when the area is much busier and so I guess that they will be off to a breeding site soon. At this end of the lake the bird noise was dominated by a very vocal Green Woodpecker. As I turned to walk back along the south side of the lake a Sparrowhawk flew over heading west. From the South bank the usual array of wildfowl could be seen including 3 species of geese; a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Gadwall. A number of Grey Herons could be seen on their nests on the island heronry.

My next stop was Hyde Park, where starting from the Italian garden I proceeded walk south and east along the shore of the Longwater / Serpentine. The enclosure around Peter Pan statue was very profitable for woodland species with sightings of Nuthatch, 3 species of Tit and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker’s. Again the lounge vocalisations of green woodpecker could be heard. I checked out the trees where the Little Owl had been seen the day before but could not find him. As I searched a Peregrine flew over going east. Continuing to walk south along the waterside, a patch of trees just before the Serpentine Bridge yielded both Willow Warbler and Common Chiffchaff together. It really seems that these migrants have flooded in this week as they are now being reported from all over London. Continuing along the water’s edge there was little activity in the main body of the Serpentine probably due to the boating activity. By the lido however, I did locate a pair of Mandarin dark close into the bank. At the eastern end there was the usual flock of mute swans together with some dark and these included a pair of Gadwall. Also present was a pair of Great Crested Grebes.

Mandarin Duck (m+f)

Mandarin Duck (m+f)

Mandarin Duck (m)

Mandarin Duck (m)

In the evening I attended Central London RSPB meeting to hear a talk by Brian Nobbs on the different ways that birds feed and how this helps to maintain a diversity of different birds within the same environment.

Totalling up the bird lists from the two parks came to a really good 45 species – undoubtedly my best day total for central London. Also good to finally start seeing the summer migrants arrive.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Ruddy Duck [sp] (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Earlier this week, I went to see the Ansel Adams exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Ansel Adams was born in 1902 and was a pioneer American photographer and environmentalist famous for his black-and-white landscape photographs. He particularly liked to photograph the coast and wilderness scenes and took a lot of photos in the American national parks. He was also one of the pioneers of deep-focus photography by which all areas of the photograph were in sharp focus. Adams died in April 1984 aged 82.

Modena - Ansel Adams, "La natura è il mio regno", mostra all'ex Ospedale di Sant'Agostino fino al 29 gennaio 2012
Modena by A.Adams photographed by Il Fatto Quotidiano (

Modena - Ansel Adams, "La natura è il mio regno", mostra all'ex Ospedale di Sant'Agostino fino al 29 gennaio 2012
Modena by A.Adams photographed by Il Fatto Quotidiano (

The Tetons, Snake River by Ansel Adams - 1936
Snake River by A.Adams photographed by Marco Crupi (

A very interesting exhibition. Some of his pictures have an ‘oil painting’ effect and you have to look twice to check that they are actually photographs. The pictures, particularly those of the California coast reminded me of my visits there.