Archive for April 17, 2013

Virgo A

Posted: April 17, 2013 in Astronomy
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Virgo A or Spica is a blue giant and the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, and the 15th brightest star in the nighttime sky. It is 260 light years distant from Earth.

Todays photograph from Harvard NASA telescope

First stop this morning was Pagham village and then the rookery at Runcton. 20 Rooks here feeding in fields by rookery. Next stop was Ivy lake on edge of Chichester which can be a good spot for migrating terns but none present here this morning. Then onto Fishbourne which is at the northern point of Chichester harbour. An inspection of the scrubland only turns up common species but manage to add Song Thrush to trip list.
Spent the afternoon at Church Norton near the entrance to Pagham harbour. This is a good spot for migrating birds as it is the first woodland birds reach on arriving at the coast. The woodland sightings include Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff and Green Woodpecker. The harbour Mudflats had a large selection of wading birds and 3 Sandwich Terns were also present.

Day species count: 40

Trip species count: 69



Originally from Africa and southern Asia and kept as caged birds, some Rose-ringed Parakeets (aka Ring-necked Parakeets) escaped and by the 1970s started breeding in south-eastern England. One unlikely story says that a small number escaped from Isleworth Studios in 1951 during the making of ‘The African Queen’, another that Jimi Hendrix released them to ‘bring some psychedelic colour to London’s skyline – The total UK population is estimated at 30,000 birds. The largest roost is at Esher, Surrey which holds up to 7000 birds. My local roost at Hither Green is estimated at 3000 birds.