Archive for April 23, 2013

NGC 4013

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Astronomy
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NGC 4013 is an edge-on barred spiral galaxy about 55 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. It is sometimes also referred to as the cigar galaxy.

Todays photograph from Harvard NASA telescope

Bird pictures: Mandarin Duck

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

These Mandarin Duck were photographed at Arundel on my recent Sussex trip



As its name suggests the Mandarin originated in Western Russia, China and Japan. It was imported to the UK for inclusion in bird collections and for colourful additions to country house lakes. Many escaped and feral breeding populations now exist in different parts of the country, particularly in the south. Ironically this wide-spread exportation coupled with hunting and habitat destruction caused the bird to become endangered in its home lands. Estimates put it that >1000 pairs now exist in China and Russia and about 5000 pairs in Japan. The estimated UK population is now 7000 birds

I checked in on the peregrines this morning and she is still sitting on the 4 eggs.

For webcam see

Returned from Sussex on Saturday after 5 good days birdwatching. Good weather is continuing so it is hopeful that we will continue to catch up on the late spring.
On Saturday late afternoon the first butterfly of the year in the garden, a small white, which spent a few minutes exploring the plants and then disappeared (It has not been seen since).
Small White Butterfly
Small White butterfly
photo by Lauren Tucker

    Bird list

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

    Butterfly list

Small White (Artogeia rapae)