Archive for June 18, 2013

Sometimes birdwatching is being in the right place at the right time. On the way to Canterbury in Kent for a meeting I saw 2 turtle doves (My first of the year) flying alongside the A2 at Broughton St.
Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) UK
Photo by Gary Huston (

At Lunchtime I took the opportunity to get out and went for a walk alongside the River Stour where it flows though the centre of the city. Had seen Grey Wagtail here last time Sue and I stayed in Canterbury and was rewarded with some very good views of a female hawking for insects over the river.





This was another first for the year. So a trip for a meeting ended up giving me two year ticks.

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)

North Star

Posted: June 18, 2013 in Trains
Tags: ,

A replica of the original locomotive in the Star Class. It does contain some of the parts of the original engine of the name.



North Star was built by Robert Stephenson and delivered to the GWR n 1837. On the 31st May 1837 it worked the inaugural train carrying the company’s directors. It continued in service until 1871 but was kept on static display at Swindon until 1903 when the decision was decided to scrap it. A total of 12 Star class locomotives were built.

This months podcast blog is one of my favourite history podcasts. Most history podcasts tends to follow a logical sequence i.e. the history of England from Anglo-Saxon times to the 20th century. Dan Carlin does it differently. His approach is to take a single subject, research it in great depth, and then produce up to four or five podcasts covering the whole story. His story-lines have covered subjects from the fall of the Roman Republic and the Punic wars to the Second World War and the Cold War. His most recent series have been on the rise of the Mongol Empire in the Middle Ages. This is certainly not a podcast for somebody who just wants a summary of a subject as the five podcasts in this series total over eight hours of broadcasting. The in-depth focus of these pod casts allows the listener to get right into the heart of the matter and for this alone, they are extremely valuable and entertaining. In addition to the great material and its depth. These forecasts are both well presented and well produced.

I recommend these podcasts to anyone interested in history. They can be obtained via the iTunes store or from Dan Carling’s website (