Archive for November 4, 2013

It was overall a fairly quiet month on the patch. I don’t know if it is the mild weather but there doesn’t seem to have been a noticeable increase in birds at the feeders in the garden. I have heard that its been a good year for natural food all round and so perhaps the birds do not have to move to feeding stations yet as there is plenty still available. Most of our trees still have their leaves, although this seems to vary from area to area.



23 bird species were seen on the patch this month.The year’s total rose to 50 as the highlight of the month was the visit of a party of Barn Swallows on the 3rd staying around the garden for a matter of 5 minutes or so before moving on their way south for the winter. On checking my records this was my first patch record of this species for over ten years. There was also a brief late sighting of a Comma butterfly (a first for the patch this year) in the Garden during one sunny afternoon which brought the butterfly year total to 9 species. No Dragonflies were seen on the patch during the month so the years total remains at 4 species.

Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica) 03/10/2013
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
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)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)

Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)

08604 Phantom

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Trains
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For anyone who spent time on the railways in the 1960s and 1970s, one of the most familiar sights will have been the class 08 shunter. Most large stations and depots and at least one of this class for general shunting duties. The 08 class was built by British rail between 1953 and 1962 and in all , just under 1000 locomotives were produced in these 10 years, making it the largest single class of British Railways. Surprisingly withdrawals began in 1967 and continued gradually over the years, followed. Even so, it was estimated in 2011 that between 60 and 80 class 08 locomotives were still in operation with mainline franchises. In addition, approximately the same number are in preservation, making it the most numerous class of locomotive preserved.



08604 Phantom was built in 1959 and is housed today at the GWR society at Didcot in operational condition where it acts as a local yard shunter. One odd feature of this engine is that although it only operated under British rail it currently carries number and nameplates in a distinctly GWR style.