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October 24, 2006

Ospreys on campus

Writing about web page http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/o/osprey/index.asp

Over the past two days, myself and Phil have been watching possibly a pair of Ospreys circling over and fishing from the lake next to the large white MBA building near the gatehouse roundabout (we’ve not seen them together but there seem to be two different looking birds from the same species). These birds really are amazing to watch. The wingspan of the larger animal must be nearing 2 metres and the prey it stalks demonstrates the size and power of it. On Monday, we watched the larger osprey drop from tree level to the surface of the lake, with talons outstretched to grab a decent sized carp from the water before carrying it off and today, the same bird attempted to snatch a duck from the lake. Anyway, these birds are very rare within the UK by all acounts so if you’re walking down scarman road next to the lake, its worth having a look around in the sky for one of them. It’s likely that they wont stay for long on campus as they are on the migration trail but with such a good food source as the lake nearby, its possible that they will stay for a few days. Both of us gardeners took our cameras into work today to try and snap the opsreys and i’ve made a really crappily edited .jpeg of the images from my camera. however, john the photographer from the mba building took some photos with his digital SLR so they are well worth looking out for. Anyway, here’s some info i nicked from the RSPB website and the images that i took of the bird today:

Osprey
Pandion haliaetus

Seen in flight from below the osprey has white or slightly mottled underparts. The long wings are angled, bending at the ‘wrist’ which has a black patch contrasting with the white wing linings, and at a distance it could be mistaken for a large gull. This spectacular fish-eating bird of prey is an Amber List species because of its historical decline (due to persecution), and low breeding numbers.

Breeding
The core population area in the UK is in the Scottish Highlands where ospreys favour areas with Scots Pine forests, fresh water lochs and rivers. These provide nesting and feeding sites similar to those found in Scandinavia.

Wintering
Coastal regions of Africa. UK birds mainly winter in West Africa.

Passage
Migrating ospreys can stop at any suitable lake or reservoir with plenty of fish, sometimes staying for days before moving on.

Where to see it
Its main UK stronghold is in Scotland with public view nest sites at Loch Garten, Speyside, and Loch of the Lowes, Perth. It recently began breeding in England at Bassenthwaite, Cumbria and at Rutland Water (where it was introduced). A pair can also be found in Wales in the Glaslyn Valley where there is a public viewing point. Can be seen at almost any large body of freshwater during spring and autumn migration.

Ospreys over Radcliffe House

September 01, 2006

Gangsta Cholo?

Writing about web page http://www.rapdict.org/Cholo

The rap dictionary surprisingly has an entry about everyone’s favourite plastic lager station on campus:

cholo

A cholo is a Mexican-American (or Chicano) gang member, usually wearing Chuck Taylors (or tablitas if there’s a Quincenera going on) Dickies, and a Pendelton button shirt over a white t-shirt. And sometimes a really nice Kangol. The word in Spanish directly translates to “pimp”. In Spain the word means “cool”. It is synonymous with bad ass” or “bad guy”. Vatos, cholos, call us what you will”—Kid Frost (La Raza [1990]).

haven’t got a clue whether its true or not….


August 30, 2006

Tree Rats

I always thought that squirells were a bit vicious

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4489792.stm


August 23, 2006

Joined up sponsorship

The Pakistan cricket team are sponsored heavily by Pepsi. The logo is on their shirt sleeves so i presume that they are their main sponsor. In this case, why during the whole refusing to return after tea incident in the last test was there a bottle of diet coke sat openly on the team balcony?

August 20, 2006

Best product name ever?

i know i've shamelessly ripped this from the holymoly mailout but this has to be the finest product name in the world:

link


August 18, 2006

Caption Competition…...

little bummer boys

I'd forgotten about this one. There must be a caption in there somewhere….........