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Sunday 12 December 2010

Electronic Drums

In my search for a fun present for Shelley I have been looking at Electronic Drums.

I didn't know how much they would get used so I looked at the budget options. Here are some of the reviews:!1

The set I bought Shelley were:
This appears to be manufactured by and branded by several suppliers.  The models in the range are the DD501, DD502 and DD505 and the above DD516.  Others brands for the same items are, Session Pro, Techtonic, Technote and Medeli.

The various brands of the same kit are all available on ebay.

Edit: Shelley liked them so much we have added better quality individual drums to her set. She likes the Roland drums.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Second brood

I haven't posted any pictures of the swallows second brood because in the poor quality cctv cameras they look exactly the same as the first brood. Here are a collection over the last few weeks.

I think this one sitting on an empty nest the other side of the stables is one of the youngsters from the first brood.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Big Butterfly Count
These are the butterflies we saw during our count.
All but the last were seen round midday on Saturday 24 July.

Essex Skipper


Small Copper

Common Blue



Red Admiral (seen the previous weekend.)

I also learnt that the main difference between a butterfly and a moth is that butterflies have drumstick shaped antennae and moths have anything except that shape.


My wife and I did the Big Butterfly Count at the weekend but we have one moth that we could not identify. Having looked on the web at various sites I have still not found the answer. Anyone know?

The body of the moth in the above picture is about 20mm long. The moth was very active. It was hard to even follow it by eye it was constantly moving. Most of the pictures I took of it are just unidentifiable blurs.
This picture was taken at about midday on Saturday 24 July.

Sunday 27 June 2010

In the air

Now that the parents have less baby duties they have been swooping and gliding all round the stables and the trees. I managed to get a few shots of them in flight.

The photography bit.  Same camera and lens as previously described, a Canon DSLR with Sigma 18-200mm zoom.  I manually focussed on the very top of our apple tree and tried to judge when the swallows flew at that distance.  I took lots of pictures, many of which were out of focus.  I was pleased with how many came out well.


Well nearly. All the swallow babies left the nest today but they only went as far as one of the drinkers in the stables.

Just in time for the England World Cup match.

Our farrier told us a very nice story yesterday about a swallow fledging.  Like us a couple had been watching their swallows and were surprised when all but one of the swallows in their stables had fledged.  The fledgelings kept coming back to encourage the last to leave the nest.  When at last it looked like something was wrong the couple went up a ladder to have a look.  The last baby was trapped in the nest by some horse hair making up the nest.  A few gentle snips to the horse hair with some nail clippers and a very eager bird flew away.

Pigeon babies

Yes, plural. Where we thought there was just one egg and one chick... there are two.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Better camera

I've been out with my stills camera to take some better pictures.  The chicks are large enough to see easily from the ground.  I have seen 5 good healthy looking babies in that nest.
Shelley has seen the Pigeon baby which is somewhere under mum in the following picture.
For those photographically minded, the camera is a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi which is the same as the Canon 400D.  Using a Sigma 18-200mm zoom.  Auto exposure and auto focus using the built in flash.

Sunday 13 June 2010


You can see the gape of one of the chicks in the next picture. We think there are 4 or 5 chicks.

Saturday 12 June 2010

Confirmation of chicks

You can't tell from the still images because they are too low quality however if you compare the following two you can see the middle of the nest is different. That is a chicks head moving from side to side.

I'm already planning for next year to get some better quality cameras.