Thursday, 11 April 2013

Thursday 11th. April 2013

Two more problems to contend with regarding the computer . The weekend before last , the computer was getting really sluggish , and I noticed that the blue indicator showing how much capacity was left on 'Local disk C' , the internal hard drive , had turned red . showing just 26GB free out of 223GB . Fortunately , we had a family get together that weekend , and took the laptop along to show my brother , whom I had bought it from . We didn't manage to solve it on the day , but after a couple of evenings on the telephone , and him directing me to areas of the computer that I didn't know even existed , the reason was found . I download pictures into Windows Photo Gallery , and process them from there . The ones I want to keep , I copy to an external hard drive , then delete all into the Recycle bin , which I empty when I remember , thinking that was the end of them . But , Windows Photo Gallery keeps the original image in another file that is not deleted , and builds up , eating up the Local disk C space . When I found the file , there were some 28,000 images in it , from both my and my brother's snapping . No wonder the computer was sluggish . Thanks to my brother , cheers John , the computer now runs much quicker , and I now have 170GB free of the 223GB . If anyone has a similar problem , I'd be only too happy to point them in the right direction .
No sooner was that sorted , getting on line became almost impossible , and the phone had a constant loud crackle on it . Yesterday morning , the engineer arrived and found a bad connection up the pole in the road outside the house . That solved the crackling on the phone , but hoped for better performance with Broadband is still a long way away , with the Broadband connection constantly dropping out , or taking ages to engage .
Catching up on the last few days , on Saturday afternoon a look up on the Common found things very quiet and after failing to find a Brimstone or Peacock butterfly on the wing , I went to see how the Long Tailed Tits were getting on with their nest , that they started some weeks ago in a thick clump of Gorse . They must have stopped building during the cold weather , as the nest was not much further on . It was obvious that the pair were very selective with the materials , as after every visit , they flew well out of sight and didn't return for several minutes . This time away gave an opportunity
for a close up view of the nest , once again an amazing creation , held together by spider's webs and decorated with lichens . Whilst watching the nest building , a pair and a singleton Common Buzzard
drifted over the site and back several times , the pair displaying once when they passed high overhead . On the way back home , the juvenile Common Buzzard was sitting again in the tree by the
lane , and by staying in the car , managed to get a better shot . In reply to Malachite 11 , the bird can be found in the horse field on the right hand side of Fox Hill , heading downhill from  Keston village . Look on any of the fence posts that divide the field , or on the posts and trees surrounding the field . His favourite posts are those opposite Heritage Hill , where I usually park . It's still showing well , so hope you are lucky . Sunday morning , with the frost just starting to melt , I arrived up on the Greensand Ridge to look for Adders . It turned out to be

a good visit , finding three pairs of males and two singletons . No females seen as yet , they have more sense than to come out in these conditions , they will wait for the temperature to rise . On the way back home , I again called in on the Common and again headed for the LTT nest . Since yesterday the roof has been completed , and work on the entrance hole has started . I do hope that they are successful after all their hard work . As I mentioned before , they are probably the pair that raised two successful broods last year , within a couple of metres of this year's nest . On my way back to the car , I had my first very mobile singing Chiffchaff . Whilst having breakfast over the last few
days , as well as constant visits from the local Jackdaws , a very nervous Jay was also attracted . On Wednesday morning , one became two , and the second bird appears much more layed back , feeding
on the top of the barbecue , just 3mtrs. from the kitchen window , and not bothered by myself and the camera in full view in the kitchen . If only it had been in the sunshine , and no double glazing in between . I later had a look around South Norwood Country Park , hoping to find some migrants in some hazy sunshine , but the only ones seen / heard during the visit were two Chiffchaffs . I must say
though , that the song of this male Dunnock was doing his bit to make it seem springlike . But , alongside the lake , this Moorhen seemed to be suffering from 'Spring fever' , having flown 3-4
metres up into a Goat Willow , to get at newly emerging catkins , which it seem to be enjoying . Another visit up onto the Greensand Ridge in the afternoon , as the first signs of rainclouds appeared , proved to be the most successful so far , with 11 Adders , all males were found , including
these three , snugly tucked together against the lowering temperature . A very quick stop on the
Common on the way home , found the LTT's nest completed , fingers crossed for them , and they will
probably need it , as this male Kestrel was perched very close by .
Just before publishing this , I got a call from my ISP to make sure all was well with the telephone repair . I confirmed it was , but also told them the Broadband problems . They say it could take 72 hours from the repair for the Broadband signal to settle down , we'll see . Can't say when the next post will be , the Broadband connection has failed about six times whilst trying to do this one . Hope  things pan out soon .


Alan Pavey said...

You did well to get this post out Greenie my patience may have waned with signals dropping out!! Some really nice stuff too, the Adders seem to have got active very quickly, probably fed up with waiting for a bit of warmth :-)

Warren Baker said...

Well done with your persistence Greenie :-)

I always enjoy reading your posts, so please dont give in!!

ShySongbird said...

Hi Greenie, Sorry to read of all the computer problems you've had, so frustrating! My frustrations are caused by blogger, it seems determined to defy my every command and even when a post looks to be to my satisfaction I find things wrong when I publish and have to edit it all over again!

Anyway, I have enjoyed your interesting post and photos. I do hope the LTT nest is productive after all that hard work. I am very envious about the Jays. It is so long since I have even seen one amd have never photographed one or had one in the garden, you managed a lovely photo of it too.

Did you have any thoughts on the comments I left on your last post?

Malachite11 said...

Thanks Greenie, I was in the totally wrong area, so appreciate your directions. I will give it a go. Many thanks

Greenie said...

ShySongbird ,
My apologies for not replying sooner , but have been rather distracted by 'problems' of late .
Not having seen Corvids do this before , my thought at the time was that the bird was collecting the stones for it's partner who was possibly busy egg laying , to assist with shell production , or for her gizzard to grind up food . But then why didn't the female collect them herself ?
Googling 'crows picking up stones '
produces pages and pages of unanswered observations , including your husband's theory of the stones being used as weapons .
Probably one of those things that will never be explained , but my personal one is that the male was trying to get his partner 'stoned' . Sorry , can't do any better than that .

ShySongbird said...

Thank you Greenie. I had tried Googling it too but got nowhere conclusive. I'm afraid the rather flippant comment about weapons was mine ;-) my husband's was the more sensible one about weighing the nest down. Stupidly, I hadn't thought of the theory about it aiding the female's shell production, that could well be the answer! I shall now go and try to recover from groaning at your last suggestion :-)