Sunday 27 March 2011

London International Dive Show

Yesterday I travelled to the ExCel Centre in Docklands for the London International Dive Show. My main interest was the presentations and the four I saw were all excellent:

description copied from the program:

Martin Edge  and Alex Mustard "Double Bubble"

'Two of the UK’s most influential underwater photographers get together for a double-header at this very image-conscious LIDS. Award-winning Alex Mustard is regarded as a pioneer of innovative techniques, including his Magic Filters for available-light photography, and wrote Reefs Revealed. Martin Edge is known as a leading teacher of underwater photography, and his own book The Underwater Photographer is regarded by some almost as holy writ. The two will discuss the techniques and concepts that make for memorable underwater images.'

'The “Queen of Mantas” has been celebrated for her discovery of the giant manta ray, and for ray ID and tagging activities carried out from her Mozambique base, where she has been able to identify and get to know more than 700 individuals. More recently she has been travelling the world, from Ecuador to the Maldives, learning more about the activities of these rays, always a favourite of divers. Andrea was at LIDS last year, but this time round you can expect her to highlight not only her work with rays but also the work she and her colleagues are doing with whale sharks and other rare species of marine megafauna.

Andrea was very passionate about the what is happening to the seas due to man's appalling activities and the need for people to make their views known.

'The South African former actress, TV presenter and model earned the nickname “Shark Warrior” for her work as a conservationist and diver. She masterminded a hard-hitting conservation-awareness campaign and has made a number of films, including the award-winning Sharks In Deep Trouble. Lesley’s presentation will include a selection of powerful imagery, designed to leave a deep impression on audiences.'

Lesley is another passionate campaigner on behalf of marine life, especially the cruelly butchered sharks which are likely to be exterminated very soon.

Monty Halls "Great Escapes"

'Despite his busy schedule, including long periods of self-imposed exile to remote coastal areas of the British Isles, the star of the primetime TV documentary series Great Escapes invariably finds time to escape his privations and appear at LIDS, because he tells us he always loves talking to other divers. Monty will be telling the tales behind his most recent and forthcoming televised adventures – with the emphasis on underwater encounters. Get there early.'

Monty's talk was interesting and amusing as last year and covered his next two BBC series.

I also bought a diver thriller for Sue called Deep Trouble by Sue Rawle, a diver from Gloucestershire who has recently had her first novel published.

My interest is Marine Archaeology was tickled by The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Swanning along the Arun

After lunch we went for a short walk along the River Arun frm Warningcamp again. It was beautiful Spring weather but our brief foray into Arundel was terminated because most of the shops were closed due to a power cut. The outdoor shop was open though so I bought a head light for night-time map reading.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Egret at Pagham Harbour

To view a Slideshow, click this Egret photo, then choose Fullscreen (top right) then Fast (top left)

This morning I visited the Littlehampton Museum to see the fossil exhibition by Discovering Fossils founder Roy Shepherd and Robert Randell. Excellent exhibition, well laid out with good information boards. Click for Littlehampton Gazette report.

This afternoon we walked from the Visitor Centre at the west side of Pagham Harbour to the site of the old tidal mill at Sidlesham Quay. This was a new walk for us and we found plenty of interest on this beautiful Spring day, including the songs and cries of robins, a great tit, a curlew, coots and ducks.

 The Little Egret

 hungry hunter

 Pair of Mute Swans preening

Lesser Celandines 
Lichen covered bushes


Monday 21 March 2011

Search and Rescue with SusSAR

a frosty sunrise on Saturday
I just completed a weekend course at Oxenwood, Wilts. The Lowland Search Technician course provides the basic certification to become operational in a Search and Rescue Team. SusSAR (Sussex Search and Rescue) prepared nine of us very well for this course with theory and practical training sessions since last October. Teams from Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Cambridgeshire also attended and everyone passed :)  A tracking course was also held and our two SusSAR attendees passed.

Everything to do with the training and operations of SAR teams is voluntary, self funded and very professional. The team spirit among SAR people is amazing.

If you are interested in getting involved with an SAR Unit operationally or for fund raising you can contact your local SAR team:

Website of our Course Director:

Thursday 17 March 2011

Shelduck at Pagham

This afternoon I returned to Pagham Harbour, this time to the west side. Starting at the visitor centre, the 1.8 mile path took me to St Wilfrid's church, a tiny chapel surrounded by an orderly and well kept graveyard. This chapel is the chancel of a 13thC Norman church removed in 1864 and rebuilt in Selsey (Seal Island). There were plenty of Shelduck feeding and resting on the mudflats but too far away for a photo. Plenty of Blue Tits singing in the trees. The gorse looks splendid with its vivid yellow coat.

St Wilfrid's Church at Church Norton

Sue will enjoy this walk 

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Tufted ducks at Ivy Lake

Tufted duck
We visited Chichester Gravel Pits (Ivy Lake etc) this morning for the first time. There were a few birders around and plenty of water fowl, plus four Long-tailed tits flying around together.
pair of Great Crested Grebes displaying
 Great Crested Grebe
 Coot feeding

 Barnacle Geese
male Tufted Ducks
female Tufted Duck