Tuesday 25 December 2012

Walkies through Endcliffe Park

We emigrated oop North yesterday for the traditional family get-together. Ollie walking duties commenced this morning in Sheffield's Endcliffe Park. The river was in full flow so plenty of photo opportunities at the waterfalls.
This primrose was a delight to see below the memorial to the American  airplane crew.

Edward III half groat & buckle with pin and plate

On Sunday we had a club dig and some good finds were uncovered. Mine were a Edward III Silver Half Groat (1363 – 1369) and a double loop oval buckle complete with pin and gilt shield-shaped plate.
Edward III silver half groat
EDWARDVS REX AnGLI DnS & hYB (Edward King of England, Lord of Ireland)
Outer: POSVI DEUM ADIVTOREM MEUM (I have made God my helper)
Inner: CIVITAS LONDON (City of London)

weight: 2.05g, diameter: 22.44mm, thickness: 0.66mm

In 1360 the Treaty of Bretigni was signed. Edward no longer had jurisdiction over France and his claim to France was dropped from the legend of the coinage until 1369. England needed a cross Channel trading base and this was achieved by another treaty with France which enabled England to use Calais, where a mint was established. The Transitional Treaty Period groats of 1361 had the French title omitted and these coins are scarce. The mint mark in use is the cross potent (above the crown on the obverse side).

Double loop oval buckle complete with pin and shield-shaped plate, 
c1350 - 1500
weight: 9.55g, overall length: 36.6mm, buckle frame: width:26.7 length:24.4mm

Friday 21 December 2012

Conservation work and Pulborough Brooks

view from Heyshott Escarpment., Dec 11
Distant hills rose out of the downland mist
Much of my time during the past few weeks has been devoted to cataloguing my digital underwater photos from Maldives trips 2005-12. The next task is to add photos from the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, and then start scanning underwater slides from the previous 20 years: http://www.colinknightimages.com/MarineLifeoftheIndianOceanandA

Here is a catch-up of activities during this period:
Heyshott work party, Nov 28
SUSSAR callout Nov 29
You come across some strange things when searching for a missing person in woods in the middle of the night during a SUSSAR callout
deer print seen during a metal detecting dig Dec 2
Sunrise Dec 5
Assisting with a SUSSAR First Aid Course
Dec 1
Heyshott conservation work, Dec 5
Pulborough Brooks
The RSPB restaurant at Pulborough Brooks is an excellent lunch venue

On Saturday Dec 8 Murray Downland Trust and Butterfly Conservation members 
cleaned up the Butterfly Haven at the Dorothy Stringer School in Brighton

strimming the old growth
By the end of the morning all the old growth had been removed
the new pure chalk haven which should prove
attractive to downland butterflies
On Dec 9 I joined other Sussex BC members at Rowland Wood near Lewes to clear up cut wood at this Butterfly Conservation Reserve which was acquired in 2010

A lake adds atmosphere to the wood

late afternoon walk on the beach, Dec 11
Heyshott work party Dec 11, heavy hoar frost
Self portrait
a walk on the beach, am Dec 17

Another great lunch at RSPB Pulbough, Dec 17
view from South Harting Down
South Harting Down conservation area work party, Dec 18

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Secret Nature by a Man for all Seasons

Nudibranch, Phyllidia varicosa
I have been busy recently with winter conservation work at three Sussex butterfly sites. I have also been cataloguing all the underwater photos from my recent Maldives trip. The task of properly identifying and cataloguing the marine life I have photographed around the Arabian Peninsula and the Maldives during the past 28 years has been on my mind for some time. Having made a start I now have the job of working backwards, which should take care of bad weather days until the end of my days....

For those that are interested in tropical marine life, I offer the following galleries:

Marine Life of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Peninsula (includes birds and animals animals of the Maldives), 888 photos divided into animal groups:-

The photos can also be viewed in one gallery:-

While I have been busy with this task, a good friend, Mark Colvin, has been busy creating his new blog ‘Secret Nature’ which I commend to anyone interested in Natural History. Mark is a butterfly enthusiast and a superb photographer who captures nature his way throughout the year. He is also a talented wordsmith who researches his subjects diligently. Please enjoy his work at http://markcolvin.blogspot.co.uk

Monday 26 November 2012

Sussex Butterfly Conservation AGM

Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina

Saturday was a busy day. In the morning I assisted with a first aid course for Sussex Search and Rescue unit held at Burgess Hill. Then I drive three miles south to attend the AGM of Sussex Butterfly Conservation at Hassocks. This was an excellent event as usual. Our new chairman, Nigel Symington, progressed through the AGM agenda in 20 minutes, an SBC tradition. We were then treated to three very good talks. 

The first was titled "Dukes on the Edge" given by Dr Dan Hoare, BC's Senior Regional Officer - South East. Dan gave an overview of the distribution of one of Britain's most endangered butterflies over the past few years. The news was bad and good. The butterfly has disappeared from many of its haunts during the past five years. Fortunately the work of several conservation organisations and estates and many volunteers has  enabled some key colonies to grow. It is hoped that this work will, in conjunction with strategically placed new projects, enable the Duke of Burgundy to recolonise old territory lost due to unsuitable habitat management. 

The second talk was by Dr Dan Danahar who has pioneered the acclaimed chalk based butterfly reserves established and planned in Brighton. Dan discussed his 50th birthday project to see 50 of Brtiain’s 59 species of butterflies in one year. This was done in a very interesting and amusing way.

Which left Michael Blencowe to give his report on the state of Sussex Butterflies and the 2010-14 mapping project. which was done in his usual hilariously entertaining style.  

All three speakers were suited, booted and tied, but Nigel’s introduction to each meant we were able to recognise them in spite of their uncharacteristic attire.

Thanks to the refreshments team and the raffle prize providers (my numbers were not sticky enough).

Thursday 22 November 2012

Beach walk

The sun came during the afternoon yesterday after nearly two day of heavy rain so I enjoyed a stroll along the beach for an hour. Turnstones and Oystercatchers were feeding at the surf line.
East Beach Cafe

Whelk eggs



dogfish egg cases



Cod head
enioying the beach