Posts Tagged ‘Nightingale’

Galling: literal observations and campaign metaphors.

May 18, 2014

Has summer finally arrived with us?   There have been respectable numbers of Brimstone’s around the garden, Orange-tip and Green-veined Whites too but not such good numbers of Holly Blue a species which is always a delight to spot flitting about its namesake.

An interesting visitor to the patio door recently was a Sycamore Moth,  it is the larva of this species which is the more colourful stage of the species life cycle.  Brown Silver-line moths have also been recorded on Thorne Moors with up to 30 present along the area known as Green Belt.  A common species and  a bracken feeder.

Galls have been very noticable too with Eriophyes tiliae evident on the Lime green leaves of its host (below).  These mite induced ‘nail galls’ can occur in huge numbers and are generally found on the lower branches of the tree.

140515 Eriophyes tiliae hrk 907

The ‘currant galls’ shown below are caused by the gall wasp Neuroterus quercusbaccarum, these are the sexual generation and develop on the male catkins or young leaves of the Oak tree.

140518 Neuroterus quercusbaccarum hrk 920


Campaigns update:

The campaign to get the BBC to reintroduce live broadcast of Nightingale is planning to set up a live broadcast from Kent.  Chris Rose reports that …. “This follows the disappointing decision of the BBC to only broadcast a pre-recorded Nightingale on Monday (11pm Radio 4). We’ve asked the BBC to do a live Nightingale broadcast for next year, as it could be the centrepiece of a national Nightingale Night. (See letters to and from BBC here.)”

Rare Amazon trees are being cut down by criminal loggers and turned into luxury garden decking and Jewson: Stop Plundering the Amazon is a new campaign being run by Greenpeace.

New – General Licence : we only have until the end of Monday to respond to a Natural England consultation on the regulations surrounding which species of bird are covered by the general licence in England.  Mark Avery has produced a useful blog on the issue and it is certainly worth a read, particularly so if you are minded to make a response.  Typical of his campaigning stance he writes  “The thing I would most like to see would be a deluge of responses calling for the Jay to be removed from the General Licence. Is the Jay an economically important pest of anything? Which aspect of farming is affected by the Jay?”

Bits ‘n pieces of campaign updates ….

May 14, 2014

See the CAMPAIGN: Malta Massacre on Migration update here.  A disappointing reply from First Secretary Borg to our letter, but I suppose the critical mass of the re-vitalised campaign might be the momentum needed to deliver the help to the Maltese people in their quest to bring a Referendum on Spring hunting?

Mr Borg did conclude his brief email with Please do feel free to contact me for any further information.  So, watch this space to see what if any reply is forthcoming to a resend of the initial email with three key questions highlighted for ease of reference.



Some readers may be aware that Chris Rose has set up a 38 degree petition asking the BBC to re-introduce a previously popular [live] Nightingale Broadcast, Chris writes:

Disappointing news about the BBC’s planned May 19th special R4 Nightingale Broadcast. Despite being scheduled at 11pm, the BBC has confirmed to 38Degrees that it will not be a live broadcast, only a pre-recorded re-enactment of the 1924 Nightingale + Cello broadcast.

While the BBC deserves credit for this, it is a huge missed opportunity to contribute to engaging and re-connecting people with nature. Just as recorded music is not the same thing as live music, hearing a recorded Nightingale is not at all the same as the connection you make with a real, live, singing bird.

This is after all, why the 1924 – 1942 broadcasts struck such a powerful emotional chord. What a shame if the BBC in the digital age, cannot accomplish what Lord Reith and his engineers did back in the days of ‘string and ceiling wax’.

Apparently the BBC’s reasons are that the cello might get wet and the nightingales might not sing.  Yet this did not stop the BBC in 1924.  Nightingales, rain and cellos were the same in 1924 as they are today ?

Chris further asks us not to give up – but instead to do two things:

First, keep asking friends, relations and colleagues to sign the petition to make it a live Nightingale broadcast. It’s not too late. Send this:

Second, help us start a National Nightingale Night by going out to listen for one on Sunday May 18th, the original anniversary. Let me know what you find – – and I’ll post reports here and at the campaign page.

If you can record one, and send me a file, I’ll post it at SoundCloud. I’ll tweet any links from @campaignstrat

I can certainly recall one particularly hearty rendition in the middle of the day as it poured with rain at Castor Hanglands when we went on a botanical jaunt to ‘tick’ Pasque Flower!   I remember them also as a breeding species on Thorne & Hatfield Moors, now just an ocassional passage bird?  Surely, like Yorkshire Red Squirrels it’s one of those ‘things to do [or hear] before you die’?  Compulsory sessions (accompanied by parents) for infant and junior school children? 



 By Noel Reynolds (Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


Fracking might be considered a topical issue, we’ve alerted readers to a CPRE conference in July which will look at the issue around the Humberhead. 

Well, we’ve been alerted to some interesting news …. A big fracking company, Celtique Energie, has announced it will scale back plans to drill in Fernhurst, a town in the beautiful South Downs.

Greenpeace considers that: This leap forward comes after huge public pressure, including thousands of us signing up to a ‘legal blockade’ to refuse to permit fracking companies to drill under our homes.

But the battle isn’t over. Other towns across the UK are still at risk. And even in Fernhurst, Celtique Energie are banking on David Cameron’s rumoured plan to change the law and allow drilling without permission.

We can stop this – if we show Cameron he will face a huge backlash if he tries to push ahead. Can you forward this email to 5 friends to help get to 300,000 signatures?

Your friends can sign the petition here:

Right now, the UK faces a choice. Do we pour millions into planet-wrecking fracking or do we develop clean, renewable energy? And despite the government’s enthusiasm for more dirty fossil fuels, Celtique’s announcement proves that people power works.

With enough of us onboard, we can make it impossible for David Cameron to impose fracking on us. Greenpeace suggest that by forwarding this email to 5 friends today and asking them to sign the petition here:

That the critical mass of community campaigning can call corporate developers and their various allies in and around Westminster to order, so three topics to consider acting on? 


Bits ‘n pieces & some early moths

April 25, 2014

A few bits ‘n pieces, updates on recent issues and a sprinkling of natural observations:

Malta Massacre on Migration: I’ve written to all six of the Yorkshire and Humber MEPs, have you?  Next on the list is a variation edition to the Maltese High Commission and the Maltese Tourism Authority.  Sadly readers of Mark Avery’s blog do not report a good nor honest position if the conservationists (Chris Packham, Bird Life Malta et. al.) are to be believed by the responses received from these authorities and agencies.

Chris Rose is appealing to the BBC to re-instate the annual broadcast of nightingale, if you’ve not already signed the petition on 38 degrees then if you’re a fan of nightingales then you can find it here.  Sadly it seems that the BBC OB has been disbanded, but there’s online potential.  Not too sure that the older generation, those who recall the iconic species in their youth in every scrubby copse would agree, but a new generation might be encouraged to search them out in the flesh?

We’ve noticed that B&Q are plugging (no pun intended) their coir tea-bag environmentally friendly green packaging bedding plants on the television at the moment, yet …. we have learnt that there are some local stores whose staff are unaware of the initiative.  Sadly, it seems that by far the vast majority of bedding plants are still in peat and still in polystyrene …. unless you know differently?

I had been hoping to get out again with fellow ‘moffin’ enthusiasts for a session but the weather has put paid to that for this weekend if the weather forecasters have got it right.  So, a few recent finds to whet appetites for goodies ahead this coming season ….


2063 Muslin Moth Diaphora mendica or 72.022 (per Agassiz

2063 Muslin Moth Diaphora mendica or 72.022 (per Agassiz

The Muslin Moth is a species which shows sexual dimorphism , the example above (local Humberhead Levels garden) shows the dark form.

2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta  aka 73.325 (per Agassiz

2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta or 73.325 (per Agassiz

The Shuttle-shaped Dart is another sexually dimorphic species, the males having brownish variegated forewings and white hindwings, the females fairly plain dark brown forewings and buffish hindwings.  The above specimen is from a local Humberhead Levels garden.

2015 Lunar Marbled Brown Drymonia ruficornis or 71.011 (per Agassiz

2015 Lunar Marbled Brown Drymonia ruficornis or 71.011 (per Agassiz

 This stunning image of a Lunar Marbled Brown illustrates well the ‘comma’ or ‘crescent’ in the species forewing pale band.  LMB is generally earlier in the season than Marbled Brown.

Thanks to Ted Sabin and Phil Lee for sharing their images.









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