5th – 12th December – Nexus, Holton Lee, Blue Boar and Waxwings.   2 comments

Margaret and I met in 2006 via a singles organisation called Nexus. Although we are no longer single we have remained members and although these days we only go to a few events. It was a bit of a shock therefore to hear that the owner of Nexus had passed away and the organisation had ceased to be. We had no idea that it was owned and run by a single person and had presumed it was run by a committee with clear plans of succession.

We joined other Nexuns for a meal in Wimborne on the 5th. All the members were clear that they wanted Nexus to continue locally in some form. A meeting has been called in January to discuss the future.

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An enjoyable meal at the King’s Head in Wimborne Square with our Nexun friends.

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Wimborne Square at night.

The 7th was Kara’s 14th birthday and of course John, Anita, Margaret and I went round to see her.

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Kara with Andy. She is holding the perfect gift for a 14-year-old: a Jessie J CD.

On the 15th Margaret, John, Anita and I joined a number of Nexuns for an evening out at Gaunt’s House . Gaunt’s House is a stately home to the north of Wimborne that is run as a spiritual retreat by the Gaunt’s House charitable foundation http://www.gauntshouse.com/ .  After a substantial vegetarian meal we enjoyed a musical event. Over the two sessions about 10 musical acts performed varying from classical guitar to some quite avant-garde. The session ended with a young hippie character who sang several Beatles songs, like Strawberry Fields For Ever and All You Need IS Love. I felt he had been born 45 years too late.

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Gaunts House has a series of rather strange paintings on the wall, which I presume have some sort of spiritual meaning. The food was nice but I always feel that a vegetarian menu leaves me feeling somewhat unfulfilled.

 

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A bit of classical guitar in the first session

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Anita and Margaret getting close to the open fire during the break.

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In the second session acts varied from African style drumming to two young ladies who played some imaginative pieces with a range of instruments ..

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…. to our aforementioned hippie friend.

On Sunday I did the WeBS count in the late morning and later went round to Janis and Andy’s. Their friend Adrian and daughter Francesca had come over from Southampton and we  went round to see them. Amber and Kara have known Francesca for as long as they have being to school and where very pleased to see her again.

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Francesca and Kara

 

On Tuesday Sean Walls and I had the first of our winter ringing trips to Holton Lee. It was a bitterly cold morning but it was still and quite ideal for ringing. Around the feeders we trapped four Great Spotted Woodpeckers, five Nuthatches (two of which were retraps from last winter) and 13 Coal Tits. In total we ringed 44 new birds and had 11  retraps.

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A severe frost at Holton Lee

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One of five Nuthatches trapped

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Nuthatches cannot be aged once they have completed the post-juvenile moult but they can be sexed on the colour of the undertail. This is a female and has undertail coverts of similar colouration to the belly.

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… compared to the rich chestnut and white undertail of the male.

 

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Female Great Spotted Woodpeckers lack the red nape of the male.

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The males red nape is clearly visible. I would have liked to photograph the woodpecker without my fingers in the shot but if I let go it would ‘drum’ on my knuckles!

On Tuesday night we had a get together down the pub but Margaret was busy with the choir. It was a very enjoyable evening with a wide range of bird related subjects covered.

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Clockwise from the wooden pillar: Marcus Lawson, Trevor Warwick, Steve F Smith, Mark Constantine, Mo Constantine, Marie Smith, Shaun Robson, Paul Morton and Nick Hull.

 

Although I had seen a Waxwing at Oxford on the way up to Ripon, news of three feeding beside the road in Tolpuddle had me driving over in the afternoon of the 12th. I was not disappointed as the birds kept flying down from nearby trees to feed on a Cotoneaster bush.

 

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Winter irruptions to the UK have been recorded as long ago as 1685 but they seldom reach Dorset. Good numbers were seen in 2010/11 but only a few have been recorded in 2012.

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One of the most photogenic winter visitors to the UK.

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As well as the three Waxwings a number of Blackbirds were feeding on the Cotoneaster berries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted December 12, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

2 responses to “5th – 12th December – Nexus, Holton Lee, Blue Boar and Waxwings.

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  1. Hi, I was also a member of nexus a few years ago and was looking to rejoin – sorry to hear also that it no longer exists. What a shame it was a good way to meet new people.

  2. Hi Pamela, many Nexus groups have continued as independent units under new names. Our group is now called Phoenix.

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