Thursday, 21 June 2012

Home & Round and About

After the weekends heavy metal fest. Back to birding.............
We have for many years being trying to attract birds to the garden other than Woodpigeons and Magpies and suddenly we seem to be on the radar.

The last year or so has seen an increase in House Sparrows, Blue Tits, Great Tits and the occasional Goldfinches. But the last few weeks has gone bananas!
The Goldfinches are now hear all the time and occasionally turn up mob handed, going for both the niger seed and sunflower hearts, then at last Bullfinches. The last time we saw a Bullfinch was in 2008! But now they are a daily visitor, we are made up!
To add to the Bullfinches we are now seeing regular Greenfinches, again they just use to be a very occasional visitor but now are also seen daily (that's the advantage of working from home!)
Now another big surprise in the last fortnight has been Starlings. Until last week we don't think that we had ever had Starlings in our garden, but now they come in a few times a day and in numbers. The other birds don't seem to mind and neither do we!

We have had another first for the garden this month as well, a Collared Dove, chuffed with that too!

Also this week a Blackbird family has been about, its been a delight to watch the parents feeding the 3 fledglings. So all is looking good in the back garden.

Yesterday I manged a very quick walk down to the canal, there wasn't a great deal about except a Coot family that allowed me to get quite close:

Bald as a Coot, perhaps

This youngster seemed to be with the above little uns!
And a couple of other snaps:
Speckled Wood Butterfly (I had to look this up, as I don't do Butterflies!)

I have no idea! Some kind of Hoverfly?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

RAF Cosford Air Show 2012

Well a one off (well depends how many Airshows we get to this Summer), off topic post. To share our other passion, Airshows. Well it's still avian! so it's not that far off topic.

We um'd and ah'd for days about whether to go to Cosford this year, we didn't fancy sitting in the rain as we have at other shows, but the forecast didn't look to bad, so we went for it and I'm so glad we did, it was a great day, with just one 15 minute downpour, for which we scurried back to the car.
I won't post loads of photos (I took 1175!!) just one or two from each item on the programme!

The day started with a display of model aircraft, very impressive, especially the jets, they almost looked like the real thing. But to open the show:

This was towed around a couple of times by:
As usual the show opened with the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team:

Then a star from Scotland:
Eurofighter Typhoon, 6 Squadron, RAF Leuchars
The Typhoon gave a great display, showing why it's one of the best fighters in the world.
Next up:
Westland Lynx, Royal Navy Sea Cats
Going Vertical!
Followed by:
Sea King,  Search and Rescue from RAF Valley, Anglesy
And no William wasn't up front, he was probably with his Nan having a cuppa!
Some nice aerobatics followed from the twister duo:

A great display next, by the Great War display team, flying World War I replicas, basically it entailed the British and German aircraft chasing each other and pretending to shoot each other down (lots of sound effects and smoke!), there were 6 aircraft in this so you might get more than 1 photo!
Sopwith Triplane on the Tail of  a Fokker Triplane

SE5a 'shooting down' a Junkers CL.1

Sopwith Triplane

SE5a escorting another wounded SE5a home

The Germans!
Moving on to World War II, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight:

They always put a lump in my throat!
After that along come the Belgians:
Belgian Air Component, Westland-August A109
(No longer the Belgian Air Force, although that's what it says on the tin!)
Slowing the pace down, 2 ex RAF Jet Trainers, a Jet Provost Mk3 & Mk5 (To get technical!)

Now the old mount of the Red Arrows before they adopted the BAE Hawk, many years ago:
Folland Gnats
The contribution from the Royal Navy Historic Flight, sadly the Swordfish couldn't make it:
Hawker Sea Fury
Another RAF Trainer, this time for multi-engine training:
King Air
So on to the stars of the show, The Red Arrows. Following last years tragic accidents the Arrows are only displaying with 7 Hawks this year: (You will have to indulge me more than 1 pic for them!)

Back to WW II Aircraft:
USAAF Kittyhawk

Hurricane Mk 1 (Battle of Britain Survivor)
"Bang" up to date:

2 Tornado GR4s, blowing up the Airfield

A very rare sight these days. Vickers VC10 K3 (Tanker)

An excellent display team, the Russian Yak-50s:

Followed by a Jet from the past:
Gloster Meteor
Twig Display Team, 2 Pitts Specials:
A great display of Aerobatics from the Gliding Association:
Back to a couple of trainers now, first a primary trainer raise by the University Air Squadrons (This from Birmingham University)
Grob 105
And the RAFs primary trainer for fest jet pilots, done up nicely for the Jubilee:

Shorts Tucano
And to close the display the Blades Aerobatic team, this team is made up of 4 ex Red Arrows pilots flying Extra 300s, they were truly amazing:

£25 Well spent!! (each!)