Suppertime at the bird table

I’ve been registered on the BTO Nestbox challenge for years and some years I’m more thorough than others. One nestbox is used year after year by blue tits. Blue South as it’s registered with the BTO, perhaps should be renamed Old Faithfull as it never fails to get used. There’s a webcam that sometimes points in the general direction but it’s rather a hit or miss affair.

But sitting quietly outside, with beer in one hand, and camera in the other, I am soon rewarded …

Blue tit returning with foodHe (she?) is nervous at first, as he knows I’m sitting there. For a few minutes I was feeling guilty as I could hear the chicks crying for food inside and the adult made a few approaches then flew away again with a series of loud alarm calls. In previous years they’ve soon accepted my presence. When the adult returned for the 3rd time I decided if he spooked out again I’d leave the scene. He didn’t and I managed to get a few nice photos in the fading light.

Meanwhile on the bird table I could see a Jay munching through the dish of the day. Shy birds, I’ve seen them around, but usually fleetingly, and easily spooked. They must be hungry as I managed to get quite close and it seemed remarkably unperturbed. I’m pretty sure it knew I was there as my fieldcraft is not something that would impress Ray Mears.

and getting stuck in …

Gallery from fell and forest:


In a 2009 blog post called Scratch and Sniff Botany the botanist Phil Gates writes about Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) and how when you crush the leaves they smell like germolene. This is what it looks like:

MeadowsweetMeadowsweet has distinctive red stems and made a mental note to crush a few leaves the next time I came across some. I found some and it smelled nothing like germolene. Or so I thought. What I thought I’d found was baby meadowsweet, but clearly it’s something else entirely. Looking at it closely I can see it clearly looks nothing like meadowsweet. This is what I was crushing:

Not MeadowsweetApart from a passing resemblance they look nothing like each other. I’m not sure what it is but it might be the rather obviously named Silverweed (Potentilla anserina). I think I’ll just wait until the flowers come out.


Upgrading wordpress

Well that was a brief moment of unease. Still new to the whole wordpress world I logged on to see a message advising me to upgrade to 3.1.3 and reminding me to backup before proceeding. Yeah, whatever. I’d only just started so hadn’t that much to backup. Plus I was a bit lazy.

I could download 3.1.3 myself or get wordpress to DIY. I chose the latter and all looked well until I tried to login again and:

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

That brought me down to earth with a bump and I consulted the University of Google on the message. Lots of references to .htaccess files and problems with add-ons, all of which sounded like hard work. Looking for an easy fix I had a look at my error logs and found lots of Premature end of Script errors and references to various .php files. I had a déjà vu moment and remembered the original tips I’d read on this blog when I was originally struggling with installing wordpress in the first place. Sure enough, same old same old.


find . -name "*.php" -exec chmod 755 '{}' ;
chmod 600 wp-config.php

does the trick.