30 October 2009

The poetry of logical ideas

Finally managed to muster the gumption to roam the patch this morning. My presence in the zone, however, proved fitful at best and it was no surprise that I failed to find some skulking monster (or, indeed, anything even bordering on noteworthy). A decent number of big obvious things were knocking around though, in the form of Woodpigeons; had 600+ in the air early on and, at regular intervals, several flocks in the low hundreds. Very few of the birds seemed to be heading in any particular direction though, and quite a few were ditching on the reserve, I wouldn't have wanted to guess how many birds were involved but, luckily, I managed to recall Friedrich von Furtwängler's equation*, a quick application of which produced a figure of 1,267 which sounds about right. Where would we be but for Herr von Furtwängler eh? I'll tell you where - up Cosby Kids creek without any propulsion, that's where. Anyhoo,... a few finches, Skylark and thrushes were also scudding about, as were half a dozen Stonechat, a couple of Blackcap and a Chiffchaff.

A moment of Columbid indecision over the Newport Wetlands [it helps if you squint a little].

*I know this is teaching grand mama to suck eggs but, just for completeness, von Furtwängler's equation for g (the guesstimate) is as follows:
g = (d2u/dx2) + L sin u
where d is the number you first thought of, u is average flock size, x is Hirshvogel's constant and L is the length of time between joy and despair. [Apologies for the inaccurate formatting of the equation (just one of the vagaries of Blogger I'm afraid)].

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