how wordpress sells your soul

Do you use wordpress to blog?  Thought it a little less contentious than the ever-expanding  über information-hoarder that is google/blogger?  WordPress would have you think that is way cooler and on it’s front page it says “We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time“.  Free, maybe.  Priceless, I think not.

If you use wordpress you are inevitably, due to cookies, logged in if you view your blog or another blog on wordpress.    And if you are logged in to wordpress, there is a little detail that is kept from your delicate little eyes.  Adverts.

They are not so crass as to load the ads up on your home page, that would be a bit to obvious and you might spot it.  And you might object.  But if a non wordpress person views a  page individually (which is the normal route through words entered into a search engine), your new reader gets the ads at the bottom of the post.  I just spent 5 minutes with an old post and the F5 button and the following companies are advertising on my blog.

Groupon
David Lloyd Leisure
Dfs
Creditreport
Kuoni (who-oni?)
Specsavers (FFS!)
Churchill Insurance
Alpari (eh?)
Groupon (again)
Groupon (what the fuck is groupon anyway?)
Adoptuskids.org (they didn’t think that through did they?)
Tesco (natch)
Royal Caribbean International
Sky news.  No, really.
 
I suspect I could wear out the F5 button before the variety of ads stop. 
 
There am I, and quite possibly you too, having your service provider using your innocent little witterings to sell advertising space to  Rupert Murdoch  Satan.
 
You happy with that?  Because I’m not.
 
Don’t have a picture, but for once do have a splendid piece of musical architecture by The Aphex Twin which seems entirely apposite.  Do  yourself a favour, and turn the volume on and up.
 
 
Laters, yeah?
 

a tick that was years in the waiting

For years I have stared into the trees beyond my back gate.  Not just staring for the sake of it, well not usually.  Staring at trees, and staring at things that may be in trees or on trees or around trees or by trees.  Normally this will produce the normal things that you would expect around the trees that are also normally there (It’s not like the trees are migratory or anything – a tree with zugunruhe, that would be psychological torture!  If a tree could think of course). Anyway, once all the normal ticks had been put on the garden list it was obvious that there was one species missing.  And it has been missing from the list for a long time, despite the years of staring.  I’ve seen them around here before, on many occasions and some of those occasions were in the previous century and it always seemed that it would only be a matter of time before I saw one, but that time never came.

Until this morning when, during a period of staring, I saw one.  Shuffling up a tree.  Or perhaps more accurately, creeping.  A Treecreeper.  At long last, an inevitable garden tick.

Thank you trees.

magpies in the trees doing two for joy

i’m not finnished!

Get up, in the dark, put bird food out, go to work. Watch gulls at lunchtime.  Come home, in the dark, bird food gone.  Repeat five times a week until March.  On a Saturday though, I can actually get to see the birds that have snuffled those parts of the fatty feast that the bastard squirrels haven’t got to.  Tits and sparrows in the main and this week a Great Spot has put in a violent appearance.  Blackbirds too.  The zeitgeist would have you believe that we are swamped with continental Blackbirds, egged on by Springautumnwatch if I remember correctly.  This is what you might see.

 

a blackbird not doing continental

OHMYGODITSGOTABLACKBEAKOHMYGODITMUSTBEITCANTBEISITISIT???!!!?!

It is a first winter male and was probably raised in them there woods. It is not anything more exotic than that.

There seems to be a tendency to try and squeak out rare morphs or races out of common birds (and I may have made this point before) and I think that this particular one is going to be more commonly claimed but generally it can only be definitively identified in the hand so I’m told.  So anyone that is claiming one in the field should be looked at with suspicion.  I know that this is not a finnish bird because I scoped it and saw the brown on the wings.  Yes, I trained a telescope on a Blackbird in the garden for fun.  When was the last time you did that?

never…

…has my gast been so flabbered.

I stepped into the garden this morning expecting mist.  A mallard flew over.  Bloody hell, a duck over my garden I thought.  Before I had a chance to digest this, 5 Greylag Geese flew over.  Double garden tick!

I have not seen the bird represented in this picture in my garden.

a turnstone doing jaunty

Yet.

[Edit] There was also a Chiffchaff singing!

mottled?

Or Woodland?  Woodland or Mottled? Is this the money shot for the iD?

a grasshopper doing I don't bloody know

That’s another bug post dear reader.  Tomorrow I think that I shall focus on clover.  Exciting, huh?

hat-trick!

grasshopper doing enough already

Three posts and three bugs – brilliant eh?. 

This is the Woodland Grasshopper Omocestus rufipes and according to my book, it shouldn’t be in my garden nevermind Norfolk at all.  I’m not going to stick my neck out and claim any significance for this due to two facts.  I could have the id wrong.  The map in the bug book could be pants.

 

oak bush city limits

oak bush-cricket doing Meconema thallassinum

 

Pun-tastic!  Because, right, it’s an oak bush cricket and I live in the city and this is at the limits of what your humour can endure?  Anyway it was found in the bathroom and released into the wild where it posed for the camera. Another stunning bug i-d in the bag.  Evidently this is a male because it hasn’t got an ovipositor but does have long and curved cerci.  No really.  So there is another first, not only have I identified a bug but I have sexed it too. 

(Look, I know this is supposed to be a bird blog, but it is August ok?  This was going to be a post about seeing Swifts this morning over the garden and it kind of morphed into something else.  Ho hum.)