Gaywood & The Rookery

An account of a walk that took in Gaywood & The Rookery. Also some mentions of autism related matters to top and tail the post.

INTRODUCTION

Those of you who read my post on Wednesday about preparing for the Positive Autism Awareness Conference that NAS West Norfolk are having on April 15th will recall that I noted the entrance sign to Gaywood & The Rookery. Today I got back there for a proper look…

GETTING THERE

I followed the same route as I had on Wednesday, but this time with no time constraints. I caught a glimpse of a Muntjac (thank you Helen for the ID) but this one proved too elusive for me to photograph, although I did see a few things worth photographing…

GAYWOOD & THE ROOKERY

I ventured in, and was delighted by the place. I will let the photos tell the story of this amazing little piece of woodland that is within walking distance of the centre of Norfolk’s third largest town…

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HOMEWARD BOUND

I had left Gaywood & The Rookery by a different path from the one I entered it by, and now headed home by a different route, save for a very short stretch of path to the bridge over the railway, and thence through the Hardwick Estate, and ultimately on this occasion back to the town centre by way of the river (I could also have gone by way of the cemetery and the parklands).

AUTISM AWARENESS

A bit disconnected from the rest of this post I know, but I have an infographic to share to remind everyone that April 2nd – 8th 2016 is World Autism Awareness Week (courtesy of patienttalk.org)

WAAW

On Appreciating Nature

This post may be considered my personal response to the death of Cecil the lion.

INTRODUCTION

This post can be considered as my response to the tragedy involving Cecil the lion. Before getting into the main body of it I am once again going to share details (as I did in my previous post) of The Art of Autism’s calendar for 2016, currently being sold for $12. Full details can be seen on their own post on the subject, but I offer you this picture as extra inducement…

A picture to show you why as well as wishing to support the activity I am genuinely enthused by this calendar.
A picture to show you why as well as wishing to support the activity I am genuinely enthused by this calendar.

ON APPRECIATING NATURE

We are now in the main part of the post, which as well as what I am writing on my account will feature some photographic highlights relating to nature from the last few months, a variety of important links, and leading from here into the rest of the post my first essay in the craft of infographic creation…

Swan infographic

CECIL THE LION

Cecil, a 13 year-old lion who jointly controlled his pride with another lion called Jericho, was shot by a wealthy American who had paid $50,000 to have him lured out of the reserve in which he lived. Walter Palmer, the shooter, has a long and bloody history of such activities, including at least one felony conviction involving poaching. Cecil was a huge tourist attraction, and even from the purely monetary angle (not a viewpoint with which I identify) his death has cost far than the $50,000 that was paid to bring it about. Before moving on from this introduction I have a bunch of Cecil related links to share with you:

There seems little doubt that Mr Palmer’s activities, and those activities that were paid for with his blood money were in breach of Zimbabwean law, and as a staunch internationalist I would say that the American government has a duty to ensure that Mr Palmer gets appropriately punished, either by putting him on the next plane to Zimbabwe to be punished in the country where he committed the crime or by arranging for him to be tried, convicted and punished in America.

I would also like to see a blanket ban on “trophy hunting”, enforced with stringent penalties for those who breach it. Also, I have concentrated on the American, rather than the two Zimbabweans involved in the atrocity because it is the American who bears full responsibility – without his money the two Zimbabweans would have had no motive for their nefarious contact – Mr Palmer is guilty on his own account and has made criminals of the other two involved.

SOME PICTORIAL HIGHLIGHTS

This subsection is devoted the only kind of shooting I am interested in performing – that done with my trusty Nikon Coolpix P530. Yes I have recently acquired a set of five obsidian arrowheads – but that was purchased as on object of interest, not with any intention of using them as weapons!

The first two pictures are of an insect that was crawling on the window of an X8 bus in which I happened to  be a passenger.
The first two pictures are of an insect that was crawling on the window of an X8 bus in which I happened to be a passenger.

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These two robins, enjoying the local park, formed the basis of my second ever pictorial thank you message.
These two robins, enjoying the local park, formed the basis of my second ever pictorial thank you message.
This lone robin was by the bandstand in the local park.
This lone robin was by the bandstand in the local park.

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A squirrel preparing for the main ascent!
A squirrel preparing for the main ascent!

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A Moorhen
A Moorhen

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A swimming gull, reflected back by the smooth water.
A swimming gull, reflected back by the smooth water.

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A moorhen showing a turn of speed
A moorhen showing a turn of speed
This one was standing on a submerged log
This one was standing on a submerged log
A cormorant - the first of many.
A cormorant – the first of many.

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Cormornant showing off its wingspan
Cormornant showing off its wingspan
Fully extended.
Fully extended.

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A cormorant on the structure that I named Cormorant Platform because they make so much use of it.
A cormorant on the structure that I named Cormorant Platform because they make so much use of it.
Swans in the parkland off Littleport Street
Swans in the parkland off Littleport Street

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Bunny enjoying the thick grass.
Bunny enjoying the thick grass.

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One of my ornithological alter egos - a magpie.
One of my ornithological alter egos – a magpie.
The only time I have ever got a really got shot of one of these white butterflies - they move seriously fast
The only time I have ever got a really got shot of one of these white butterflies – they move seriously fast

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A cormorant and black backed gull together.
A cormorant and black backed gull together.

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A cormorant in swimming mode.
A cormorant in swimming mode.
These were the first ducklings I saw in 2015.
These were the first ducklings I saw in 2015.
This crafty duckling had realised that it could use the lily pad as a kind of boat.
This crafty duckling had realised that it could use the lily pad as a kind of boat.

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These three shots were gold from my point of view - usually if a cormorant is swimming it is looking for food and therefore dives regularly, making it tough to capture on camera.
These three shots were gold from my point of view – usually if a cormorant is swimming it is looking for food and therefore dives regularly, making it tough to capture on camera.

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Gulls in full flight
Gulls in full flight

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Mallard drake and moorhen being companionable on the edge of the upper Millfleet.
Mallard drake and moorhen being companionable on the edge of the upper Millfleet.
I had seen swans on various rivers, but until July 2015 never on the Great Ouse which is tidal and flows seriously fast.
I had seen swans on various rivers, but until July 2015 never on the Great Ouse which is tidal and flows seriously fast.

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These birds like marshy land best, but mud flats when the Great Ouse is at low tide are clearly also acceptable to them.
These birds like marshy land best, but mud flats when the Great Ouse is at low tide are clearly also acceptable to them.
The base of my current pictorial thank you message.
The base of my current pictorial thank you message.

Every single photo in this subsection was bagged within walking distance of my “compact” town centre flat – if you truly appreciate nature you do not have go very far to find glorious sights, and nothing need be harmed.

A FEW NATURE RELATED LINKS

These two links are both to petitions that anyone who takes an interest i nature should sign and share:

1)This from 38Degrees is an emergeny petition about bees

2)Take Part are running this petition against unsafe drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

A FINAL REMINDER

To finish the main section of this blog I have another infographic, which gives the same message as the one I opened the section with – the fundamental message of this post…

Nature infographic

GENERAL LINKS

Just a handful of links today:

A King’s Lynn Walk

As usual, before getting to the main part of the blog I have some links to share…

First of all, a story in the Mirror about housing benefits profiteers (i.e. big landlords) accompanied by a link to list of 20 of West Norfolk’s worst offenders in this regard:

KLWN HB

A shocking story from the Independent about a scientific peer reviewer who in the year 2015 said that women should get help with their research from men.

Shocking but not in the least surprising to anyone who knows anything about destructive Dave the debate ducker and his mate Gideon is this story about the effect of Tory cuts on the disabled from the New Statesman.

Now, some political dynamite from Vox Political in the form of story about how the Labour and Green party candidates were omitted from 480 ballot papers sent out to voters in Hull.

Katie Hopkins has been at it again, and is the subject of another petition on change.org demanding an apology to the autistic community for her latest offensive remarks. Please sign and share.

My last story is of a good outcome to a horrible event. The people who attacked and almost killed Malala Yousafzai have been jailed for life, and here is the story courtesy of BBC News.

THE WALK

This afternoon I went out for a walk, which turned out be full of glorious spring sights. The first camera moment came within minutes of setting forth, as I was crossing over the upper Purfleet, in the form of this Moorhen…

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The Great Ouse rarely fails to provide some decent opportunities for pictures, and here are some from today…

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Neither Hardngs Pits nor the Nar provided much of interest, but the parkland areas (the Walks and the Recreation Field) certainly did…

Opportunities to photograph the South gate with no traffic interfering are not common.
Opportunities to photograph the South gate with no traffic interfering are not common.

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The loco pulling a goods train.
The loco pulling a goods train.
Tree sculptures, at the Tennyson Road edge of the Recreation Field.
Tree sculptures, at the Tennyson Road edge of the Recreation Field.

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A front-on view of the loco showing a couple of trucks as well.
A front-on view of the loco showing a couple of trucks as well.

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Between Tennyson Road and Bawsey Drain there were a few small things of interest…

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Bawsey Drain provided two examples of a mother duck taking her little ones out on the water and some small birds of the beautiful but frustrating (because they are so hard to capture on camera) variety…

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I took the way home that leads via two ponds and a section of river to the Railway Station and thence home. This last stretch provided some further duckling pictures and as my final shot of the day a blackbird…

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One duckling that is already a fine swimmer.
One duckling that is already a fine swimmer.