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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more

Wed 14th March 2012 16:21 by Graham Smith
The Night Shift
The two events you mention are kind of linked. I can still remember, as a kid, when an old boy (he was probably my age!) used to come along my street at dusk with a long pole and light the gas lamps, returning the next morning to snuff them out. The light they shed cast the village in a soft, almost Dickensian glow. Nowadays, of course, the electric street lights are much more powerful and what with neon signs, security lights and all the rest the place is lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. Quite a number of birds - either fooled by or taking advantage of the bright lights, have taken to singing in the middle of the night, especially in early spring when their sap is rising! In the same way, the Peregrines that nest on tower blocks in London are often able to hunt through the night and the remains of nocturnal migrants such as Water Rail and Little Grebe have been found in their nests. The same light pollution that has benefited them has also dimmed the stars but I too noticed the recent coming together of Jupiter and Venus (or at least had it pointed out to me) on 11th and was able to see the former's moons through the telescope I use for birdwatching.


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