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David Bradley

Sciencebase - Freelance Science Writer

Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:10:18 +0000


Telephoto landscape compression

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:10:18 +0000

Several people have asked about my photo on the cover of the January/February issue of the Cottenham Newsletter. They’re curious as to where I took the photo, how I got the church and the lode in the frame like that. A couple of people have even suggested that it must be a composite and have … Continue reading "Telephoto landscape compression"

Marsh Harrier harried by Rooks

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:16:06 +0000

I startled a male Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) that was resting on the banks of the Cottenham Lode at the dog-leg near Rampton Spinney. The bird took fright and flight and flew off into an adjacent field and began hunting for small mammals in the crop growing only to subsequently be hounded rooks. It had … Continue reading "Marsh Harrier harried by Rooks"

Close to the Equinox Festival

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:12:23 +0000

We had our second Close to the Equinox mini indoor music festival at the Cottenham Community Centre last week, I’d spent pretty much most of my time since the last one organising this one, recruiting musicians, building the roster and then delegating all the jobs on the day so that I ended up more stressed … Continue reading "Close to the Equinox Festival"

Bullying Greenfinches

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 09:45:17 +0000

Recently, I posted a video of argumentative Goldfinches. This species seems to be the more common sight on our garden bird feeders. There is a flock of about 12 that spend their time flitting about the environs, competing with the flock of House Sparrows that live here too. And, there are Tits (Great, Blue, and … Continue reading "Bullying Greenfinches"

BS for breakfast

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:56:36 +0000

It’s 8:40 am, I’m late to my desk, and although I’ve had a cuppa, I’m dithering about whether to have porridge or cornflakes to give me a sugar boost. But here’s a thought: the notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day was created by Big Cereal, it’s a myth, nothing more … Continue reading "BS for breakfast"

The halcyon days of the fisher king

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 16:16:14 +0000

The Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) (a.k.a. the Eurasian Kingfisher, and the River Kingfisher is one of seven resident subspecies that range across Eurasia and North Africa. Some do migrate when their rivers freeze although they are mostly resident. There are at least two residing in Milton Country Park, north of Cambridge. Here’s one of them, … Continue reading "The halcyon days of the fisher king"

The Wheatear has nothing to do with ears of wheat

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 13:25:54 +0000

The Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) is a small, old-world flycatcher. It’s scientific binomial is a tautonym, both words are the same meaning it is the archetype of its class. The word itself comes from the Greek for wine, oenos and anthos meaning flower and is linked to the bird’s return to Greece in the spring when … Continue reading "The Wheatear has nothing to do with ears of wheat"

In your Wi-Fi, Hedy Lamarr!

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:08:19 +0000

Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler (1914-2000) was an Austrian-born American film actor often talked of as the most beautiful woman in the movies perhaps most famous for her role in the 1948 Cecil B. DeMille movie Samson and Delilah, playing Delilah to Victor Mature’s Samson AND an inventor. An inventor, you say? Yes, indeed. Hedy Lamarr was entirely … Continue reading "In your Wi-Fi, Hedy Lamarr!"

Novichok, or newbie, chemical weapons

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 10:37:23 +0000

Apparently, novichok mean newbie in Russian. That said, the nerve agents going by that name and in the news because of the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter were purportedly developed in the 1970s. Although their precise chemical structures are not known, it is known that that are organophosphate compounds that stop the … Continue reading "Novichok, or newbie, chemical weapons"

To feed or not to feed – fat is the question

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 18:08:50 +0000

Recently, I posted about whether or not you should feed wild birds in your garden. The obvious answer if you like birds, is: of course! Research in the news today asks the same question in the context of emergent diseases that are afflicing avian populations. Here’s the paper. The bottom line is they don’t really … Continue reading "To feed or not to feed – fat is the question"