Friday, 20 February 2009

Just like St Margaret's?

Although it is only mid-February several migrant species were already in evidence in the South of Spain. There was a continual stream of Swallows and lesser numbers of House, Crag and Sand Martins. Below are a few photos from day 2 of our trip (Saturday 14th Feb).

This and the next two species have all been seen at St Margaret's in the last few years, but of course they are strays when they get here, but at home in Spain. We saw a few Black Storks, including one coming in off the sea, a strange sight, as you are looking for Shearwaters!

There were a few Black Kites about at the beginning of the week, but by the last day they were more numerous, when we counted 111, including one group of over 60.

White Storks were numerous, this one had a white ring on that read C WP. I don't know if it is to do with how they feed, but many White Storks look grubby, with just a few pristine black and white.

There were quite a few of these orchids in the Stone Pine wood at Barbate. Thanks to Dave Johnson I now know that these are Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys tenthredinifera). They're not Early Spiders, but it is still a reminder of the orchids of our area.

The sunset from the balcony of John's house is still fantastic, but the view is slowly changing, with large wind generators beginning to come into view on the left. It was 21 months since I was last in the area and the number of these intrusive monsters in the area has increased hugely. Mind you, if the ones at East Langdon get planning permission the evening view from our top windows will include some of these horrors.


Gerald said...

Great pics Tony - keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Horrors Tony? - you'd prefer a Nuclear power plant would you?

Tony Morris said...

Yes, with proper technological development. The wind farms are basically inefficient and a Governmental fraud. Many actually use more energy for manufacture, maintenance and dismantlement than they produce. The eventual answer must be to harness the energy that the sun sends us, we use (the world in total)less than four percent of what arrives. Unfortunately the development of such power cells etc doesn't make the Oil and energy barons rich, they are already into wind power, and the Government has a large spin machine focussed on this and barraging estuaries, which will also be an environmental disaster.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Tony, I think that response is crass and actually quite stupid. Who would ever prefer a nuclear power plant over a wind farm?

Give me the latter any day. What good is all the nuclear waste doing to the planet, exactly?

Tony Morris said...

Dear Anonymous,
If I am stupid then so are many who have written about the folly of wind power in the UK, most far more versed in the economics of power generation than me. As far as the reply being crass I suggest the use of a dictionary may help your comments.

Anonymous said...

No Tony, I don't need a dictionary as the word "crass" sums up your reply perfectly. I assume it was the word "crass" that you were referring to? Check the Oxford Dictionary online - I don't need to as I can articulate better than you can.

I am not talking about "energy efficiency", rather the dangers of living close to a nuclear power plant. That was my point, which you missed.

In this context, if you are really saying that a nuclear power plant is safer than a wind farm being based close to your home, then you are stupid.

The windfarms are coming to Kent and there's nothing you can do about it.

Simon said...

I think Mr Anon has got you on this one Tony. Who in their right mind would choose living close to an awful thing like Sizewell instead instead of a wind farm? At least a wind farm can be dismantled - with a nuclear power plant it is not so easy...

Tony Morris said...

1) I did say that Nuclear Power needed more technological advances to improve safety. Many informed researchers would say that this is not only possible but we are nearly there. Modern plants are far safer than old ones and produce much less waste. (See David Koffler in the Guardian on July 8th last year.)
2) I also said that I believed the final answer would come from the development of solar energy.
3) The difference between the two is that in the climatic conditions in the UK, nuclear actually produces significant amounts of energy while Wind Energy consumes almost (in manufacture, infrastructure, dismantling for renewal etc), if not as much energy as it produces.
Thus the two aren't alternatives, one works, one doesn't or not to a meaningful level. The inefficiency of wind farms means that we will have to have Power Stations as backups, therefore negating any advantage wind power could have.
4) Aesthetically neither is pretty but scale of desecration of the environment by Wind Farms is enormous and the number of large-scale bird kills, if they are placed in the wrong areas (as in Southern Spain and California) is enormous.

Anonymous said...

Long response to hide a simple answer if you ask me...

Ok Tony, to put this thread to death, a simple question which readers can quickly judge your response.

Scenario: I am considering buying one of two houses and have just found out that one house is half a mile from an ageing nuclear reactor, and that the other house is 1/2 mile from a wind farm. I can only purchase one of these two houses.

Question: Which house would you buy on this basis?

I rest my case, and I actually hope you say 'the house next to the nuclear power station' because then you will look even more of a fool.

Over to you Tony... simple question, simple answer.

Tony Morris said...

You rest Your case? Your case, of course, is not the one we were debating originally. You said
"- you'd prefer a Nuclear power plant would you?" to which I replied
"Yes, with proper technological development." Not would I like to live by an old plant. I stand by what I originally said because wind power will not obviate the need for power stations. As I said, I believe that with enough resources being put into research eventually energy for solar power will be harnessed. Falsely representing my views may be politically clever but hardly moves the real debate forward.

Steve Wilkes said...

Come on Tony, fairs fair.

Tell us where you would prefer to live at the present time: by ANY nuclear power plant, old or not, or by a windfarm (as in if you had to make the choice today and not based upon future possibilities).

I think the question is quite valid and that you are avoiding answering it properly, almost to the point of being deliberately belligerant.

I for one would rather live by a windfarm than any type of nuclear power plant.

Steve Wilkes said...

LOL, Tony has gone all quiet...

Anonymous said...

haha Tony - the only man who wants to live next to a Nuclear power station...DOH!