Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Granny Weatherwax's card

In some of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels one of his witches transfers into the mind of an owl, leaving her body a little comatose.  She holds a sign on her chest saying "I aren't dead"when she does this.

Rather than holding up such a sign I will refer you to this blog for the next while.

Friday, 1 July 2016

June 2016 Weather

(Jan 1993 to date)

Current year

June 2016
Past years
8 June 2005
08 June 1996
All Months
 24 Jan 2001
 02 Aug 1997
(May 1984 to date)

Current year
Past years
Annual total
821.1 (est)

Rainfall for the month is highlighted as it is the highest for the month of June in this area since records began in 1984.  The heaviest day was 5 June on which we received 88.6mm, the second highest recording (and only 5.4mm behind the record of 94mm on 12 October 1996).


We had two major rain events during the month, from 4 - 6 June (118.4mm) and 17-21 June (37.2mm).  Overall we received more than 0.2mm of rain on 13 days.  The relative magnitude of the fall is emphasised by this chart.
All dams in the area are full and Whiskers Creek has run steadily throughout the month.  A local rsident, possibly channelling Hanrahan, commented to the effect that "We haven't got a problem with rain - other than too much - until September."


Basically a month of 2 moods.  Quite moderate temperatures during the rain events followed by cold (or chillier) temperatures at other times.
The temperature fell below 0oC on 13 days.  This is more than for recent years but above the average since 1993.  Taking the BoM definition of a frost (less than 2oC) the count of days is still 13!  This is well below the long term average of 20 frosty days in June.

The average maximum temperature of 11.2oC was almost on the long term average, and similar to recent years.  
However the average minimum of +2.3oC was well above the long term average of -0.1oC (but that value is more like the values recorded prior to about 2007).


An undry month.  If 40% relative humidity is 'normal' we were above that the entire month.  Indeed the 3pm rH only dropped below 50% on one day.
 This seems quite normal when compared with other years since 2013.


The month felt windy.  And so it was:
 As expected the windy days coincided with the rain events.  This daily windiness is reflected in the average gusts recorded over the month, which while not as high as May 2016 were still way above previous Junes.

June updates

The image below isn't really an update, but it is cute.
It isn't great quality, being taken through a window in dusk, but I thought the record of a family of Swampies on the lawn on 12 June was pretty good.  The small dog went completely ballistic.

The mum and bub turned up again on 30 June.
If you don't think Junior is cute, I suggest you get your medication adjusted.

This Blog

  • I have added a few bits and pieces to the East Coast Low post include a reference to this having the second highest daily rainfall recorded in Carwoola.
  • The Bird a Day situation for 8 June has been corrected!  (It was published on 9 June, but the matters referred to occurred on 8 June.)
  • Some insights into bat management have been linked.
  • A link to ABC coverage of Eden Monaro has been added.
  • I have added some updates to the Brexit post.
Several posts have included comment about Australian political matters, including one grumpy reaction to answering the phone to find it was recording of Julie Bishop.  On June 30 things got worse when the caller was Fred Nile!  (The absolute nadir would be if it had been Elephant-eater Borsak.  Thinking further about it I'm not sure where Derryn Hinch and La Hanson fit relative to Fred - I just know all of them are well of the bottom of scale of desirable pondlife.)

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A cool morning

We had arranged to go for a family walk in Canberra this morning and even though it was only -4oC we headed off.  As we drove in to Queanbeyan it was still -2.5oC when we got to the road 'works'.  (At least the bogans were present this morning, although opening a thermos seemed to be the main activity.)

On getting to the objective of the walk (the Boundless Playground) it was still very cold, with a good serve of hoar frost on parts of the equipment.
Some comments were made about feeling cold so a fleece was transferred across a couple of generations.
Near the playground is the Workers Memorial.  This obviously doesn't apply to anybody involved in the project on Captains Flat Road since they are not dead (the usual requirement for a Memorial) and are rarely observed working.
 The Carillion with a misty Lake to the right.
 More misty Lake.
 Several years ago I was involved in organising a cycle race in which the recumbent riders got bolshy as they didn't have an event.  So one was added to the event and the (then) cycling columnist for the Canberra Times annoyed them by referring to it as a 'novelty event'.  So here we have a novelty cyclist!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Bird-A-Day for January 2016 is done (for me)

As expected my final bird in the Bird-a-day competition starting in January 2016 was Australian Magpie, on June 23.  This meant I had got 8 days further than last year.  As that was also an improvement on the previous year I have 3 observations, which means it is mechanically possible to construct a trendline.  Whether it is sensible to do so is another matter but, with that available EXCEL, enables me to project forward 190 periods (thus ending on 31 December) which shows I will complete the BaD year in 2045!  Something to look forward to!

I should note that on June 24 a Yellow-billed Spoonbill was briefly apparent at Jerrabombera Wetlands so I did an 80km, and 3 hour, round trip to fail to see it.  At least I didn't wimp out of trying.

The pattern I have previously reported of keeping both my index score and my BaD rating a little on the rarer side of last year has continued.  This means that my running average BaD rating was a little higher ....
 ... and my average Index score a little lower than in 2015.
I recorded 35 birds in 2016 that I didn't use in 2015 and (as arithmetic would suggest) in 2016 I failed to find 26 birds used in 2015.  

Several of the additions this year (eg Grey-crowned Babbler, Plum-headed Finch and Bluebonnet) , come from trips to the Western Slopes or to Mallacoota.  The main source of missing in action for 2016 (birds such as Chirruping Wedgebill and Purple-crowned Lorikeet) was a set logged on a 2015 trip to South Australia via Broken Hill.

The most annoying 'not-counted' birds in 2016 were:
  • the Hudsonian Godwit at Woolumboola Lake (beaten out by the Paradise Shelduck at the same venue on the same day); and 
  • White throated Needletail, seen on several days in March at Mallacoota but always beaten out by 'better' birds.  I spent a lot of time looking at storm clouds in Carwoola but it was a poor year for swifts in this area.
I have previously commented on the most annoying recorded bird being Southern Whiteface.  Just after finding a flock of them a Brown Falcon went by but wasn't preferred.  A few days later I found another group of Whiteface which I couldn't use.   Ethics are terrible things.  It looked as though I was going to dip on the Falcon - until I happened to look at a photo of a flock of panic-stricken Galahs and realised I had captured a Brown Falcon ripping through the flock.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Land of (no) hope and (former) glory.

There are some interesting updates at the foot of this.  (I would have put in a link here but that bit of HTML no longer works in Blogger: apparently ity is a known problem, but their doesn't seem to be a known solution!)

I will start by noting that I used to really like the Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 until I saw Maggie Thatcher singing it after the sinking of the General Belgrano.  Since then it makes me chunder.

How could a country have come to such a stupid decision as to leave Europe?  The following graphics come from the Guardian website.

The map says it all, with yellow being sensible and blue being Nigel Farage's preference.  Cornwall is grey as they haven't decided yet - probably still looking for the 'secession' option.

Why is this so?  Again the Guardian is helpful.

The first two graphs show opposite trends - which is fortunate as they cover opposite ends of the educational spectrum.

 In looking at the second of those graphs you may recall The Donald's comment "We love the undereducated."  In both cases it means the group in question are daft enough to fall for the smoke and mirrors on offer from The Donald in the US or Farage and The Boris in the UK.

I hope that "more highly educated" and "higher income" are correlated so it isn't a great surprise to find that the graph below is consistent with the two above.

 I'd be surprised if this showed a statistically significant trend.
However the following day a YouGov poll (I can't get a link to the results on You Gov - presumably that is paywalled - so have snipped a table from the Canberra Times) showed a very definite pattern.
So not only do I have my former countrypersons to worry about, but also my generation!

I have fiddled with the next one as the colours used by the Guardian didn't show up at all well, especially the pale yellow (for a narrow 'remain' vote).  Possibly the result of my effort overemphasises the number of  units with a relatively high % of migrants.  The title has also  taken some damage in the process but it reads "% residents not born in the UK".
Basically it shows how the xenophobes took over the "Leave" campaign.  This reminds me of how the lovely Pauline Hanson got elected on a racist vote from Ipswich (Qld not Suffolk UK - although looking at the map above there ain't much difference) when there was hardly a non-British migrant in her electorate.

As I commented in a different context recently "The problem with idiot proofing is that they keep inventing bigger idiots."

I am thinking of taking my UK passport (expired since 1970) in to the UK High Commission and igniting it in protest.  (The big problem with that is that the Poms are located next door to the Chinese Embassy and the latter may think it is some weird escalation by Falun Gong and thus over-react.)


Commentary in the New Statesman!
The second go petition!  It was meant as insurance by the 'Leave ' mob.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

A couple of observations about the Australian elections

The first is the current market for Eden-Monaro (our electorate) from Sportsbet.
Noting that when they first fielded, both candidates for the 2 biggies were at $1.87, I reckon a few folk have punted their superannuation funds on Mike Kelly.

However I am conscious that there is still over a week to go!

My second obsevation is that our landline rang this evening as I was watching the TV news.  I expected this to be someone with a South Asian accent trying to sell me an investment (unlikely to have a better payout than Sportsbet) or someone with a South Asian accent trying to get me to give them access to my computer.  In fact it was worse: the call began "Hello I'm Julie Bishop and I want to ....".  I guess she didn't want to offer investments or fix my computer but as I'd hung up I will never know.

However, if I had been thinking about voting for the Liberal candidate - and the odds on that are worse than those offered above by Sportsbet for the Animal Justice Party - getting a cold call from a recording would have resolved that matter in the negative!