Thursday, 1 March 2012

Happy St David's Day

Daffodils, Leeks? Pah!  Dragons for me.

I know none of the above have anything to do with St. David (as far as the world at large knows), but the most attractive symbol of our national day (we barbarians known as Welsh that is), is the dragon.

The large black one on the left goes by the name of Ivor Llewellyn Pendragon, his small Padwan is Rhodri.

No excuse, the names came out of nowhere.

For a long time now I have been considering acquiring another cat, but while I still cannot take the final step I'm making do with my slightly sinister silent companions.

Fiddling about with my camera the other day I hit on Ivor as a subject and took a few awful pictures of him, then this morning I added little Rhodri to the equation and while the light is very poor, hence bad picture - well that's my story anyway - waiting for the fog outside to lift looks like an all-day task so I chanced a shot.

Ivor is carved from coal from the last deep mine in Wales and has lived with me in exile for some 20 years.
Rhodri, bless his little plastic heart, belonged to my late aunt who shared my passion for both cats and dragons.  Proof of superior iltelligence of course.!

She also shared my love of birds, which brings me to my good deed for St David's day.

Those of you who are regular readers will know that I have been a member of British Trust for Ornithology for some time.   How much time was something I hadn't thought about until a week ago when I received a letter from Mike Toms head of ecology at the trust.

To my amazement, I find that I have been a member of the garden birdwatch scheme since October 1998, during which time I have submitted 671 weekly reports.

The long and short of the letter was that the BTO are seeking more recruits to this valuable research and asked for any help I could give.

Of necessity, due to my being a non-driver and 76 years old this restricts any peripatetic activity on my part so I thought I'd put out the details in a blog.

Obviously this will reach only a few people, but might just encourage some of them to either participate themselves or persuade others to consider doing so.

Membership/participation in the Garden Birdwatch Scheme costs only  £15 per year and all the returns sheets are sent to you together with a magazine 4 times a year.

The address is:   British Trust for Ornithology
                         The Nunnery
                        Norfolk IP24 2PU.

This is such a very valuable piece of research and can give the participants so much pleasure, and takes only a matter of seconds a few times a day.

There.   Deed done.


  1. Happy St David's Day to you, Ivor and Rhodri!

    I would certainly be interested in the birdwatching if I lived close by! Congratulations for your involvement in this organization for so many years!

  2. My goodness, that Ivor Llewellyn Pendragon is a handsome fellow!

    Last weekend, I was in a National Wildlife Refuge on the Virginia barrier island of Assateague, where thousands of birds (mostly waterfowl) are resting in preparation for spring migration. The ponds were filled with all kinds of ducks and geese and swans and the shore amply supplied with waders of many sorts. Every now and then a great swarm of them would fly up, sometimes just to resettle a few feet away. You'd have loved it, I think.

    Happy St David's Day!

  3. Happy St. David's Day! Your dragon's are both very special -- but the one made of coal is exceptional! I love it.

    Thanks for the info on the BTO -- I may very well follow that up.

  4. Diolch yn fawr, Ray, and the same to you. Like The Broad I love Ivor Pendragon and the link with Wales' mining past - very special and a bit sad. I gave our youngest grandson a stuffed red Welsh dragon and it's one of his alltime favourites.

    Well done for putting out the information about the BTO. We're away too much to be able to give consistent reports and in any case our so-called garden is basically just a corner of a rough field, but I'll mention it to people I know.

  5. Thanks Theanne. Ivor and Rhodri say they would be happy to toast your breakfast crumpets for you.

  6. Yes, Ivor is rather handsome isn't he Penny. Rhodri hopes he will get better as he gets bigger.

    Your water birds sound fabulous. My experience is limited almost entirely to garden birds, though as you'll have read, I sometimes get a rare visitor.

  7. Both dragons are still preening from all the admiration they have received, thankyou.

    I'm glad to hear you may take an interest in the garden birdwatch scheme. It is addictive though, I should warn you.

  8. Hi Perpetua. Ivor is rather splendid I must say, and the link with the end of the collieries in Wales is indeed sad in many ways.

    Any mention of the BTO's activities would be much appreciated.

    Nos da.

  9. Happy St.David's Day. The red dragon is marvellous.

  10. Hi Jane, I'm so glad little Rhodri meets with your approval. He is working very hard to be as good as his mentor Ivor.

  11. Hi Ray Test sent14.46 Sat. Love RX

  12. Thanks Roger.
    Seems to be OK.
    Love X