Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “M25”

Reflections on Auckland


The general impression of arriving in  New Zealand is positive from the moment that the immigration forms ask is one wants to stay and the immigration process is complete in maybe 5 minutes or less.

The general drive into auckland is unspectacular with normal housing and industrial developments lining regular dual carriageways. There is however an absence of the hideous traffic jams that line most of the UK motorways.

The centre of  Auckland has the regular shops and hotels that one expects to see but the focus point is maybe the harbour filled with various yachts of immense expense, boats offering whale and dolphin trips and the edges lined with appealing bars and restaurants. An Italian restaurant  Portofino can be recommended for basic but nice Italian fare and not too pricey.

As one walks around the people look happy. When I was there there was an international Karate tournament with most of the young teenage contestantants staying in the hotel. There was no arguing with these guys when they rushed up en-masse to get their breakfast items. The Austrian girls were particularly scary.

http://www.wgkf.net

https://www.facebook.com/World-Goju-Ryu-Karate-Championships-New-Zealand-2015-638246422862804/

The city is also lined by a series of dormant, hopefully, volcanoes. Mount Wellington being one example giving great views of the city and worth a decent climb. At the moment cars are allowed to the top to a small car park but soon this will end and car passengers will have to take the same walking route as their coach passenger fellow tourists.

The food generally is interesting. Gorgeous slices of Mango at breakfast with fresh pears and apricots. Lebanese restaurants with very different menus to what might be expected in UK.

There is the usual selection of excellent graffiti and one piece of a guy trying to break into a locked garage caught my eye and was spectacular. A few curious signs too.

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A Dead Swan at Painshill Park. Why do Cygnets die?


Painshill Park is an amazing park in Surrey near Cobham just off Junction 10 of the M25 and well worth a visit. We have been regular visitors now for over 10 years but yesterday saw a sad sight of a dead swan, cygnet really. No clear reason why it had died, no injuries visible, weather no worse than normal .Just sad really. The swan was lying near the top of the main lake not far from the Ruined Abbey and plenty of other Swans and Cygnets were swimming around.

I did a little research to find out maybe what might have happened. Swans firstly tend to have few real predators except when young. New born cygnets are mainly lost to crows, herons, magpies, turtles, pike and large perch. Both cygnets and full-grown swans are also the prey of foxes and mink. Other dangers include vandalism, pollution, dogs and various poisonings. Who knows what happened to our cygnet?

The Daily Mail however do have an online story of interest. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-454255/Mystery-heartbreak-seven-cygnets-vanish-one.html

Seven cygnets have vanished without trace in a week from Cheltenham. The rangers report that the last time they indeed lost a cygnet of this age was in 1991. So the death of our cygnet is unusual. Other trawling of websites suggested this:

The cygnets may have picked up something on the migratory pattern, i.e., lead poisoning, botulism (although most of the time, it would be a more immediate death (within 24 hours if botulism is the culprit). Do the cygnets look like they have lost muscle (neck) control? Are they exuding a thick saliva from their mouths and exhibiting convulsions prior to their demise? These questions would lead to some type of poisoning.

 

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