Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Dark Side of the Moon ...

150° southeast ...

The phases of our Moon are dependant upon its position in relation to the Sun and Earth. As the Moon travels around the Earth we see the illuminated (sunlit) hemisphere of the Moon's surface at different angles. It is the revolution of the Moon around the Earth that makes the Moon appear as if it is changing shape in the sky. From Earth we see the Moon grow from a thin crescent to a full disk and then shrink back to a thin crescent before vanishing for a few days. These are called the 'phases' of the Moon. The following image, taken at 6.30am this morning, shows the Moon in its Waning (old) Crescent phase (11% of Full) with the planet Venus, the brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon, clearly visible as a bright light.

I must get up early tomorrow ...


Friday, 14 February 2014

Blue sky, cold wind, sunshine and snow!

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)

A cold and windy walk yesterday, though with much welcomed blue sky and sunshine, produced one of my favourite scarce passage migrants and winter visitor to the Sussex coast, the beautiful Snow Bunting (P. nivalis). In Sussex, as elsewhere in Southern Britain, Snow Buntings are almost entirely confined to coastal sites with a marked preference for sandy shores. Favoured locations include Chichester and Pagham Harbours in West Sussex and the area around Rye Bay to the east. This individual was found feeding along the shoreline at East Head, located on the east side of the entrance to Chichester Harbour.