Writer’s block

Yesterday was truly a testing day. No power most of the day meant we had to have breakfast and lunch in town. Thankfully we had the power restored earlier than scheduled so the evening feast was home-cooked. The breakfast was surprisingly good – bacon and eggs in a Chinese version of a ‘greasy spoon’ cafe. Lunch was not. But then I spent ages doing battle with the blog. All of my sites except WordPress loaded fine. WordPress took me to blank pages. I could see some blogs belonging to others but only by searching for them in Google. So if you had a deluge of visits from HK yesterday it was possibly me testing my laptop. Strangely I had more luck via the iPhone and iPad apps but it was hit and miss. And I could not get any of the admin functions to work. So I might see a comment but I could not reply. Late in the evening I discovered that by hitting refresh about 6 times in a row I could see static pages on the laptop but I could not click any links. I was seriously concerned at one stage that I or possibly WordPress in HK had been blocked. A search revealed that WordPress.com is blocked in the rest of China but WordPress.org is not – or possibly the other way round. I don’t recall. And people forget that HK is legally part of the PRC we just have a different system. Theirs works and ours doesn’t.

This morning a quick try yielded nothing by way of improvement. As a final effort I disconnected and reconnected the router. Bingo!! Normal service has been restored. But why was it only WordPress that was being affected? Were the secret police inside my router pulling the plug each time I clicked on WordPress? Happy to let me use Facebook and all my financial sites, streaming data all the time but steadfastly refusing to let me write anything interesting….. as if I would. As Martin Williams suggested, “fomenting dissent – with bird n dragonfly photos!” Its probably there buried deep inside the Chinese Lawbook; “Thou shalt not write about dissidents, birds or odonata. Odonata is deemed to refer to the singular and the plural and shall include zygoptera and helicoptera.” Well if nothing else it gave me a heading for today.

And today, somewhat dischuffed with life I deserted the home and headed out to my local patch. Armed fearlessly with nothing but a 400mm F4 lens and my trusty 1D mk4 body I went off in search of avian riches. On arrival I was greeted by a cheery chap from AFCD. I asked him what the earthmoving equipment was doing and he explained they were trying to regenerate an area of the reserve overgrown with old acacia trees. Seems like a good idea. I may indent for the treatment myself. I am not yet overgrown with acacia trees but I surely need regenerating. If Dr. Who can do it I am sure I can. The Sai Kung Timelord. Its rather a natty title. I lost interest in the good Doctor after Tom Baker I think. William Hartnell was good. John Pertwee I liked although he wasn’t quite right somehow. I always picture him in The Navy Lark I’m afraid. Of course none of this will mean a thing to anyone under 40 and outside Britain in the 60s and 70s but we all have our cross to bear. Patrick Troughton was ok but Baker was the best, he and his trusty companion, K9.

Back to the patch. Here then are a few shots from today’s outing. First up the not so shy Black-faced laughingthrushes.



And staying on the theme of black we had a veritable overflow of Blackbirds today. The first one looked hostile…… I’ve come for my boy.


The second one merely perplexed.


And then a run of ladies:

This is Mrs. Daurian Redstart.


And this is Mrs. Fork-tailed sunbird – not too shabby is she. Green suits her.


And finally Mrs. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker. I have a couple of shots with eye contact but I picked this because it shows what seems to be a tinge of red on the back of the head / nape and I don’t see this mentioned in any of the literature.


Finally, not the best of shots but these things flit about like billy-o and getting one to stop still or freeze one “in action” is tough and I almost managed it today. Just don’t look too closely. Yellow-browed warbler.


And guess what…. it’s got a yellow brow. Amazing. Still common as muck but quite a pretty bird.

And there we are…….. until the next time. Unless of course I’m blocked again.

9 thoughts on “Writer’s block

  1. Worth popping down to the “patch” for…. !
    Patrick Troughton’s son captained Warwickshire CCC…’nuff said.
    “Left hand down a bit….” or was that Leslie Phillips ?

  2. Super photos of very beautiful and interesting birds!
    This post was a good read too, but sorry to hear about your internet difficulties.
    I experienced problems last week when a trojan ransom hijacked my system. Not fun.

  3. Two things your posts always make me do: send me off to google something new to me, and; stand back in sheer admiration of our feathered friends’ grace and beauty. For this i thank you dearly, Andrew. It is always a pleasure to stop by here.

    • Alessandro, I am not sure what you could possibly need to google from my blog but I am delighted that you enjoy the bird images. They are easy to overlook in our busy lives but they have de-stressed me effectively for two decades.

  4. An excellent group of bird photos, Andrew. I like yours a lot because you are showing the bird’s habitat and for me, most of the time, that makes the photo more interesting. As for the computer and no electricity- now that had to have been a real bummer. No computer? Makes a person want to yell or pull their hair out depending on whether you can yell without the neighbors calling the police or if you have hair you can afford to lose.

    Actually wordpress has been acting funny of late. Little things here and there. Not wanting to accept a comment and the comment box moving away while I am typing. And other idiotic happenings.

    • Thank you Yvonne. I am sure WP is prone to gremlins but it is free so I shouldn’t complain. I do birds in habitat because thats as close I can get without a hide 🙂

      Today’s post has a nice bird both close up and in habitat, just for a change.

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