Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mersehead RSPB Reserve

That sunshine is still dragging me out and about. Today it was the RSPB reserve at Mersehead – about thirty miles along the Solway coast. My favourite part is the western end where in past years thousands of oyster catchers have gathered by the mouth of a small river that runs into the Solway Firth here.

I recollect reading somewhere that the manager had moved to another reserve and I formed the impression today that he had taken his birds with him. The feeders outside the cottage window were always a major attraction even when the rest of the reserve was quiet. But not today – instead of the dozens of small birds which are usually busy around the feeders there was only a handful. The lack of feed put out for them may have something to do with it. There’s obviously a change in working practices and the majority of the wee birds have gone elsewhere.

No worries – we can always stick a photo of the ‘old buzzard’ on here when things are quiet —


Mersehead Nov 2012 015

OK – it’s the end of the beach by the waterfall that’s been chosen for the lunch spot today —

Mersehead Nov 2012 047

where an old tree trunk makes a good picnic spot —

Mersehead Nov 2012 063

I forgot the teabag but hot water goes down just as well without and all to soon it’s time to head back along the shoreline to the wooded part of the reserve —

Mersehead Nov 2012 037

Where I took time out to track and photograph a roe deer hidden amongst the trees. She is in the centre of the pic – standing just beyond the water —

Mersehead Nov 2012 074

Then I was just in time to catch another sunset as I made my way home —

Mersehead Nov 2012 076

Mersehead Reserve

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 29, 2012 in out and about


Wes Cooley Special Goes Titanium

The Bill Simpson Racing/Wes Cooley GS Thou goes into the crate bound for South Africa next week but I managed to get a few shots of the new titanium exhaust before she heads for warmer places —

Wes Cooley Goes Titanium 006

The blueing on the headers happened on the dyno when setting up the carbs to suit the new smaller bore exhaust.

These are the bigger bore headers fitted previously —

Cooley 038

and link pipe —

Cooley 036

Quite a difference —

Wes Cooley Goes Titanium 033

The eight valve 1098cc motor was kicking out 108bhp at the top end when fitted with the stainless steel big bore pipes but that was reduced to 106bhp once the smaller bore set was fitted. The benefit with the titanium setup is a reduction in weight and a virtually flat torque output giving 77ft.lbs all the way from 4500rpm to a conservative 8500 which should work well with the old five speed gearbox.

Wes Cooley Goes Titanium 001

Granted she’s a diesel – but a real nice diesel from a shop that knows their race craft.

These are TZ350 swingarms custom made in-house —

Wes Cooley Goes Titanium 022

The big Susie has lots of clever touches —

Wes Cooley Goes Titanium 048

hand built —

Wes Cooley Goes Titanium 028

by an expert —

Wes Cooley Goes Titanium 027

Excuse me while I call my bank manager – he might just lend me the necessary spondulas to fund my own Wes Cooley Special 🙂

day at the office 009



Wes Cooley Special Goes Titanium.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized



Yamaha XJR1300 2013-v-new-T-Max

Yamaha have announced their XJR1300 for 2013.


But where’s the excitement?

It doesn’t look much different to this ’99 model I sold to my friend Ratboy a few months ago —

XJR 1 010

Fuel injection instead of carbs – single sider exhaust – adjustable shocks – more black paint and that’s about it.

I admit I do like that retro style and wouldn’t say ‘no’ to another one if they were still selling at around six grand new 🙂

But I’ve already had this fella —

bikeshed 011

another like this —


plus this one —

bikeshed 053

and a 400cc version of this —


So maybe I should go for something different – like this instead —


The latest Yamaha T-Max scooter. She costs more than the XJR but it couldn’t be a mistake to buy one – not when she is one of the biggest sellers in Europe – could it?

Yamaha XJR1300 for 2013 v the new T-Max

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Uncategorized



Rare Birds – Long-tailed Duck

A headline in my newspaper confirmed what I have noticed over the years – ‘A fifth of British birds vanish in just fifty years!’ That’s something like forty four million breeding birds!

Sparrows, starlings and wrens plus many more native species are in decline but there has been a measurable increase in the numbers of chaffinch, great spotted woodpeckers and Buzzards.

One rare bird I was fortunate enough to see as a winter visitor to these parts was a long-tailed duck. They breed further north in the tundra and it is estimated that less than one hundred will visit our shores. Most of those that do come are to be found on the north-east coastline.

I was on a walk out past the lifeboat station to Torr’s Point on the Dee Estuary. Then carried on from the rocky point untill a left turn by the boundary fence with the Army firing range took me to a very small muddy loch behind those trees at the top of the rise where I spotted a single male long-tailed duck on the loch in the company of several others of a different species —


With the benefit of hindsight it’s companions may have been females of the breed as they don’t have the luxuriant tail feathers and are quite plain in comparison. As luck would have it the birds took off before I got my camera into focus and that male long-tailed duck in flight was a never-to-be-forgotten sight with it’s exiotic tail and wing feathers flapping in jig-time as it followed it’s more nimble mates. I’ve crept up to that small loch a few times since but haven’t had another sighting.

Thanks to Stan Wojik for the use of his photos in ‘Rare Birds’.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 19, 2012 in out and about