Friday, August 13, 2010


A Perseid Meteor
Back in the marina after a few days out and I have to say that the weather this morning was akin to winter, I actually wore gloves on the cruise home. Nothing out of the ordinary on the cruise back until I reached the marina entrance when I had a first on the patch with a Spotted Flycatcher, perched nicely for viewing in a tree near the marina entrance. Also around the entrance were the usual small colony of Tree Sparrow.

Well last night was a big surprise weather wise! Watching the heavy showers and thunderstorms rolling in early evening I'd already resigned myself to a blank for the Perseid Meteor Shower. Amazingly though the sky cleared beautifully and we enjoyed a cloudless ninety minutes viewing until around midnight, the peak was due at 4am but I thought we'd get our viewing in now while we had the chance. I've always been interested in astronomy since a very young age and Perseid watching has always been a tradition of mine, unfortunately over the last few years the shower has been disappointing.

Last night however we managed a very respectful 57 meteors in about 90-minutes, with at least a half dozen bright ones producing a two or three second vapour trail. During our watch we also viewed 11 satellites, it must be getting near gridlock up there, and just after 10pm I managed some good scoping views of Jupiter and it's moons rising in the east, the night birding wasn't bad either! A Barn Owl was heard screeching eerily in the distance, a Tawny Owl was also calling and a little migration too with the distinctive call of Whimbrel overhead. What I assume was a Pipistrelle bat also kept us company during the duration of our watch, a very enjoyable if not chilly experience.