Friday, 4 May 2012

Blenheim update

In the last post we had just put out a request for information on the suspected crash site and relatives and since then we’ve had a great response.

To start with Rodney Robinson came across and had a look at the initial wreckage we found. Rodney is something of a local authority on RAF Catfoss and has spent much of his life researching the airfield and air crashes from it – see here.

He took a single look at the wreckage and has decreed that it definitely comes from an aircraft – based on the material grade and also the diagnostic etch primer used on it, which vindicates our original suspicions. Rodney also brought the Operational Records Book across we had been looking for:
It sheds a bit of new light on the accident – suggesting that there was a haze that night which could have obscured the airfield (a class yellow):
Finally we have had some definitive information tonight from a local to the area which should give us a good clue for Sunday's search.

On the relatives side; Many thanks to Lesley Littlewood and “Englandphil” on WW2talk forum who within a few hours had found us relatives of the pilot – the cousin’s children who live between them in Gateshead, Swansea and Perth (Australia). However one of them, Margaret, had already made contact with us and I am delighted to say will be opening the hide for us on Sunday. She is also going to bring us a photo of Flt Sergeant McBean so we can put a face to the name.

However one of the most interesting pieces if information came via John Oliver of Durham, who in his youth was a neighbour of Sergeant McBean’s Mother. He remembers as a child accompanying her to lay flowers on Angus’s grave and most interestingly of all was given his bird book – as it turns out Flight Sergeant McBean had been a birder! So a hide in his honour I am sure he would appreciate…

Again there will be the free open day on Sunday for the event from 1 til 4 – with the dedication at 3pm. We’ll pop photos of the day on the blog subsequently.

Now to bird news!

The avocets have constructed their nest and are showing great promise – thanks to HVWG for these shots of them at work:
They are still getting a hard time from the black-headed gulls who attempt to squat in the nest every time they leave it – Roy Vincent:
However there is plenty more space to go at (RV):
Keep an eye out for the 1st summer mediterranean gull which keeps popping up too. Hopefully some space will be left for the terns though – Roy snapped these mid-week:
Erich also had a further 7 yesterday moving north up the river Hull, and the Watton rafts are now afloat so we hope for great things. There have been increasing numbers of swifts and hirundines the last few days – surely there must be something hidden amongst them? Thanks to Dave Ruffles for this one of the Marsh Harrier:
And also Brian Spence for these shots of the kestrel carrying of its prey:
Roy also snapped some of the many newts in the ponds:
Brian a nice peacock too – Monday saw a sudden glut of butterflies – orange tip, holly blue, and brimstone were all seen:
And Dave Ruffles got this speckled wood:
Will these pintail stay? They look content - RV:
Common sandpiper was just passing through RV:
And plenty of willow warblers suggested summer despite the temperature RV:
Yellow wagtails are also trickling through. Lapwings have moved into the new meadow at Hempholme – the recent rains flooding it and obviously making it to their liking now