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Amsterdam Russ

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    The Townsmen - Please don't say goodbye

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  1. Keb Darge in the 80s, although I'm sure I read somewhere years back that he was playing it on a carver (I could be completely mistaken about that last part).
  2. Fantastic night sky shots here - all taken in lockdown conditions and from people's homes and gardens. Well worth a look, and quite inspiring to think what can be achieved with a camera, tripod and a clear sky! Story & images here:
  3. Really enjoyed looking at all those soul food restaurant signs - great stuff, and I’m hungry now!
  4. The night sky yesterday was the clearest and brightest I can recall. Lots of light pollution around us, and we're very close to Schiphol airport, but I do wonder if the restrictions on flights and the overall reductions in road traffic - and thus reductions in air pollution - has contributed towards making the celestial heavens that little bit more visible at present.
  5. Link here...
  6. eBay sold off PayPal a few years back. As part of the deal it was agreed that eBay would continue to use PayPal as a primary source of payment. However, that agreement ends this year. eBay was in discussion with a Dutch back-end payment provider called Adyen, with them replacing PayPal, but I don’t know if that’s still on the cards.
  7. Just seen on the news that Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus...
  8. Another photography competition - this one the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2020. Some excellent shots to be seen here, and while also very good, I can't say I'm a huge lover of drone photography. To me that's just a case of launching and flying your craft and taking some aerial pics hoping they'll come out nice. But each to their own. Photo credit: TTL/Florian Ladoux. Link to story:
  9. Looks interesting. I use GoSkyWatch on my iPhone and iPad, and on my iMac I use Stellarium, which you can access free online and via a download. The great thing about Stellarium is that you can view the stars from anywhere on Earth, and travel backwards and forwards in time to see how the night sky looked/looks.
  10. A couple of shots taken on the balcony this evening with my aged iPhone... Our balcony rosemary in full bloom, which it has been for about five months solid now thanks to the mild winter. Marvellous! Evening sky. A very unusual shot, and a most welcome sight. We live very close to Schiphol airport and normally the sky would be dotted with aircraft and criss-crossed their vapour trails. But the current restrictions on flights has given us a rare opportunity to see the sky without them (although there is just one visible in the top right corner). More skies like this, please!
  11. Passing through - that's what I said. I've had a look online to see if I can find a Dutch site that records the dates when summer visitors have first been spotted, but can't find anything for this year. Will continue to look to the skies...
  12. We have water around us (a small channel of water runs along side us and there's a canal out the front), but these don't offer the banks that sand martins need for building their nests. Rather, being man-made channels, they're sided by metal sheets or brick walls. And as said, I've never yet seen a sand martin from the vista offered by front or rear balcony (or indeed the side windows. According to the information offered by a main birdwatching site here in NL, house martins can be found here from late March. However, as I wasn't able to identify whatever it was that I saw earlier, I can't say what it was beyond being one of the summer migrants. We're got fine weather ahead for the next week or so, which will - I hope - mean balcony time. If so, I might get a clear sighting.
  13. Perhaps a sand martin passing through, although I’ve never seen one in the skies of Aalsmeer - well, our part of it, anyway. Doing OK here, thanks, although bars, restaurants, etc, have been shut for a week. The same with events. And on taking a short walk to one of our local supermarkets, earlier today, we saw that a good number of shops were shut. There are five cases of the virus in our small borough of about 31,000 people, 3,631 infected nationally, and 136 deaths so far with more certain to come.
  14. Just this minute seen a solitary summer visitor - a house martin or a swallow. Unfortunately it was a bit too far away to identify and was flying off into the distance. Will keep my eye out for more.

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