Trade Secrets

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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Boreades » 2:56 pm

TisILeclerc wrote: Well, Christians eat their god of course but he wasn't a swan. Just a dove or pigeon unless he was a fish of course


Is that where the phrase "Taking the Pisces" comes from?
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby hvered » 10:27 am

The second largest mute swan colony in the UK is on the border between England and Scotland. Though normally freshwater birds, swans gather at the Tweed estuary to feed on seaweed and algae at their most vulnerable period when moulting.

No-one knows the reason though it's supposed that sometime in the past swan husbandry must have been established, it's assumed to provide swan meat for state banquets. The question why the notoriously unstable border region should be seen as suitable for this operation isn't addressed.

http://www.swan-trust.org/berwick%20swans.htm

Cormorants are, or were, unusually numerous in the estuary, as the "crows of the sea" they got most of the blame for the reduction of salmon in the Tweed and thousands were reportedly shot.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby TisILeclerc » 10:31 am

Was the border always unstable? Was there a border for that matter before the Romans came?
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby hvered » 11:17 am

Good question. If a border did exist prior to the 11th century, it may have been moveable. Berwich seems to have had an uncertain status up until 1746.

Remains of a convent, founded c. 1150, formerly Benedictine like Abbotsbury but then Cistercian 'to take advantage of the privileges of that order', have been excavated on the north bank of the Tweed on what appears to be a commercially, or strategically, desirable spot

The site of this nunnery is traditionally located in a field situated at the junction of the Duns Road and the A1, north-west of the town on the western edge of Bondington; it also lies close to the foot of Halidon Hill, site of a battle fought between the English and the Scottish in 1333.

Lots of pottery, ditches and industrial pits, not much structure left and it's hard to assess what was built or how the estate was managed

The present grounds are bordered on the S and E by a shallow, dry valley which falls towards NE, issuing seawards. A former stream channel within this valley is represented by water-sorted sediments occurring at depths of up to 2.8m from the present surface. The higher ground on the N side of this stream valley is demarcated, variously, by a stone-revetted terrace edge or by a stone kerb. Both the stream channel and the stone revetments were buried under a series of deep land-fill dumps- rich in medieval midden material- with which this low-lying area of the site had been levelled or reclaimed.


Could Bewick swans be 'Berwick swans'? Bewick according to the surname experts has Anglo-Saxon and northern roots

This famous surname is of English locational origin, from a place named Bewick in either Northumberland or the East Riding of Yorkshire. ... The name derives from the old English pre 7th Century "beo" meaning bee and "wic" a farm; hence a "bee farm", apparently originally it was a station for the production of honey.

Berwick is similarly said to be Anglo-Saxon presumably guesswork since no archaeological evidence exists. 'As yet'.

The place name of 'Berwick' has Anglo-Saxon origins but, as yet, no archaeological evidence for this settlement has been found.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby hvered » 11:31 am

Just checked and read that Bewick swans are named for Thomas Bewick, natural history author and engraver. What a pity, but at least he was from Northumberland!

Not entirely disappointing result as also read Bewick/whistling swans are of the Cygnus columbianus family -- or tundra swan. In this instance columbianus is said to refer to the Columbia River, "the type locality", even though these are migratory swans and their distribution range extends across Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.

What could the connection be between pigeons/doves, swans, tundra and whistling?
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 2:37 pm

There should be some dividends in investigating honking, mute, hissing, even quacking. The water fowl have a lot to answer for....to. First notion: why don't any of them 'sing'? [If none of them do.]
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby TisILeclerc » 4:18 pm

But the common sandpiper’s most endearing features is its clear piping song. We tend to associate singing with garden birds, but waders also sing and some are accomplished performers. The song of the curlew, for example, is one of Ireland’s most characteristic sounds. Just why waders sing is a bit of a mystery. Birds which live in forests have little choice but to sing; they can’t see each other and have to resort to sound to communicate. Waders, however, live in open spaces where they are more visible. Ducks quack, geese honk and swans whoop but their vocabulary is basic. Only waders, among the wetland birds, have developed complex songs.

In the bird world, generally, the males do the singing. Among waders, however, both sexes sing.


https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle ... 10688.html

According to this article birds sing if they can't see each other. Presumably water fowl can see each other more easily so don't need to sing, just grunt.

A bit like townsfolk and countryfolk. And in the Alps they all yodel.

Most experts agree that yodeling was used in the Central Alps by herders calling their stock or to communicate between Alpine villages.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yodeling

And what about the whistler and his dog?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5ZMGBz8qgI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0CIRCjoICA

Little is known of the original Guanche language or the languages of the Canaries, but it is assumed that their phonological system must have been simple enough to allow an efficient whistled language.[5] Used by the island's original inhabitants, the Guanches, the whistled language existed before the arrival of Spanish settlers and was also spoken on el Hierro, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria. Silbo was adapted to Spanish during the Spanish settlement in the 16th century and was widely spoken throughout the period into the following 17th century.[6] In 1976 Silbo barely remained on el Hierro, where it had flourished at the end of the 19th century


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silbo_Gomero

But the sounds can also penetrate dense forests such as the Amazon, where hunters whistle to locate each other through the dense foliage. “The whistles are good for fighting against reverberation,” says Meyer. And unlike regular speech, they tend not to scare the potential prey. They can also be useful at sea: the Inuit communities of the Bering Strait whistle commands to each other as they hunt for whale


http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2017052 ... n-whistles
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 9:35 pm

According to this article birds sing if they can't see each other. Presumably water fowl can see each other more easily so don't need to sing, just grunt.

I don't buy this. It's not just waders but skylarks! Anyone who's walked in a wood (and I have, twice) will know they are deathly quiet. Sound travels best over water, worst in woods. No, birdsong is associate with the hedgerow and other open habitats. There may however be a correlation with size. Do any large birds sing? Or is it they can 'boom' because of the size of their chest cavity? Waterfowl, remember, have to be big.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Boreades » 9:51 pm

Mick Harper wrote:
I don't buy this. It's not just waders but skylarks! Anyone who's walked in a wood |(and I have, twice) will know they are deathly quiet.


If you do specifically mean Skylarks, I'm not surprised. They don't live in woods, their habitat is open grassland, farmland and moors. Like around Chateau Boreades and as witnessed by the many visitors who stay here.

If you unspecifically mean birds in woods in general, I'm still not surprised. They're probably listening to the strange sound of a stray member of the Metropolitan Intelligensia species blundering through the woods, making lots of noise, breaking twigs and disturbing the peace. And wondering WTF is that strange mammal doing?

Woods are full of sound for those that can hear. But first you have to sit quietly and stop talking.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 7:05 am

I wish you'd sit quietly and try to help out for a change.
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