Tags: bird closeness


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Birdy news: it got really cold here all of a sudden (a few days ago), so not just the ordinary birdies, but the larger ones have come to eat the bird food here :) I can hear thrushes everywhere, they have this short chirp, and the blackbirds are chasing the smaller ones away - being able to eat isn't enough, they have to keep the competition away too!

It's typical - now that they're all here in plain sight, I don't have any film left for my camera. Bah! :)

Other than that, not much. I really should be programming, but I'm a lazy drake. Instead I browse web pages, play random music, and think about requisite variety. My mind, it doesn't rest. (Apparently!)

Magpie day

This must have been a corvid record. While out walking, I saw four magpies not far away from me, and one crow in the air. They didn't seem particularily concerned, but flew off when I got too close.

Too bad I didn't have my camera, but I can't lug that around everywhere :)

More corvine tales

So I was sitting in the living room on the second floor[1], petting my cat. Suddenly a magpie settled on the slight platform just outside the window (what do you call those, by the way?); all I could see was the head looking through the window[2].
Then something I had not expected at all happened; the bird tapped the window with its beak, as if to attract attention (or perhaps it was curious). It continued doing so a few times before flying off when I went to get my camera (of course you never have it nearby when things like that happens).

What really surprised me was that the magpie understood what a window was, and that it was not in any danger from the beings inside. Most birds either crash into the window or avoid it, thinking a window is just an empty space -- the sparrow from my earlier pictures was a good example of that, as it helplessly fluttered its wings by the window after having entered the room from a door, not remembering where it entered and thinking the window was a good exit. But the magpie, evidently, knew that the window was not empty space.

[1] first floor, if you're British :)
[2] these are large windows, about a meter in length each.

Chirp chirp

And here we have some starlings. They certainly didn't expect this amount of snow!

As usual, select (click) the picture to magnify.

I'm getting better at using my camera, I think. Of course a lot of it is either luck (as in the previous picture) or patience (as in this).
Having a tripod helps a lot as I can hold the camera out at an angle without scaring off the birds - they see nothing more than my hand and some equipment that unlike myself doesn't seem inherently dangerous.

This swan is not a bird.

Other things of note, I have completed writing a program to allocate parliamentary seats according to some minimizing criterion (RMSE or representation Gini). Maybe I should put it up on my webpage. *shrugs*

Also working on reverse engineering a protocol known as P3 / FDO.
I can read its bytecode now -- next is to make the decompiler understand the differing types of data (numbers, ASCII text) and discern between them.

[EDIT: Yay! The decompiler works now, except for a single strange bug with a particular parameter. The output looks like this:
Raw: 20 01 41 29 22 21 80 21 1d 20 02 

0, 1, 0         uni_start_stream
1, 9, 1         man_set_context_globalid < 1 >
2, 1, 1         act_do_action < action_tool_128 >
1, 29, 0        man_end_context
0, 2, 0         uni_end_stream