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Profile for Mr. D. Barker > Reviews

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Mr. D. Barker
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Amazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD | Streaming Media Player
Amazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD | Streaming Media Player
Price: £79.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the investement, 3 May 2017
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Does what I wanted it for. Many years fan of baseball and with Amazon Fire TV and MLB App and cheap subscription can watch baseball games live from the USA.


Mobility Choices Back Soother Support Cushion
Mobility Choices Back Soother Support Cushion

5.0 out of 5 stars Solves a problem., 5 Mar. 2017
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Solves an issue with a wheelchair back rest which was uncomfortable for the user. Now her back is cushioned and much more comfortable.


Boules 8 Set - Luxury 8 Boules Set in Zip Case
Boules 8 Set - Luxury 8 Boules Set in Zip Case
Offered by Jaques of London
Price: £34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars French sport, 23 Jan. 2017
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Quality item, really well made. Anyone playing boules or petanque should consider purchasing from Jaques of London. 8 boules with cochonnet and carry bag


Spy Point HD 7 Game Trail Camera
Spy Point HD 7 Game Trail Camera

2.0 out of 5 stars Not covert on infra red., 13 Sept. 2015
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This camera emits a red glow on the infra red which animals can see and then react to it by moving away. It is not covert to animals and when I tested it by activating it on myself I can also see the red glow. Therefore if used for detecting intruders and left unattended the camera red glow can be seen working which makes it vulnerable to theft. Also problem with the transfer of photos from camera to computer on the internal USB so I returned the camera.


Adult Mealtime Protector / Bib
Adult Mealtime Protector / Bib
Offered by Gadget Planet
Price: £5.97

2.0 out of 5 stars Too much stitching should be one piece., 9 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Adult Mealtime Protector / Bib
The problem with the bib is that it is made up of multiple pieces with stitching that eventually splits even after short use. Food particles can even get trapped in the stitching. What is needed is one piece of fabric with no stitching.


Akai A24003 Stainless Steel Digital Microwave, 6 Power Levels, 800 W - Silver
Akai A24003 Stainless Steel Digital Microwave, 6 Power Levels, 800 W - Silver
Price: £59.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Short term fuse, 22 Jan. 2015
On the third use firework display from the back of the microwave then ceased to work. Returned to supplier for refund.


A Message from Martha: The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and its Relevance Today (Natural History Narratives)
A Message from Martha: The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and its Relevance Today (Natural History Narratives)
by Mark Avery
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An image of Martha required., 14 Aug. 2014
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I am struggling with Mark Avery’s book and his attempt to engage readers with his cause.
First of all no illustrations of the extinct passenger pigeon save Cary Ackroyd’s flocking representations on the dust wrapper. No distribution maps of the birds former range in North America. So anyone new to the story of the demise of this elegant bird has to work hard. Therefore we have lots of text of varying fonts and an overuse of brackets by the author.
I have a number of books on the passenger pigeon including A.W. Schorger’s The Passenger Pigeon and Joel Greenberg’s A Feathered River Across the Sky. The latter while grim at times reading the accounts of the slaughter does have some excellent illustrations of the passenger pigeon, which is all we really have left save a stuffed Martha.
Mark Avery pans out the book with his accounts of his travels in North America while doing his research and then concludes the book with a chapter “Bringing it all back home” comparing the extinction of the passenger pigeon with the potential extinction of farmland birds particularly the turtle dove.

New research suggests a “combination of huge human exploitation along with ecological variations in food availability and climate leads to the rapid extinction of the passenger pigeon”. In France we have flocks of 3-4 thousand wood pigeons feeding on acorns from the oak trees, a really splendid sight. How I wish there was still at least that number of passenger pigeons. I have always been interested in masting events and their somewhat irregular occurrences. Walter Koenig’s research into the acorn woodpecker is well worth reading on acorn masting events.
So Mark Avery please do launch into the NFU and the intensive farming regime but also ascertain why I can drive miles along French roads, last week in Vienne and Indre, with verges full of wildflowers and therefore numerous insects and seeds but on many roads in the UK all there is are docks, nettles and rye grass or nothing because its flailed clean. Yes, many French roads are empty of cars so the verges are almost like undisturbed meadows. In the UK the roads are busy, but we should still encourage wild flowers, but this is also why we need farmers to create similar margins in their fields.
Also just like in the UK e.g. grouse, pheasant and partridge the French have long cultural and social hunting traditions just as the Seneca had with the passenger pigeon. But it is the illegal shooting and snaring of species such as the turtle dove and the declining availability of their food sources in countries like the UK that leads to extinction just as happened to the passenger pigeon. I think Chris Packham’s recent escapades in Malta with the hunters highlights one of the issues for the turtle dove on migration, not so sure that the genuine chasse are responsible in France as they are highly regulated.
If food sources south of the Sahara are problematic coupled with poor food sources in countries like the UK along with unregulated hunting on route little wonder the turtle dove faces extinction. Please Mark Avery write a book on the turtle dove, with illustrations, before it’s too late


Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal
Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal
by Patrick Barkham
Edition: Hardcover

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scapegoat Badger, 4 Nov. 2013
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It took me quite a while to read Patrick Barkham's book Badgerlands not because it is a bad book but the chapters on the cruelty, persecution and culling inflicted on badgers was upsetting and just made me put it down and try again in a few days. There are uplifting chapters on the descriptions of people being badger watchers and feeders. I am also glad that Mr. Barkham has at last been able to engage with badgers and his descriptions are also uplifting.
One professional reviewer describes Barkham's last chapter as superb. I agree. I was wondering if I was really going to get anything from the book because as an ecologist I was hopefully waiting for a positive dénouement. There it was in the final chapter. In 2006 when we then lived in Somerset we wrote to the National Farmers Union about the poor standards of animal husbandry that we were witnessing in Somerset. The response from the Director of Communications was that the standard of animal husbandry was an area of concern. He also said the NFU "did not normally give advice on husbandry to its members as traditionally that have been the province of Defra." He continues "However, we are actively considering the possibility of introducing a professional qualification for people who describe themselves as "farmers" with the object of raising standards and sorting out the bad apples".
Well seven years later there still seems to be a lot of "bad apples" out there and Barkham quotes six professional vets who insist that intensive dairy-farming has produced "mutant cows" unable to resist TB because of the appalling conditions and breeding they are subjected to. So we have made the badger the scapegoat for a deplorable situation. I have as much sympathy for farm animals as badgers and I don't wish to see any animal destroyed needlessly but the solution is not the random culling of a wild animal. Surely time for supermarkets to cough up some of their profits and pay farmers to ensure the welfare of their cows and raise standards and sort out the "bad apples". Politicians also need to understand this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2014 8:50 PM BST


Bee (Animal)
Bee (Animal)
by Claire Preston
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is not boring!, 3 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Bee (Animal) (Paperback)
The objective of this series of "Animal" by Reaktion Books is
"To explore the historical significance and impact on humans of a wide range of animals, each book in the series takes a different animal and examines its role in history around the world. The importance of mythology, religion and science are described as is the history of food, the trade in animals and their products, pets, exhibition, film and photography, and their roles in the artistic and literary imagination." Bee does exactly this and offers a very much condensed version of Eva Crane's huge and expensive tome "The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting". One reviewer states that varroa and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) are not mentioned in the book. I should say however that varroa and tracheal mites are mentioned along with Nosema. As CCD was first termed in 2006, the author whose book was already being prepared for publication prior to 2006 would have had no knowledge of CCD. However, "Disappearing Disease" is not a new phenomenon and this term was first used in the early 20th Century.
To fill out the understanding of beekeeping and its problems you to have a second book specifically about beekeeping and there are cheaper books on this subject but not as full as the descriptions by Crane. Nevertheless this book by Claire Preston, despite being a paperback, is worth having and is a valuable contribution with excellent illustrations. The folklore and mythology has been well researched and explained.
This book exactly fulfils the objectives of the publishers "Animal series".


Scotland (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 119)
Scotland (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 119)
by Peter Friend
Edition: Hardcover

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a New Naturalist, 6 Feb. 2012
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This is the second new Naturalist volume written by Peter Friend (see Amazon reviews for Southern England: The Geology and Scenery of Lowland England. I would quote Mr. May from his review of Southern England "There is also the opportunity, I feel, for a future author to develop further the influence of geology beyond just basic physical landscape, to demonstrate how geology is also a key determinant of different types of habitat and ecosystem, and species distribution (biogeography)."
"Scotland" for me is a disappointing book, albeit it is well written and has excellent photographs and maps. The claim of the Editors of New Naturalist is "That the aim of this series is to interest the reader in the wildlife of Britain by recapturing the enquiring spirit of the old naturalist." There are more of their aims on page 2 of "Scotland". I therefore agree with Mr. May that there was indeed an opportunity in any later New Naturalist book (as it turned out by Peter Friend) to at least expand on the hard geology and include the subsequent "effect on the flora and fauna of the area". And I would suggest that Mr Friend has missed this opportunity. To support this I would refer to other books in the New Naturalist series e.g. Galloway and the Borders, Loch Lomondside and The Hebrides etc. which do attempt to marry up the flora and fauna with the geological landscape. "Scotland", however, is just a book about geology of Scotland. Perhaps the book should have been titled "The Geology of Scotland"; it covers very little about other aspects of the natural in Scotland. "Scotland" as a title in the New Naturalist series does imply a full account of the geology, landscape and the associated flora and fauna, and that is what it should have.
Reed Noss in an academic paper in 1996 claimed "The Naturalists Are Dying Off". He continues "Nothing will destroy the science and the mission of conservation biology faster than a generation or two of biologists raised on dead facts and technology and lacking direct personal experience with Nature.
Come on New Naturalist editors! where are the authors with the "enquiring spirit of the "old naturalists" N.W. Moore, D.A. Ratcliffe, K. Mellanby, B.N.K. Davis, M.D. Hooper and the like?! Or have all the naturalists died off already?
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2012 9:42 AM BST


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