Friday, 30 November 2007

Squirrel v woodpecker

The green woodpecker was stabbing at the lawn. Suddenly, a squirrel appeared and started acting very agitated, dancing round the woodpecker and flicking his tail in angry semaphore. The woodpecker was only after ants, as usual, but the squirrel thought it was after the nuts he had buried. As soon as the bird flew away, the squirrel anxiously scurried about the lawn, tamping down every spot the woodpecker had disturbed to ensure his larder remained intact.

As I walked down the road at around 2pm yesterday, I thought it was strange that there wasn't a bird to be heard or seen. A sudden suspicion caused me to cast my eyes upwards and there was a buzzard, wheeling in ever increasing circles until it lazily cast off over the school playing fields. Wish it would spot some of the rats that have nested in our rockery. Or maybe not. Poison has been put down for them so it's best that the buzzard carries on going to school.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Autumn spiders

First to arrive were the big-jobbies. The saucer-sized black monsters that scuttled like mice across the living room floor and vanished beneath the door, to pop up when I least expected them, such as on the handle of the kitchen drawer I was just reaching my hand towards.

Then came the stripy ones like small humbugs. Then the daddy longlegs spiders that quivered in lofty corners (and beside the loo).

Now they have had their day and in their place, but outside the window, thankfully, are hordes of small, squat ginger ones. Does each different wave reflect the type of prey that is around at that time? The smaller the spid, the teenier the fly? If so, what were the huge ones catching? Hornets? Bumble-bees? Or hapless humans that strayed into the kitchen in the wee small hours, looking for an aspirin, a drink of water, a large scotch, or a can of Raid?

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Lawn Pecker

For the last two days, a green woodpecker has arrived each morning around 8 am to peck vigorously at the grass, unperturbed by pigeons who aren't quite sure how to treat it. Is it a bird? It's a very funny colour! In the summer, a pair of green woodpeckers used to descend on the ants' nests and gobble up ants but I don't know what they are looking for now. Anyone got any ideas?

Thursday, 1 November 2007


With all the fallen apples rotting on the ground, I'm surprised I haven't seen the muntjacs. Maybe there is so much food nearer to where they live that they don't need to cross the farm fields, push through the hedge and come into the garden.

Two years ago I saw the hind for the first time. This spring she was joined by a stag. At first, I didn't know what I was looking at. Animals the size of a large dog, but one with tiny horns? It was my partner who identified them. He tells me there used to be a private wildlife park near the Heinz HQ and he thinks they have escaped from there. I'm hoping they had offspring as it would be great to see a whole herd of them and I'm sure we can spare the odd apple. I hate Bramleys, anyway! But they can keep their teeth out of the Cornish Aromatics.