Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Spider time!

It wasn't till I started experimenting with the macro lens of my new Fuji digital SLR camera that I realised how many colour variations there were amongst garden spiders. Here are just two. I was lucky enough to catch the black and white one in the act of repairing its web. It's worth clicking to get a close-up as you can actually see the silk coming out of its spinners.

The female squirrel - do they have young this time of year? Her teats look as if she is suckling babies - had been for a drink in the pond and I pressed the shutter just in time before she skittered off across the lawn.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Hillingdon Pigeon!

My partner couldn't believe his eyes this morning when a very strange looking pigeon strolled onto the deck and began pecking up spilled seed from where I had filled the bird feeders the previous day. It had red feathers underneath and on its tail, otherwise it looked like a very large pigeon, until the cat fancied his chances, whereupon it took off like an Olympic sprinter across the lawn and easily outran the cat. It was seeing it fun rather than fly that made my partner realise that it was in fact a partridge. There is a petting zoo down the road with all kinds of fancy birds including partridges and pheasants. Perhaps this was an escapee! Wonder if we can persuade it to perch in th pear tree for Christmas?

Friday, 11 September 2009

At last a fox!

No sign has been seen of the mangy fox since the day my neighbour rang the RSPCA. The food has been disappearing, though and I put out the three treatments as directed. This morning at around 6.45 my partner spotted this fox in the garden. Full, healthy coat and bushy brush. Could it be the same beast, recovered? Or is it a different one? I think (and hope) it is the same one because, just like the mangy one, it stands and looks towards the house as if begging for food. It didn't want the bread. Perhaps it had come to say thanks for making it better! I'd like to think so, anyway, fanciful though that seems.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Fox Mystery Continues

The squeals I heard couldn't have been cubs. All my research has shown that vixens do only produce one litter in March so the cubs my neighbour saw must have been that year's litter. The food is still disappearing, to be replaced by a 'thank you' present of more black fox poo, but is it the same fox? Is the sick one even still alive? I wish I knew.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Where's the fox?

Since the day the fox lay around the garden all day, we haven't seen it at all. The food keeps disappearing though. Last night we gave it the third and final dose of its mange treatment from the RSPCA. I hope it has worked. Our next door neighbour's theory is that it was a vixen about to give birth and its agitated behaviour was down to that, though I would have thought it would have chosen to lurk deep inside its den.

According to the RSPCA officer, foxes only have litters in March, but our neighbour has seen cubs in October, so perhaps this is what has happened to the little fox. It certainly wasn't emaciated. It looked plump and well fed. Could it have been pregnant? Well, I was walking home late last Friday night and heard what sounded like the high-pitched squeals and squeaks of fox cubs so... you never know. And now I must take bag and shovel and go on fox poo duty in the garden. Yuck!