Sunday, 31 October 2010

Parakeets akimbo

During the summer when, I suppose, 'the livin' is easy', the only time you see them round here is when they do a flypast. But in autumn, they start coming into the garden and raiding the bird feeders. If you look closely, you'll see a patient little blue tit waiting its turn.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

New birds

We have some new wildlife in the area in the form of a pair of jackdaws. I heard that familiar 'chack-chack' and was instantly transported to my friend's garden in Cornwall, which was where I last heard jackdaws. Then I blinked and remembered I was in Hillingdon and realised I hadn't drifted into a dream as I heard them again. Haven't managed to get a photo yet (the one above is one I nicked from the web) and can't work out where they are nesting, unless it's somewhere amongst the farm buildings in the fields beyond the garden. I've just read up on them and it says they nest in buildings, hollow trees and sea cliffs. There ain't many of the latter round here!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Danger in the garden!

I had my back to the garden, chatting to a friend, when all of a sudden my partner gives a shout, leaps up and rushes for his camera. This is what he had seen - a sparrowhawk bringing down a pigeon. It stripped it of its feathers, ripped the wings off and what it didn't eat, it carried back to the nest. What an amazing sight in a suburban garden, nature red in tooth and claw: well, beak and claw!

Danger on the ceiling

One small spider is swinging in its web minding its own business, when along comes a bigger one, noiselessly stalking the ceiling for prey. It didn't get it, though, as the larger one was too heavy to step onto the smaller one's web and grab it.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Hear no evil...

These three parakeets really look as if they are having a good old gossip, don't they?


Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. Apologies also for the dark, blurry photo but it was taken late last night after I had slung my past its sell-by apple yoghurt.

Friday, 1 October 2010

More about spiders

Did you know that spiders shed their skins like snakes? I didn't. I used to feel sorry for the poor, dried up, eight-legged husks I saw on the floor. Poor things, I thought; didn't get enough to eat and starved to death. Now I know differently. Our kitchen ceiling spider spend three days huddled up doing nothing.

On the fourth day, it suddenly got lively again and as it walked away, it left behind what looked like a dead spider, an empty, ghostly shell. "It's shed its skin," said my partner. "Nonsense, spiders don't shed their skins," I insisted. Then I hit Google, and found out I was wrong. They do! And each time they do it, they grow...