As I walked down our street yesterday, I noticed a large number of birds above my head. They turnbed out to be swifts, with a couple of pigeons mixed in. I started counting and had to give up at 35. There must have been upwards of 40 swifts, wheeling and whirling, coming together in groups, then flying apart.
I wondered if they could be assembling ready to leave our shores, but when I looked it up, I found out they don't leave Britain till August. Still puzzled, I emailed Edward Mayer of Swift Conservation (http://www.swift-conservation.org) and told him what I had seen. He's always happy to chat about swifts and he replied, Now's the time for big Swift get togethers, we can sometimes get as many as thirty high overhead here. Watch the skies - last week I saw a Hobby passing over, being chased by the ten Swifts!
By the way, (oops, the font has changed!), the RRPB would like it if we all recorded our swift sightings. Here is the link: http://www.rspb.org.uk/applications/swiftsurvey/
Incidentally, Edward didn't tell me why the swifts held their 'get-togethers'. Does anybody know?
Friday, 17 June 2011
There were six foxes on the lawn yesterday - Mum, dad and four, yes FOUR cubs. I managed to get a photo showing three of the cubs. The smallest, shyest one was hiding in the bushes.
Poor Dad appeared with a very sore leg today. He was holding it up off the ground and wasn't using it at all. To add to his woes, Mum chased him off. I've never seen a three-legged fox run so fast. She also ran at her cubs and chased them off, too. Maybe she just wanted some 'me-time'. Just look at her flat out on the deck!
Saturday, 11 June 2011
This poor little bird couldn't understand why it couldn't get at the water in the pond. It bobbed about the netting for ages, getting more and more frustrated, until it found a spot where the filter sent some spray into the air. Then it flapped its wings and had a shower.
Close this page now if you suffer from musophobia (fear of rats and mice). The other day Flad spent hours lying in one spot in the garden, staring fixedly at the decking. That night he didn't want his dinner. Next day I found this. A very small baby mouse. Dead. I think he ate the rest of the family and didn't have room for dessert! I'd much rather he killed rodents than birds, though. At least he's earning his keep!
Monday, 6 June 2011
I wondered why the blue tits were hopping round the cherry tree looking most put out. I looked again and saw an empty feeder that looked a bit odd. When I got closer, I saw that the bottom was missing and all the peanuts had dropped out. An even closer inspection revealed that the wire had been forced and the bottom prised off.
I soon realised who the culprit must have been. This photogenic squirrel who had posed for me a few minutes earlier.