Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A Raven in Hillingdon

It was with great excitement that we witnessed a raven inspecting the corpse of the turkey yesterday. We had thrown it out for the foxes, but this magnificent bird got there first and helped itself to several beakfuls before flying off with a large chunk of turkey. We had to get the RSPB bird book out to check that it wasn't a carrion crow, but it was bigger and had that distinctive pointy head, dark beak and way of holding its wings and tail. And it was huge! To be doubly sure, I Googled images of ravens, including the Tower of London ones, and am now 100% sure that a raven it is! It appears to be solitary. I wonder where it is roosting?

By the evening, the foxes had dragged off the remains and we thought we'd seen the last of the raven. But no. This morning, I spotted it checking out the bird feeders.

And then it hopped down onto the grass to see if there was any more carrion around, which would be far more to its liking than peanuts and suet balls! I think it's going to be a rather frequent visitor from now on.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Mr and Mrs

'Our' vixen is keeping company with a large, fit dog fox. I threw some scraps out last night and she ate some, then stepped back so he could have a go. I think we can expect to have to feed another litter in the Spring.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Squirrel for the high jump!

We found a use for empty suet ball containers by cutting holes in them and attaching them to the bird feeder stand, to prevent squirrels from climbing up and raiding the peanuts. For a while, it seemed to work. Then along came this one. I couldn't work out how he had made it to the top so I waited until he leaped off to bury a peanut. When he came back, he steadied himself, then made one almighty leap, about 20 times his own height, straight to the crossbar at the top. I think they should make him part of the Olympic team!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Posing Parakeet

The golden feathers on the underside of this parakeet's tail echo the tints of the last autumn leaves on the cherry tree.