Saturday, 30 March 2013

Birthday girl

I wasn't the only person who enjoyed my chocolate mousse birthday cake. As it had fresh cream in it, I had to consume it within three days, and even my belly couldn't manage that amount of chocolate, so I put it on the lawn and someone else shared its delicious, gooey taste. Just look at her licking her lips!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Adult goldfinches

The adult goldfinches have much brighter, more distinct markings than the juveniles. I'm quite pleased with this photo I took a few days ago.

Goldfinches did well last year. We have had as many as eight juveniles visiting the feeder, queueing up and trying to barge one another off the perches. It's quite funny to watch them as they get ever so cross when forced to wait their turn. Their markings are paler and more blurry. I reckon it's time I got a second niger seed feeder, don't you?

Friday, 15 March 2013

She's back!

I hadn't seen 'our' vixen for so long that I thought she might be dead. She must be at least four, as she has produced three sets of cubs that we know of, and foxes in the wild often die before they reach the age of four. In fact, in the London area only 3% make it to five years old, although in captivity they can reach fourteen. So I was absolutely delighted when, three days ago, she suddenly appeared in the garden again. Not only that, she must have recently given birth again, as you can see from her teats.

She had two cubs last year, and four the two previous years. I wonder how many she's had this year? With any luck, by the end of April we will have seen them emerging from the den in next door's garden - the very house that I am currently trying to buy. Once I get it, I plan to set up a camera and capture a lot more detail of the foxes' lives.

Here is her mate. He looks really feral, doesn't he? He has a bigger mask than her and the tip of his brush is darker.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Dunnock in the hedge

I had never been sure of the difference between a sparrow and a dunnock, but now I know. At first glance, I thought this little bird was a wren, but it lacked the sticky-up tail. It was smaller, rounder and altogether more compact than a sparrow and the plumage was in regular patterns, with a spotted chest and zigzag, chestnut-brown stripes on the back. I had never seen one in our garden before, so this little fellow rooting for bugs in the hedge was a real first for me!