Monday, 18 May 2015

Midnight cub

I came into the kitchen just after midnight this morning and noticed that the outside security light was on. I went to the window and saw a fox cub playing with a stick on the decking at the back of the fish pond. A big, fine, healthy-looking cub. I reached for the camera but the flash bounced off the window glass and I couldn't take a photo. I hope next time I see him or her, it will be in daylight!

I really miss the old days, when the semi tame vixen we named Olive used to bring each year's clutch of cubs to meet us. She would come on a recce first, to see if anyone was in the kitchen, then sit proudly in the centre of the lawn while her cubs played around her. We miss her greatly but, you never know, one of her descendants may yet carry her human-friendly genes and we might get foxy muzzles pressed against the patio doors once again, noting every mouthful we eat, until we open the door and share our food.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The swifts are back!

Bang in the middle of that ten day window, the swifts are back. I was standing at the bus stop when movement caught my eye and there were three of them, their graceful curved shapes swooping over the rooftops. Wonderful.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Swifts expected!

I have started scanning the skies every time I go out, to see if the swifts have arrived yet. Last year, I saw a large group in the sky on 5th May, wheeling and shrieking and eventually splitting up to fly off in all directions. So... any day now!

A couple of pairs nest in the roof of a house down our street. They are council houses and I noticed yesterday that some have been given new roofs. I hope neither of the nesting sites have been destroyed. I shall cross my fingers until I see those familiar crescent shapes screeching over my head and hurtling acrobatically between the houses. I find that sound they make really exciting. It gives me goose bumps.

I noted last year that they seem to arrive here any time between May 5th and 15th, giving a ten day window. I suppose that it it's grey, wet and windy, they will stay in balmier climes for a bit longer. Roll on the sunshine!