Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pigeons . . . don't you just love 'em . . .

. . . in a nice red wine gravy and under a thick pastry lid!

Looking across the fields this morning we seem to have attacted the three trillion Woodpigs which now rside in Britain. Grey lumps sat like statues across all the ploughed ground. Some fields you cant see the ground! They rise in thick noisy clouds darkening the skies. But do I hear the sound of of the farmers' guns? No. What a shame. Surely this is a species we could harvest without denting the population. It continues to increase rapidly in the UK probably due to a change in agricultural practices. So why don't we see it on sale in the supermarkets - fresh or pied? I'm no fussy - they just make good eating!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Reservoir cats

While no one could ever replace the greatly missed Tom McKinney's blog, Mr White and his Reservoir Cats blog goes some way! His recent posts cover how the Staines Brown Shrike was really mis-identified dog shite (Tom McKinney-like!, a call for a fatwa against the UK's list-master general and the Bobbins Bird Guide! Very funny!

Jax is here!

Jax moved in at the weekend! To follow our progress as first-time puppy-owners check out our Jax the Spanish Water Dog blog.

First frost

There was a good frost last night so it was out first thing to top up all the seed and nut feeders and stick the first lot of fatballs out for the winter. There were already plenty of birds around the garden but soon the feeders were crowded with finches and Tree Sparrows. Mid-morning I spied a female Brambling briefly below one of the feeders. Whilst searching the bushes I spied a flash of white rump. It disappeared but didn't seem right for Bramble or Goldfinch. I watched intently for a few minutes when another movement revealed a fem/imm Bullfinch! Only my second here with the previous one being in March 2003! Looks like the hard weather stirred things up a little. As well as the Bramblefinch and Bullfinch, there's been the first Yellowhammer of the winter in the garden, and there are clearly more Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Goldfinches plus at least five Linnets buzzing around.

Garden list hits 130!

Well, when you've got a garden list as large as ours it takes something special to make its way on to it!

I've seen Jack Snipe on the fen on a couple of occasions but never expected to add it to the house list. But on the morning of the 27 Nov I was having to spend early morning in the garden unblocking our drain to our cesspit. I'd already seen an adult Med Gull feeding in the ploughed field behind the house with BHGs, and a group of seven Whooper Swans had flown over (only my third record), but as I was packing things away I just caught sight of the neighbour's cat on the edge of the dyke behind the house when it leapt down in to the dyke. There was a brief pause then a bird flew out towards me. Even without bins it was obvious what it was. It flew a little way towards me then doubled back, flew along the dyke before dropping into a section of reeds. Wow! What a morning and what a house tick!