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This morning I have banged my head on the garage door, tripped up going up stairs, had yet another run-in with my boss over prioritisation of work and burnt my lunch. However, I don’t regret burning lunch one bit because of the reason for my distraction.

I decided I could top up a bird-feeder while lunch was cooking – I had plenty of time, but as I was fastening the feeder back onto the tree two long-tailed tits flew into the buddleia about six feet away. So imagine me, standing next to the tree, arms raised up, frozen so as not to scare them off.

Well, it worked as one of them decided to fly into the tree less than two foot away from me for a quick peck at a fat ball.

That minute, watching that little bird in close up, makes up for all this morning’s mishaps and I didn’t mind at all that lunch was frazzled.

Big Garden Birdwatch 2012

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I prepared properly this year and filled up the bird feeders. The birds get pretty well fed around here, so they are quite happy to go elsewhere if your offerings don’t please them.

No excuses this year

The turnout wasn’t too bad at all:
Blackbird             2
Blue tit                  3
Collared dove      1
Dunnock              1
Goldfinch             2
Great tit                2
House sparrow   4
Long-tailed tit     3
Robin                   1
Wood pigeon       2
Flying in at the last minute,  was 1 great spotted woodpecker. This was taken last summer, so I’m pleased it’s still around

Spotted

There were a few surprises – no greenfinches, but they haven’t all disappeared or died off, as I saw some in early January. The jay and green woodpecker which have been around for the last two years haven’t made an appearance for some time, but the biggest surprise was  not a single starling.

Garden

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I’ve just been for a little play in the garden i.e. I’ve cut what passes for a lawn. This takes me about 15 minutes , including sweeping up the grass cuttings and feeding the compost bin. I was delighted to find hedgehog poo on the grass which means that Spiny Norman or his/her descendants is still around.

The garden is really good at this time of the year, as although I am trying to get a better spread, most of my shrubs are spring flowering. So at present in flower I have wallflowers, primulas, cultivated bluebells(they are actually lilac), verbena, clematis macropetala, two forms of dicentra – which are really living up to their name of “spectabilis”, berberis, drifts of forget-me-not and the dandelions and daisies invading the lawn. There are aliums in bud in own corner, noticeable by the pungent onion smell from the leaves.

I like working in the garden towards sunset; the birds tend to be roosting, its cooler and there isn’t so much noise from the school playing fields behind the house. While I write there is a blackbird singing from the finial on the garage roof, the sound of cooing collar-doves, and some sparrows twittering. I noticed when I was out this afternoon that the swifts are back which means that shortly we will be treated to their screaming bombing runs overhead.

(I’ve taken some pictures of the plants in the garden and will get them on my Flickr page nest week.)

Birdfeeder envy

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I am suffering from birdfeeder envy! My neighbours two gardens away are close to a belt of trees and are being visited by a Great Spotted Woodpecker every morning. At the moment my bird feeders are overrun with sparrows, greenfinches, chaffinchs, blue tits and starlings, with wood pigeons and collar doves clearing up the debris from the lawn. All very entertaining but nothing out of the ordinary. No sign of the jay, the garden’s too busy for that!

[Dendrocopos major – Great Spotted Woodpecker
About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring ‘drumming’ display. The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown.]

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend

I’m recovering from laryngitis and decided to test myself with a gentle walk into Ely, at lunchtime, as the sun was shining.
Resultant BookCrossing stats:
Books released: 2
Books posted on: 1
Books purchased: 7 (4 at 50p from a charity shop, plus one other charity purchase and 2 from our charming independent bookshop, who were offering coffee to keep out the cold)

After the walk I concluded that it may take a little longer for my breathing to get back to normal and I’ll never reduce the bookpiles at this rate.