Sunday, 22 November 2015

18th-22nd NOVEMBER

Should've known the minute I was looking forward to a few days off I'd be hit by a double whammy, rubbish weather and DIY around the house.
Now I've not had a proper cigarette for two months and "Vaping" instead being my sole nicotine joy the house needed a lick of paint, the better half wanted a new basin and new taps in the bathroom. I did of course sneak out in between visits to the DIY store.
First outing found me lurking around the Billing pub, not much on the marina apart from gulls...hardly any geese or swans which was odd. Saw a Kingfisher couple of times but the only thing that presented itself was this Grey Wagtail
Having done my domestic chores and no leaky taps my next outing (Friday) was on the bike. Obviously along the Brampton Valley railway and up to Pitsford reservoir. The railway section provided out of focus images of a male Merlin, such a tricky bird to keep in frame, I've managed that bit just got to get it in focus now lol. Plenty of Fieldfare and Redwing and quite a large flock of Linnet circa 50+ but rather quiet I headed up Merry Tom Lane towards Brixworth/Pitsford, still some Skylarks about, a couple of distant Red Kites and Buzzards (too far away) worm hunting in the fields made it worth the cycle up the hill from hell.
At Pitsford reservoir there was three Little Egrets, plenty of Pied Wagtails, Little Grebe and a Green Sandpiper but what caught my eye was a distant (poor record shot coming lol) Chiffchaff probably a Siberian Chiff-Chaff, it definitely stood out and caught my eye considering the distance it was from me
The light was annoying me one minute sunny then the wind would blow over a grey cloud, no better example then on the way home just below the water treatment centre this Kestrel flew right in front of me and hovered for ages, check the horrid grey sky
 Then as the grey cloud moved over/away the Kestrel flew off....typical of late
Saturday saw me purchasing a ticket of my mate and watching my beloved but bedraggled Chelsea. I think I was the only fan not singing José name, can't believe others were and to prove that indeed I've slipped into a parallel universe Leicester are top of the league...fuck me I don't like this universe....
Sunday was spent doing my Goldfinch survey for the BTO. Still 31 birds eating nothing but sunflower hearts, I have never had so many Goldfinch on the garden. The tame female Chaffinch is still in the garden
 As are plenty of male and other females. The only way of separating the tame bird from the normal skittish Chaffinches is it doesn't fly off when I venture out of the shed
 The boss. Greenfinch.
Other good garden news is along with myself four neighbours have created a Hedgehog "gap" between the fences. None of us wanted cats (plenty of them) taking advantage so we opted to dig holes under the fence panels on the theory the cats won't want to crawl under....time will tell.
Great Tit

 Wren
Hope you all have a good week.

9 comments:

  1. You have been busy.......I tried those e-cigarettes but don't like them at all.

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    1. The actual ecigarettes are pants. But I got one of those pump like devices and once you brought decent juices they ain't too bad, current favourite is Honey/Nut/Cream/Banana combo, delicious

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  2. I am surprise you saw the Chiffchaff, I thought they would all be away by now. Love the kestrel shot and yes out weasther has been mostly the same as yours adn very cold today. Love seeing all your gardn birds. It will be interesting if the tunnel works for the Hedgehogs

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    1. I'm surprised I noticed the Chiff-Chaff. We believe it to be a Siberian race/species of the chiffchaff. I have my fingers crossed the hog tunnel works it's the reason a lot of people don't do the tunnel as they don't like the idea of cutting a section of the fence away etc

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  3. This parallel universe is great mate, my beloved Leicester top of the league and Chelsea struggling is bloody brilliant, sort of roles reversed?? I am too having masses of Goldfinches on the feeders at the moment, circa 50 birds is the highest count so far! Plus loads of Greenfinches and one Redpoll. Really well done on giving up on the fags, I really must do better and kick them into touch too. I see you have had another Merlin sighting (lucky bugger), come on then Doug, lets have an image too!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. So, so tricky to keep the little bugger in the frame, each time I have seen the Merlin it's been in full hunting mood, imagine small peregrine and hobby and you get the Merlin very agile

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  4. A great record of your escapes, Doug. Can't remember when I last saw a Merlin! Pretty sure I wouldn't recognise a Siberian race Chiffchaff if I fell over one.

    We've got hedgehogs too - one's currently asleep in one of our hog houses in the garden. We've also got 'hedgehog street' holes in our fences, and as the hogs are nocturnal, to keep the cats out, I put blue bricks in front of the holes after dawn and remove them before dusk. However, as the hogs are all tucked up for the winter now, the holes are permanently covered.

    Have a good week - - - Richard

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    1. Thanks Richard. We thought with the hog tunnel we'd do it now whilst they're hibernating and monitor cat activity and then make changes if necessary. We've already seen fox activity in the street, would be great to see one in the back garden

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    2. We were getting a fox in the back garden nightly too - must have cleared a 6 ft fence! Visits have dropped to once or twice a week lately, however. It feeds on sunflower hearts! Got lots of footage of it on my wildlife cam.

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