Thursday, 23 February 2017

ELEPHANT, FROG, HERON AND OTHER BIRDS


Let me start with the elephant in the - rock. A fossil shores with sand ripples turned vertical near Brighouse bay. This was just before I ended up on my backside in wet mud sliding down the coastal path - and 30 minutes back to the car. Actually, as it is a fossil perhaps mammoth or mastodon would be a better title?


Here is the hunting heron performing for its audience of mallard.


And here a close-up of its intent.


In the second half of this video you are spared more torment as the heron takes the frog it has caught off screen to swallow whole. 

video

Mr Pheas is regularly wandering around under the feeders outside my window totally unflustered by whirling blue tits, grey tits, coal tits and long-tailed tits and strutting pigeons.
And the marigolds are still flowering as they have all winter. Thought I ought to mention flowers as this is supposed to be a garden blog.



Time for supplies - have just been to the local garden centre (just been sold) and stocked up with potting compost, pelleted hen manure and Growmore. Spring must be springing a bit. They say that it will be warmer in North-east Scotland than on the Med. this week. 
Trump, Brexit, weather - the whole world is nuts!

And whilst all this is going on we have a chaffinch with the Fringilla papillomavirus of a foot. Not a pretty sight. We have had a few cases over the years, all chaffinches so it must be infectious. The will have difficulties perching and I have only seen them ground feeding.
And suddenly the garden is filled with chatter - the trees at the far end are crowded with starlings.


Yesterday we walked the garden and were surprised at how the snowdrops had spread - this is not just  dividing and replanting, though that helps, they have self seeded abundantly. As we go around the pond the wild duck amble away up the other side - here on the right.
I have finally emptied the big sack of chippings and raked out on the path by the shed, R has weeded the strawberry bed and I have scattered some pelleted hen manure. whilst I was doing this I noticed a great tit with a damaged wing scurrying about looking for cover. There is not much I can do, something will catch it sooner or later.

It was so wet last night the golf course was closed and R grabbed me for a walk up the disused railway line at Broughton-in-Furness. I find it strange that once I went to school on the train that ran here, from Foxfield to Coniston. )I only travelled from Torver to Coniston and back and only for a while until I got a small biker and rode the 2 1/2 miles there and back - no traffic then!) Of course it got Beechinged - it would have made a wonderful tourist line but . . perhaps it is better this way and the Woodland Valley is quiet and away from the visitors.

We are waiting for a storm to arrive the weather people have named Doris!
(Doris was a sea nymph, a child of Oceanus and Tethys - hence all the rain?)   

Thursday and she seems to have missed us to the south - lots of rain but, unless we are in the eye of the storm, calm now. Time to publish this blog.

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