Thursday, 30 September 2010

Thank You

Thank you for removing the flies from my bedroom but I like it up here now.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Damp Foxes

Continuous drizzle means it is extremely damp here. The Duck is happy but the Hens are fed-up. I found a rat hole in their house and sealed it with a metal plate with the result that they still had food available this morning.

As dusk came last night we saw 2 foxes playing on the lawn. I think that is a bit close but if they would catch the rabbits and rats it would be a help and I might forgive them.

Just leave my birds alone!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Do you speak cat?

Sunday Morning and the first bleary eyed visit to the loo.
I was joined by a very noisy and active cat called Lionel. We live in his house you know. He very rarely has anything to do with me and almost never makes early morning visits to my bathroom.
He was shouting, purring, trying to knock me over and generally doing the "Skippy" thing.

You know.....".....what's that Skippy....yeh...children stuck down a mine shaft?.....really....well we better go...." etc etc.

I took little notice, assisted him to take the stairs back down ..... well gently....I did not have my shoes on!

When we eventually got round to visiting his bedroom.....well we think of it as the spare room but he occupies it more than anyone (thing) else it was full of hundreds of newly hatched house flies. Obviously (now) he came to tell me (as landlord) that the situation in his room was not satisfactory and I better do something about it.

They have almost all gone now....just a few stragglers.

The cause? Well James is selling his flat and has de-cluttered several boxes of cd's, books etc to Lionel's room during the viewings. Amongst the boxes was one containing half the top tier of his wedding cake. (Being kept for the Christening of the first child as per tradition I guess).

The trouble is that that Tradition is meant to have a shelf life of 9 months (or less) and 2 years is just pushing it too far. Also the top Tier is not meant to be eaten at all until the Christening thus preserving the integrity of the sugar sealed cake.

The chickens have enjoyed a feast and Lionel went back to a nice clean room last night.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Coat of Arms

Thought you might like to see my family Coat of Arms.
Smart isn't it?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sat Nav Hell

So Vic borrowed my Sat Nav when she was being taken to a "Training Day" by one of her new work mates.

She has just joined a new company and she and a few other recent recruits were required to go off to Head Office for some company introduction day. No one was sure of the way so she offered to navigate using my trusty (not) Sat Nav. Off they went.

After quite a while Vic began to feel a little hot as she realised that the route they were travelling was identical to the one we had used to get to the Golden Wedding Anniversary party on Saturday.

Had she set the new route properly? Yes of course she had. Say nothing just look for road signs to Bracknel.....none.....not mentioned....where is Bracknell?

Gosh! Vic now getting very hot casually checks the Sat Nav by zooming out to see how close to the party location they are.....very! In fact there is even a photograph of Dave & Terri superimposed on the map as the Sat Nav illustrates saved favourite locations this way.

Oh My! She is about to take her new work mates to visit her relatives. They are now leaving the motorway AT THE JUNCTION FOR DAVE & TERRI. Their house is just off to the right.

"At the roundabout take the first exit" says the sweet bitch in the machine!


Dave & Terri live off to the right........we are going left!!!

Vic's new Head Office is just so close to Dave & Terri! Vic is cooling....cooling....cooling.

Aren't Sat Navs wonderful?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Summer ends after 50 years?

I always find it very sad when I finally give up hoping for a warm day and reluctantly put the Swimming Pool to bed for the long winter. Over Friday and Saturday that is what I did. It seems far too early as there are still strong rays in the sun but the cool August has meant that the pool lost a lot of heat which it is just not realistic to put back just for a few minutes swim. Friday was a good drying day and the pool was down to 18 deg C (which I understand is the temperature at which normal people should wear a wet suit) the end was here. It takes quite an effort to get the pool reasonably clean and drained down to a level that will allow the winter rain to refresh and re fill it for next Spring but all went well. The strong winter cover is now in place and the underwater light isolated.


Saturday was also My little sister's Golden Wedding party.

50 years ! Wow!

Where do they go.
More Photos on Facebook

Saturday, 18 September 2010

There has been a murder!

Hens and cocks establish a strong pecking order such that there is a top male and a top female. (The alphas). Below these each individual learns his / her place. When new chicks begin to become independent of their guardian mother there is often a bit of fighting and occasionally injury. This is especially noticeable with the young cocks. When two individuals feel strongly equal the fighting can be very bad and serious injury can occur. Fighting to the death is very rare (unless man interferes as in cock fighting).

Normally chicks soon learn their place and a few pecks from the adults sort them out.
Last night it went wrong for one of Snowflake's 2 remaining chicks. A single peck to the top of the head and life was extinguished.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Over Foxy

I was a little earlier to the top of the garden this morning.
Well it was the first day this autumn that the central heating had come on. So the bedroom was warm and I guess I got up earlier.
The sun shone, the grass glistened with dew and all was well with the World....until
Horror......but delight too.
In the corner of the sun drenched field were FOUR full grown foxes.
They were having a wonderful game jumping and pouncing all over the old giant hay bales that form the boundary of the airfield, and then onto a fallen tree that sticks into the woods.
Gradually they moved towards and into the woods and were joined by a Muntjaq who used the fallen tree as a bridge over the brook.
I gave up watching and came back for my breakfast.
How can I cope with 4 foxes and all these rats and rabbits?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

That Darn'd Rabbit

I'm turning into Mr McGregor.

Every time I go near my veg patch there are new earthworks created by invisible rabbits.

I fill 'em in and check the perimeter fence, patch up the holes but next time there they are again.

This morning I saw her.

She hops UP a foot or so an instantly squeezes through the gate!!!

I'm off to buy new wire netting.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Madonna Bantum

Maron (green ring) raised 4 chicks and looked after them very well but now she has gone back to work laying eggs and eating worms.

She has however made excellent child care arrangements with the very old little black bantam hen. This little hen is very independent and only lays half a dozen eggs a year and has never been broody. For a long time she has been the alpha female and I was quite wary that she might bully the new youngsters. She was obviously interested and started hanging out with them. Soon they had grown to about her size and she started taking them out on exciting adventures as she, like the youngsters can walk through the wire stock garden fence (Mum is too big).

It is now quite clear that she has totally adopted the 4 multi coloured youngsters. Last night all five were cuddled up in a nest box together. Her new name is now "Madonna".

Monday, 6 September 2010



In the excitement of the moment and the proximity of Sunday Dinner I made several mistakes in my Blog yesterday

A Roe deer female is a DOE.

Her Baby is a FAWN not a FOAL or a FOUL.

Did you know Bambi was a FAWN ROE?

But was it a STAG or DOE?

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Oh Deer!

At last!

Luck and a rapid half mile walk to fetch the camera and I got them without the wheat crop in the way.

About 1720hrs this evening I went to tidy up my bonfire and just spotted the Roe Deer Doe and her foal emerging from the woods. Of course I did not have the camera but decided that, as the wind was blowing quite strongly from the airfield, there was a chance they would still be there when I got back with it.

They were and they were getting closer. The above photo is about as close as they got before Mum was spooked.Here is a video of the flight back to the woods and there are more photos on my Facebook page.

Sorry about the typo in the title....The Foal was not Foul at all.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Harvest Day

We woke to find ourselves and a few neighbours in one of those perfect September mist bubbles.

Nothing existed beyond a few tens of yards from where ever you stood but as you moved the mist bubble moved too.

Trainee spiders had been busy with their homework over night as you can see here.

Six moorhens appeared looking for breakfast. Maybe the seventh is still about but that was the first time for a very long time that I have seen so many together.

As you can see the chicks are as big as the parents now.

Soon the sun burned off the mist and as the corn dried the harvesters appeared about 11 o'clock.
Well harvester actually. Once his friends had helped ferry the vehicles to the field one man started to harvest the wheat field on his own.

It was all in and some of the straw was bailed by 9 o'clock that evening.

There are more photos on facebook of a really pretty September day.

We look forward to some clearer shots of the deer across the now harvested field so long as they are not too frightened without the cover of the wheat.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Reservoir Dogs !

So a brilliant idea!
Lets take the cameras and the bat detector to Wilstone reservoir at sunset and watch all the birds collecting for the night, enjoy the evening noises, watch the sunset and listen to the bats as they come out to hunt.
Umm! The field adjacent to the car park was being harvested. Have you ever noticed how noisy farm equipment is? The distances were just so vast that even with binoculars and video zoom we could hardly make any details of the birds out. We walked off round to the viewing hide and met a constant steam of joggers, joggers with dogs and walkers with dogs, all coming towards us and the car park. There may even have been a few dogs out on their own.
The hide is a long way into the wooded bank and obviously it gets darker in the woods earlier but by the time we got to the hide we had to use the video camera light to read the notice on the hide warning of the 2 wasps nest inside.
The wasps were asleep and did not bother us but by the time we worked out how to open the viewing hatches it was pretty dark and the main viewing experience was of the pretty orange lights on all the farm vehicles. The one picture I took that came out shows the orange vehicle hazard light clearly reflected in the reservoir. On the little island are Coots and Lapwings....they are mainly black so show up in silhouette on the grey stone beach .... but not well on the water.
We gave up and made our way back through the dark.
Not a single Bat heard through the detector.
First time out in the Nissan in the dark. The dashboard lights are very pretty and the automatic headlight turning on computer thingy works.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Skydiving Rooks?

Clear so so blue sky!

So you search the heights for Kites don't you?

There they are!

Wow so many.....20.....30...50+

No .

They are not Kites. Even my rat catching ability could not feed that many.

They are Rooks.

The residents of the Rookery on the edge of Splash Covert have discovered how to climb to amazing heights in thermal currents. Then the fling themselves into the adjacent down draft current and hurtle towards their neighbours in the rookery at breakneck speed. They shout and call in excitement.

They are quite obviously playing....and thoroughly enjoying themselves.