The buzzard passed away, sadly. I can't say I'm surprised but everyone involved in trying to save her did their best and you can't do more than that. The lass from the accident is back home and OK, physically at least. Her mum rang me last night.
Today, the male brambling has reappeared in the garden. I had thought they had started the journey back north and east already but apparently not. He is a handsome fellow. There are also lots of lime-green-and-yellow siskins on the feeders, males and females. And a tiny wren who has his territory in the front garden all sorted out, and is very pert about the whole business. This is in addition to the wren who has earmarked the top end of the stream on the lane near the house as his patch. He is there most days when I walk past, whirring over the stream or sitting on a branch, watching me intently. He shares this territory with a grey wagtail but they seem to rub along together well enough: I haven't witnessed any squabbles, presumably because they occupy different niches. I saw a tree creeper near there while walking the dogs yesterday, the little one spent ages investigating bits of bark on one of the willows for insects. And out in the fields this morning I cracked a mystery that's been bugging me all winter- which bird was making a descending down the scales sound. The answer: skylark. No idea whether it's a regional dialect as it's a song I've heard no-where else and it is quite unlike their usual song.
Before Christmas, I received a useful book suggestion from imperfect and tense, about tracking birds through their feathers and footprints, among other things ("tracks and signs of the birds of Britain and Europe" in case you're interested). It arrived as a Christmas present and yesterday was the first time I used it. I discovered a pair of wings in the flower bed, and through the book ascertained that the sparrowhawk had been snacking on one of our chaffinches. The actual feather is the far right, a tail feather. A great addition to my natural history library, although perhaps not for the faint-hearted as it's relatively complex.
M is in full marathon training mode, getting ready for London at the end of April. His mission is to get as close to his 2:48 time (achieved ten years ago, which was the last time he ran London) as humanely possible, and if not, to beat his friend and arch rival, Andrew :o). We have three friends doing the race this year- the organisers produce a tracking app for mobiles so you can keep a check on where they are throughout the race. The dogs, meanwhile, are particularly enjoying the training......sweaty salt, yum!
I don't let them do that to me, so they make the most of it with dad :o) Instead, whenever I'm trying to do yoga, or stretches, which I do every day,Ted comes and lies the length of my back, as if offering support, while Pop squashes herself into a ball against my stomach. I am, effectively, pinned between them and as a consequence unable to move, which adds an extra layer of inventiveness to my exercise routines.
They're supposed to have hair cuts with Mrs D next week but I'm not sure, what with this polar vortex that's meant to be hitting the UK (known to the rest of us as Winter).
Meanwhile, Pop and I are busy training too. We're back up to ten mile runs with little in the way of knee pain being experienced, so I'm hoping that's now fixing itself. The ten mile route includes three monster hills that we do twice, so that's got to be helping :o)
We've a 10k race this weekend and I've booked a half mara for the following Sunday as a small test. I haven't checked yet to see whether I can take Poppy. After that it's full steam ahead to the Grizzly Cub. Having decided not to run it a few weeks ago when the knee was poorly and given my place to buddy Lou, I realised last week that my knee is now strong enough and was lucky enough to get a place from another lady who's sadly had to pull out through injury. I'm so glad because it'll be a special race this year. We have six close friends, all runners, that we've known for years and this is the first year all eight of us will be taking part together: four super-fit distance runners doing the 20 mile Grizzly, and the other four of us running the 9 mile Cub :o) As an added happy, blogging buddy Small P is also running it too. Happy Days indeed! Bring it on! Can't wait :o)
So that's it from here for now. Hope you are all well?