Thursday, 22 February 2018

Brambling, Wren, Siskin, Buzzard News & Ted & Pops















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?

CT.

35 comments:

  1. Your pictures are so colorful. My latest photos consist of ice, snow and lumps of wood. Ah well, grin and bear it. It can all change in a week.

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  2. What a shame about the buzzard. At least you know you did everything you could to have helped. I'm also relieved to read the girl from the accident is fine. You've certainly had a week of it CT.
    At least it all seems positive on the running front. Your knee is taking you from strength to strength and you seem to have picked up where you left off with plenty of races to look forward to. X

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    1. She died with pain relief so no pain which is something. Better than on a verge defenceless. Quite a week!
      Running is super, thanks. Am v excited about your upcoming race xx

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  3. Very sad about the poor buzzard :( Your other bird photos are lovely and I love the thought of Poppy and Ted 'helping' with your yoga! Hamish has a passion for all things rubber, so he's not much help when I do mine as he just tries to eat the mat! Good luck with the race. xx

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    1. I am giggling at the mental picture of Hamish getting over-wrought in the presence of rubber. Definitely need a photo! x

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  4. I am really quite envious of your Brambling and assorted Siskins. Many thanks for the shout-out. That bird book is addictive, just wait until moulting season! I'm off to Shetland for the day tomorrow (work, sadly) so will try to avoid any requirement for the services of Jimmy Perez (are you enjoying the latest tv series?).

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    1. First time for Brambling here (well, last Nov). Amazed they've stayed this long, tbh. I love the Shetland books and enjoy the series very much too. Am envious of your trip.

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  5. Must be wonderful to see all the comings and goings. I have no garden as such, a large sort of communal dirveway affair lined with trees, and 3 local robins have been squabbling on the territory near my feeder.

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  6. Tess's cut andblow dry is booked for March 2nd - I shall let it go ahead as she has a warm coat. She has begun to smell very yeasty which the vet says is a sign she needs a bath. She is certainly anti social.

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  7. Love Love all the photos. Ted is a sweetheart and Poppy is a hoot.
    Love all the birds and I like collect the feathers from the birds.
    Excitement about your knee and upcoming races !
    Sorry to hear about Grace the buzzard, I named her, at lest she died warm and safe.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I love the name Grace for her, it's perfect. We tried (and failed) to come up with anything that worked. Evidently, it's because you had already given her the right name.

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  8. The buzzard must have known she was being helped...but alas not rhe preferred outcome. That Grizzly is usually cold! x

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    1. I've know it chuck all weathers over the years. Will go prepared! x

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  9. You are so lucky to live where there is a great variety of birds! Here, it is all great tits, blue tits and robins, with a smattering of house sparrows. There are more birds along the canal and river and I often take my camera to spot some (it has a large zoom lens, which helps to spot the differences). I saw an otter the other day, it was great. What a shame about Mrs Buzzard. Birds are delicate, even big ones. Enjoy your races. x

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    1. Blimey! Am SO jealous of your otter, I've never seen one. Wow. x

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  10. Sad about your buzzard, thoroughly enjoying your blog as usual. Hope the forcast weather isn't too bad. Ours is hot and humid and I am not enjoying it.

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    1. Hi Penny, thanks for the lovely comment. Yes, poor Buzzard but at least we all did what we could and she died safe, pain free and warm. Hoping for fresher weather for you.

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  11. Adorable dog photos, they really are the cutest. Gorgeous one of Ted on his own, he is such a sweetie. I love the idea of a local dialect skylark. Shame about the buzzard, but as you say, not unexpected. You have reminded me that I have a lovely feather in my bag that I found down by the river, must go and rescue it. Around a third of the Bewick's swans are on their way back to the Arctic tundra now, although maybe the rest will wait out the cold snap. Wishing you a good weekend, and glad the knee is doing well. CJ xx

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    1. I think colder snaps do put a hold on the migration. They'll do well to sit tight this coming week, eh?! x

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  12. Interesting book, we often see feathers and wonder what happened. Good luck with the race this weekend.

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    1. They're amazing things, close up, and the job they do too.

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  13. Oh gosh, how sad that the poor buzzard couldn't be nursed back to health :-( Lovely to see all the other birds though. Reminds me that i must get a bird feeder in my wee garden. I have to say that darling Ted has the most expressive face ever! That photo of him looking at Pops laying there is just priceless!! xxx

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    1. You're so right about Teddy, we always know exactly what he's trying to say without words, bless him! Love to you and Inks. Looking forward to catching up in a fortnight :o) XX

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  14. I’m trying to picture you pinioned by both dogs as you do your stretches, I’m laughing as the mind conjures images! They are two regal dogs with their cushions in front of the stove. I think I would love to be a dog in your home :) Goodluck to M for the London Mara hope he achieves his aim. Good luck to you too for you first half this year, sounds like all is going well. Like the look of The Warrier Queen. My sort of book. Have a great weekend. B x

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    1. They know exactly the point at which to squash me so I can't move. I rolled over onto Ted the first time because I didn't realise he was there! Aethelflaed is my heroine, always has been xx

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  15. What lovely photos especially the last ones, don't Pop and Ted look as if butter wouldn't melt! x

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    1. They have spent years perfecting the look :o) x

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  16. Sorry about your buzzard.
    Do you still carry her bruise?

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  17. Poor Buzzard, so sad but at least you all did what you could. Love photos of the dogs..so so sweet.
    Enjoy training and keep very warm.
    We are getting blasts of Autumn Down Under (raised eyebrows, sounds abit iffy!!!) but no sooner as we put on long trousers etc, it blasts its way back up into the 30's Yikes.
    Very sad news re Emma Chambers (aka Alice, Vicar of Dibley) - was very shocked.
    Take care, love to all.
    Sally xxx

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    1. If you're getting blasts of Autumn it must mean Spring is on her way here :o) One final dalliance with a Blackthorn Winter still to come this week apparently.
      Yes, poor old thing, she was brilliantly memorable as Alice. Love back to all of you xx

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  18. Sorry to be late coming to this, very sad about the buzzard. At least she had a chance thanks to you - without your efforts she would have had no chance.

    Just love your 5th photo. We too have a sitting room where you have to negotiate the dog bed in order to get to the woodburner to add more fuel!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x