Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Rain Brings An Unexpected Visitor and The Swift If Manic Dispatch of Flies

I think the post title says it all.


And is set to continue until this afternoon when we have friends arriving, so that's quite good timing.

Everyone in the garden is very Wet And Soggy Indeed, although they are also Happy, because yesterday I went out and bought them all Lots Of New Seed and Interesting Food-Type things. They had run out over the weekend and were giving me grumpy nay filthy looks whenever I went out into the garden empty-handed.

Needless to say I am now back in their good books, but too late to save a load of M's tomatoes which have been nipped off whilst still tiny and what's more inside the greenhouse. The Culprit? Well it was either one of the Baby Wrens who got stuck in there yesterday, or the Naughty Blackbird's Child who has been hopping past eyeing them greedily, and we all know how inventive she is when it comes to nicking bits of food.

The pige may look bedraggled but he was enjoying a dip and wiggle in the bird bath just before this pic was taken.

The Possible Tomato Thief

A Very Soggy Indeed Bluetit

 If you look closely you'll see the Great Tit at the top is actually in the air

Sharing with a Bluetit

The Other Possible Tomato Thief, one of the of the Noisy Wren Children

 The Scene Of The Crime

While typing this post up I have been Assailed By Flies. There must be about forty of them buzzing around landing on my fingers and my head and they are DRIVING ME CRAZY. Flies are No Respecter Of Personal Space and although I consider myself a peaceful soul who on the whole dislikes murder and mayhem and tries to adopt a live and let live attitude (which is not the same as suffering fools- I can't abide fools), these flies have turned me into an hysteric. I have been running about the room with my arms going like windmills screeching at the top of my voice in an attempt to shoo them away, while they just flounced off out of reach onto the beam above my head where they sat nudging one another and pointing and laughing at the funny mad lady. 

I was Very Cross Indeed. But I took some breaths, calmed down, thought. And hit back. 

And now there are approx two and a half flies left.

My efforts have been aided by The Spider Who Lives In The Kitchen. Regular readers will know I am Not A Big Fan Of Spiders on the whole. I know they have their job to do but I am, essentially, scared of them. This one, however, proved himself My Best Friend, by cunningly ensnaring a fly who was looking back at me and laughing as he flew away from the Swat, and therefore Not Looking Where He Was Going. He flew straight into the spider web and the Spider In The Kitchen was on him in a flash and right before my eyes wrapped him up pronto by twirling him round and round in a manner which made me feel dizzy (not a good idea when you are perched precariously on the work surface holding the camera up to record the moment). This quick action by the Spider In The Kitchen resulted in one less irritating buzzy thing flying around my ears. Well Done Spider (and you won't hear me say that very often).

Ted, meanwhile, who hates the Fly Swat, had slunk off into the hallway, from where he was casting me Reproachful, Doubtful and Mistrustful looks. I was probably taking an Unreasonable level of Glee and Grim Relish in my Fly Destruction, but even so, from the looks he was giving me you'd think I spent my life beating him with it.

Note the fly on Ted's back in this pic.

He hasn't moved far from his bed today. A half-hearted amble round the garden for a wee an hour ago and the retreat to the hallway while I was fly-swatting and that's been it. Oh well, he'll get a walk later when his friend Gypsy Dog arrives.

The enforced idleness of the morning has had its (the highlight here is for Denise, as I know how incorrect apostrophe usage on pronouns unravels her) benefits. If I hadn't been sitting here working on the computer I would not have seen this Interesting and Unusual Garden Visitor sitting on the Greenhouse. He was there because on Sunday there was a Large White stuck inside and the two of them performed this Interesting And Increasingly Frenzied dance for a few minutes as the butterlfy tried to escape out of the window and the bird tried to get in. In the end the butterfly escaped and the bird was left to ponder quite how it had happened.

I'm not a hundred percent certain, but I think this is a Garden Warbler. Perhaps Margaret will be able to confirm or correct me? (Update from Margaret: This is a young chiffchaff, not a garden warbler. Didn't know we had them here so am very pleased! And thank you M for correcting me). They are very nondescript birds and I have caught flashes of them before. They don't come to the feeders, and this one soon hopped down off the greenhouse (when he realised there were no butterflies inside today) to join a bluetit who was pecking at insects in the sweet pea and black eyed susans, along with one of the Wren Children.....

The Wren Children have been amusing me by chasing each other round the patio, not looking where they are going and bumping into the greenhouse window (softly). They are adorable, and Very Noisy.

Anyway, I've come to the end of this post and Lo! it has stopped raining, which is good, because I need to fetch the Caterpillar Children more leaves, not to mention feed my own Child, who has been living off polos this morning.

Until next time, enjoy whatever you are doing.

CT x


  1. Those poor birds. I'm battling fruit flies around the compost caddy and have resorted to the hoover. Not kind but it works!

  2. Of course the other suspect for tomato thief could be one of the mice. it was those WRETCHED things that got mine...

    1. Deep breaths Jess, now count to three... Haven't seen the mice people since the squirrels forced me to move the second bird feeder to the back garden. I will, however, pass this on to the Chief Gardener :-)

  3. I love all the birds, especially the little Wrens. This is the first year we haven't had Wrens nesting here and I do miss seeing the young. Ted looks exhausted from watching all your fly-swatting!

    1. I had no idea the Wrens were there until they popped up this week and now I'm intrigued as to where the nest is! Very glad to see them- adorable bossy little birds.

      Teddy says the fly-swatting earlier has played havoc with his nerves and he needs to sleep the whole unpleasant experience off.

  4. I can lend you Tybalt, if you like. He is a fly-catcher par excellence, although I do have to warn you he tends to leave bits hither and thither. Dead bits, but gungy bits. And he can tend to faff about when he is in the fly catching mode; makes a bit of a meal of it, so to speak. But he does do the job. Fly-free zone here!

    Also, I think it is perfectly acceptable to allow children to survive on polos. No cooking, no washing up and minty-fresh breath to boot. My theory is that if children are that hungry they will always find their own food, even if it is only mud, itself a highly nutritious substance.

    1. Good. What are his daily rates? Ted snaps at them as they annoy him and then looks at me as if I have gone mad when I bring the fly swatter out.

      Mud, yes, hugely underrated as a food source for growing boys (and better than dog poo, which a friend's son once ate).

      And I hope you will notice the corrected apostrophe. Sorry to discombobulate you. I hope composure is regained before you visit Her Mag tomorrow. :-)

    2. I shall report to Her Maj that the Romsey Crew are now in control of her Queen's English apostrophes, thank goodness, phew!

      I shan't mention dog poo unless I see an incontinent corgi and/ or step in some doo-doo. Might be a bit of Royal eye-rolling and regal tutting if that sort of debacle occurs. (Please add accents acute and circumflex as and where appropriate to the word 'debacle' as I can't find them on me i-pad and auto-correct appears not to like foreign expression.)

  5. It seems there is quite something going on in your place! You are writing so vividly and entertaining! Good photos too! Christa

    1. Glad you enjoyed :-)

      This is a busy time here at the moment- it's even disrupting my sleep! I've had lots of wine tonight in an attempt to stop me waking up and counteract worrying about moths in my sleep!

  6. Wonderful entertaining post CT :) Love the wren photos - haven't seen any baby wrens in the garden this year although the female did nest in the ivy. Think I managed to miss the fledging event :(

    1. They are so sneaky at being under your nose and avoiding being seen, I think perhaps more than almost any other bird. I've no idea where the nest is here. I'm so pleased to have them- I just love wrens, there is something bumptious and pert about them that I find very endearing.

  7. Hi CT I assume the Margaret you re referring to is me! Had to make sure today, I was giving you the correct answer to your query. It is a young Chiffchaff, not a Garden Warbler.
    found some ? bees today adn I have no idea what they are. I am not sure when I may get them onto a post but perhpas you could cast your eye over them. I am looking out for more butterflies etc now since I started blogging but rarely can catch them on camera.

    1. Hi Margaret- yes I was meaning you- you are my bird expert!

      How exciting, I had no idea we had chiffchaffs here. Thanks for correcting the ID.

      Like you, since starting blogging I am much more aware of a wider variety of species and keep my eyes open for all sorts of things on walks. Butterflies are particularly hard to photograph though!

      Thanks again, CT x

  8. Love chiffchaff and we have lots here aong the coastal path-their song is so lovely and to me it's a reminder that winter is over. I wish something would fly into my greenhouse and eat my cucumbers! I've had far too many to eat and have given plenty away to the neighbours.

  9. I'm glad you have finally had some rain for the dry cracking soil! We have also had a fair bit, and a brief unexpectted thunderstorm about 20 minutes ago!

    Bracken likes the fly swat a bit too much, he just thinks it is a toy really!

    I love the photo of the blue tit's child and wren's child sitting together - almost like a little nursery school where all the babies hang out! Cute!

    1. I know - those two baby birds together are adorable. What I didn't say in the post was that the Wren's child was pestering the Bluetit's child to feed her! The Bluetit looked nonplussed then decided to ignore it. V funny to watch.

      Bracken should have a word with Ted about Not Being Frightened Of Silly Things :-)


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