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Tony Grist

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Wildlife [Dec. 17th, 2017|12:06 pm]
Tony Grist
 The cat brought a vole in from its early morning walk and deposited it under Ailz's desk. It was giving quite a convincing performance of being dead and I was able to pick it up with no difficulty at all. Only its eyes still had a glitter to them. I took it out and put it down in a place where there were leaves to hide under and it immediately began to scrabble around and take stock of its new surroundings. I would like to think it will survive. Marlowe is fairly gentle with his playmates; if he kills them it's by accident and we wouldn't know how to begin to eat them. All that nasty fur- pah!. If it doesn't come in a foil pack with lots of gravy and/or jelly it's not really food.

There have been news reports about birds altering their migration patterns to take in the feeders in British gardens. As a nation we're spending more and more on bird food and the birds are becoming correspondingly reliant. I plead guilty. We buy seeds and fat balls and peanuts by the sack-load  and the plastic containers we store them in are too heavy for me to lift. This, of course, is the time of year when the less common species start turning up. Yesterday we had something that was perhaps a fieldfare or a redwing or a white-fronted something (I didn't have my book to hand) and this morning there was a goldfinch. 


[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2017-12-17 02:08 pm (UTC)
I am envious of uncommon birds at the feeder. We get house sparrows (an English import), pigeons (ditto, probably), and the occasional starling. We generally see a cardinal once or twice, and perhaps a disoriented junco. That's about it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-12-17 04:27 pm (UTC)
Why don't you get the diversity of bird life? Is it because you're living in a big city?

We get lots of little birds- blue tits, coal tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, sparrows, robins, sparrows, dunnocks, nuthatches, the occasional finch. Starlings turn up in mobs. Pigeons ditto. Magpies ditto. Blackbirds and thrushes mess about on the ground. Our most colourful visitors are the woodpeckers. I see wrens in the garden (they're my favourite) but they avoid the feeders.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2017-12-17 03:59 pm (UTC)
There are birds that don't bother to migrate from Spain at all...the best example is the European black stork which should, by all accounts, be in Africa for the winter but they are staying in our mild climate down here in greater numbers every year. As long as they a water and food source nearby (like a river), they just live in their nests here year 'round.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-12-17 04:33 pm (UTC)
I like it that birds adapt to climate change. If they can so can we.
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[User Picture]From: kishenehn
2017-12-17 05:13 pm (UTC)
My dog Charlie used to catch little creatures like that, and hold them in his mouth with such a delicate touch. He'd drop them on command, and they'd always scamper off indignantly. I like to think he never actually hurt any of them ...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-12-17 05:36 pm (UTC)
That's rather sweet.

Marlowe practices hunting skills with his catches, chasing them around the furniture, staging ambushes, batting them about, but I don't think he uses teeth and claws.
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