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Tony Grist

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The Daily Round, The Common Task [Aug. 2nd, 2018|10:45 am]
Tony Grist
1. I was sitting out at the front the other day, watching four or five tits at the feeder when a small bird of prey- a falcon or kestrel- made a clumsy lunge at them. It missed its aim, the tits scattered and it was left sliding and slipping on top of a structure with branching arms too slender for its talons to grasp. Kingdom of daylight's dauphin? Not on this occasion.

I can hear buzzards calling as I write. Birds of prey were pretty much absent from the Home Counties when I was growing up- and even though they're now an everyday sight I still get excited when I see one- or two or three because if they're buzzards or kites they work in groups.

2. My deckchair has gone. the canvas ripped across the seat while I was sitting in it (my fault for leaving it out all winter). I gave the metal frame to Matthew for recycling; it'll make him a few pennies.

3. Ailz and I were talking in the kitchen and my mother piped up from the next room to ask if we'd said we were having wedding cake for lunch. Erm, no. We had been discussing lunch but I don't know what we'd said that sounded like wedding cake.

4. The trickster who messes about with small household objects just performed a vanishing and reappearing act on the sugar bowl. We were making drinks for the carers and the sugar bowl wasn't on the counter where it always lives. We searched diligently, gave up, looked away and then there it was- on the counter where it always lives, unobscured and right under our noses.

[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2018-08-02 10:17 am (UTC)
Wow, a sliding buzzard!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-08-02 10:24 am (UTC)
Less dignified than usual.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2018-08-02 04:15 pm (UTC)
I was visited by the messer-about-with-common-objects about an hour ago. In my case, I think the object hidden in plain sight was revealed when I removed the object set down directly in front of it, though.

We have birds of prey in Philadelphia -- peregrines, red-tailed hawks, and bald eagles. The eagles mostly live just on the outskirts of town, with the occasional juvenile spending time by Boathouse Row in the fall before he gives it up as a bad place to set up housekeeping.

We have a pair of redtails that has nested on Eakins Oval (the space right in front of the Rocky Steps on the Philadelphia Museum of Art) for the past five years. Thanks to a pair of devoted hawkstalkers, we get almost daily updates from earliest nest-building to final relocation of the young. The adult pair are year-round Philadelphians, but the young must find new territory. Mom has been us for almost a decade and is on her fourth mate.

Edited at 2018-08-02 04:15 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2018-08-02 04:16 pm (UTC)
Mom and T4, the resident redtails, chivvy the young eagles mercilessly, too -- although the eagles are fish eaters and the redtails are not.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-08-02 05:17 pm (UTC)
I'm not much good at identifying birds of prey. I can see there are big ones and small ones, but beyond that they all look very much alike. The commonest round here are buzzards- and they have a distinctive call- but visually I can't distinguish them from red kites.
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From: ambezi
2018-08-02 06:23 pm (UTC)
The attacker here may well have been a sparrow hawk. They tend to whizz around fairly close to the ground.

Google British birds of prey, they are all very different.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-08-02 06:48 pm (UTC)
Sparrow hawk- that sounds very likely. I'll look it up.
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