Saturday, 6 June 2009


Very little been going on here these past few days - indoors anyway. My worst ever attack of gout has meant hours of boring time sat with my foot up watching the idiot lantern in the corner of the room.

Life is just as hectic as normal outside. Plenty of regular visitors to the feeders including the inevitable Jackdaw.


Most of the juvenile Starlings are now having to feed themselves as they arrive with hardly an adult in sight. Life is at least becoming more peaceful in that direction. This morning a juvenile Blackbird chased off a juvenile Starling, actually catching up with it in the air and plucked out a feather. The juvenile Blackbird returned to the beam which supports the feeders and spat out one grey feather. I could almost see the look of disgust on its face.

The night before last I could hear a Tawny Owl out and about but didn't manage to spot it.

Henry and Honey visited the paved area at different times just before bedtime last night and Bobby was so pleased to see both of them when he went outside. He was wagging his tail like mad as he went for a closer look. The past few nights they had moved on by the time Bobby was allowed out and I could see he looked really disappointed when he couldn't hear them. This seems to have become the highlight of his night expeditions.

Now I'm impatiently waiting for the medication to bring my foot back to its normal size so I can get back to observing the goings on outdoors.

Black Velvet

During our, very slow, afternoon walk Bobby spotted what I first thought was a pile of jet black feathers. When he had finished investigating I could see it was the black velvet coat of a dead mole. It looked uninjured so it is a mystery as to what killed it. (Both photos were taken with the camera in my mobile phone)

Bobby finds a Mole



  1. So sorry to hear you are not too well John, I do hope the medication takes effect soon! Although if the weather there today is anything like ours you will not be wanting to venture far. Last night by torchlight, very very late, (accompanied by HLH armed with a bucket!) in heavy rain, I removed armies of snails from my newly planted annuals! It is still pouring today and I suspect they will have found their way back from where they were deposited some way from the house. I'm sure the darned things have a homing instinct!

    I loved the photos as usual, the Jackdaws seem to be regulars in your garden now. Bobby must have wondered what he had found with the poor little Mole. Thanks for clearing up the confusion over the previous post, I may well have decided to comment later or as sometimes happens with me I may have previewed and inadvertently not posted!

  2. Thank you Jan. The medication is having some effect so I can hobble about a bit faster now. I was grateful to be able to see my doctor within two hours of phoning. They seem to reserve some slots for people who need quick attention and it was too painful, too close to the weekend, to wait. The doc took one look at the swelling and said 'ouch'.

    Not a drop of rain here, again. I really need to water many of the plants which are in containers. I can't carry dozens of watering cans full at the moment so I'll probably have to get the hose out tomorrow.

    I have to do the odd de-snailing around my hostas but fortunately not many other plants here attract them. You will just have to import some Song Thrushes and set them to work. I heard one yesterday bashing the living daylights out of a snail.

    I often give blogs a quick browse first thing and have a longer look later in the day. Then I have to end up checking whether I've already commented or not.

  3. Hope the foot doesn't keep you in too long John; but like ShySongbird, the weather has been dreadful here today.
    At least the garden birds still provide some entertainment.

  4. Sorry about the foot, John, and hope you are soon better. I'm sure Bobby is good company. I had a chuckle about your story of the Blackbird catching the Starling and then spitting out the feather.

  5. Thank you Keith. Weather here has been bright, dry but with a cold wind. Yes - at least I can watch some of the garden birds on the monitor.

  6. Thank you Mick. Yes, Bobby is good company and very understanding and considerate.
    That young Blackbird did amuse me. It didn't just drop the feather. It flew out of its beak just as though it had spat it out. That one really has become possessive in the garden though it never bothers the smaller birds.

  7. Just catching up on my return from Hols John. Sorry to hear you've been suffering and have had enforced inactivity - not good at all in my book.

    Fingers crossed you'll be charging around ere too long.

    Bobby looks very gentle in his investigations :D

  8. Welcome back Tricia. I think that after such a busy 'holiday' you will now need a good rest to recover :)

    Yes, Bobby is usually very gentle, as long as whatever it is doesn't try to run away!

    I can actually bend my big toe a little again now so things are improving.

  9. Fingers (and toes) crossed for a speedy recovery in the foot department, John. Your phone camera takes a good picture. Cycling home one night 35 years ago a mole was crossing the road in front of me - must have got onto the tarmac and just had to get to the other side. I picked it up - amazingly soft, and those big paddle feet. Put it down in the grass and it burrowed away in no time. Haven't seen one since!

  10. Good to hear movement is returning!

  11. Thank you Rob. The phone has a 3 megapixel auto focussing camera which can do a good job. It has two disadvantages - very wide angle lens so I have to get really close to things - can be slow focussing and refuses to shoot unless it thinks the picture will be absolutely sharp.

    I wished I had had a feel of the fur to see what it was like.

    I have only seen dead moles, not surprisingly really considering their lifestyle. This one was well away from any of the areas with molehills so maybe a cat had caught it. There are a lot of cats in that area of the village. Bobby thinks he is in a Lurchers hunting ground heaven when we go down there!

  12. Thank you Tricia. The doc promised the tablets would work wonders in two or three days and he was correct. Much improved again this morning.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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