Wednesday, June 03, 2020

The birds and the bees and other fauna

Well lockdown hasn't been too bad so far I suppose.  Despite no boating we've been enjoying the fine weather and we're not missing Herbie too much because we've been mostly living the outdoor life anyway. I must be saturated with vitamin D because we've spent nearly all day every day in the garden - not doing much gardening of course (Alan Titchmarsh  am not), but reading, occasional Zooming, and watching the birds and bees.  (Perhaps I'm turning into Chris Packham)

We now have a number of fledglings, mostly great tits and blue tits and it's been fun to watch their parents helping them to feed on our feeders.  They do spill huge amounts of seeds but the squirrels and the pigeons clear that up nicely.  My experiment with nyger seeds has completely failed, none of our birds show the slightest interest in them which is a bit of a disaster because I bought several kilos.  Doh.  Ill hand them over to a neighbour who seems to be more successful with them.  I've decided to major on sunflower seeds and fat balls because they're clearly the favourites.  I hope I'm not wrong in this because I ordered them in bulk  on line and when the delivery came this morning I could barely lift the box over the doorstep.

Kath has suddenly got into bees.  They're all over our cranesbill (geranuim) flowers. I would show you a photo of one, but the little buggers won't sit still for more than a second.   I will get one one of these days. Here are some of the flowers anyway.

Checking on our bee identification sheet, they mostly seem to be Early Bumblebees which are quite small as bumblebees go.   Other interesting visitors have been red damselflies that find their way into our conservatory

- rather odd as we live near the top of a small hill and the nearest water course is a ditch over 200 yards away.  Nice to see them though.

I'm taking a daily turn round the churchyard behind our house and keep finding more and more VIPs and more foxholes dug into graves.  Here's a big one

There are holes at either end of this grave.  I hope the human incumbent appreciates the company.  I would.   Our current churchyard foxes have had quite a number of cubs and our next door neighbour but one has had them playing in her garden - how nice is that?  Sadly, our netting to keep our Claire's little Ronnie the Chorkie in has kept the fox cubs out of our garden.

In other news, the doctor send me for a blood test to try and find out why I am getting short of breath as I did a year ago, so I had to brave another hospital visit, thankfully to a place where they don't have covid patients.  I got all excited over the results which showed everything normal except a big jump in monocytes which indicate I am fighting some sort of infection.  At last a clue?  Well maybe not, after it occurred to me that I had only recently had a tetanus jab, so I'm guessing it might be the consequent surge of antibodies or it could have been brought about by the injury when I drilled through my finger (now healing up very well thanks.)  Discussion with the doc pending.

Must check on how the canal reservoirs are doing after all this dry weather.  They ought to be OK following the really wet winter and very few boat movements since.  I'll check and report back next time with some nice little graphs to make a change from the Covid ones we see every day.

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