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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Bird tracks

I noticed these amusing tracks on the melting ice of the lake yesterday and it made me smile. The tracks on the left are from a moorhen and on the right, and crossing them are big white duck splatty foot prints.

You can see how a moorhen doesn't have very webbed feet like a duck. They look just like chicken tracks, funny that as in French a moorhen is called a Poule d'Eau, or Water Chicken!

For the first time we've had a fieldfare actually visiting one of our feeding stations and eating the apples I have been cutting in half and putting out. I got a great view of him or her fighting with a blackbird over the apple yesterday - it's not like there weren't several apples to choose from but a pesky male blackbird snuck up and decided the fieldfare's apple was more interesting. This resulted in them both jumping about 4 feet up into the air flapping wings at each other several times, until the blackbird snuck off again and the fieldfare resumed its meal.

This is the closest picture I can get of it taken through the window of my back door and this is why I get frustrated that I don't have fancy camera equipment - it's like I'm so near yet so far!

I actually sat in the sun yesterday enjoying its warmth with a cup of coffee! OK, I'll admit, the temperature was only 2C but I was sitting in our metal barn with the big sliding doors open; the wind was coming from behind the barn so I was totally sheltered and the sun was blazing inside - there really was some warmth in it though! That was very quickly dispelled as soon as I ventured outside and the icy north wind blasted my face! I managed a couple of hours with my hood up attacking brambles in the relatively sheltered woodland which gave me a good feeling after being so cooped up this last week or so.

Back to minus 6C at the moment though and why is it every time I look at the weather forecasts they always show it warming up in about a week's time? They've been saying that since this cold weather started about 10 days ago.......!!!

P.S. Next posting will be a 'summery' one - I'm enjoying interspersing winter with summer ha ha! 


  1. I was pulling ivy up in a t-shirt yesterday. I'm cowering over the fire again today. Bah. Lovely photos of the lake... I also enjoyed your post on Cat Mint and I will plant some so thanks for that idea. I've just joined the Self Sufficientish forum and found your blog through there... You were also nice enough to say hello on my introducey bit! So hello back! Sarah x

  2. T-shirt!!!OMG. Sarah - I've had a look at the blog for your new house and land and am following as it will be great to see you progress with it all. I've plenty of posts here moaning about my ivy - but don't chop all of yours down as soon the birds will be nesting and I've found loads of old nests in the ivy here. I have stopped hacking mine off my trees now because of that. It's a bit of a never ending task to be honest, just trying to vaguely control it!

  3. The T-shirt is well and truly back in the drawer... Re: the ivy, even if I wanted to get rid of it all I don't think I'd be able to without the aid of heavy machinery or I'd never be able to do anything else!! I have no problem with ivy and brambles in the hedgerows but because this place has been pretty neglected, it's everywhere, as well loads of blackthorn, growing into the fields and the few flowerbeds we have. So yes, it's just a case of controlling it really. I do like a bit of wilderness...