23 November 2012

Still here - with a nature notes update.

The winds died down and although we were on reduced power yesterday evening it didn't go off again. Phew, so today has a usual manically frantic Friday. There a few bits trees down but we've not heard of any significant damage.  TB was worried for her horses and their stables which are at the top of wood but they have made it through safely too, although they may be wishing they hadn't as today is teeth rasping day and some require sedation before the vet can get anywhere near.

How long does it take a sparrowhawk to consume a blackbird?  Apparently around two hours. On Tuesday morning a young female was spotted under the plum tree busy plucking a bird which from the overall size and feather colour we're guessing had been a blackbird. She devoured virtually everything leaving behind a few bones, feet and lots of feathers before having a rouse and taking off very lazily and sitting on the fence, then in the tree and finally heading off out of sight.  So that'll be her fed up for a few days then.

We've had another unusual visitor this week.  We have a flock of long tailed tits which regularly visit our feeding station, nuts and fat balls being their favourites.  But this week the group has included a tailless long tail which seems quite happy flitting about as a small pink fluffy ball.  The lack of a tail doesn't seem to be unbalancing it all; which begs the question, why do they have such ludicrously long tails?

We've also had an unwelcome visitor too, the grey squirrel has been back for a couple of visits, however this afternoon office dog Hebe sent it at high speed up the hedge and over the fence, with luck it'll stay away for a while.

In between bird watching and whilst the machinery has been working we have put together a CJS Weekly for you all to enjoy.  16 pages this week including the work days and practical conservation tasks happening next month.  There are seven adverts for volunteers, information on 55 new paid posts of which 41 came direct to CJS. Print editions are almost ready to go and digital versions are online already.

Our postal copies have been going astray these last couple of weeks, we have received more reports of missing or late copies than for a long while.  If your copy doesn't turn up please use the online access details on your address page and do let us know about any missing .  If we don't hear from you (that's all subscribers) we have to assume everything is running smoothly.