Friday, November 9, 2012


We have been hearing over the news about migratory birds falling from the sky, clinging to the anoraks of the fishermen in their boats, if you look at the news this has been happening quite often, no explanation except that they are weak through hunger on their long flights.  Well our robins and blackbirds seem to have arrived safely back on this east coast.  For the last few days I have been woken by the gentle song of the robin, probably ensconced in the red berry tree I wrote about the other day, and then there are three blackbirds in the garden this morning, one taking a bath!

I woke up on a dream that my angora rabbits were starving in their hutches, so in the dream I went down the garden to feed them, but they seemed chirpy and someone had put a plateful of chicken, for my vegetarian friends? for them taking up a lot of space in the hutch.  Weird, but it reminded me of the fox that would come to the garden in the afternoon and sleep in the flowerbed below their hutches.  Now my rabbits had runs on the lawn and there was often a rabbit out in the garden - not good.  He was a friendly urban fox, I have a photo of him on the lawn with my son, my son's hand and the inquisitive nose of the fox almost meeting.  The gardens were large and part of a valley, so plenty of space for badgers to come roaming and foxes to live. A friend lived in Weston Park and would feed foxes on his terrace, so no wonder they were tame.
Now I know our friendly fox only had one thought in mind and that was to get a rabbit, and one day he almost succeeded, but he picked on a stroppy, very furry female called Bracken, whose yells brought me outside and she was saved.
Apparently according to the local paper the other week, we only have about 1500 dreams a year, I don't believe that but still who counts?

As for badgers, one dark night about midnight was woken by the terrible squawking of the hens, so barefoot with the dog went to investigate as I stood at the top of the terrace a terrified hen ran past me followed by the ghostly white figure of a badger in the torchlight, even the dog was dumbstruck with awe not knowing what this creature was.  Now badgers are carnivores, but luckily after a few minutes he disappeared leaving me to spend the next hour finding a terrified hen, she went into silent mode and it took ages to find her, probable taught her not to sleep in the nesting boxes, which the badger had managed to dislodge the top off.
So why this prowl back into the past, not sure perhaps because wildlife action seems to happen more in our urban places then the sterile countryside we so often visit, perhaps because reading the latest edition of Resurgence it said we should be more proactive in our efforts to save our dwindling wild life, cute pictures of gorgeous tigers down to a couple of hundred demanding money for them to be saved may be one way but it really needs more action on our part.

Reading Stephen Moss and Paul Evans articles, both marvellous naturalist writers in the Guardian, and Moss says;
"But we must all share the blame; consumers who demand cheaper food at any cost; successive governments of all political colours, which seem to regard wildlife as a bolt-on extra; and apathetic city-dwellers, who accept the countryside lobby's warped logic that only people who actually live in rural Britain should be allowed a say over its future"

Those bright green,' nitrogenous', fields we rest our eyes on are only really sterile deserts for the shrews, field mice that our beautiful owls feed on, our hedgehogs are in fast decline, as for badgers who knows their fate, only that there are many that fight for their survival against the latest need to eradicate them.  And when that latest claim for buzzards to be culled because of feeding on the millions  of young pheasants that are bred for shooting my crossness knew no bounds.

This is a photo nicked from F/B, from Under the Cat's Paw site, it just puts the giggle into the day!

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