Monday, 25 June 2012

Bringing up Baby (or, After the storm)

Heavy rain most of the weekend. Apart from being concerned about the thrashing my poor plants were receiving it was quite nice – I did very little (with apologies to the many friends to whom I still owe emails …) although a month's worth of ironing finally made it out of the basket and back into the wardrobe.

We've had a ridiculous 132mm of rain so far this month which is over 5 inches in real measurements. I thought that couldn't be right, five inches? Must have double-counted one of the readings but I've checked other local sites, in particular, Cockermouth School who have a very accurate and posh set up. They're showing 119mm for the month which makes our 132mm sound less crazy, and the school is in a more sheltered location.

The good news is that although it is still raining, on and off, the Derwent is back in its channel and the wind has gone away.

You'd think the endless wet and cold must make it terribly hard for birds trying to raise young. Unless you're a Bag End bird, in which case the all-you-can-eat-buffet is being refilled two or three times a day. I don't think I have ever seen so many baby blackbirds, starlings, tits (blue and great) and robins as we have this year. An exciting and wonderful visit on Sunday from an adult male Greater Spotted Woodpecker and a juvenile, (the baby has the larger red patch on its head).







More excitement on Monday afternoon when baby Woodie was seen again at the nut feeder on the willow fedge. I was driving Miss Daisy down the path when Management started banging on the kitchen window to make me stop – this youngster is a bit stupid and either hadn't heard me or (more likely) hadn't realised s/he was meant to fly away. It was only later when we checked the photos we realised there are two babies – the wing markings are very different (which, of course, you can't see because the pictures which show the wings aren't the clearest/sharpest).





This could turn out to be an expensive visitation (apart from the cost of twice as much food each day as usual!) When Management and I were going through the pictures what showed up very starkly was the (relatively) poor quality of those taken with my regular zoom lens compared to the image quality of pictures taken with the large and treasured bit of “L” series glass we bought a few months ago which is "only" 24-70mm. It was a late night after we got off the PC having spent a considerable amount of time weighing up zoom, aperture, weight, build & glass quality and affordability . . . as always with me and photographic kit, decision deferred!


8 comments:

  1. Oh lucky you to have woodpeckers. They are so dramatically colored and lovely to watch. Good on you for keeping those feeders full.

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    1. Thanks Kris, they are beautiful but so easy to scare that it's quite rare to get close enough for pictures like this.

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  2. Oh, lucky you to get to see such birds!! My exciting find yesterday was a golden winged warbler. He was in the trees across the river from our campsite. With all this rain, and now the ironing out of the way, perhaps a bit of sewing might be in order??? Take care, dear girl.

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    1. Hi FFG, lucky you with the warbler. Sewing? Hmm, I have started by little needle-punch picture - does that count.

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  3. We have had young woodpeckers being fed too but I have gone off them since they ate my baby bluetits last year! Lovely pics. Sounds like it's raining yet again! Despite everything being wet through my roses are wonderful at the moment.

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    1. Hi Jill, glad your roses are OK, mine are taking such a battering and the blooms and getting trashed.

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  4. I'm pleased you are keeping them going. We had a juvenile commit suicide by hitting the sitting room window, such a shame, they are such stunning birds. Great pics.

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    1. Thank you CB, how sad you had a fatality. We lost three finches in one morning last week, it was during exceptionally high wind and I think they were being blown about at the back of the house.

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