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BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)

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Stilly River Sage 28 Dec 10 - 12:48 PM
Herga Kitty 28 Dec 10 - 01:33 PM
gnu 28 Dec 10 - 02:05 PM
Micca 28 Dec 10 - 03:50 PM
Desert Dancer 28 Dec 10 - 04:12 PM
Janie 28 Dec 10 - 09:57 PM
Liz the Squeak 29 Dec 10 - 04:18 AM
My guru always said 29 Dec 10 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Dec 10 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 29 Dec 10 - 09:47 AM
My guru always said 29 Dec 10 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Dec 10 - 11:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Dec 10 - 07:15 PM
maeve 29 Dec 10 - 07:48 PM
Van 29 Dec 10 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 30 Dec 10 - 02:26 AM
GUEST,Eliza 30 Dec 10 - 09:12 AM
My guru always said 30 Dec 10 - 09:34 AM
Janie 16 Jan 11 - 07:23 AM
maeve 16 Jan 11 - 07:41 AM
Micca 16 Jan 11 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,LTS on the sofa 18 Jan 11 - 04:36 AM
maeve 18 Jan 11 - 08:26 PM
olddude 18 Jan 11 - 08:55 PM
maeve 18 Jan 11 - 08:56 PM
My guru always said 19 Jan 11 - 05:50 AM
Janie 23 Jan 11 - 09:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 11 - 11:21 AM
Janie 23 Jan 11 - 11:45 AM
Janie 23 Jan 11 - 12:04 PM
maeve 23 Jan 11 - 02:03 PM
Micca 23 Jan 11 - 02:18 PM
maeve 23 Jan 11 - 02:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 11 - 04:00 PM
My guru always said 23 Jan 11 - 04:33 PM
maeve 23 Jan 11 - 04:43 PM
Janie 23 Jan 11 - 05:52 PM
Mike in Brunswick 24 Jan 11 - 12:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jan 11 - 12:54 PM
maeve 24 Jan 11 - 01:01 PM
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Stilly River Sage 25 Jan 11 - 11:10 AM
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Subject: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 12:48 PM

It's almost the new year, my bird feeders have been up for a couple of weeks, and the tiny black-capped chickadees have appeared. I think these are the equivalent of Liz the Squeak's tits. :)

Last year's snow in North Texas provided an excellent background for bird photos; I stood in the middle of the front yard, far enough out of their view so the birds at the feeders along the driveway ignored me. I don't hold out hope for a snow like that again, but I do enjoy the bird watching this time of year. Last week a young hawk perched next to the feeders, perhaps thinking meal delivery was available. It was so silent, literally not a peep out there.

What are the rest of you seeing? (And Liz, I hope you're feeling well enough to be paying proper attention to your tits!)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 01:33 PM

Thawing, hopefully - at least, it has thawed in North West London ...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: gnu
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 02:05 PM

Still cold I hear. How are your blue tits, Liz?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Micca
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 03:50 PM

On Christmas morning, what with the Coal, Great, Blue and one solitary long-tailed, there were more tits than at the Follies Bergere in Hils and Richards garden!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 04:12 PM

I believe it was white-tailed kite I saw on I-8 west of Eloy yesterday. A first for me. (I would have said it had a black back, but mostly saw it from below: mostly white with with black tips on the long pointy wings.

We have no bird book over here in Long Beach! We really have been doing only the city thing, and not getting outdoors. Phoo.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 09:57 PM

Haven't been home much in daylight or on weekends to really know. I neglected the feeders most of the summer and until the snows hit late November, so I don't have nearly as large a population of birds as in past years, but from what little I have been able to observe, pretty much the same number of species.

The usual common suspects - cardinals, titmice, chickadees (don't know if I have both chickadee species around or not this year,) goldfinches, purple finches, the occasional blue bird, red bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, a lone pine warbler, red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches, white-throated sparrows, juncos, carolina wrens, northern flicker (haven't got a good enough look to know if it is yellow or red-shafted.

The neighbor's 4 cats all seem to have either crossed the rainbow bridge or been picked up by animal control. There are still cats around, but a tolerable number so that I can broadcast seed for ground feeders again without feeling like I am setting a trap for them.

I no longer work where I can readily stop by a "Wild Bird Center" to pick up hot pepper laced suet or nuggets, so the squirrels are a bigger problem.

Mom & Dad have Bradford pears planted all around the rear perimeter of their lot. I noticed when I was home in WV over Christmas that the pears draw not only hordes of starlings, but also a large flock of robins. I see robins here all winter, but not flocks of them. M &D are 300 miles north of me. They have more robins now than either they or I see in summer.

Two Bradfords overhang their driveway. My car is covered in starling poop and salt. The good news is Bradford pears are exactly the same color as mud, so the car appears to be covered with mudsplatters and salt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 04:18 AM

My tits are doing well thank you, all three sorts! This week they were joined by a bullfinch (bit difficult to identify at first as he was a youngster) on the butterfly bush, there is in all probability a wren in the ivy (heard but not seen) and the robins are about, but haven't spotted one properly yet.

There were pied wagtails at the front of the house the day after the snow - an unusual visitor to such a high traffic area as my road, they prefer the hospital car park but were obviously looking out for food.

Keep feeding them and they will come...


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: My guru always said
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 05:34 AM

It's just like Clapham Junction outside my window, they're all lining up for their turns at the feeders!

Micca spotted a Long-tailed Tit while he was here, but as soon as he left I saw 5 of them *grin* We identified a Redwing the other day and I have Goldfinches coming regularly at the moment.

I think someone has taken advantage of the lovely male Pheasant who had been fattening himself up in my garden, haven't seen him for a week or so....


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 09:42 AM

Have been putting out in the garden anything and everything for the birds during this terribly cold weather. Dried mealworms, bits of pastry (from mince pie cooking), fat,cheap cheese, crusts, seeds, sunflower hearts, refilling the peanut and sunflower feeders etc. Have seen many different birds, blue tits, coal tits, a wagtail, goldfinches, blackbirds, big fat pigeons, even seagulls have tried to land in my rather small garden. It's all hoovered up in about thirty minutes, but I feel at least I'm helping. Also I've been trying to put hot water out, in the hope that they can drink before it freezes. It's been minus 10 here (Norfolk UK) at night, I just hope the birds will survive. I can only bear to be out there for about five minutes, and they have to stay out all the time! The blackbirds seem to be the most successful, there are about EIGHT of them out there sometimes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 09:47 AM

In West Clare last week the cold brought quite a few redwings and snipes that aren't normally as obvious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: My guru always said
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 09:51 AM

There seem to be an awful lot of Blackbirds in Leatherhead too!!

Our birds are very lucky because years ago Richard installed a 'heated' bird-bath, using an underground cable, 2 washing up bowls and a fridge element. It's on a timer and in frosty weather we just set it for 2 hours before dawn, but in bad weather it's on continuous. The birds love it *grin*


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 11:32 AM

Oh WHAT a lovely idea, a heated birdbath!! You are clever! I read that the birds need to bathe as well as drink, so they must be blessing you! Could you market it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 07:15 PM

I've been scattering seed on the ground as well as filling the feeders. And there are a few small birds that seem to enjoy scattering the seed from the feeders then hop to the ground to forage.

It's very warm today, so the birds aren't sticking as close-by. I was in the driveway at one point and the rosemary next to the drive was aquiver with little birds inside it. When we approached, there were a few unusual flight patterns as they looped around and back into the brush, while some headed up to the roof to wait for us to leave so they could resume feeding. They catch on pretty quickly that the human who comes out and scatters seed won't eat them, and I should keep track of how long it takes them to return. The time shortens during the winter to a minute or less.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: maeve
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 07:48 PM

Solar heated birdbath for Eliza


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Van
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 08:51 PM

i live in Margate,England, a small coastal town so it works like this:

Garden: I have a Robin, Sparrows, Magpie, pair of Blackbirds.

Seashore: Gulls by the thousand. (the only ones I can recognise are Herring Gulls) Brent Geese, White fronted Geese, and Turnstones which migrate here from Canada each winter.

I mention the shore as live only 500m from it.
Ivan


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 02:26 AM

gnu: "Still cold I hear. How are your blue tits, Liz?"

COLD!!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 09:12 AM

Thank you very much Maeve, I had no idea such things were available! I'm all for helping the birds, especially in these bitter days. They give me such pleasure watching them from my window. At this very moment there's a pair of pretty goldfinches on the sunflower hearts dispenser, wolfing down the seeds! Van, you're lucky to have two different habitats nearby, I'm about 20 mins from the coast (Norfolk) and last Autumn saw five beautiful young Great Blackbacked Gulls swooping about. They were gigantic!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: My guru always said
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for the link Maeve, looks like we won't get rich & famous after all *grin*


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 07:23 AM

Seems the birds have forgiven me for neglecting them all summer and fall and they have figured out I'm doing a better job of keeping them full. (cold weather reminded them as well as me.)

I have a lot more bluebirds this year. It may be the ligustrum are more generously loaded with drupes, as I notice they feed on them quite heavily.

While I have occasionally seen a red-bellied woodpecker on the trees in past years, this year one is very active at the feeders. Seems to go after the sunflowers as readily as the suet or nuggets. Wonder if having taken down the big oak that died has anything to do with that.
Having only seen one of them at a time, I have a tendency to think I have been seeing the same woodpecker these past 3 winters, but what are the odds of one bird surviving 3 winters?

When there was so much reporting on the redwing blackbirds falling from the sky, some bird expert remarked that a bird's life is short and brutal, and 50% of the birds you see one year will die within a year. Somewhere I've read that the survival rate for birds thru their first year is only about 20%. I imagine most of those deaths occur within the first 2-3 months. Anyone know what the survival rate is for those that make it through that first year?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: maeve
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 07:41 AM

Some information here:

Bird life expectancy chart- USA

European Longevity Records


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Micca
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 10:50 AM

Thanks maeve, those are really interesting!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: GUEST,LTS on the sofa
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 04:36 AM

Tits are progressing nicely, have seen 2 out of 3 of them - the blue and the great. Spotted the biggest, fattest robin ever yesterday, foraging with a blackbird... this morning he was in the top of the bastard service tree (no, really, that's what it's called!!) issuing a challenge to all comers so I suspect he's selected his territory and I shall see more of him this year.

There's a magpie that regularly visits the tree outside the front window - I can hear him now, but whether he knows Raven kitty is less than 10ft away, gnashing his teeth and lashing his tail I don't know! However, there's a window between them and no actual confrontation yet....

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: maeve
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 08:26 PM

We had a small flock of Redpolls feeding on the ground beneath our feeders today. They joined the more common American Goldfinches, Black-Capped Chickadees, Common and Red-Breasted Nuthatches, Hairy Woodpeckers and Downy Woodpeckers. The feathered folk have all been mad for suet this month.

It will be interesting to see if we have more or fewer birds at the feeder tomorrow morning, after six more inches of snow was followed by the sleet and freezing rain falling outside now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: olddude
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 08:55 PM

I have a big old oak tree out back, every day there is a huge red tail hawk sitting up there just scanning the grape vines looking for rodents. He is incredible. Yesterday there was a female there also, two of them sitting in the same tree. I watch this big guy every day and just enjoy him immensely


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: maeve
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 08:56 PM

What a treat, Dan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: My guru always said
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 05:50 AM

Sounds fantastic Dan! Guess you don't get many small birds around there while the Hawk's about?

We get occasional visits from a Peregrine Falcon, all my usual birds disappear quite quickly....


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 09:26 AM

Stilly and Raptor, would either you object to a combining of the two birding threads for 2011?

Birdwatching 2011


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 11:21 AM

I started this one first - so could we keep the silly double-entendre title? :)

I'm noticing little differentiation in the birds at the feeders this winter. Mostly mourning doves and sparrows. Few of the finches and such. I suspect it's because I didn't cough up the cash for thistle seed for that feeder. That stuff got expensive this year!

I saw a hawk shadow pass over the drive yesterday, and there wasn't another bird in sight. I'm near an extensive bit of woods along the local creek, so there is a lot of hawk and owl activity in our area. Keeps the little guys on their toes.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 11:45 AM

I don't care (although it is easier to pick out the thread titled "birdwatching" when I scan the threads, because I don't always remember how the thread you started begins, and tend to not remember to use "trace.")

The main thing is having to keep up with 2 threads to follow what is one conversation.

But I think it is up to you and Raptor as to whether you are both ok with the threads being combined, whatever the title ends up being.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 12:04 PM

It seems to me that goldfinches like the sunflower seed as much as the nyjer - but the nyjer feeders allow more birds to feed at one time and the goldfinches only have to compete for space a that particular table with the house and purple finches

After posting yesterday (I think on the other thread,) that I was not seeing as many sparrows, I thought to go fill a terra cotta drip tray with millet seed and set it out on top of the overturned birdbath basin. That has brought them, and also alerted more of them to the seed I had been broadcasting. Today am seeing what I think are chipping sparrows, white-throated sparrows, and a song sparrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: maeve
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 02:03 PM

This thread does have a funny title, Maggie, but Raptor has had an nearly annual birdwatching thread going since 2002.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Micca
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 02:18 PM

Is it me or is there something slightly ....... shifty? about someone called Raptor starting a Birdwatching thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: maeve
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 02:54 PM

It's you, Micca. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 04:00 PM

This wasn't started to be THE annual birdwatching thread. I dated it to distinguish it from Liz' other tit threads.

Truth be told, it was meant to urge Liz to move around the house a little and look out into her garden to check on her birds. She hasn't been feeling well, and the movement and the pleasure in birds was meant to be useful. I'm content to let this thread stay as it is and not speak for all birders in Mudcatland.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: My guru always said
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 04:33 PM

That was a good reason to start this thread Maggie! Hope Liz is feeling better and that she's able to spend some time counting her Tits *grin*


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: maeve
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 04:43 PM

Sounds fine. Liz, how many this week?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 05:52 PM

Thanks for clarifying, Maggie.

Somehow I have missed that you have been enduring health problems, Liz. I'm sorry to hear that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Mike in Brunswick
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 12:21 AM

We have spotted a varied thrush here in Brunswick, Maine. I'm not a birdwatcher, at least in any systematic sense, but apparently this is a pretty big deal, since their normal range is from Oregon to Southeast Alaska. Every year though a few of them set out to see the world, or at least the Upper Midwest. It's still unusual to see them in Maine, and the local birders have been tromping through the neighborhood for the last couple of weeks. The bird hasn't been seen for a few days. Since the temperature outside is currently -5 F, I imagine Oregon started looking better.

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 12:54 PM

It would take someone with Liz' eye to sort out all of the little gray birds at my feeder. It's amazing how those little birds trample the dirt, spread the mulch out onto the driveway, and perch on every little raised thing in the bed, pooping white beside them. :-) I need a more complex food supply if I want a larger variety of birds, and I hadn't gotten around to it, but that said, I can detect enough differences to know that I probably have a dozen different types of LGBs.

Most of what we've heard of Liz' ongoing health problems have been mentioned in our De-clutter threads, and those don't attract all readers. They're on a par with Jerry's "kitchen table" threads, but started anew each month. And for over a year we've been aware that though she continues to get a lot of things done, she hasn't felt good and has had various tests to rule things out.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: maeve
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 01:01 PM

Liz has also been busy singing a great deal over the holiday season. I suspect she posts only what she is willing for the Uber-public Mudcat world to know regarding health issues, as is appropriate.

Stilly, I think my favorite birding phrase from all my years of following such things is "confusing Fall warblers" as an identification category. Your LGB fits right in there.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: GUEST,Sapper at work
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 05:32 AM

My guru always said
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 05:34 AM

"I think someone has taken advantage of the lovely male Pheasant who had been fattening himself up in my garden, haven't seen him for a week or so.... "

Got a couple of young cock pheasants on the Ecclesbourne Road between Duffield & Wirksworth last week, on on Wednesday, t'other on Saturday within half a mile of each other and both just clipped on the head.

Think I'll be doing creamed pheasant again in the near future!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hey Liz, How are your Tits? (birds 2011)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 11:10 AM

I know I've posted the essay from Bailey White's book Mama Makes Up Her Mind at Mudcat before. It's very short and quite funny. I can't find it right this minute, but it involves harvesting roadkill.

I'd like to wean the birds off of the feeder on one side of the driveway and send them to one on the other side, but even that short distance it seems to take them a while to discover it. They sit chirping in the bushes near the first one and ignore the second. I know they'll catch on, but it is interesting to watch the process. I don't want their little feet nicking or pulling out my onion sets. They're perilously close to that part of the garden these days. I always make sure to wash the herbs I bring in for cooking now.

SRS


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