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BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others

keberoxu 09 May 18 - 12:59 PM
Senoufou 09 May 18 - 02:25 PM
Mr Red 10 May 18 - 04:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 May 18 - 04:37 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 May 18 - 09:47 PM
Rusty Dobro 11 May 18 - 02:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 May 18 - 04:01 AM
Mr Red 11 May 18 - 04:14 AM
Senoufou 11 May 18 - 04:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 May 18 - 05:23 AM
Senoufou 11 May 18 - 05:37 AM
keberoxu 11 May 18 - 01:07 PM
Senoufou 11 May 18 - 01:44 PM
keberoxu 11 May 18 - 09:53 PM
Jos 12 May 18 - 03:40 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 May 18 - 03:53 AM
Senoufou 12 May 18 - 06:10 AM
keberoxu 12 May 18 - 10:53 AM
Senoufou 12 May 18 - 11:11 AM
keberoxu 13 May 18 - 11:24 AM
keberoxu 13 May 18 - 06:15 PM
Senoufou 13 May 18 - 06:32 PM
keberoxu 14 May 18 - 06:49 PM
keberoxu 27 May 18 - 09:20 PM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 02:48 AM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 02:50 AM
Rusty Dobro 28 May 18 - 03:30 AM
Jos 28 May 18 - 04:15 AM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 04:49 AM
keberoxu 28 May 18 - 10:23 AM
Jos 28 May 18 - 11:05 AM
Jon Freeman 28 May 18 - 11:24 AM
Jos 28 May 18 - 12:26 PM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 12:36 PM
robomatic 28 May 18 - 05:02 PM
keberoxu 29 May 18 - 01:30 PM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 05:36 AM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 02:41 PM
Rusty Dobro 01 Jun 18 - 03:18 PM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Jun 18 - 06:09 PM
olddude 02 Jun 18 - 12:14 AM
Jos 02 Jun 18 - 04:23 AM
Senoufou 02 Jun 18 - 04:35 AM
Jos 02 Jun 18 - 05:41 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 18 - 06:29 AM
Senoufou 02 Jun 18 - 08:58 AM
Jos 03 Jun 18 - 05:17 AM
olddude 03 Jun 18 - 02:49 PM
Senoufou 03 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM
keberoxu 03 Jun 18 - 03:34 PM
keberoxu 03 Jun 18 - 11:59 PM
Senoufou 04 Jun 18 - 04:03 AM
keberoxu 06 Jun 18 - 11:50 PM
Stanron 07 Jun 18 - 01:56 AM
BobL 07 Jun 18 - 02:55 AM
Senoufou 07 Jun 18 - 12:52 PM
Senoufou 09 Jun 18 - 03:08 PM
Jos 09 Jun 18 - 04:50 PM
keberoxu 10 Jun 18 - 12:29 AM
keberoxu 07 Nov 18 - 09:39 PM
Thompson 07 Nov 18 - 10:43 PM
Jos 08 Nov 18 - 03:01 AM
Thompson 08 Nov 18 - 08:37 AM
Thompson 08 Nov 18 - 08:42 AM
Senoufou 08 Nov 18 - 08:46 AM
keberoxu 08 May 19 - 07:40 PM
keberoxu 09 May 19 - 06:08 PM
keberoxu 09 May 19 - 06:13 PM
Jos 10 May 19 - 04:50 AM
keberoxu 11 May 19 - 09:55 PM
keberoxu 12 May 19 - 04:21 PM
Georgiansilver 12 May 19 - 08:09 PM
keberoxu 15 May 19 - 06:12 PM
keberoxu 18 May 19 - 02:31 PM
Nigel Parsons 19 May 19 - 12:20 PM
keberoxu 26 May 19 - 04:27 PM
Jos 27 May 19 - 05:26 AM
Jos 02 Jun 19 - 04:27 AM
keberoxu 16 Jun 19 - 03:00 PM
keberoxu 17 Jun 19 - 02:50 PM
keberoxu 27 Jun 19 - 08:14 PM
The Sandman 28 Jun 19 - 04:46 AM
keberoxu 30 Jun 19 - 05:43 PM
keberoxu 01 Jul 19 - 05:20 PM
keberoxu 01 Jul 19 - 05:21 PM
keberoxu 04 Jul 19 - 02:45 PM
keberoxu 21 Jul 19 - 09:44 PM
keberoxu 18 Aug 19 - 03:05 PM
keberoxu 08 May 20 - 11:49 AM
Senoufou 08 May 20 - 12:33 PM
Mrrzy 08 May 20 - 01:41 PM
keberoxu 08 May 20 - 03:29 PM
Senoufou 08 May 20 - 04:07 PM
keberoxu 10 May 20 - 11:07 AM
gillymor 10 May 20 - 12:05 PM
Donuel 10 May 20 - 02:49 PM
Donuel 11 May 20 - 10:24 AM
Senoufou 11 May 20 - 11:44 AM
Donuel 11 May 20 - 02:38 PM
keberoxu 12 May 20 - 03:34 PM
Senoufou 07 Jun 20 - 05:34 PM
punkfolkrocker 07 Jun 20 - 06:28 PM
keberoxu 07 Jun 20 - 07:34 PM
Senoufou 08 Jun 20 - 08:41 AM
Roger the Skiffler 08 Jun 20 - 08:52 AM
Senoufou 09 Jun 20 - 07:20 AM
Charmion 09 Jun 20 - 12:01 PM
Senoufou 09 Jun 20 - 12:49 PM
keberoxu 18 Jun 20 - 10:25 PM
Senoufou 19 Jun 20 - 03:49 AM
Doug Chadwick 19 Jun 20 - 06:23 AM
Senoufou 19 Jun 20 - 06:57 AM
Jos 19 Jun 20 - 08:24 AM
Senoufou 19 Jun 20 - 08:29 AM
keberoxu 21 Jun 20 - 06:24 PM
Senoufou 22 Jun 20 - 04:11 AM
Charmion 22 Jun 20 - 10:07 AM
keberoxu 30 Mar 21 - 10:04 PM
Senoufou 31 Mar 21 - 02:44 AM
Senoufou 31 Mar 21 - 02:51 AM
keberoxu 02 Apr 21 - 05:14 PM
keberoxu 07 Apr 21 - 08:13 PM
keberoxu 08 Apr 21 - 08:16 PM
keberoxu 10 Apr 21 - 11:56 PM
keberoxu 13 Apr 21 - 09:16 PM
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Subject: all our feathered friends
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 May 18 - 12:59 PM

Mudcatter Senoufou, long may she prosper, has sighted the fruitful and multiplying swan pair with the arrival of spring. And they have multiplied, as they do every year.

Now comes the fraught interval of watching the swans go from one body of water to another, every day, while interfering with motor vehicle traffic of all kinds. God willing, without casualties.

A Mad Swan monitor thread almost, but not quite,
makes up for the silence left by Mudcatter Liz the Squeak
when she went elsewhere to report on her sightings of blue tits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 May 18 - 02:25 PM

Those Mad Swans give me heart attacks every blooming year. Neighbour-across-the-road has a bit of land with a small lake behind the village, and she's trying to get the swans to stay there by feeding them morning and evening, but they seem determined to do the 'trek'. Our village council has now erected a proper road sign at each entrance to the village, with a lovely silhouette of a swan and some cygnets, saying SLOW DOWN! SWANS! but lorries are still belting along far too fast.

Have thoroughly washed out and refilled our two bird baths ready for the goldfinches. Cuckoo still tooting away in the woods behind the village.
I got sunburnt sitting on the bench during the Bank Holiday. Husband didn't (He's jet black already and never burns)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 May 18 - 04:21 AM

I have heard tell of a road sign that read "Caution low flying duck"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 May 18 - 04:37 AM

We have ducks that live in the beck just down the road and spend half their time in our front garden. Often to be seen slowing traffic down by waddling down the middle of the road oblivious to the dangers. Luckily it is not such a fast nor busy road. We also have what we refer to as 'Sparrow Towers' in our front hedge. We have leylandii (bloomin' awful things that we did not plant) but next door have a lovely big privet hedge that is full of holes where the sparrows pop in and out of. We think of that as their bedrooms and ours as their dining room :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 May 18 - 09:47 PM

Liz is still around, just not on Mudcat very often. Perhaps she will pay a visit and describe her tits for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 11 May 18 - 02:45 AM

In Suffolk, we have had our first recorded visit from an American Bittern, which is, as you might expect, flashy, confident, assertive, and hard to ignore. However, it has based itself perilously near to the Norfolk border, so, Senoufou, when you tire of your swans, do not attempt to cross into God's Own County to lure it away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 May 18 - 04:01 AM

I though the flashy, hard to ignore Americans visit was scheduled for July 13th?

I'll get my coat...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 May 18 - 04:14 AM

the OP refers to tits, not twits.................

And isn't he a red twit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 May 18 - 04:14 AM

Hahahaha! The Lesser Spotted Trump Bird!!

Don't mention bitterns to me. A friend and I were desperate to see a blooming bittern, and went several times to a Norfolk Nature Reserve to try and spot one. Whenever we arrived, there was always a crowd of people heading for the cafe, saying, "Ooooh! We've just seen the bittern! It's only just gone!" I'm convinced that wretched bird knew we were coming and deliberately made itself scarce.

We live in the Wensum Valley, which has a plethora of lovely wildlife.
Our village has an ancient mill-race and a bridge, where one can always see twitchers and their expensive cameras hanging about trying to spot some rare thing.

My funny neighbour (he's a true Norfolk chap) once told us that spot was a popular venue during the night for dogging. My husband's eyes opened wide with amazement when we explained what 'dogging' was.
Now, whenever we see these twitchers, he inevitably remarks, "Zeeze peeeeple, zey are filming zeee dogging!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 May 18 - 05:23 AM

Did you watch Peter Kay's car share when his character had to explain to his car share partner, who had been telling people she was dogging when walking the dog, what dogging actually was?

Hilarious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 May 18 - 05:37 AM

Tee hee, yes Dave, I love that programme.

I suppose the doggers at that bridge in our village could always pretend they'd come there 'to hear the nightingale sing' as in the folk song. I've always thought the line where 'he took a fiddle out of his rucksack' is a euphemism, but perhaps I have a rather rude mind!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 May 18 - 01:07 PM

Hereabouts (eastern Massachusetts)
it's wild turkeys and Canada geese.

The wild turkeys keep to themselves,
but they WILL cross the road.
There are signs posted, TURKEY XING, in warning yellow and black.

The Canada geese are another matter.
They take over parking lots: not to nest,
but as a place to sort of go on promenade
and harass the drivers of the parked cars.

One classic example is a strip mall with a nice pond next to
the parking lot in the back.
The geese have of course claimed the pond,
and they think of the parking lot as their territory as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 May 18 - 01:44 PM

I love Canada geese, very handsome birds.

A new lady has taken over our village shop, and has closed it while she makes a lot of changes, one of which is to chop down and remove a lovely large privet hedge that ran the length of the shop carpark. It used to be full of hedge sparrows (which are getting rather scarce) I noticed this morning our garden had six of these cheery little chaps eating up the bits of bread and scraps my husband chucks out for the birds. I hope they find other 'accommodation' after their huge hedge went in a skip! We don't have any hedges, as clipping them is a bit much for us nowadays.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 May 18 - 09:53 PM

Although my location is quite a few miles inland,
seagulls are not uncommon.
Scavengers that they are, they don't bother with inland water,
but they head for the parking lots and the dumpsters!
Screaming all the way!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 12 May 18 - 03:40 AM

I hadn't come across the term 'strip mall' before, and with it turning up so soon after the car share posts I imagined a shopping mall full of strip clubs ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 May 18 - 03:53 AM

There is an old joke hereabouts (in Manchester it was about Scousers)

Why do seagulls have wings?

So they can beat (insert peoples of your disdain) to the dump :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 May 18 - 06:10 AM

I'd never heard of a 'strip mall' either Jos. What exactly IS it?
I know the weather's been quite hot lately, but to strip off in the Mall is a bit extreme! :)

I've noticed many seagulls here inland too. They tend to follow the plough and eat up any worms. They also scavenge. They seem to have lost their interest in fishing on the sea. They produce gallons of horrible squishy poo, which ends up on our conservatory windows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 May 18 - 10:53 AM

Try this link, re "strip mall".

What is a "strip mall" called in British English


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 May 18 - 11:11 AM

Ah I see, thank you keberoxu. I'd call that a 'parade of shops'.
Even the word mall is fairly new here. I'd call a mall a 'shopping centre'.
My husband was very confused when he first heard the word. It means 'evil' in French. And 'sale' (pronounced 'saal') means dirty. He was a bit scared to learn we were on the bus going towards evil. And when he saw the signs saying 'SALE' he wondered why we all wanted to buy dirty stuff!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 May 18 - 11:24 AM

In a past year,
I must have told you about the
monaastery ducklings.
I ought to post a link in this thread.
(They're in Michigan.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 May 18 - 06:15 PM

This is different than the one I had in mind --

enjoy anyhow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 May 18 - 06:32 PM

How lovely keberoxu! I like it when animals and birds come into church. Our local church has the great west door open in summer, and Phyllis's little grey cat sometimes peeps round looking for her owner. She miaows a bit then comes right in to find her. Nobody minds at all.

In Senegal I attended a Catholic Mass in Djouloulou (small village in Casamance) The priest stood up to deliver the homily in French, and each sentence was translated into Wolof by a tall chap. Next to him stood a little tiny Djiola tribesman who added his bit. Then outside, a 'ting' bird did a loud 'TING!" This sequences was repeated until the sermon was over. Needless to say I got the giggles. But then the African choir and drums started up, and I was blown away. We all stood up to dance. Wonderful memory...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 May 18 - 06:49 PM

I don't think of Trumplestiltskin as a Bittern.
Bitterns aren't all that assertive,
they do make an impressive noise
but they would rather be heard than seen,
is my experience.

I guess I'm not going to succeed in my search for that book
that was published by, I do believe,
the Dominican Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament
in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

The Dominican order has no monks, only friars;
so Dominican monasteries are limited to nuns along with lay sisters.
So it is with the above foundation, which moved into the suburbs,
and had formerly been in the heart of Detroit.
Inner-city Detroit was hazardous in a number of ways,
and the move to Farmington Hills was a big move.

No one expected to disrupt the patterns of a pair of ducks.
I ought to say, no one intended to. They did, though.

Like all strict monasteries, this one is enclosed, and there are walls.
And with the new construction,
suddenly the breeding ducks discovered
an obstacle in between their habitual nesting area
and the all-important pond nearby.
The whole darned monastery was in the way.

Now, of course, duck and drake could fly over the wall.
But their ducklings could not.

The ever-vigilant nuns and lay sisters were greatly startled when
mother duck marched her ducklings, single-file, up the walkway
to the main entrance in the wall, in broad daylight.

The doors were hastily opened, and the humans courteously held back
and watched mother duck, at the head of the queue,
quacking loudly as she led the ducklings down the monastery corridor,
straight through the complex and to another door on the far side.
Excellent sense of direction, that duck,
for that door was the closest to the pond.

Twice a day, coming and going,
mother duck led her ducklings through the monastery enclosure,
until the little ones could fly.

And has continued to do so, year upon year, at last report.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 May 18 - 09:20 PM

Well, another BS thread
has seen a Mad Swans update. The cygnets this year
are big enough to walk,
and the whole famn damily, as the censored version goes,
has been sighted and reported on by Senoufou/Eliza.
Here we go again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 May 18 - 02:48 AM

It's so upsetting keberoxu. Quite a few big livestock-feed lorries trundle through the village on their way to the various farms. Our village street is winding and one can't see round the bends. There could be the horses from the riding school out for the riding lesson, children on their bikes, elderly people crossing the road, and...SILLY SWANS, but these lorries never slow down, and it's only a matter of time before there's a disaster.
Sometimes a fox will get a gosling, and that's Nature, but I do feel quite ill thinking of those huge lorries bearing down on the wee things.
My husband, on the other hand, slowed down and stopped completely when a similar family of little partridge babies and their mum scuttled across the road out near Swanton Morley. He's very soft-hearted and would be in tears if he killed a little bird with his car.

Does anyone else spit when they see a single magpie? ("One for sorrow, two for joy" etc) I don't mean really spit, but go 'pffft'. My Irish mother used to do this, and I do too. It cancels out the curse. It rather startles my husband. He says 'First World folk are more superstitious than African ones!'


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 May 18 - 02:50 AM

WHY do I keep calling them goslings when they're CYGNETS??


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 28 May 18 - 03:30 AM

Back to the 'assertive' bitterns - I saw (and photographed) one beating a prowling marsh harrier away from its nest at Minsmere.

It's us quiet ones you have to watch.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 28 May 18 - 04:15 AM

What do I do when I 'see a single magpie ("One for sorrow, two for joy" etc)'? I look for the other one, of course, which will bring me joy (supposedly). Superstitions vary. Some people believe they should salute a magpie if they see one.

Round here, however, the magpies go around in gangs ("five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret that's never been told"). If I see them in my garden I shout at them or throw sticks at them to scare them away from the nesting blue tits, great tits, coal tits, robins, blackbirds, dunnocks, wrens ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 May 18 - 04:49 AM

If you go to 'Lyng Stores' on Twitter, and scroll down a bit, you can see a photo of the silly swans walking down the main street. I think it was taken only yesterday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 May 18 - 10:23 AM

Jos has tit nests in the garden! Do you know Liz the Squeak?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 28 May 18 - 11:05 AM

I do, but I haven't seen her for quite a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 28 May 18 - 11:24 AM

Jos, Magpies seem to be about the first active here. Up long before I'm up and too early to scare them even if I (perhaps with apologies to smaller birds) wanted to. One thing I see them do on the cctv is fly up and take pecks out of fat balls. Seems a lot of energy expended but also seems worthwhile to them.

Back to Swans, I used to like feeding them at Salthouse but as well as getting out less often, since learned that bread is not good and may also debate the way I used to feed them with kids in mind. While I'd not like to meet one in "attack mode" (or geese in that mood for that matter), I'd let them approach me and let them take bread from my hand (they have quite rough beaks btw).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 28 May 18 - 12:26 PM

A pet shop near me sells bags of food suitable for feeding wild ducks and swans, so there is no need to stuff them with bread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 May 18 - 12:36 PM

My daft husband has been trying, in his head, to design a small cart on rubber wheels, just large enough to accommodate the cygnets and adults, which he could pull along the road to save their struggling babies. One side of this contraption would be a ramp, which one would swing up once the family was on board.
He thinks I could walk behind with a flag to alert motorists (twice a day!).

He can't believe that the main snag to this Heath Robinson idea is that the swans won't get on board, they'll attack him in a big way.

However, I'd love to see it working. Imagine a very black African wearing his national costume (bright purple today) pulling a cart full of swans along, with a fat elderly white lady walking behind waving a large St George's flag (we've had it since the World Cup a few years ago)

Sounds like a scene from Monty Python!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: robomatic
Date: 28 May 18 - 05:02 PM

Can't say enough good things about Bird Note which comes on our public broadcasting radio station at least once a day with some informative bit of bird business, almost always with sound effects.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 May 18 - 01:30 PM

Another bird you have to watch out for,
if it runs amok,
is the turkey -- don't let small children get too close.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 05:36 AM

We were in fits of laughter early this morning. It seems a new pair of pigeons has taken to sitting on the roof of our bungalow. The male has a weird call. It sounds exactly like, "Hap-py birthday toooo yooo! Hap-py birthday toooo yoooo!" on and on. Maybe it's his pigeon-wife's birthday? This village gets madder and madder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 02:41 PM

Sat outside on The Bench and watched the house martins this evening. At last they all seem to have arrived, about twenty in all, nesting up in the corner of the barge boards of everyone's houses. They're zooming around hoovering up flying insects. wonderful aerobatics!

I think they find this location useful because of all the watery places (river and string of narrow lakes) where they can scoop up wet mud to form their cup-shaped nests.

I should have qualified my last post. They aren't ordinary pigeons, they're wood pigeons.(Now that sounds like the M&S advert!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 03:18 PM

I sat on the Bench for twenty years, and all sorts of odd birds appeared before me....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM

Hahaha Rusty. Such as the 'Lesser Spotted Shoplifter'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 06:09 PM

That would be wood pigeons, Senoufou. And their call is officially rendered as "My toe's sore, Betty! My toe's sore, Betty!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: olddude
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 12:14 AM

I never had blue tits. But I did have blue balls more than once


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 04:23 AM

I was told as a child that wood pigeons are saying
"Poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo, poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo"

In fact, it usually includes an extra not at the end - "Poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo, poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo - dead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 04:35 AM

I love wildlife in general, and know nearly all the individual birds round here. The male blackbirds have their own distinctive songs, mostly melodious. But there's one poor thing that squawks like a parrot with a sore throat. I think he's rather old. The others have liquid exquisite songs, but he just screams and screeches as best he can. I feel sorry for him really, but his little brown wife seems to like him just the same, thank goodness!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 05:41 AM

That was a typo where I put "it usually includes an extra not at the end" but maybe I was right, and the wood pigeon is saying:

"Poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo, poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo - NOT."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 06:29 AM

You must be in the wrong part of Norfolk, Sen. Wood pigeons are as common as muck here. Stupid birds that can annoy me squabbling on the bird tables or just sitting there and putting other smaller birds off but quite successful all the same.

I did see a rare (I'm not sure I've ever seen one there before) bird for our garden about 1/2 hour a go. That was a bullfinch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 08:58 AM

They're common as muck here too Jon, but each pair seems to have adopted a house/bungalow and its garden. This Happy Birthday chap is new round here; I imagine he's seen off the original pair we had.

My husband still feeds his favourite lone starling. He's very fond of it, and says he likes his markings and glossy feathers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 05:17 AM

Two weeks ago my garden was busy with baby great tits, and then baby coal tits. Last week it was baby blue tits and today there are young blackbirds - and a couple of butterflies dancing in the sunshine, getting to know each other. As long as the blackbirds don't eat the butterflies (or resulting caterpillars) all is right with the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: olddude
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 02:49 PM

Last year I saved three Canadian geese from careless fishermen. I hate when they leave line laying around. The birds get tangled up and will die. I had to remove hooks lines sinkers from three of them and it’s not easy. They don’t know you are trying to help. It always takes two of us. I suspect this year it will be the same. I picked up baskets of the shit the fishermen leave on shore ugh


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM

Aw Jos how lovely, all those babies! Our starlings keep digging their beaks into the lawn to get at the leatherjackets (larvae of craneflies) which is excellent, as the larvae eat the roots of the grass and wreck the lawn.
Good for you olddude! I hate it too when stupid fishermen leave their detritus behind. So ignorant and thoughtless. Well done for holding the geese down and getting the fishing line off!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 03:34 PM

And then, speaking of our feathered friends,
there is the sound of crepuscular bird speech.
Sorry for the fancy word:
Crepuscular means "at dawn" and "at dusk."

I'm spending time in Arizona again.
Besides the mockingbirds,
who sound as though they are running for elected office,
there are the breeds of jays.
I'm not sure what kind of jays these are in Arizona.

It is really something else, at dusk, as the daylight fades,
when the jays get hunkered down in the tree branches
and stop foraging in the parking lots.

At a certain moment, in the encroaching dark,
the jays tuck themselves into the tree foliage
and do their last big vocalizing for the day.
If I knew how to make a You-Tube video of them doing this,
I would post it so that you could hear the sound.

They make all kinds of bird vocalizations that they don't resort to
at any other time that I am aware of.
It probably is not a conversation
but it certainly sounds like one!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 11:59 PM

My apologies! I was mistaken, must correct myself.
Just went online to see if I could find these amusing noisy birds.
No, they are not jays at all.

They are Great-Tailed Grackles. Right here in the Arizona cityscape.
They frequent parking lots everywhere.

If this link works, it will take you to a site about birds,
which has a short video of two adult male Great-tailed Grackles,
and you can see and hear them.

Now, if you could just imagine that little video
with about a dozen or more Great-tailed Grackles
doing that, simultaneously, in an ornamental tree in
a parking lot ... it is quite an aural experience.

Quiscalus mexicanus


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Jun 18 - 04:03 AM

Great-Tailed Grackles!!! What a lovely name! And their calls are very unusual. I love their long, elegant beaks. Thank you for posting that keberoxu.
We haven't heard any more from Happy Birthday boy. I wonder if our usual pair have chased him and his missus away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 11:50 PM

Is it true
that pink flamingos
are pink
because of what they eat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Stanron
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 01:56 AM

Pink elephants are pink because of what we drink.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: BobL
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 02:55 AM

To answer Keberoxu's query - Yes. Consult the fount-of-all-information-but-not-necessarily-knowledge at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamingo#feeding


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 12:52 PM

Neighbour-across-the-road sat with me on The Bench today, and suddenly announced, "Hair come Scruffy!" (That's how she talks, broad Norfolk)
I couldn't see anyone walking along our road, but she was pointing to a bird. It's a male blackbird, and his feathers are in complete disarray, sticking out at all angles.

It's the one she feeds with scraps and raisins, and he comes right into her kitchen and sits on the counter top waiting to be served. He obviously knows her voice, as he approached confidently right up to our feet, head on one side.
I hurried indoors to get some raisins and he actually took them from our hands!

She was telling me that all the land on which our houses are built once belonged to her grandfather, a dairy farmer. He had one bull and several milking cows. She'd been chased by the latter many times when they had calves with them, but said that bulls charge with their eyes closed, and if you dodge about, they won't get you!
I never knew that...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 03:08 PM

My VERY naughty neighbour-next-door came home towing a large piece of farm machinery. He climbed down from his van, grinned broadly at me and bellowed, "Yew ought ter trim yer bush mawther!"

I had to think for a minute, but realised he was referring to a large bush which is growing a bit too far over the pavement.
I bet the whole street heard him and had a good snigger!

Anyway, I haven't trimmed my bush because a pair of sparrows are nesting inside it, and I don't want to disturb them...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 04:50 PM

Another blue tit family today. When I looked out this morning there were two adults and five young ones bouncing around on and near the bird feeder, with the adults busily feeding the youngsters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 12:29 AM

Visiting Tucson, Arizona for a week or so.
The doves out here really ARE different
from the doves that turn up in other places.

When they launch into flight and their tail-feathers fan out,
the plumage is remarkably colored. No, not like peacocks or anything.
More like the long skirts of the Ballet Folklórico dancers.

And their cooing is really a different call than the birdcalls I'm used to.
It puts me in mind of Lola Beltrán, of happy memory,
the native of Sináloa, México,
whose singing commanded música ranchera/norteña for decades,
and of her song "Cucurrucucú Paloma."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 09:39 PM

Am returning from Phoenix, Arizona to my northeastern US home tomorrow.
Today I drove to my favorite parking lot in Scottsdale
and said goodbye to the great-tailed grackles,
when it was getting on from afternoon to evening,
and they were sitting in the trees
voicing their near-infinite variety and diversity of bird calls.
It is the darndest-sounding thing, a continual entertainment.
Until they shut up for the night.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 10:43 PM

Senoufou, your dafe husband doesn't need to build a special yokey - you can already buy cycle trailers for pets; I'm mumbling over the thought of getting one for my new puppy, who's going to be a big boy, so I can bring him to the sea and local parks for romps.

However, he might be wise to take a course in wildlife rehabilitation - there are skills involved, and knowledge. (For instance, you would never in a million years see me pick up a sick bird nowadays unless with rubber gloves and very much at arm's length, and probably not even then; there's a very nasty virus going around Europe that has already killed virtually all of Paris's blackbirds, and which is transmissible to humans.)

You may have seen a video that's going around the internet of an Irish vet (veterinarian for our American ex-co-Anglophones) jumping out of a taxi to run and rescue a young swan on the road at Donnybrook in Dublin. He wrapped it in his jacket, carried it to the river Dodder and let it loose, and it swam happily away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 03:01 AM

Thompson, when I read "he might be wise to take a course in wildlife rehabilitation ...", at first I thought you meant your big puppy should take a course before you took him to the seaside.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 08:37 AM

Hah, could be true too!

I've rather backed off the pet trailer idea on discovering that they're about €800…


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 08:42 AM

Though wait, no, Amazon has some for around £80 to £150.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 08:46 AM

There's a lovely photo of our Mad Swans online. If you go to 'Lyng Stores and Tearoom', it takes you to a Facebook thing (but no need to sign in or anything), and a large picture of the swans walking along the road in front of the village shop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 May 19 - 07:40 PM

Ah, I'm a bit late refreshing this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 May 19 - 06:08 PM

and here they are! (2019 edition, that is)

Norwich's Mad Swans


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 May 19 - 06:13 PM

And this is the
2018 edition of the Mad Swans of Norwich.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 10 May 19 - 04:50 AM

I wonder where the idea of the 'Ugly duckling' came from - yes, I know it was Hans Christian Andersen, I mean before that.
Those could never be described as ugly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 May 19 - 09:55 PM

They do appear to be making a royal progress
in that photograph, don't they?

No wonder they avoid, somehow,
being run over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 May 19 - 04:21 PM

Grand weather for water birds and
anything with webbed feet today.

the local Canada Geese must be thoroughly at home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 12 May 19 - 08:09 PM

Once upon a time...... (sounds like a good start for a short story). There was an area with a couple of small lakes and a nature reserve surrounding them, with pathways round the whole thing. It was widely reported that a male swan had been nicknamed 'Psycho' because it kept going for people on the pathways. I being middle aged and fit went running around those pathways, uninterrupted for around three weeks. However, on this particular day.... there he was, bold as brass, spreading his wings in an intimidating manner in front of me. Little did he know that I had been brought up in the countryside and was used to dealing with flocks of geese on various farms in that area. He moved threateningly towards me, sticking his neck out and making a hissing noise.... just as the geese did.... so i did exactly what i did with the geese and smacked him on the top of his beak. He moved to one side and i carried onmy r=un. The following day, I took some bread, soaked in milk, and when i saw him, i approached him with outstretched arm and fed him the juicy bread. I did this every dasy for many months and he allowed me to also feed his partner (Swans will only ever have one partner). Then came Spring time. He allowed me to feed his pasrtner whilst she was sitting on her eggs, which is a great honour as male swans will usually drive anyone who gets near to the nest away. I carried on with this amazing relationship for many more months. The babies were fed by me, early on in their lives and all seemed wonderful. Many people came to see me with those swans because they did not believe that 'Psycho' could be so tolerant. They saw him and his partner put their heads on my legs and look at me with love in their eyes. The press cameand interviewed me and took pics of me with those lovely birds. In the Autumn (Fall), I found 'Psycho' with one eye shot out by some idiot with an air rifle. I arranged for him to get it sorted at the vets but all they could do wasd make it germ free. A month later, someone found 'Psycho' with his neck tied in a knot.... dead. As you can imagine, I was devastated. How could someone do this to him........ His partner and the younng ones disappeared and were not seen locally again. i sort of blame myself for 'Psychos' demise, because he might have thought that the people who killed him were as friendly as me........maybe i should not have becomea treusted part of their lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 May 19 - 06:12 PM

This happened a short drive from my apartment building.

i've got good news and bad news...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 May 19 - 02:31 PM

Well, Senoufou continues to stay a safe distance,
and
the closest I ever get to Senoufou's Mad Swans
is looking at the
Norwich Lyng Stores internet spots.

Nothing new on this year's edition of the cygnets.
When I see an update, I will let you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 May 19 - 12:20 PM

I was amazed on holiday to see a hoopoe right outside my apartment window. (even more amazed I identified it correctly)
On checking it online I was a little disappointed to find that they are fairly common in Majorca.
Hoopoe


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 May 19 - 04:27 PM

Canada Geese, not swans, are the ones
who think territorially about
parking lots, medians, and even stretches of open road.

Everyone minded their movements and manners today,
and nobody got dented or ruffled anyplace.
Only, they would talk back and forth to each other
as they jostled for position on the street pavement:
cars honking at geese,
and geese honking back at cars.
It was downright amusing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 27 May 19 - 05:26 AM

Much feeding of baby blue tits going on in my garden at the moment, but regularly interrupted by the arrival of wood pigeons who will eat everything edible they can find unless I chase them off.

I feel bad being nasty to wood pigeons, but if they behaved like the collared doves and just spent a few minutes feeding and then flew off, the little birds could still get their share.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 02 Jun 19 - 04:27 AM

We now have lots of baby great tits - they move about too quickly to get an exact number. I am pleased to see that when the bird feeders are too crowded they have taken to eating the aphids on the roses.

We also have visits now and then from a group of young starlings, squawking and squabbling like unruly teenagers.

The young blue tits are now quite capable of feeding themselves but their parents keep on feeding them anyway, unlike the robins. Four young robins will arrive at the bird feeders and sit there waiting in vain, until they eventually get bored and feed themselves. Their parents seem to ignore them completely, and only come to feed when the babies are elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jun 19 - 03:00 PM

Mad Swans and Englishmen …


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Jun 19 - 02:50 PM

Oooooooh,
how I miss
Senoufou / Eliza
with the cygnets and their swan parents in Norwich or thereabouts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Jun 19 - 08:14 PM

oh where, o where,
have the Mad Swans gone,

oh where, o where can they beeee .........

no new news of this year's cygnets
since last month.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jun 19 - 04:46 AM

Great Tits songhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nDLF2fxoWQ , great tits are charming I love them


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jun 19 - 05:43 PM

What on earth is happening in the Channel Islands?

What do you call one hundred feral chickens?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jul 19 - 05:20 PM

These are nouns for other breeds of bird.
What would work for marauding feral chickens on the island of Jersey?

aerie
ascension
band
bevy
bouquet
brace
brood
building
bury
cast
chain
charm
chattering
clamor
clutch
colony
company
congregation
conspirancy
convocation
cote
cover
covey
crèche
deceit
descent
dissimulation
dole
dule
episode
exaltation
fall
flight
flock
flush
gaggle
hedge
herd
host
huddle
kettle
lamentation
mob
murder
murmuration
muster
mustering
nest
nide
nye
ostentation
pack
paddling
parcel
parliament
party
peep
piteousness
pitying
plump
raft
rafter
rookery
scold
sedge
siege
skein
sord
spring
storytelling
team
tidings
unkindness
volery
wake
walk
watch
wedge
wing
wisdom
wisp


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jul 19 - 05:21 PM

. . . but then, I am partial to this quote
from Theodore Roethke's poem, Root Cellar:

"And what a congress of stinks!"

which might be what the homeowner says
after the feral chickens in their hundreds
walk across the front lawn ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jul 19 - 02:45 PM

miser, miser,
modo niger
et ustus fortiter .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 09:44 PM

reprise of

o where, o where, have the Mad Swans ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 03:05 PM

Senoufou sent me an update.
I can barely credit my eyes.

The Mad Swans, after all these years,
have altered their ways.
They are still alive,
and their little what-d'yer-call-it of cygnets
is thriving.

And they stay AWAY from the route to that lake/pond/river
miles from their nest.
No more royal progress down the main thoroughfare.
But they returned to the same nest as before.

wonders never cease ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 May 20 - 11:49 AM

how's the birdwatching going across the pond?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 May 20 - 12:33 PM

Well those silly swans are doing it again! This time they have EIGHT cygnets and lead them up the village street every morning, 'dad' in front and 'mum' at the back while all the poor babies struggle along in an orderly line.
My neighbour owns 'The Pit' (a gravel pit filled with water on her land) and she told me a nasty male swan has decided to live there. He's been attacking the family, and 'dad' and he have had a terrible fight. She's tried to chase the squatter away, but it can be a bit dangerous provoking a large cob swan.
Our lovely house martins are back from Africa and are building mud nests in everybody's eaves. And the huge kites (a pair, with a third 'hanger-on') soar above the village every evening.
I do so love it here!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 May 20 - 01:41 PM

Ah, yes, the wonderful O, where I learned about the cob and the cos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 May 20 - 03:29 PM

Two male swans? Swans are infamous for being territorial.
Sounds like serious problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 May 20 - 04:07 PM

Yes keberoxu, and my neighbour reckons one might kill the other.
Her family for many generations back have owned the land there, and she says there have always been swans, and many fierce power-struggles for territory among the cobs. They fight to the death, sadly.
She always carries a large stick when she's out in the fields, in case a heifer, bullock or swan comes at her!
Personally, I think the rogue swan may be a grown-up son of the present cob. They often challenge their father for territory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 May 20 - 11:07 AM

What about the other birdies out there?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: gillymor
Date: 10 May 20 - 12:05 PM

I've been watching a pair of black necked stilts that are nesting near a local pond and am hoping to see some little ones running about soon. Stilts are not a real common sight here in SWFL.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Donuel
Date: 10 May 20 - 02:49 PM

Hummingbird


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Donuel
Date: 11 May 20 - 10:24 AM

oops, the picture link changes daily.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 May 20 - 11:44 AM

Well now it's bees! Many people in our village keep bees, and some have several hives. Due to the unseasonably hot weather, there have been literally dozens of swarms zooming over our heads. One swarm clung to a tree in someone's garden, and it was two metres long! The lady tracked them down and she and her daughter managed to get the whole thing into a sack.
On our Village Facebook, there are many helpful reports of swarm sightings, and successful taking of swarms.
Our village honey is absolutely gorgeous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Donuel
Date: 11 May 20 - 02:38 PM

We have such a bee shortage in the US we have to send trucks full of the same bees from farm to farm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 May 20 - 03:34 PM

Anyone for hilariously bad amateur photographs of

various birds and beasties?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 05:34 PM

In our village we have a lady who lives in the Old Rectory. She has a horse, a dog and - a red deer! He's called BamBam, and the lady rescued it when it was a small fawn. She bottle-fed it and it grew quite large (red deer are huge!) She's had it neutered, and it's so tame and loves people. She lets it roam around the village, and especially down by the river. All the locals know it, and it swims about with the children, licks all the dogs and sits politely while people have their picnics.
Now there is a new warning sign saying SLOW! DEER! added to the SLOW! SWANS! one.
This village gets madder and madder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 06:28 PM

Earlier this evening I watched two magpies beating up a predatory cat in our back yard..

What a brilliant natural symbolic image for Black and White unity...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 07:34 PM

... but how have things turned out
between the two male swans who are fighting each other?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 08:41 AM

I don't know how it turned out keberoxu, because my neighbour hasn't been down to the lakes/river/pools recently. But the eight cygnets are still being shepherded along the village street quite often by the cob and pen.
We now have a male blackbird who sings a line from Jingle Bells:
"Jingle all the way!" And the two fat pigeons who shout "Food! Food!" when I go into the garden with some scraps of bread for them.
Crazy place, this village!
Oh by the way, I really liked those funny 'failed photos' you posted. What a scream!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 08:52 AM

We often see a wren fossicking about in the pots on our patio and hear it more often. This morning we were visited by FOUR which is unusual as they are elusive (though apparently ubiquitous).
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 07:20 AM

Well, a pig is on the loose again. Last seen trotting down a lane with her fat bottom wobbling. Half the village has been out trying to locate her. Her owner the pig farmer should repair his fences a bit more often!
So now we have a tame red deer, a Christmas Carol-singing blackbird, two adult swans and their cygnets, a baby jackdaw rescued by our neighbour from the (gentle) mouth of a gun-dog spaniel, and now The Pig.
Whatever next?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 12:01 PM

The "other" Avon River runs through Stratford, Ontario, where it is dammed to form a bit of lake on the north edge of downtown. On its banks, the town fathers created a most delightful park, with paths and benches and lovely overhanging trees. The only creatures who like it more than the humans are the Canada geese and the mallard ducks, who nest in their thousands every year and raise their families on the lake.

The town also maintains a little flock of mute swans, about 20 at present, who spend the winter in a converted curling rink and march down to the river every spring. Their wings are clipped so they can't fly, so they hold up traffic when they leave the river to graze on the municipal golf course and on the soccer pitch behind the Festival Theatre. I have seen literally dozens of vehicles steaming in the summer heat while their drivers sit out the unhurried journey of a family of swans from one patch of grass to another.

Here's the thing. The people of Stratford love the swans and like the ducks, but they hate the Canada geese. All three types of waterfowl crap all over the grass and the swans leave droppings nearly the size of meadow muffins, so goose poop can't be the issue. The ducks make plenty of noise, so disturbing the peace isn't it either.

I have decided it's facial expression. The swans look like supermodels and the ducks have a kind of Gidget thing going on, but the goose demeanour looks like disdain verging on dislike. The geese also stand their ground, hissing and flapping their wings at encroaching dogs and humans, and march their large families back and forth across Lakeshore Drive, like teaching nuns escorting their pupils to the art gallery, heedless of the traffic. I once saw a gander (I assume it was a gander, it's hard to tell) with his wings outspread and his neck thrust out, hissing fiercely at a red Mazda Miata. I think the driver had honked his horn -- bad form.

Anyway, so while our property taxes pay for swan maintenance and preservation of duck habitat, the town of Stratford employs a guy who roams around the lake with two border collies to hassle the geese. Also, when he finds a nest, he breaks the eggs or pours oil over them so they won't hatch. That's just cruel.

It also doesn't do any good. After three years of "goose abatement operations", the goose population of Stratford is unaffected.

Except now their disdain and dislike are fully justified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 12:49 PM

Oh the poor geese Charmion! We get scores of Canada geese here in the Autumn, and they overwinter and leave in the Spring. They're really quite beautiful. I'm afraid there are Laws protecting all wildlife and migratory birds etc here, and farmers don't even cut their huge long hedges until the nesting season is well over.
I have such happy memories of Ontario, and many other places in eastern Canada. Never have been to Vancouver or BC though.
My uncle took me to Expo '67 in Montreal, then Ottawa and Toronto.
Flew over Newfoundland in the old Boeing 707 during the night flight out from London Airport. (I was quite alone, and it was my first-ever flight). One of the air hostesses teased me and told me to look out for the North Pole. I was expecting a tall Pole sticking up in the air. (Didn't see it though)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 10:25 PM

North America swans
are particularly intolerant of Canada geese, I hear.

Eliza/Senoufou,
what's new with the Mad Swans and their cygnets?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 03:49 AM

That's interesting keberoxu, because (as I think I have said on here a while back) out at Wroxham (on the Broads), the Canada geese and the swans sit around amicably together on the banks of the Broad looking as if they're having a nice chat.
Our swans have raised their cygnets, and no longer waddle along the street because their young offspring can now fly (phew!)
But the red deer BamBam is often seen strolling across the road and nearly getting hit by a car. He still swims with the village children in the river.
The naughty pig was caught (but he'll be out again, as the pig farmer's fences are ramshackle) and yet more huge swarms of bees buzz overhead, with their owners frantically following with a smoker and a skep to try and capture them.
At our village riding stables, due to the pandemic distancing rules, the staff tack up every horse in each stall, having sterilised the saddles and bridles, then smack their rumps. They trot outside to the waiting riders to be mounted (not the staff, the horses I mean). After the ride, the riders smack their rumps and they obediently trot back to the yard for unsaddling. Very weird but necessary I suppose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 06:23 AM

.The town also maintains a little flock of mute swans, about 20 at present, who spend the winter in a converted curling rink and march down to the river every spring. Their wings are clipped so they can't fly, ....

The swans should be free to come and go. If the environment is right for swans, they will stay around. If not, then they shouldn't be kept in unsuitable conditions like some sort of municipal fashion accessory. Nothing is more glorious than seeing a flight of swans coming in to land on a lake. The townsfolk don't know what they're missing.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 06:57 AM

I agree Doug. Wild creatures should be free to live as they wish.
We live in a village among a chain of streams, small lakes, ponds, a large watermill and the river Wensum. The number of wild water birds is amazing.
When I sit on my garden bench in front of the house, flocks of swans, necks outstretched, pass overhead, not to mention geese, all kinds of ducks etc. They call and squawk as they fly, and it always brings tears to my eyes. Then there are crows, magpies, jackdaws, swifts and house martins, all making a lovely din (and depositing their gifts all down our window panes, but we have an excellent window cleaner called Andy)
I should have written 'she' for the pig - it was a fat old sow!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 08:24 AM

I just posted a message on the 'Fun with maps' thread but it really belongs here. It says:
"Eliza, I found my way to a village on street view with a road named after a Pightle. I wandered about virtually and found a bungalow with a bench outside and a bird table, but there was no African to be seen, so I don't know if it is your house. I didn't see any mad swans or deer or errant sows or blackbirds. I might go for another virtual walk around later on and have a look at the older part of the village, maybe they will be there."

Years ago we had a wild duckling. My son had found it wandering alone by the river. He had tried to find its family to return it but couldn't find them so he brought it home. It was only about a day old. At first we made it a little pen in the living room, where it settled happily when we gave it a mirror so it didn't feel lonely. It grew fast, and moved outside to the garden pond. It grew feathers and learned how to fly across the garden, then one day it flew up high, glimpsed water in the distance and flew away. I was happy to see it go off and find other ducks to be with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 08:29 AM

Aw, what a lovely ending Jos! So glad it flew free after your kindly help.
I've PM'd you about our village and street (hush hush of course!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Jun 20 - 06:24 PM

Glad to hear that the Mad Swans
have safely raised another brood of cygnets
and no longer stop traffic on the roads.

And, in California,
hopefully Joe Offer
is no longer plagued by mating frogs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 04:11 AM

BamBam the tame red deer has taken to having nice strolls around the entire village. He ended up at the riding stables, and wanted to cuddle up to the horses (much to their astonishment and alarm).
His owner arrived in her 4X4, opened the boot, tapped it and BamBam leapt in, sat down and was transported back to the Old Vicarage.
My friend, who rides every week, watched all this with much amusement.
Red deer are quite large, and can be dangerous. But BamBam has been neutered, and has no horns, just bumps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 10:07 AM

A "municipal fashion accessory" -- well, that about sums it up. Thanks, Doug Chadwick, for ces mots justes.

Mute swans are not native to Canada, although Wikipedia tells me that they have been introduced to North America and live in the wild in substantial numbers. Ontario cannot be particularly swan-friendly; our winters last a long, long time, even now. The Stratford swans normally have already hatched their cygnets when they are released in April, so I guess they nest before the snow and riverside ice are gone.

I first saw wild swans in southwestern Germany, on ponds and creeks near the Rhine River. I remember standing in the middle of the road, gobsmacked at the sheer beauty of a swan family alighting in the reeds. Then a farmer towing a honey-wagon honked his horn at me ... Mood broken.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Mar 21 - 10:04 PM

I wonder if Joe Offer in California
is being plagued by the frogs courting each other again?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 02:44 AM

We have had The Invasion of the Bees in our village. Many people here have beehives and the blooming things are now swarming (strange heat-wave this week, temperatures of 24 Degrees C!) They form large clusters in trees/shrubs/around telegraph poles etc. People dashing about carrying skeps to 'take the swarm'. I like bees and they don't scare me.
The Frogs of Fustyweed are also on the march. Literally hundreds of 'em crossing the road and motorists kindly stopping to let them go by. (Or cruelly squashing them in their impatience) Fustyweed is the next village to ours, and is more-or-less adjoining)
No Mad Swans (yet).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 02:51 AM

I forgot to add the BamBam the tame deer is dead. The whole village is in mourning, and a large sum of money (£2283) has been raised in order to put up a statue of him in front of the village hall, plus a plaque.
He died after having fits at the Old Vicarage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 05:14 PM

I recall one spring where the swans had more drama than usual,
because there were two males and they fought each other.
Wonder what happened there ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 08:13 PM

Spring should be in full flood over Eliza/Senoufou 's way.
My part of Massachusetts is more springlike all the time,
the ponds near the highway no longer have ice on them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 Apr 21 - 08:16 PM

An acquaintance of mine passed a pond,
recently thawed of winter ice, next to a roadside;
and there was a turtle sunning itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Apr 21 - 11:56 PM

... and the black squirrels have ventured out again
in the trimmed-lawn areas where we humans can see them.

All winter long the black ones stayed out of sight,
unlike the grey squirrels who never went away,
even when the crows tried to chase the grey ones off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Apr 21 - 09:16 PM

Swans?
Frogs?
Anybody?


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