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BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others

keberoxu 13 Apr 21 - 09:16 PM
keberoxu 10 Apr 21 - 11:56 PM
keberoxu 08 Apr 21 - 08:16 PM
keberoxu 07 Apr 21 - 08:13 PM
keberoxu 02 Apr 21 - 05:14 PM
Senoufou 31 Mar 21 - 02:51 AM
Senoufou 31 Mar 21 - 02:44 AM
keberoxu 30 Mar 21 - 10:04 PM
Charmion 22 Jun 20 - 10:07 AM
Senoufou 22 Jun 20 - 04:11 AM
keberoxu 21 Jun 20 - 06:24 PM
Senoufou 19 Jun 20 - 08:29 AM
Jos 19 Jun 20 - 08:24 AM
Senoufou 19 Jun 20 - 06:57 AM
Doug Chadwick 19 Jun 20 - 06:23 AM
Senoufou 19 Jun 20 - 03:49 AM
keberoxu 18 Jun 20 - 10:25 PM
Senoufou 09 Jun 20 - 12:49 PM
Charmion 09 Jun 20 - 12:01 PM
Senoufou 09 Jun 20 - 07:20 AM
Roger the Skiffler 08 Jun 20 - 08:52 AM
Senoufou 08 Jun 20 - 08:41 AM
keberoxu 07 Jun 20 - 07:34 PM
punkfolkrocker 07 Jun 20 - 06:28 PM
Senoufou 07 Jun 20 - 05:34 PM
keberoxu 12 May 20 - 03:34 PM
Donuel 11 May 20 - 02:38 PM
Senoufou 11 May 20 - 11:44 AM
Donuel 11 May 20 - 10:24 AM
Donuel 10 May 20 - 02:49 PM
gillymor 10 May 20 - 12:05 PM
keberoxu 10 May 20 - 11:07 AM
Senoufou 08 May 20 - 04:07 PM
keberoxu 08 May 20 - 03:29 PM
Mrrzy 08 May 20 - 01:41 PM
Senoufou 08 May 20 - 12:33 PM
keberoxu 08 May 20 - 11:49 AM
keberoxu 18 Aug 19 - 03:05 PM
keberoxu 21 Jul 19 - 09:44 PM
keberoxu 04 Jul 19 - 02:45 PM
keberoxu 01 Jul 19 - 05:21 PM
keberoxu 01 Jul 19 - 05:20 PM
keberoxu 30 Jun 19 - 05:43 PM
The Sandman 28 Jun 19 - 04:46 AM
keberoxu 27 Jun 19 - 08:14 PM
keberoxu 17 Jun 19 - 02:50 PM
keberoxu 16 Jun 19 - 03:00 PM
Jos 02 Jun 19 - 04:27 AM
Jos 27 May 19 - 05:26 AM
keberoxu 26 May 19 - 04:27 PM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 10:24 AM

oops, the picture link changes daily.


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 16 Jun 19 - 03:00 PM

Mad Swans and Englishmen …


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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: 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: 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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Mudcat time: 16 April 2:15 PM EDT

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