It's been all go here!
Concentrating on the wildlife for now: I'll fill you in on other stuff when I get a moment. Life's a bit hectic right now - in a good way, at last!
Edgar Allen Crow is doing well and has stuck around. The day after his life-threateneing meeting with Kita he reappeared in my garden. I was thrilled he'd managed to survive the night. He'd obviously found somewhere safe to stay away from the many foxes in the area, not to mention hunter-cat extraordinaire, Raymi.
I put some food out for him and watched him eat through my window. My desk - where I spend 90% of my time - overlooks the garden and I've made a little Japanese area. As this Japanese garden isn't yet finished (we can't afford the gravel) I've taken to using it as a bird-feeding area. Watching the birds is a perfect antidote to my online life.
Since then, Edgar returns every day. He can now fly, so I feel he's safe from most predators. He comes for breakfast, stays for as long as Kita allows him and bounces around the garden on his long legs investigating everything. Sometimes he gets onto the trampoline and creeps through the net to have a lie down. Oddly, whenever he hears other crows calling he immediately stops what he's doing and crouches low on the ground before finding somewhere to quietly hide.
Thankfully he's still wary of me but a couple of days ago he'd run out of food and started to call me! When I went out I got within touching distance to him. Again, I resisted and encouraged him to move further away.
As well as Edgar's very entertaining antics, we've had green woodpeckers, greater spotted woodpeckers and all the 'standard' garden birds visiting regularly. Flocks of baby sparrows congregate on a specific paving stone, flicking their tiny wings and cheaping for food. They look like a feathery puddle and have introduced a new collective noun to my vocabularly - a puddle of sparrows.
A baby redstart is another regular visitor and caused me some anxiety when it decided to take a swim in my Japanese granite water bowl. It was a bit deep! Silly bird ignored a custom-placed shallow dish and went straight in the deep-end. I was on guard in case it couldn't get out, but all was well., Surprisingly tough, these little fledglings.
Due to my upbringing with a semi-twitcher Dad, I can identify most European birds with no trouble. But earlier this week one visitor had me totally stumped. It appeared on a pole near the house and I nearly knocked Rhiannon over in my rush to get my binoculars and camera. I failed on all counts. I only got a very brief look.
The bird was smallish - about warbler size, was an incredible sunshine yellow/orange with a black head. The yellow was the same colour as a Sun Conure. (And no, it wasn't a parrot!) I had an impression of 'bunting or warbler'. Nothing I've researched ties up at all. The nearest I can find is a Baltimore Oriole which it is highly unlikely to be considering our distance from the States. I conclude it was either an escapee or an incidental of some description. Very frustrating.
But the highlight of the week was the appearence of three fox cubs in our garden! We've always had foxes around - adults have been seen at all hours of the day and night. Our friends and neighbours had a den in their garden and these three had been seen there a lot. Now the cubs are older and on the move. I have no idea how they get in and out of our (hopefully) dog-proof garden, but they do.
Tim woke up very early the other morning and watched the three playing with Kita's toy sausages, eating an apple I'd put out for the birds and generally treating our garden as their own. They pulled a long lead across the lawn and dragged one of Tim's trainers up there too. I'm almost tempted to get up at dawn to watch them myself. Almost.
At dusk we were all treated to the sight of one young visitor. Rhiannon was entranced. Again, I was too slow to find my camera and only managed this blurry shot after it left our garden and went next door to watch us watching him.
Do we qualify for a visit from Springwatch now? Send Chris Packham please!