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Birds, birds and more birds!


Just a warning in the title for those of you who are wary of birds.
This year we lost Boris who must have been ’donkey’s years’ old, he was old when we got him! But he had a lovely life and we miss him a lot – how can you miss a Goose, but we do! His two girls still seem confused about what to do, they would much prefer sitting up near the bungalow than spending it down on the meadow, now that he is gone – but they make so much mess, being Geese, if you get my drift. Perhaps this year I will get them some eggs that they can sit on and actually end up with something – Boris was infertile, or past it.

Also this year the last of the Guinea Fowl died, also very old, but adorable in his own little way. G.Fowl are either something you like or dislike – a Marmite bird!

The field at the back of ours, or one over, has been host to the Swans again, they fly in from Welney, which is only a matter of fields away as Swan (or crows) fly I suppose.
They make such a noise, you always know they are there.

Fuzzy photo’s to follow!
Firstly of the Buzzard which was on the field beside us. I had first seen this in a tree as I came home, so collected the camera to walk up and see if it was still there. Of course it wasn’t! But it had flown into the top of the trees on our field where it was being mobbed by Jackdaws or Crows. So it headed back towards me and landed on the dyke/ditch/drain grass edging, still a way away, but just about recognisable!

Next time we saw one was Christmas Day when there was one perched on the top of the Leylandii hedge – still fuzzy photo!
There had been a rabbit killed on the road and he/she was sitting there waiting to scoop it off the road, scavengers that they are.

These two are of them when they quarter our meadow looking for prey – hopefully not out chickens! Still a bit grainy, but they are a long way up, until they got chased away this time by Gulls!

Earlier in the year I took this photo of the Sparrows who have returned en-masse and are very welcome. They were sitting in the Beech, before the leaves changed to a glorious gold. Probably September this one.

While I was wandering the road, in my pink wellies with the camera to try to photo the Buzzard, which had flown from the tree, there was this person! On the field opposite was this lone Egyptian Goose, who often turn up here in Norfolk, nearly always alone, but presumably they find more at some stage. Pretty small goose with pink legs.

Of course in the garden are my blue birds, here basking in some sun before the leaves dropped from the Cornus.

The feeders are out for the small birds and we have had today – Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Blue-tits, Robin as well as the Sparrows. Surprise visitor was the Great Spotted Woodpecker who sometimes gives us a visit.
The Heron has been seen a few times over the last month, hopefully not to stay.
And this time of year the other visitor, who is not a bird, is the Grey Squirrel who comes as soon as the Hazelnuts are on the trees and stays for a while.

May your Christmas have been a happy one and your New Year a peaceful and prosperous one. Not necessarily prosperous in wealth, but in friends and happiness.

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Beautiful photos - especially the sparrows in the sun, shining like baubles on a tree. Lovely!

27 Dec, 2019


What a fantastic blog, honeysucklegold! Loved your pictures too. A very interesting read!

28 Dec, 2019


It's lovely to read about someone enjoying rural life so much, and terrific photos whatever you say! Here in suburbia we are just grateful to have robins, finches, dunnocks and long-tail tits on the feeder, plus we do have black squirrels who mostly play 'tag' with the greys :)

28 Dec, 2019


I agree Sunny that the Sparrows are adorable and as you say, spread out across the tree like decorations. They hide in the overgrown honeysuckle which regardless will have to have a trim before it takes over everything. I did trim the Pyracantha as I wanted to put up the icicle lights along the front of the bungalow, then while i was actually putting them up 'something' shot out of the bush and flew off. It was of course the Sparrowhawk who had discovered where they liked to sit, before they dashed across to the bird feeders. She had one earlier as there was a little heap of feathers! You do have to admire her though, but I would rather she restricted herself to the glut of pigeons and collared doves we have.

Thanks Kate for reading the blog, I usually miss the photos I want, the camera being indoors and me outside, but just occasionally I can get a shot - even if it's fuzzy!

Suburbia can be good Sheila, many of the birds find more food and shelter there than out here in the denuded and barren farmland. We only really see the long-tailed tits at this time of year, you get a flock appear, beautiful little things, stay for a while and are gone again! Interesting about the black squirrels, I thought that I had seen them in Edinburgh (decades ago) but looking them up it says they are more concentrated in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, so as we are Cambs/Norfolk border - might see them yet!

28 Dec, 2019


Some interesting birds there Meadowland. I'd never heard of an Egyptian goose, let seen one. It looks a lot daintier than most geese doesn't it? I was so sorry to hear that Boris has died- that's the end of an era. The ladies must miss him lot. If you do get a clutch of eggs to hatch do let us know what appears!
Poor buzzards seem to get mobbed wherever they go. I remember one here that was clearly thinking about young rook for lunch but the whole rookery went after it - all it could do was circle higher and higher until it was out of their reach. We saw the same thing happen on the coast when one had its eye on baby ravens. Then it was just the parents that saw it off.

29 Dec, 2019


Thanks for the comment Stera, not sure when I turned into Meadowland, but I don't mind, I answer to anything - as long as you are not all ignoring me!
The Egyptian Geese ARE pretty and smaller than a normal goose (definitely smaller than our girls). They are slightly bigger than a Shelduck, but have about the same wingspan which is just over a metre.
The Buzzards, as you say, seem to be mobbed by everything, but are certainly getting more abundant, so holding their own. At one time it would be quite unusual to see them here in Norfolk, now there are lots, but they are still impressive. You are right about them circling higher and higher to get away from being mobbed - not in a hurry you understand, just disdainfully spiralling out of reach of lesser birds! They need a crown really to prove they are kings of the skies, here at least where there are no larger eagles.

30 Dec, 2019


I have seen many Buzzards...but never an Egyptian Goose. It's lovely. I'd rather have these than those vicious white bu****s! My Mum used to have them as 'guard geese' and every bloomin day they went for me as I arrived home from school. I am very fearful of them!

31 Dec, 2019


Many apologies Honeysuckle. My mind is rotting slowly but surely. I can still remember who I am but goodness knows how long that will last...

2 Jan, 2020


I am not surprised that you are very wary of the white Geese Karen! Our two are like little lost souls since Boris has gone. They don't seem to want to go down on the meadow, but lurk up near the field gate against the barn, where they can see anyone moving about at the bungalow. Like two Victorian maiden aunts, afraid of any change, any new people an even the Pheasants that appear they seem to view with suspicion! Definitely not the chasing people type.

Nothing to worry about Stera, OH and I spend a lot of time wandering about trying to remember exactly why we are in a particular place.... and the number of mugs of tea that are left to 'brew' only to be found later, well... I suppose it keeps the tea companies in business!

3 Jan, 2020


Trying to catch up Honey, my silly laptop gave up the ghost so I'm miles behind...
I really enjoyed this blog, I love to read about all your feathered friends, sorry to hear you lost Boris and the little guinea fowl, both have always featured in your blogs, I have laughed many times over the years at their antics, I've never seen an Egyptian Goose either and agree it is a pretty one, we don't see Buzzards around here but have Red Kites flying over most days and Sparrow Hawks on occasion, trying to capture a good shot is very hard, our local crows can often be seen seeing off the kites, especially during the nesting time...
The sparrows returned to our garden about 3yrs back after an absence of quite a number of years, now we have literally hundreds of them, still hoping for a return of the greenfinches and thrushes, used to have both living in our hedge, haven't seen either for a few years now, their disappearance coincided with the removal of a children's playing field and hedges that surrounded it just up the road from us about 5yrs back, turned into a new housing estate, as is the same in most towns they're gradually building on most of our green spaces....

25 Feb, 2020


Sorry to hear about the trials and tribulations with the laptop, Lincslass. I have a home PC with full size keyboard and have found using my Sister's laptop quite fiddly. I think I am too heavy handed for the light touch you need with one of those, comes from being taught to type on the old upright Olivetti typewriters at college! Having said that I carry in my body a lot of static electricity and tend to get electric shocks off the strangest things - lift buttons, those metal poles you get with ropes to divide queues and various machines. This does mean that me and technology don't always mix, pick something electronic up and it may go wrong.
As for the birds, they are one of the joys of the countryside and it's lovely to see the sparrows back in numbers. Just at the moment we are seeing lots of the delightful Long-tailed Tits, but I expect they will disappear somewhere for nesting soon - or perhaps they will stay. I remember walking along one of the Fenland rivers, through one of the few copses and being on my own there was no noise. Above me were little birds chittering and skittering back a forth through the branches. Standing still and watching these, they turned out to be a flock of at least 15 of these pretty little birds, a stunning sight, so I sat myself down in the debris and watched and listened. Something you can do when you are retired!
It makes you wonder why it took the powers that be so long to work out the decimation of our wildlife coincided with the removal of hedges and wild spaces!

26 Feb, 2020


Thankfully they did learn eventually and have replaced some of the hedgerows, they now also plant trees and shrubs on the new build estates Honey, my hubby eventually retired completely last March, now he is well into his photography again and will spend hours out and about photographing the birds, makes me laugh because neither one of us has yet managed to get a good shot of our little Jenny Wren in our own garden...

27 Feb, 2020

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