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BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others

keberoxu 06 Aug 22 - 09:56 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Aug 22 - 06:08 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Aug 22 - 04:05 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Aug 22 - 04:01 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Aug 22 - 09:24 AM
keberoxu 01 Aug 22 - 05:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Jul 22 - 02:09 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Jul 22 - 09:25 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Jul 22 - 09:03 AM
Senoufou 30 Jul 22 - 04:36 AM
BobL 30 Jul 22 - 03:04 AM
Senoufou 30 Jul 22 - 01:33 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jul 22 - 04:52 AM
Donuel 24 Jul 22 - 06:25 AM
keberoxu 19 Jul 22 - 09:25 AM
keberoxu 16 Jul 22 - 08:12 PM
keberoxu 15 Jul 22 - 11:23 PM
keberoxu 14 Jul 22 - 08:26 PM
Senoufou 09 Jul 22 - 01:18 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 22 - 01:12 PM
Senoufou 09 Jul 22 - 06:39 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Jul 22 - 06:07 AM
Senoufou 09 Jul 22 - 03:12 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jul 22 - 06:57 PM
keberoxu 07 Jul 22 - 09:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Jul 22 - 04:09 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Jul 22 - 12:13 PM
Donuel 04 Jul 22 - 08:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jul 22 - 08:27 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 22 - 08:05 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Jul 22 - 06:19 PM
MaJoC the Filk 01 Jul 22 - 04:00 PM
Neil D 01 Jul 22 - 04:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Jul 22 - 03:42 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Jul 22 - 03:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Jul 22 - 02:37 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Jun 22 - 07:23 PM
MaJoC the Filk 30 Jun 22 - 05:53 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Jun 22 - 05:36 PM
MaJoC the Filk 30 Jun 22 - 05:29 PM
keberoxu 30 Jun 22 - 03:01 PM
Geoff Wallis 30 Jun 22 - 02:05 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jun 22 - 02:01 PM
MaJoC the Filk 30 Jun 22 - 12:18 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Jun 22 - 08:44 AM
keberoxu 30 Jun 22 - 08:07 AM
Senoufou 30 Jun 22 - 07:46 AM
MaJoC the Filk 30 Jun 22 - 06:16 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Jun 22 - 05:15 AM
Senoufou 30 Jun 22 - 04:03 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Aug 22 - 09:56 AM

I saw a goldfinch!
I saw a GOLDFINCH!!

The bird was in flight,
and the black-against-yellow was vivid against
the green foliage of the trees.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Aug 22 - 06:08 PM

Jasper Carrott - The Mole


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Aug 22 - 04:05 PM

:-)

But our local mole catcher tells me that moles are antisocial buggers and that a trashed garden generally means just the one mole (though I suppose they have a breeding season).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Aug 22 - 04:01 PM

Three moles in a tunnel

First one says I smell honey

Second says I smell syrup

Last one says I smell molasses


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Aug 22 - 09:24 AM

We've had two young foxes hanging around for a couple of weeks, and I have a funny feeling that one of them has caught and dispatched the mole that has spent the last two months laying waste to a big piece of my lawn. Usually, when I level the molehills it throws up, they're back within hours, or a day at the most. The foxes have been sniffing around that area very intently, and the molehills haven't come back for the last four days. I live in hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Aug 22 - 05:30 AM

Somehow I must discover what bird it is that sings with crepuscular timing.
The bird sings when the sun sets, and now,
at 5:30 in the morning,
it sings with first light,
well before the sun actually rises.

And it works hard, the singing is really vigorous.
But what bird is this songbird?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jul 22 - 02:09 PM

There used to be signs all over Whitby saying "your food is not theirs". I thought it very unfair. We eat their food, why can they not eat ours? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Jul 22 - 09:25 AM

Yes, people are advised not to feed gulls…

Nesting gulls can also be a problem. I remember one at Llandudno Hospital when herring gulls were nesting on the roof of the geriatic wards/day hospital unit where mum worked. The gulls would swoop down on elderly people as they entered/left the building. I think the hospital started having the nests/eggs destroyed to stop this.

All that said, I did meet a friendly herring gull who I did give a bit of food to one Conwy Festival week. (S)he was a funny creature who just stood beside me if I had food. The bird would refuse a chip if offered one but was satisfied when given a bit of my burger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jul 22 - 09:03 AM

Most places in Cornwall strongly advise us to refrain from feeding gulls. They were a menace in Padstow yesterday, a menace in Exeter last week and are always a menace in Truro. They're very good at pinpointing your pasty or sandwich and swooping you to cleanly divest you of it. They can hurt if they crash you. As with dogs with bad owners causing problems, it isn't the gulls' fault. But don't feed 'em!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 30 Jul 22 - 04:36 AM

Hee hee Bob you may be right! I was sitting there eating a choc-ice yesterday evening and a lone gull was eyeing me greedily. I wonder if, like me, he needed a cooling snack? I know the seagulls over in Cromer etc often zoom down and nick bits of fish-and-chips from unwary holiday-makers. They're such large birds they can be rather intimidating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: BobL
Date: 30 Jul 22 - 03:04 AM

You want to watch out Sen, or those gulls will mug you for the edibles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 30 Jul 22 - 01:33 AM

While sitting on The Bench in my front garden, I'm always delighted to have numerous seagulls descend, to eat up the moist bread which I put out every morning, along with sultanas, dried meal worms and wild bird seeds. These seagulls are so enormous and beautiful, and they have no fear of me - they waddle almost up to my feet to get at the food.
(They leave a 'thank you present' down my windows, but it's easily removed with a moist paper towel!)
Even more interesting is that many species of birds (crows, jackdaws, starlings, sparrows) hop happily around together to eat, with no fighting, or flying away in fear from each other. I even saw a female blackbird pop a sultana down the gaping beak of a baby starling. Wasn't that kind of her?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jul 22 - 04:52 AM

Two rare visitors on our bird table just now - male bullfinch and nuthatch - at the same time!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Jul 22 - 06:25 AM

A sound track for bird lovers wood thrush


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Jul 22 - 09:25 AM

Today I got a better look at the fledgling blackbird that has been
practicing its vocalizations, and sounding very broken-voiced and shrill for a blackbird.
My guess was that it was breaking in its new singing voice,
learning and practicing how to whistle.

And yes, it is a very young red-winged blackbird.
THe markings have no red plumage/feathers at this point,
but on its folded wings you can see plumage that is
a different color than the rest of its black feathers.
As the bird matures, some of those feathers will turn a lovely red,
and its whistle will not have cracks and shrieks in it any more.
But it's amusing to hear at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jul 22 - 08:12 PM

I saw a hummingbird tonight! They have a way of showing up
when one does not expect them.

In this region, hummingbirds are dark, maybe some green plumage.
It hovered around a big plate glass window before flying away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Jul 22 - 11:23 PM

... and it remains to be said,
the anecdotes about Monsieur Senoufou
are hugely entertaining.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jul 22 - 08:26 PM

Meanwhile, we await, with Eliza/Senoufou,
the appearance of the wooden figure in tribute to BamBam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jul 22 - 01:18 PM

Hahahaha Dave. Pissing or passing, either would do. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 22 - 01:12 PM

Was "passing" a mistype, Eliza? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jul 22 - 06:39 AM

Exactly Steve! hee hee. But if it had an oak statue of Boris riding on its back, it would probably get sprayed with blue paint (not red). Or weed on by passing drunken yobs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jul 22 - 06:07 AM

It should be OK as long as it doesn't have a statue of Thatcher riding on its back. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jul 22 - 03:12 AM

My neighbour-across-the-road has a pair of blackbirds nesting in her open woodshed. The female follows her around like a pet dog. She puts down lots of sultanas for her, and they have a rather nice little friendship. Fortunately, the bird understands Broad Norfolk. I often hear my neighbour saying, "R U orloit moi bewty? Dew yew want suffin?"
I've had to stop feeding all my bird friends from what I call my Bird Buffet (a long line of bread, sultanas and wild birdseed in my front garden) because everyone's car round here is liberally decorated with lashing of bird poo (mostly from the seagulls, jackdaws and crows).
We're all still waiting for the arrival of the lifesize oak statue of BamBam the tame red deer. I hope it's spectacular, having cost £3,800. And I also hope it doesn't get vandalised.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jul 22 - 06:57 PM

We have a pair of blackbirds who follow me all round the garden. That's lovely, except that I know that the buggers dig up my French bean seeds and will shortly move on to my raspberry crop...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Jul 22 - 09:53 AM

Blackbirds again.

This is not precisely where I am living/sleeping,
but several miles up the road in a commercial strip
where I get fuel for the car and fast food for myself.
That stretch of road borders a wetland/marsh.

Young blackbirds, whom I cannot see, are clearly, loudly heard
practicing their whistling.
Goodness, it's piercingly clear in the sunny air.
Making of summer memories for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Jul 22 - 04:09 AM

It's not red clover, it's heal-all (prunella vulgaris) A very useful medicinal plant so I think I'll collect some :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 12:13 PM

Full of what I think is red clover at the moment. I quite like it :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jul 22 - 08:36 AM

Nice yard too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jul 22 - 08:27 AM

Stan and Hilda having their breakfast :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 22 - 08:05 AM

Stan and Hilda returned again this morning with another female in tow! Stan's plumage is looking worse for wear but with 2 ladies to see to I'm not surprised :-) All 3 were very hungry and ate 2 lots of corn and a serving of bread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jul 22 - 06:19 PM

In the last few years we've had lots of jays. I kind of like them, but I suspect them of stripping the beans out of my broad bean pods. They're probably responsible for the hundreds of oak tree weeds sprouting everywhere in my garden. Oddly, there are no oaks for miles around...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 01 Jul 22 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for the link, DtG: jackdaws they is, or near offer [OI!!! -- ed]. Case tentatively closed.

.... which led me onto pictures of Magpies ("Oh, we know what those are," says Herself), which reminded me of hearing a poem about them on the wireless, of which all I can remember is:

They are crows who have won the pools
and strut around all day in their dinnerjackets


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Neil D
Date: 01 Jul 22 - 04:10 AM

Keberoxu, grackles will have blue on their necks and back of the head, but from any distance, it's hard to see the blue. Even from forty feet I need binoculars to make it out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Jul 22 - 03:42 AM

I reckon so too, Jon.

We had a surprise visit from the ducks (Stan and Hilda) this morning which was nice. An extra wood pigeon arrived too and there was some sort of pigeon shenanigans going on but, not being privy to pigeon etiquette, I have no idea what.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Jul 22 - 03:18 AM

I should think so, Dave. This RSPB page gives a distribution map and says:
Hooded crows can be found in N and W Scotland, N Ireland and on the Isle of Man, where it replaces the carrion crow. Outside the breeding season it is found across the breeding range and is also found, but scarce in E Scotland and even rarer down the eastern side of England. Most of the winter visitors come from Scandinavia.
I’m guessing they might occasionally stray a little further than that, say into Cumbria but I’d also guess that your chances of seeing one in most of England is virtually nil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Jul 22 - 02:37 AM

I believe the ones in our Yorkshire garden are Jackdaws but I am willing to stand corrected. They certainly look like the pictures on the RSPB website. Dark bodies with a grey hood while hooded crows have pale bodies with dark wings and hoods.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-teachers/schools-birdwatch/birds-to-look-out-for/whats-that-bird/crows-and-jackdaws/


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 07:23 PM

West Oxfordshire means that they are almost certainly not hoodies. Gotta be jackdaws, I fear...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 05:53 PM

West Oxfordshire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 05:36 PM

Hooded crows and carrion crows can interbreed and I guess that may lead to unusual markings? Where in England are you MaJoC?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 05:29 PM

Not jackdaws, folks: we have Mr and Mrs Jackdaw plundering our lawn (she's slightly lighter), and they're smaller than the inkwell crows; and neither are anything like the picture in the Wikipedia page on jackdaws. One clue: I remember hearing "If there's one rook, it's a crow, but if there's two crows, they're rooks" --- and there's a very noisy rookery (or many crows' nests) atop the copse behind the school.

I'll ask around at church, to see if there's a bony-fido ornothologist in the congregation. I'll report results as and when there's results to report.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 03:01 PM

So that's what jackdaws are.

The blackbirds that I have grown up with in the northeastern United States,
I believe they might be grackles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 02:05 PM

Jackdaw, MaJoC.

Both female and male starlings feed their chicks.

Simple difference between starlings and blackbirds - starlings flock together and blackbirds don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 02:01 PM

Hoodies?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 12:18 PM

Just to chuck another sabot in the gears, there's a species of crow in England with strange markings which I see whenever we go to church. Their heads look grey at the back, but black at the front, as if they've been bobbing for worms in the inkwells at the nearby school; or perhaps they've got chalk-dusted by being hit from behind by an accurately-thrown board rubber while gossiping in class (as crows will).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 08:44 AM

It looks like you have several birds that can be called blackbirds in the US but none are our Common (Or Eurasian) Blackbird


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 08:07 AM

Thanks, Senoufou, for the tastefully indirect instruction
that the iridescent black birdies are the starlings,
and the grackles/blackbirds, while thoroughly black,
are NOT iridescent.

You don't have to be able to spell iridescent
in order to see and recognize the quality
on birds out on the grass in the sunshine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 07:46 AM

Oh Gawd Steve! They'd better wheel me off to the knacker's yard! hee hee


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 06:16 AM

> The fledgling just stood there

Apparently that's normal procedure. First the mother brings the worms to the nest; next, when the fledgling can fly, she shows it where the worms come from. After that, she does a flit, and the fledgling has to work out what to do next for itself.

.... Apparently our alleged PM hasn't progressed beyond the second stage yet, but that's a rant for an entirely different thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 05:15 AM

Try "iridescent." I feel your pain... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 04:03 AM

Gah! It's iridesecent. Stupid woman! I'll demote myself into the Bottom Group for spelling!


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