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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
Acme 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

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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: Acme
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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Mudcat time: 27 May 10:15 AM EDT

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