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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
keberoxu 27 May 18 - 09:20 PM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 02:48 AM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 02:50 AM
Rusty Dobro 28 May 18 - 03:30 AM
Jos 28 May 18 - 04:15 AM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 04:49 AM
keberoxu 28 May 18 - 10:23 AM
Jos 28 May 18 - 11:05 AM
Jon Freeman 28 May 18 - 11:24 AM
Jos 28 May 18 - 12:26 PM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 12:36 PM
robomatic 28 May 18 - 05:02 PM
keberoxu 29 May 18 - 01:30 PM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 05:36 AM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 02:41 PM
Rusty Dobro 01 Jun 18 - 03:18 PM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Jun 18 - 06:09 PM
olddude 02 Jun 18 - 12:14 AM
Jos 02 Jun 18 - 04:23 AM
Senoufou 02 Jun 18 - 04:35 AM
Jos 02 Jun 18 - 05:41 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 18 - 06:29 AM
Senoufou 02 Jun 18 - 08:58 AM
Jos 03 Jun 18 - 05:17 AM
olddude 03 Jun 18 - 02:49 PM
Senoufou 03 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM
keberoxu 03 Jun 18 - 03:34 PM
keberoxu 03 Jun 18 - 11:59 PM
Senoufou 04 Jun 18 - 04:03 AM
keberoxu 06 Jun 18 - 11:50 PM
Stanron 07 Jun 18 - 01:56 AM
BobL 07 Jun 18 - 02:55 AM
Senoufou 07 Jun 18 - 12:52 PM
Senoufou 09 Jun 18 - 03:08 PM
Jos 09 Jun 18 - 04:50 PM
keberoxu 10 Jun 18 - 12:29 AM

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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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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 May 18 - 09:20 PM

Well, another BS thread
has seen a Mad Swans update. The cygnets this year
are big enough to walk,
and the whole famn damily, as the censored version goes,
has been sighted and reported on by Senoufou/Eliza.
Here we go again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 May 18 - 02:48 AM

It's so upsetting keberoxu. Quite a few big livestock-feed lorries trundle through the village on their way to the various farms. Our village street is winding and one can't see round the bends. There could be the horses from the riding school out for the riding lesson, children on their bikes, elderly people crossing the road, and...SILLY SWANS, but these lorries never slow down, and it's only a matter of time before there's a disaster.
Sometimes a fox will get a gosling, and that's Nature, but I do feel quite ill thinking of those huge lorries bearing down on the wee things.
My husband, on the other hand, slowed down and stopped completely when a similar family of little partridge babies and their mum scuttled across the road out near Swanton Morley. He's very soft-hearted and would be in tears if he killed a little bird with his car.

Does anyone else spit when they see a single magpie? ("One for sorrow, two for joy" etc) I don't mean really spit, but go 'pffft'. My Irish mother used to do this, and I do too. It cancels out the curse. It rather startles my husband. He says 'First World folk are more superstitious than African ones!'


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 May 18 - 02:50 AM

WHY do I keep calling them goslings when they're CYGNETS??


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 28 May 18 - 03:30 AM

Back to the 'assertive' bitterns - I saw (and photographed) one beating a prowling marsh harrier away from its nest at Minsmere.

It's us quiet ones you have to watch.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 28 May 18 - 04:15 AM

What do I do when I 'see a single magpie ("One for sorrow, two for joy" etc)'? I look for the other one, of course, which will bring me joy (supposedly). Superstitions vary. Some people believe they should salute a magpie if they see one.

Round here, however, the magpies go around in gangs ("five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret that's never been told"). If I see them in my garden I shout at them or throw sticks at them to scare them away from the nesting blue tits, great tits, coal tits, robins, blackbirds, dunnocks, wrens ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 May 18 - 04:49 AM

If you go to 'Lyng Stores' on Twitter, and scroll down a bit, you can see a photo of the silly swans walking down the main street. I think it was taken only yesterday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 May 18 - 10:23 AM

Jos has tit nests in the garden! Do you know Liz the Squeak?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 28 May 18 - 11:05 AM

I do, but I haven't seen her for quite a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 28 May 18 - 11:24 AM

Jos, Magpies seem to be about the first active here. Up long before I'm up and too early to scare them even if I (perhaps with apologies to smaller birds) wanted to. One thing I see them do on the cctv is fly up and take pecks out of fat balls. Seems a lot of energy expended but also seems worthwhile to them.

Back to Swans, I used to like feeding them at Salthouse but as well as getting out less often, since learned that bread is not good and may also debate the way I used to feed them with kids in mind. While I'd not like to meet one in "attack mode" (or geese in that mood for that matter), I'd let them approach me and let them take bread from my hand (they have quite rough beaks btw).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 28 May 18 - 12:26 PM

A pet shop near me sells bags of food suitable for feeding wild ducks and swans, so there is no need to stuff them with bread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 May 18 - 12:36 PM

My daft husband has been trying, in his head, to design a small cart on rubber wheels, just large enough to accommodate the cygnets and adults, which he could pull along the road to save their struggling babies. One side of this contraption would be a ramp, which one would swing up once the family was on board.
He thinks I could walk behind with a flag to alert motorists (twice a day!).

He can't believe that the main snag to this Heath Robinson idea is that the swans won't get on board, they'll attack him in a big way.

However, I'd love to see it working. Imagine a very black African wearing his national costume (bright purple today) pulling a cart full of swans along, with a fat elderly white lady walking behind waving a large St George's flag (we've had it since the World Cup a few years ago)

Sounds like a scene from Monty Python!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: robomatic
Date: 28 May 18 - 05:02 PM

Can't say enough good things about Bird Note which comes on our public broadcasting radio station at least once a day with some informative bit of bird business, almost always with sound effects.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 May 18 - 01:30 PM

Another bird you have to watch out for,
if it runs amok,
is the turkey -- don't let small children get too close.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 05:36 AM

We were in fits of laughter early this morning. It seems a new pair of pigeons has taken to sitting on the roof of our bungalow. The male has a weird call. It sounds exactly like, "Hap-py birthday toooo yooo! Hap-py birthday toooo yoooo!" on and on. Maybe it's his pigeon-wife's birthday? This village gets madder and madder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 02:41 PM

Sat outside on The Bench and watched the house martins this evening. At last they all seem to have arrived, about twenty in all, nesting up in the corner of the barge boards of everyone's houses. They're zooming around hoovering up flying insects. wonderful aerobatics!

I think they find this location useful because of all the watery places (river and string of narrow lakes) where they can scoop up wet mud to form their cup-shaped nests.

I should have qualified my last post. They aren't ordinary pigeons, they're wood pigeons.(Now that sounds like the M&S advert!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 03:18 PM

I sat on the Bench for twenty years, and all sorts of odd birds appeared before me....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM

Hahaha Rusty. Such as the 'Lesser Spotted Shoplifter'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 06:09 PM

That would be wood pigeons, Senoufou. And their call is officially rendered as "My toe's sore, Betty! My toe's sore, Betty!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: olddude
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 12:14 AM

I never had blue tits. But I did have blue balls more than once


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 04:23 AM

I was told as a child that wood pigeons are saying
"Poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo, poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo"

In fact, it usually includes an extra not at the end - "Poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo, poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo - dead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 04:35 AM

I love wildlife in general, and know nearly all the individual birds round here. The male blackbirds have their own distinctive songs, mostly melodious. But there's one poor thing that squawks like a parrot with a sore throat. I think he's rather old. The others have liquid exquisite songs, but he just screams and screeches as best he can. I feel sorry for him really, but his little brown wife seems to like him just the same, thank goodness!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 05:41 AM

That was a typo where I put "it usually includes an extra not at the end" but maybe I was right, and the wood pigeon is saying:

"Poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo, poor cuckoo's dead, poor cuckoo - NOT."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 06:29 AM

You must be in the wrong part of Norfolk, Sen. Wood pigeons are as common as muck here. Stupid birds that can annoy me squabbling on the bird tables or just sitting there and putting other smaller birds off but quite successful all the same.

I did see a rare (I'm not sure I've ever seen one there before) bird for our garden about 1/2 hour a go. That was a bullfinch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jun 18 - 08:58 AM

They're common as muck here too Jon, but each pair seems to have adopted a house/bungalow and its garden. This Happy Birthday chap is new round here; I imagine he's seen off the original pair we had.

My husband still feeds his favourite lone starling. He's very fond of it, and says he likes his markings and glossy feathers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 05:17 AM

Two weeks ago my garden was busy with baby great tits, and then baby coal tits. Last week it was baby blue tits and today there are young blackbirds - and a couple of butterflies dancing in the sunshine, getting to know each other. As long as the blackbirds don't eat the butterflies (or resulting caterpillars) all is right with the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: olddude
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 02:49 PM

Last year I saved three Canadian geese from careless fishermen. I hate when they leave line laying around. The birds get tangled up and will die. I had to remove hooks lines sinkers from three of them and it’s not easy. They don’t know you are trying to help. It always takes two of us. I suspect this year it will be the same. I picked up baskets of the shit the fishermen leave on shore ugh


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM

Aw Jos how lovely, all those babies! Our starlings keep digging their beaks into the lawn to get at the leatherjackets (larvae of craneflies) which is excellent, as the larvae eat the roots of the grass and wreck the lawn.
Good for you olddude! I hate it too when stupid fishermen leave their detritus behind. So ignorant and thoughtless. Well done for holding the geese down and getting the fishing line off!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 03:34 PM

And then, speaking of our feathered friends,
there is the sound of crepuscular bird speech.
Sorry for the fancy word:
Crepuscular means "at dawn" and "at dusk."

I'm spending time in Arizona again.
Besides the mockingbirds,
who sound as though they are running for elected office,
there are the breeds of jays.
I'm not sure what kind of jays these are in Arizona.

It is really something else, at dusk, as the daylight fades,
when the jays get hunkered down in the tree branches
and stop foraging in the parking lots.

At a certain moment, in the encroaching dark,
the jays tuck themselves into the tree foliage
and do their last big vocalizing for the day.
If I knew how to make a You-Tube video of them doing this,
I would post it so that you could hear the sound.

They make all kinds of bird vocalizations that they don't resort to
at any other time that I am aware of.
It probably is not a conversation
but it certainly sounds like one!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jun 18 - 11:59 PM

My apologies! I was mistaken, must correct myself.
Just went online to see if I could find these amusing noisy birds.
No, they are not jays at all.

They are Great-Tailed Grackles. Right here in the Arizona cityscape.
They frequent parking lots everywhere.

If this link works, it will take you to a site about birds,
which has a short video of two adult male Great-tailed Grackles,
and you can see and hear them.

Now, if you could just imagine that little video
with about a dozen or more Great-tailed Grackles
doing that, simultaneously, in an ornamental tree in
a parking lot ... it is quite an aural experience.

Quiscalus mexicanus


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Jun 18 - 04:03 AM

Great-Tailed Grackles!!! What a lovely name! And their calls are very unusual. I love their long, elegant beaks. Thank you for posting that keberoxu.
We haven't heard any more from Happy Birthday boy. I wonder if our usual pair have chased him and his missus away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 11:50 PM

Is it true
that pink flamingos
are pink
because of what they eat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Stanron
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 01:56 AM

Pink elephants are pink because of what we drink.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: BobL
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 02:55 AM

To answer Keberoxu's query - Yes. Consult the fount-of-all-information-but-not-necessarily-knowledge at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamingo#feeding


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 12:52 PM

Neighbour-across-the-road sat with me on The Bench today, and suddenly announced, "Hair come Scruffy!" (That's how she talks, broad Norfolk)
I couldn't see anyone walking along our road, but she was pointing to a bird. It's a male blackbird, and his feathers are in complete disarray, sticking out at all angles.

It's the one she feeds with scraps and raisins, and he comes right into her kitchen and sits on the counter top waiting to be served. He obviously knows her voice, as he approached confidently right up to our feet, head on one side.
I hurried indoors to get some raisins and he actually took them from our hands!

She was telling me that all the land on which our houses are built once belonged to her grandfather, a dairy farmer. He had one bull and several milking cows. She'd been chased by the latter many times when they had calves with them, but said that bulls charge with their eyes closed, and if you dodge about, they won't get you!
I never knew that...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 03:08 PM

My VERY naughty neighbour-next-door came home towing a large piece of farm machinery. He climbed down from his van, grinned broadly at me and bellowed, "Yew ought ter trim yer bush mawther!"

I had to think for a minute, but realised he was referring to a large bush which is growing a bit too far over the pavement.
I bet the whole street heard him and had a good snigger!

Anyway, I haven't trimmed my bush because a pair of sparrows are nesting inside it, and I don't want to disturb them...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 04:50 PM

Another blue tit family today. When I looked out this morning there were two adults and five young ones bouncing around on and near the bird feeder, with the adults busily feeding the youngsters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 12:29 AM

Visiting Tucson, Arizona for a week or so.
The doves out here really ARE different
from the doves that turn up in other places.

When they launch into flight and their tail-feathers fan out,
the plumage is remarkably colored. No, not like peacocks or anything.
More like the long skirts of the Ballet Folklórico dancers.

And their cooing is really a different call than the birdcalls I'm used to.
It puts me in mind of Lola Beltrán, of happy memory,
the native of Sináloa, México,
whose singing commanded música ranchera/norteña for decades,
and of her song "Cucurrucucú Paloma."


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Mudcat time: 18 August 9:53 AM EDT

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