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BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others

Nigel Parsons 19 May 19 - 12:20 PM
keberoxu 18 May 19 - 02:31 PM
keberoxu 15 May 19 - 06:12 PM
Georgiansilver 12 May 19 - 08:09 PM
keberoxu 12 May 19 - 04:21 PM
keberoxu 11 May 19 - 09:55 PM
Jos 10 May 19 - 04:50 AM
keberoxu 09 May 19 - 06:13 PM
keberoxu 09 May 19 - 06:08 PM
keberoxu 08 May 19 - 07:40 PM
Senoufou 08 Nov 18 - 08:46 AM
Thompson 08 Nov 18 - 08:42 AM
Thompson 08 Nov 18 - 08:37 AM
Jos 08 Nov 18 - 03:01 AM
Thompson 07 Nov 18 - 10:43 PM
keberoxu 07 Nov 18 - 09:39 PM
keberoxu 10 Jun 18 - 12:29 AM
Jos 09 Jun 18 - 04:50 PM
Senoufou 09 Jun 18 - 03:08 PM
Senoufou 07 Jun 18 - 12:52 PM
BobL 07 Jun 18 - 02:55 AM
Stanron 07 Jun 18 - 01:56 AM
keberoxu 06 Jun 18 - 11:50 PM
Senoufou 04 Jun 18 - 04:03 AM
keberoxu 03 Jun 18 - 11:59 PM
keberoxu 03 Jun 18 - 03:34 PM
Senoufou 03 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM
olddude 03 Jun 18 - 02:49 PM
Jos 03 Jun 18 - 05:17 AM
Senoufou 02 Jun 18 - 08:58 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 18 - 06:29 AM
Jos 02 Jun 18 - 05:41 AM
Senoufou 02 Jun 18 - 04:35 AM
Jos 02 Jun 18 - 04:23 AM
olddude 02 Jun 18 - 12:14 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Jun 18 - 06:09 PM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 03:25 PM
Rusty Dobro 01 Jun 18 - 03:18 PM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 02:41 PM
Senoufou 01 Jun 18 - 05:36 AM
keberoxu 29 May 18 - 01:30 PM
robomatic 28 May 18 - 05:02 PM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 12:36 PM
Jos 28 May 18 - 12:26 PM
Jon Freeman 28 May 18 - 11:24 AM
Jos 28 May 18 - 11:05 AM
keberoxu 28 May 18 - 10:23 AM
Senoufou 28 May 18 - 04:49 AM
Jos 28 May 18 - 04:15 AM
Rusty Dobro 28 May 18 - 03:30 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 May 19 - 12:20 PM

I was amazed on holiday to see a hoopoe right outside my apartment window. (even more amazed I identified it correctly)
On checking it online I was a little disappointed to find that they are fairly common in Majorca.
Hoopoe


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 May 19 - 02:31 PM

Well, Senoufou continues to stay a safe distance,
and
the closest I ever get to Senoufou's Mad Swans
is looking at the
Norwich Lyng Stores internet spots.

Nothing new on this year's edition of the cygnets.
When I see an update, I will let you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 May 19 - 06:12 PM

This happened a short drive from my apartment building.

i've got good news and bad news...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 12 May 19 - 08:09 PM

Once upon a time...... (sounds like a good start for a short story). There was an area with a couple of small lakes and a nature reserve surrounding them, with pathways round the whole thing. It was widely reported that a male swan had been nicknamed 'Psycho' because it kept going for people on the pathways. I being middle aged and fit went running around those pathways, uninterrupted for around three weeks. However, on this particular day.... there he was, bold as brass, spreading his wings in an intimidating manner in front of me. Little did he know that I had been brought up in the countryside and was used to dealing with flocks of geese on various farms in that area. He moved threateningly towards me, sticking his neck out and making a hissing noise.... just as the geese did.... so i did exactly what i did with the geese and smacked him on the top of his beak. He moved to one side and i carried onmy r=un. The following day, I took some bread, soaked in milk, and when i saw him, i approached him with outstretched arm and fed him the juicy bread. I did this every dasy for many months and he allowed me to also feed his partner (Swans will only ever have one partner). Then came Spring time. He allowed me to feed his pasrtner whilst she was sitting on her eggs, which is a great honour as male swans will usually drive anyone who gets near to the nest away. I carried on with this amazing relationship for many more months. The babies were fed by me, early on in their lives and all seemed wonderful. Many people came to see me with those swans because they did not believe that 'Psycho' could be so tolerant. They saw him and his partner put their heads on my legs and look at me with love in their eyes. The press cameand interviewed me and took pics of me with those lovely birds. In the Autumn (Fall), I found 'Psycho' with one eye shot out by some idiot with an air rifle. I arranged for him to get it sorted at the vets but all they could do wasd make it germ free. A month later, someone found 'Psycho' with his neck tied in a knot.... dead. As you can imagine, I was devastated. How could someone do this to him........ His partner and the younng ones disappeared and were not seen locally again. i sort of blame myself for 'Psychos' demise, because he might have thought that the people who killed him were as friendly as me........maybe i should not have becomea treusted part of their lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 May 19 - 04:21 PM

Grand weather for water birds and
anything with webbed feet today.

the local Canada Geese must be thoroughly at home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 May 19 - 09:55 PM

They do appear to be making a royal progress
in that photograph, don't they?

No wonder they avoid, somehow,
being run over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 10 May 19 - 04:50 AM

I wonder where the idea of the 'Ugly duckling' came from - yes, I know it was Hans Christian Andersen, I mean before that.
Those could never be described as ugly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 May 19 - 06:13 PM

And this is the
2018 edition of the Mad Swans of Norwich.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 May 19 - 06:08 PM

and here they are! (2019 edition, that is)

Norwich's Mad Swans


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 May 19 - 07:40 PM

Ah, I'm a bit late refreshing this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 08:46 AM

There's a lovely photo of our Mad Swans online. If you go to 'Lyng Stores and Tearoom', it takes you to a Facebook thing (but no need to sign in or anything), and a large picture of the swans walking along the road in front of the village shop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 08:42 AM

Though wait, no, Amazon has some for around £80 to £150.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 08:37 AM

Hah, could be true too!

I've rather backed off the pet trailer idea on discovering that they're about €800…


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Jos
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 03:01 AM

Thompson, when I read "he might be wise to take a course in wildlife rehabilitation ...", at first I thought you meant your big puppy should take a course before you took him to the seaside.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 10:43 PM

Senoufou, your dafe husband doesn't need to build a special yokey - you can already buy cycle trailers for pets; I'm mumbling over the thought of getting one for my new puppy, who's going to be a big boy, so I can bring him to the sea and local parks for romps.

However, he might be wise to take a course in wildlife rehabilitation - there are skills involved, and knowledge. (For instance, you would never in a million years see me pick up a sick bird nowadays unless with rubber gloves and very much at arm's length, and probably not even then; there's a very nasty virus going around Europe that has already killed virtually all of Paris's blackbirds, and which is transmissible to humans.)

You may have seen a video that's going around the internet of an Irish vet (veterinarian for our American ex-co-Anglophones) jumping out of a taxi to run and rescue a young swan on the road at Donnybrook in Dublin. He wrapped it in his jacket, carried it to the river Dodder and let it loose, and it swam happily away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mad Swans, blue tits, and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 09:39 PM

Am returning from Phoenix, Arizona to my northeastern US home tomorrow.
Today I drove to my favorite parking lot in Scottsdale
and said goodbye to the great-tailed grackles,
when it was getting on from afternoon to evening,
and they were sitting in the trees
voicing their near-infinite variety and diversity of bird calls.
It is the darndest-sounding thing, a continual entertainment.
Until they shut up for the night.


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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