US social scientist Kenneth Boulding : ‘If you believe exponential growth can go on in a finite world, you are either a madman or an economist’.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

31/12/09: Green end to year for my Barnehurst bird list

On Christmas day the following were seen in the garden - Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin and, at dusk, a large Fox.

On Boxing Day 4 Long-tailed Tits came within about 6' of me as they fed unconcernedly in Forsythia branches above my head. A pair of Blue Tits flitted about on the sidelines sounding annoyed - or maybe expressing some safety concerns about my presence. The resident Robin has started to come within a couple of feet of me whilst I have been doing things like making sure my clumps of Snowdrops will be able to get through the mat of ground-covering Lesser Periwinkle, and turning a compost heap. It briefly did a passable impression of a Humming Bird before concluding that a spent Schizostylis flower stem did not provide a stiff enough landing platform.

There were 3 Wood Pigeons in the garden on the 27th.

On the 31st, taking a detour back from the shops, I saw a flash of green on the ground by the small car park at the west end the old Pitch and Putt course by Bursted Woods. I've never seen any of the local Ring-necked Parakeets on the floor before, so concluded - correctly - that it must be a Green Woodpecker. This it turned out to be once I had a good view of it foraging along the edge of the small bloc of trees here, from a vantage point about 30' away. Blue and Great Tits were also in evidence. A Magpie was nearby, and so were two Grey Squirrels. Two actual Ring-necked Parakeets were low down in a tree by the road up to the school.

Some fresh green leaves of Alexanders (a yellow-flowered umbellifer introduced by the Romans as a food plant) were picked by the hospital path and added to my evening meal, but had a disappointingly weak flavour. I shall cook them a bit less next time - and try some raw ......

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum), usefully comes back into leaf in the autumn, as seen here on the southern margin of Bursted Woods, by the hospital entrance.

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