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’.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

6 - 9/1/10: Redwings come closer as Fox gets bolder

On the 8th one, possibly two Redwings were in a Sycamore in the next garden west of mine. A Dunnock was in the Forsythia at the top of the garden. The Collared Doves have been conspicuous by their unusually low profile of late, but today one was sat in the large Horse Chestnut just down the hill. Rather worryingly, the binocular view revealed a number of long splits in the bark, which at some points was peeling away very badly in large sections. I wonder if it's the dreaded canker. My ultimate concern is that when big trees like this are taken down around here, they are replaced only with small species, if at all. There is a tall Eucalyptus beyond, and a number of others in the area, but I've looked a few times and the birds don't seem to use them for some reason - even just for perching in.

I heard what I thought might be a Chiff-chaff a little way away, but couldn't see it and am not competent on birdsong yet.

On the 9th 9 Redwings were in a Willow in a back garden of a house on the grassed square off Colyers Lane, near to Erith School's playing field. All of a sudden these and approximately 14 other birds took to the air from more hidden shrubbery, and I'm assuming they were all members of this species.

A Heron flew very low over my head on Northumberland Way, giving an excellent binocular view.

There always seem to be a number of Gulls riding the wind in the vicinity, if for no other reason than they enjoy flying. If I could get my head around identifying them I might be able to add a couple more species to my local list .......

The latest Fox to 'adopt' the back garden has got bolder as it's got colder, and has been out and about in daylight a lot. On the 6th it came round the far end of the compost heap without realising I was there. It stopped in its tracks, but was more intent on watching something in the lower part of the garden than running off, although it eventually thought better of it and retreated. On the 8th it came up the steps past the Holly before noticing I was working by my big greenhouse. This time it stopped momentarily, then decided I was no threat and climbed up behind the cordon fruit trees, snuffling the ground only 6 feet from me before nonchalantly carrying on with its perambulations. I could be wrong, but as far as I've seen, whichever individual has come in over the years has tended to stick to pretty much the same route round the garden at this sort of time of day. This one looks very healthy, although the latest close view did reveal a dark horse-shoe shape on the left flank, which could be down to fighting I guess.

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