Thursday, 12 April 2018

Thursday news

The sun was out earlier and the world looked different. No longer, we are now back to cold windy misery.






I am working at home most of this week, enjoying the view from my sewing room/office space. I probably should spend more time concentrating on my screen. When I take a break, I wander across to the other side of the house and enjoy the views there. I have particularly enjoyed watching birds. We have bird feeders front and back, each with different foods. I have one in the back with niger seeds, which is said to be attractive for goldfinches. I have seen a pair four years ago but never since. These seeds must be extraordinarily attractive because all of a sudden, there is an entire flock of 4 to 6 goldfinches visiting regularly. They are pretty birds. There are ground feeding blackbirds and starlings, too. In the front we have plenty of blue tits, coal tits, great tits, robins, house sparrows and even the odd magpie. I filled the feeder there with a mixture of spring feeding suitable delicacies, some dried worms, different types of seeds and nuts. The feed doesn't last long, there must be a really hungry creature the size of a turkey judging by the rapid disappearance of all goodies. The squirrel visits, too. It prefers peanuts and I have now used up all the accumulated nuts. Jack of course goes completely bonkers when the squirrel sits in his front garden, munching nuts. He doesn't blink twice for the flying visitors.

An unexpected bonus of observing birds is that James started reading the bird books we have. It is usually Alistair who thumbs the pages and I am pleased that James took an interest. He never reads voluntarily because he is intimidated by unfamiliar vocabulary. This development is a major step and I am really really proud of him.

In other news, Sam offered to make me waffles for breakfast (at midday). I gave him a recipe, secretly cursing myself for letting him near the kitchen with a recipe that has plenty of scope for wrecking the place. I was not disappointed. It was quite comical actually, listening to him destroying my kitchen. The mess was astonishing and the waffle mixture so thin it flowed out of the waffle iron. I assumed this meant certain death for the waffle iron, particularly since the mixture had to be rinsed off under the tap with soapy water, it was very resistant to gentler attempts of cleaning. Alas, it is an ancient German make, in all likelihood prehistoric and definitely pre-electric safety check measures like fuses were introduced. I made a new batch of waffle mixture and we had breakfast at 1 pm eventually. It was good.

Annie sent me a text from Cumbria, saying she was really really homesick, and that she was crying in the bathroom. Poor wee mite. She was so cross with me when she left for her trip, she barely managed a good bye. I am so happy that I am still the one she gets in touch with when she has a wobble. I can't be an entirely clueless mother after all. All is well again, I am pleased about that. She'll be back tomorrow. I miss her, too.

James and Alistair meanwhile need collecting form the holiday club shortly. We are cycling, practicing riding our bikes on the road. It gets my heart rate up to about 180 bpm, watching them but  road confidence is essential for safe cycling and can only be gained by practice. Wish me luck.

Thanks for stopping by. xx




19 comments:

  1. We've had loads of goldfinches lately. I remember when I was little you hardly ever saw them, but there were lots of chaffinches. It's the other way round now. Well done you on feeding them, I know they get through loads of food. And how lovely that James is reading through the bird books. Good luck with the cycling. You know how that ended for me... CJ xx

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  2. I have goldfinches sometimes, but mostly in the summer. They like the Russian sage. We have a thistle seed feeder in the backyard but it doesn't attract as many finches as the sage does. I love that Sam made waffles for you, how nice. I'm glad Annie got in touch too. I know it isn't an easy time with kids at her age, but she still needs her mother and she's letting you know. I'm glad you're so patient with her. I hope the cycling goes well, it sounds a little rough on your heart! :)

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  3. Wonderful about your birds. One small thing- it’s better to not feed nuts spring and summer because of the risk of baby birds choking. If you’ve run out now then they’ll be fine anyway 😆. Hope you don’t mind me saying, I’m passing on wisdom gained from someone else.
    Glad the waffle machine survived and that cycling and reading are happening. I remember being very nervous when L did his cycling proficiency xx

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    1. I don't mind at all, in fact, I am glad you are telling me this because I was thinking of getting more nuts for the squirrel mummy (she is nesting, I know because she is collecting fluff and soft stuff) x

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  4. Your birds sound varied and interesting.. it appears you take very good care of them! We have two black niger thistle socks on our feeder pole and they love it and flock here. I am sure Annie will be happy to be home! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  5. Glad you are having some sunshine and the kids are getting out. I have just written a really miserable blog post because that is how I feel - so grey - the world has gone steel grey. I did make a nice dress for Megan though to lift the mood. Ah your poor girl, she will be so pleased to come home. Jo xx

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  6. Not sure any goldfinches have been attracted to our feeders but the pigeons are certainly feasting on them. Oh, poor Annie. There really is no place like home. You've reminded me I bought a waffle maker a while ago. Not at all sure I should give it a go after reading about Sam's experience.

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  7. Thrilled to hear that James is thumbing his way through the bird books. We have binoculars, cameras and books in the window sill but are rarely quick enough to capture some good photos. Hope Annie feels better, home sweet home.

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  8. The birds sound delightful. Sorry about the wawful waffles.

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  9. Christina, with your son's interest in birds, I wanted to share my blog post from yesterday - I mentioned a bird book that he might enjoy. http://lifewiththecrew.typepad.com/my-blog/2018/04/a-change-in-the-air.html

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  10. We get loads of goldfinches, they really do love niger seed and I buy sunflower hearts too as most of the garden birds love those. Mick's auntie and uncle are avid bird watchers, they used to take Daniel and Eleanor to the RSPB reserves with them when they were young and like James, Daniel would read books at home. Eleanor was never really bothered though. I could sit for hours watching the birds, it's like a mini soap opera in the garden with all the squabbles going on. I hope Annie's arrived home safe and sound, she'll be glad to be home by the sound of it.

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  11. Lovely bird photos, I didn't know about what to feed when, apart from not fat balls from May onwards, I think. You've certainly sparked an interest with fellow feeders, Cathy x

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  12. I recently bought niger seeds for the gold finches. I didn’t seem to be as lucky as you until the other day. Spotted a gold finch on my tv aerial first then later gorging itself on the niger seeds. That was four days ago, no more sightings sadly.
    I remember well the anxiety of early cycling antics with my boys. I empathise. B x

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  13. I haven't had as much success in attracting birds in my town garden as I did when we lived nearer the countryside. But now that I have my new kitchen I can see more and we do have a pair of bliacbirds nesting in the ivy. I watched the mum rush around making the nest, while the dad appeared to do very little. Not much different in the bird world then. I purchased a new bird feeding station from the RSPB and put new feeders out but not many visitors yet. Think they are just checking it out. Must try Niger seeds again - they attracted goldfinches in my last garden.xx

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  14. Hope the cycling was uneventful! The birds are lovely, makes me hope Spring is coming :) x

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  15. Hey Christina,
    Cripes, you're brave! I barely let Olly out of my sight. I'm far, far too over protective. I was with the other two. I am off to buy seed and feeders specifically for finches and tits today. I have loads flitting about in the garden, but nothing to feed them with. A lovely post, as always.
    Leanne xx

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  16. Aww that is sweet that Annie reached out to you.. you must be happy that she is coming back.
    lol the waffle disaster.. cleaning that up couldn't have been fun..
    we have an array of birds in our backyard too... blue jays, wood peckers and so many I haven't bothered to name yet.

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

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  17. When we lived in VA, we had a couple of special feeders for the nyjer seeds. The feeders were tall cylinders with tiny holes so other birds could not steal the rather pricey seeds. And, it used to really attract the goldfinches. Living in an apt now means no bird watching from the windows, except for the gulls and Canada geese on the river below. Actually, the gulls are quite entertaining when they fly by the windows and we refer to them as the Nashua air force.

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  18. That's not a bad view from your office the bird feeder, how exciting to have a flock of goldfinches, they obviously have a good system of communicating there is good nosh at your bird feeder. It sounds quite a stressful week what with the bike rides and the Cumbria trip, so hopefully next week is full of calm with waffle delight!
    Wren x

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx