I have had my porridge, so can sit back with my coffee and get started. I will probably be on my own as two are in bed and my daughter is focusing on creating her Macbeth Board game which should be snapped up by Waddingtons very soon.
In the cricket, South Africa are 123-7 chasing 400.
08:36: I know, it’s a little cheeky but the starling had just arrived, so I thought I’d start now. And there is a house sparrow sitting proudly, so we’re off to a flyer.
08:40: five sparrows have arrived to visit the feeds, there’s a blue tit in the silver birch and a robin is enjoying the spilt sunflower seed below the feeder.
08:43: a dunnock appears on the garden shed roof while a male blackbird makes an appearance.
08:45: ah good, a greenfinch also in the silver birch – they’ve been regulars for the past few days, so am glad one showed up today. They really are lovely birds. And there’s a second one also in the silver birch – it’s the main feature of my 40-foot sub-urban, Cambridge garden and it’s the logical place of the birds to visit before targeting the feeder in the winter, or simply to feed on inverts during the spring and summer.
South Africa are 132-7. It’s a good eighth wicket stand, but they are still a very long way behind.
08:51: the dunnock is back but it doesn’t count. Well it does but it doesn’t if you know what I mean. A collared dove arrives and am assuming another one will turn up any time moment now. A third greenfinch and now two robins are at opposite ends of the garden. Keep them apart. Six sparrows now. And yep, here is the second collared dove. It’s getting a bit busy.
08:56: the collared doves have had enough and are off. Oh and there is the grey squirrel which will probably scare everything off for a while. I had thought I’d managed to keep it away by putting olive oil on the feeder poll to stop it shinning up but it now likes to hang upside down from the silver birch and eats that way.
08:58: a second blackbird and there is a wren. Excellent, it just popped over from next door.
09:00: and that is a goldfinch on the feeder. Good!
09:06: Bob our free-range guinea pig has emerged as the half-time cabaret.
09:08: the inevitable lull both here and in Johannesburg where it is 138-7.
09:12: tumbleweed? No – a blue tit, actually make that two.
09:19: actual tumbleweed. No great tit, no magpie, no wood pigeon, no long-tailed tit, no chaffinch no rare visitor and no wickets.
09:21: the sparrows are back. 6 again, I think. And a robin returns along with the blue tits who now target the feeder. Actually, 3 blue tits.
09:25: 147-7. Hmm – this is a good partnership.
09:26: woooah – 15 sparrows. They certainly spooked Bob.
09:31: two blackbirds, and one female makes an appearance with just five minutes to go. The gang of sparrows remain active in the bushes.
09:33: three minutes to go – any final surprises?
09:35: Noooo – a cat. Go! Shoo! Be gone! Bad cat. That’s done it.
And that’ it. It’ all over, thanks to that cat. But, it was a very good morning.
The final score was: 15 house sparrows, 3 greenfinch, 3 blue tits, 3 blackbirds (two male, one female), 2 collared doves, 2 robins, 1 starling, 1 dunnock, 1 wren, 1 goldfinch, 0 wickets (it’s 154-7).
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