31 May 2010

Stumpy - a local legend.

Stumpy is a local legend. He's a Wood Pigeon with one foot missing. Stumpy doesn't land gracefully. He crash lands like a plane with half its undercarriage missing. He makes his presence felt by crashing down on our conservatory and then sliding down the roof to the gutter as he can't get a grip. He crash lands in the trees and the noise of him falling through the branches is truly alarming. Stumpy is the fattest Wood Pigeon you'll ever see. He stuffs his face at our feeders and has a reputation for either being to stupid or to intelligent to fly off when we go out to fill them. Whilst other birds fly off and wait in the sanctuary of the nearby bushes he sits and waits nearby to ensure he's the first to fill his face. Stumpy flys between our garden and a neighbours depending on who's got the easiest pickings. How did he lose his foot? We don't know but presume some kind of frost bite during the cold winter.  Unfortunately he seems to have disappeared - he's to heavy even for the biggest female Sparrowhawk to have made a meal of him so we have to assume one of the local cats has got him. A real shame as he was a character.

Good news on the garden front is that the Robin has re-nested and now sits tight ona clutch of eggs 1m off the ground right by our garden gate! Either a very foolish or very astute move. With the constant opening of the gate and people / dog moving in and out its unlikely a predator will come near.

Not much else locally although a walk Saturday morning with Molly was rewarded with a fly through Hobby in exactly the same place as the one earlier in the spring.

Sunday saw force 5 WNW winds so a seawatch was the order of the day on Hilbre. Although windy it was a beautiful day to be on the island with sparkling blue seas and the Sea Thrift in full flower (its late this year) and contrasting with the carpets of yellow Birdsfoot Trefoil.

Birds were plentiful with spectacular numbers of Gannets passing by along with good numbers of Sandwich and Common Terns and my first Little Terns of the year. Manx Shearwaters totalled 30+ whislt a dark phase Arctic Skua harassed the terns distantly out towards the wind farm. Good numbers of Fulmar were also loged with one bird seeminlgy prospecting around the cliffs as it was seen to circle the island and come close to the west side on a couple of occasions.

No migrants on the island but the local Linnets and Meadow Pipits were in full breeding mode.

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