General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted

24 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  May 15, 2018

    Couple of little emotional fillips for me this morning.

    Firstly, Sweets, Aspen, & Pickly Boy were waiting by the patio ramp as usual when I opened the curtain, & I could hear Jojo over the fence too. So I went down & opened the gate thru to the stream, & instead of being all nervy & suspicious, she just happily toddled thru into my back yard & I fed them all their wheat brekky down by the gate.

    Second, I asked when they’d finished if anyone would like a piece of wholegrain bread for dessert & the 3 big ones said yes please, they would. Jojo wasn’t fussed. (I’m not sure she understood the question, tbh – she’s only very little.) And when I took a half slice of wet bread out to them – Sweety came up & took it from my hand, so then Pickles did, & then, when I held some out to Aspen – for the first time ever – he worked up enuf courage, & he did! Yippee 👍🏼😀👏🏼

    This doesn’t mean any of them will do it again later, or tomorrow. They are such highly-strung birds any of them can just decide, for whatever reason, that they don’t trust you today, & want you to toss it to them instead. Still, I’m counting that as a win for my patience, calmness & general niceness (the last for which I have an official certificate).

    Bluey was doing mahi elsewhere in the stream. He came later on his own. When he gets all tense & shrieky when I get close to the pooklet, he makes the others all tense up too, so it’s better when he does this.

    Third, when Jojo turned around to run up to Pickles, who was offering her some wet bread first, I noticed she’s now got the fluffy white bum feathers – no more scrawny bare botty.

    And fourthly, from inside, looking out my kitchen window, I had to smile when Jojo, cool as a cucumber, decided she’d had enuf bread, it was now playtime, & just calmly wombled along the lawn, thru the gate, back to the stream, leaving the others to follow when they were ready – if they wanted. This one’s a little lady, I’m sure. 😍

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  May 15, 2018

      😀 Patience Rewarded,

      Mine deigned to take the bread from the bucket shelter this morning, except the last bits that were further in. It’s not ideal as a food shelter, but better than nothing. Once one or two brave souls went down, the others did.One of the house sparrers is enormously fat, can she be about to lay some eggs ? She is fat all over, very cuddly looking.

      The purple net was christened last night when a little house mouse was caught in it and carried outside, I’m sure that I heard squeaky laughter from the other mice who were rolling around, clutching their sides at the sight of mousie being transported in a purple nylon net, a.k.a. the humane mouse trap. He’ll never hear the end of it.

      • Gezza

         /  May 15, 2018

        Possibly she’s about to lay some eggs, altho I’m not sure how long they incubate them & depending on the time for that she’d be pushing her luck a bit for the chicks if a cold Winter hits too soon. But have you seen any evidence of material-gathering for nest-building. I’m assuming they build nests.

        Word seems to be getting around the sparrow hapu here. The cloud of little beating wings that seems to envelope me when I go out of a morning to give the pooks their starters for the day is getting bigger than just for Brucie & Hetty’s whanau.

        This caused an impending wheat famine @ Pookden Manor, which has been alleviated by a purchase of $20 worth of wheat aid from Pet Essentials, next to the Warehouse in Porirua., this morning.

        I took the opportunity to request the assistance of a pleasant young female Warehouse staff member to locate a $10 staple gun avec 800 staples for the purpose of completing a chair re-covering project – at some hopefully near future date – after I have first finished a guitar resurfacing project (underway), an amateur wildlife movie-making project (several movies are likely), & a tape-to-computer recording project involving numerous 4-trak originals.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  May 15, 2018

          The number of sparrers lining up here is increasing, too, I hope that Couplands’s Daily Grain stays the same price, as this is becoming a racket. I have increased the amount put out by 1/3 and can see that it won’t be long before this isn’t enough, The ingrates won’t come very near me, the rotten sods.

          • Gezza

             /  May 15, 2018

            Why not just give them cheaper bulk-buy grain, Kitty? They love it here & it’s probably better for them. They only get it because they got in on the act & were hopping about amongst me ducks n pooks, loving the wheat.

            I’ve noticed when I sit down in the patio & throw out 6 or so grains at a time, the all hop about picking up as many as they can. Then, when I stop, there begins a delightful little snap, crackle, pop fest. They swallow the grains whole & then, when they’ve got a bellyful, it seems they have the ability to regurgitate the grains, one at a time, & yummily crunch them up & swallow them properly.

            Quite a curious but cute thing to observe. I’m noticing that even with sparrows, it’s possible to indidually identify some regulars from their differences in size & feather patterns or other physical features. The males’ bibs seem to have individual patterns & numbers of black spots, for example.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  May 15, 2018

              I have no way to transport it, and the bread is very grainy so the next best thing. It’s cut into small cubes (I haven’t enough to do with my time) . I used to use bird seed but it stuck in the cracks and germinated and generally made a mess.

              Yes, sparrers seem to be more varied than goldfinches or other small birds.Some of the bibs are very neat and others look hastily painted on.

              I was visited by Alf the cat today, and two horses minus a human escort who ate some of the verge. Only in ________ St. A goat once came into the house and a tiny goatie was carried in when he was heard weeping across the road. You should have seen the kitchen bench after he’d had a meal of milk, as nobody remembered the old rubber glove with a hole in it trick and he was fed with fingers dipped in the milk.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  May 15, 2018

              I’ll see if it’s available in smaller bags at Pak & Save…I live up a hill, and hauling 10kg of wheat doesn’t appeal.

              They like soaked cat & dog biscuits (??? ) Good heavens. I’d never have thought of giving them those.

            • Gezza

               /  May 15, 2018

              Why was the horses’ human escort eating some of the verge? o_O

          • Gezza

             /  May 15, 2018

            You can probably get it online from a farm or animal feed store up there and just pay a small delivery fee. I’m paying $20 for 6.5 kilos, out of my concert earnings, for speed and convenience – but I see I can get 10kg for $15.95 and 20 kg also, delivered for a small delivery fee, so will probably do that when I need some more.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  May 15, 2018

              Is this poultry wheat ?

            • Gezza

               /  May 15, 2018

              I don’t know, Kitty. There are some different strains and/or suppliers, but I don’t think it really matters to the birds as long as it’s “feed wheat”.

              If you have a local bulk pet foods store, they are another option. I actually started out, when a lady friend said bread’s not actually good for ducks, with a duck food from Pet Essentials, but it was expensive, a small bag, and consisted mainly of mixed cereal grains (barley, corn, wheat) but the bulk of it was wheat.

              They like the grains, not flakes such as breakfast cereal – tried that, Neither the ducks nor pooks like flaked cereals.

              I fed the sparrers in the patio and the pooks on the lawn an hour ago. (The pooks turned up at 2 pm today, but I ignored them as that’s not when dinner’s ready.)

              While the sparrers were up on the fence and down on the paving stones they didn’t seem able to see or understand that I was putting some wheat on the top of the bird house & inside it. It’s still got all the wet bread (they prefer it wet, btw) on the roof & inside.

              I suspect the birdhouse idea is a potter’s dream, but not really fit for bird purpose – or not for any birds around here. But I’ll leave it up for a while. Probably until I walk into it! 😀

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  May 15, 2018

              It’s really good grass, lots of dandelions, and those are really good in salads.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  May 15, 2018

              Is that the wheat that Countdown has ? They charge $12 for delivery, the stingy sods.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  May 15, 2018

              Barnyard Poultry Food Wheat, $11.39.

              I had some cat biscuits that the dog used to like for treats until he decided that he didn’t like them any more, so I have soaked some. I hope that the SPCA is right that they eat these.

          • Gezza

             /  May 15, 2018

            Dunno what Countdown sells, sorry. My 6.5 kg will last me 2-3 months. But I’ve now got two extra pook kids with hollow legs and a growing sparrer farno wanting handouts to feed.

            MInd you – the sparrers do some blimmin cute hummingbird flying to earn it.

            A new duck hen worked her way into my affections this evening. Wombled up thru the undergrowth, I gave her a couple of wheat handfuls, and 15 minutes later she was on my lawn, avoiding Bluey who has a go at the ducks when my back’s turned. She’s a bit shy still. She left her handsome purebreed mallard beau on the lower parenga, down at my eel spot. Hasn’t told me her name yet & I won’t try and find out until I see if they’ve taken a place around here.

            • Gezza

               /  May 15, 2018

              I am going to lower the clay bird house tomorrow. I noticed before it got dark that the roof is slightly above eye-level for the sparrers when they perch on the fence. I’ll see if this helps them spot the bread pieces.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  May 15, 2018

              Softy ! They just have to flutter theit eyelashes and you’re a goner.

              It was a real surprise thar the flakes from the bottom of the Weetbix packet were rejected by the birds instead of being the treat that I thought that I was giving them.

            • Gezza

               /  May 15, 2018

              I suspect the problem is they’re so flat they’re hard to pick up and if they snap them they break into even smaller pieces not worth pecking at.

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  May 15, 2018

    I can’t believe how many pooks there are around here now. What a lovely note of colour they are. They seem to be becoming National Bird II.

    • Gezza

       /  May 15, 2018

      Yes they are quite beautiful colours. They’re not just a uniform blue/purple. The colour can vary from blue to purple depending on the light, but when they are close up, in the sun you can see other colours exposed when they hold their wings out, grooming. At the base of their wings it sometimes looks like iridescent paua shell turquoisey colours there.

      Sweety was on the fence very near me this around lunch time while I was just leaning over it for a looksee with a coffee and (yes, naughty – but rarely now) cigarette. The other pooks were all off somewhere else doing pook mahi. I was struck by the beautiful, fine dark lines demarking all her individual breast feathers. And her gorgeous red beak and eyes, as she listened to me chatting away quietly telling her of her beauty.

      On the way back, remembering your recent efforts to build a covered food shelter for the sparrers, I noticed this. It was hanging in a tree over the fence when we moved in – but I never not saw no birdies in it, innit! One day the rope suspending it broke & I found it one the ground, so it’s just been sitting with some other clay pots & was on the list for donation to the Sallies when I clean those up. (They come and collect things here, if you ask.)

      Anyway … where was I? Oh, yes. I decided to attach some old faux gold chandelier chain & hang it off the patio roof frame for a few days, so what happens if I put some wheat in it. I’m a bit dubious whether any birds will use it though, for the same reason we were discussing. They might feel unable to see threats, and there’s really only room for one or two to get in there at the same time.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  May 15, 2018

        I did wonder about a tree hanging one – I was thinking of a ‘house’ with struts at the corners, . If the bucket one works in that it means that they become used to putting their heads under a cover, I will go for something a little more sophisticated. It is an experiment and is put under the table as soon as the food is gone because it’s not exactly elegant. In fact, it looks blimmin’ ridiculous 😀 I cut it so that there is just enough of the sides left to let it stand without collapsing.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  May 15, 2018

        I see pooks whenever I go out, and see them close up….I never quite get used to them. They’re stunning.

        I looked up bread and found that multigrain’s all right. One is supposed to feed them at the same time every day because the little buggers get used to this. Well, excuse me for opening Maison Oiseau late some mornings. Someone will be in the tree with their wings on their hips tweeting ‘Why are we waiting ?’

        • Gezza

           /  May 15, 2018

          Look, I want to uptick all these comments of yours but I’m afraid I can’t allocate any upticks to a person who’s not up-ticking mine on this page. I’m not mentioning to the pook kids that you’re not upticking their progress reports as I don’t want them to develop low self-esteem. So … think on, please. :/

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  May 15, 2018

    Hello, PDT; real name Juan Kerr 😀