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.

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  1. Gezza

     /  15th September 2018

    I spent more time down in the stream training and feeding the eels than observing the Pook nest yesterday.

    But I did put the binox on the nest for a few minutes in the late afternoon. The 100+ Black Backs were all still plunked down on, or flying around, the big shed roof, so the pooklet is still being kept under cover.

    The sunlight at that time was perfect for me to get clear views through gaps in the foliage of two pooks (Bluey and Jojo) moving around in the nest and in the little tunnels they’ve created in the blackberry, and a reasonably decent glimpse of the pooklet – especially it’s long little orange legs. I’ve notice that if an adult pook lies down near the pooklet it will lie down too.

    There’s not much in the way of flat, open play areas around this nest site, like there was in Pickle’s and Jojo’s nests on my side. And the little beach is a bit dangerous for the pooklet to swim in seeing the eels swim up past that.

    I was hoping that maybe keeping the eels well-fed might make them less inclined to go for the pooklet and ducklings that will soon appear, but I now doubt it. The eels are basically just food-detecting & eating machines from what I can see. Although I think they are stunning examples of evolutionary design. Fish that have clearly evolved to live & hunt in shallow not deep water. If you put a tall dorsal and tall tail fin on them, you basically have a shark.

    • Gezza

       /  15th September 2018

      Just been outside for 15 minutes to look at the nest. Another grey, constant norwesterly day. What’s become the standard weather pattern from now until well after Xmas most years. With my inherited tendency to anxiety & depression I get noticeably affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I hate this time of year.

      Hard to spot the nest in this kind of light, but Bluey was already in the yard, and Sweety and Jojo were soon walking on up and in the yard too – Sweety patiently looking up from 6 inches behind my left foot; the other two near but keeping their distance. I dropped them a handful of wheat each to peck up so I could observe the nest in peace. They know when I’m watching it.

      Eventually I glimpsed what had to be Aspen, the missing one, in the shadows. His red beak was a brighter colour than the reddish coloured dead leaf of the dried blackberry he was standing in tunnel in. The pooklet was nowhere to be seen. I turned to see what my companions were up to and watched Bluey leave.

      By the time I looked back with the binox, Aspen was exposed, walking down the steep bank thru the foliage, leaving the pooklet, so I figured Bluey must have already walked over out of view of the binox and relieved him. A quick pan of the bushes found him, walking down a branch, behind coverm from the watchbird’s nest above pooklet’s nest. and feeding pooklet regurgitated wheat grains. Pooklet was doing the cute little begging penguin wing flaps.

      All’s well. I worry about the little tyke until I spot it. They don’t all make beyond their first few weeks. I know if it survives early pooklethood they’ll be bringing it over to me soon enough – or, more correctly, it’ll walk along to me on its own, following them. And I know it will be really cute going through all its growth spurts and changes until 4 months old, after which it will drive me bloody mad with irritating, loud, incessant whining that ruins the soundtrack on all video clips for another two whole months.

      Sir Gerald
      🐧 AAA 🐧

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  15th September 2018

        Give my love to Little Kitto,

        • Gezza

           /  15th September 2018

          I’m not naming it until I’m fairly certain it’s going to make it to at least 4 weeks & safely cross the stream, Kitty. It may sound soppy but it hurts too much when I name them and they don’t make it.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  15th September 2018

            Point taken.

            When you name something, it becomes yours. I mean name it with a real name. As soon as I saw the dog, I knew that he was That Name….he was mine.

            • Gezza

               /  15th September 2018

              I still have the last video of weeny Jo. It still hurts to watch it. I named Jojo after Jo.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  16th September 2018

              Kipling’s poem about giving your heart to a dog to tear is applicable to other species as well, … people knowing that animals’ lives are short, laying themselves open to heartbreak.

              I couldn’t guess at the number of times that I have read it, but it breaks my heart every time.

              The last verse goes…

              We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
              When it comes to burying Christian clay;
              Our loves are not given, but only lent,
              At compound interest of cent per cent,
              Though it is not always the case, I believe,
              That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
              For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
              A short-term loan is as bad as a long –
              So why in – Heaven (before we are there)
              Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

  2. Gezza

     /  15th September 2018

    Sun’s come out. Pooklet is out in the open, playing, in a little clearing, but obscured mostly by Jojo, who’s got caregiver duty and has her wings stretched out, grooming.

    Aspen & Sweety have wandered on up to me & Bluey’s in stream doing some mahi or other.

    But loud splashing in the rapids caught my attention and my river shark Ella has come wriggling up and is now lazily heading for the eel spot. I see young Eli is 10 metres ahead of her. Off to try the dog roll on them both.
    1440 hours

    • Gezza

       /  15th September 2018

      Ella loves dog roll chunks as much as the cat roll chunks. The dog roll’s a bigger chub & has veges embedded. She was a honey, eating very nicely. She won’t reach up out of the water to eat it if I hold it above her, though she can see it. It has to be touching the water before she’ll eat it. She’ll raise her head half out of the water to bite it in as a compromise for me.
      She opens wide and carefully bites & pulls it off the stick firmly, but gently.

      Eli was a total loss. No idea where he even went. He swam round Ella a couple of times and then just disappeared. I’d taken 6 chunks of reduced price skirt steak down there for him if he was going to be fussy again & spit out the dog roll. His loss. As Kitty said not long ago – unfortunately, while cute, he’s just not the brightest eel in the stream.


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