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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13 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  October 21, 2018

    Sarah. Very cute but it might be best not to encourage her.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  October 21, 2018

      Oh, a ratty! She is sweet, isn’t she?

      I saw a dunnock (I am fairly certain that it was a dunnock) with a white ‘saddle’ and white yarmulke (a Jewish sparrer) on the bird table, but didn’t manage to take a photo, I have never seen an albino (well, part albino) sparrer before. I wonder if he speaks Yiddish as well as Sparrish.

      I am taking a break from teejus little tasks. God bless the genius who discovered coffee.The Warehouse has free delivery this weekend, so I have ordered things like chickpeas, dogfood and dunny paper, heavy and bulky and mostly boring.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 21, 2018

        Yes she is very cute. She was in the same place two evenings ago and did that with a treat I’d put down for Sweety. Sweety looked at her, infuriated and when I put some more down there for Sweety and she poked her cute little nose out to see if she could grab it again, Sweety’s eyes flashed and she stabbed her in the head. That’s what can happen when one girl tries to steal a bit of another girl’s crumpet.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  October 21, 2018

          😀

          I was sorry to have to put bait down for the airing cupboard rat. He was a very handsome beast, and was much more afraid of me than I was of him (I was more startled than anything else) I opened the airing cupboard door and saw Rattie scooting out of sight as fast as his paws would carry him.

          I found a brazen mouse on the bird table once; completely shameless about being found eating the birds’ food. I blame the parents.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 21, 2018

            There’s a male one I sometimes see running around on the opposite bank. He’s at least twice her size, maybe bigger. Sarah here didn’t notice me the other night. When Sweety had climbed up a nearby overhanging branch to eat her treat where she could constantly also scan from high up for the serial pook murderer and fly off if necessary, Sarah here felt safe & quick enuf to come right out and start preening. I was struck by how pretty she was.

            It was getting near dusk with low light and all I could see was her little face, and at first I thought she might be a mouse, so I’d hung round to see if she came out and I could check. She might have a nest nearby. She found some wheat grains the pooks had missed.

            People do make pets of these brown rats, but they’re very destructive, and dangerous to wiring, with their constant gnawing if they get inside your walls – as one did when our bathroom was remodelled and despite my instructions the slack-arse apprentice the plumber left to do all the work left holes in the foundation unblocked. It ate straight through the filler I put there temporarily. I had to poison it, not nice.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 21, 2018

              I didn’t like the idea of killing such a good-looking young ratty, but it seems impossible to keep mice and an occasiona (very occasional) rat out of the bottom half of the airing cupboard, I did my best, being the more agile, but the buggers still come in. Not long after we moved in, we found a just dead or all but dead rat (a beautiful shade of reddish brown) in the top half. One of my good wool blankets now has a ventilation hole in it (it wasn’t until then that I realised why so many blankets have these; I thought it was moths) and my neatly folded cotton lace window frills had a hole right through. It was a repeating pattern.

              Mice, like dear Scarlet Pimpermouse, Minimus (get it ? Minimus) and Freckles seem quite harmless.

              I read that if you leave something like a potato out for mice, they won’t bother with anything else.So you may be able to keep Sam and Sarah out of the house by feeding them.

              Bessie or Bella was obligingly eating slaters, or so it appeared.Also flirting with Jeff, as Mutt was not there.

          • Gezza

             /  October 21, 2018

            Here she is again. I took this one on my 3G phone cellcam when feeding Bluey just after noon today, before I went and got my smartphone for the movie clip above. He had little Alex with him – but Alex shrieks and runs into hiding whenever it sees me. Bluey tries to let Alex know I’m not a threat with “come to me” calls, but Alex is too scared, so Bluey just eats some below me, and then takes some food to wherever Alex is hiding in the bushes about 3 metres away.

            It’s when Bluey did this that cute little Sarah here popped up over the wall again.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 21, 2018

              She is lovely and very pretty; she may be descended from pets.

              We had pet rats for years, and they were sweet. Only one out of many rats was ferocious and he, alas, had to be put down. He was kept in his place by the Chief Rat, but when Albert (no prizes for guessing what his wife was called) died, New showed his true nature. He had all the others huddled on one of the ladders that went across the cage, terrified. New was called that because it seemed impossible to give him a name. He had to be taken out with a thick glove….to the great relief of the others.

              An odd one turns up by the waterway stream and seems to dive in,

              I have only seen one weasel there; it strolled across and gave me an old-fashioned look before it vanished.

      • Gezza

         /  October 21, 2018

        Just thinking of your birds Kitty, a grey norwesterly morning turned into a gloriously sunny one by 10 am and it’s been a beautiful day in North Welly. Both Bluey and Sweety have paid me visits and Eli and Ella both got fed.

        There was a bit of panic from Bluey when I went down to the Eel Spot to summon them up. I thought Bluey and Alex had wandered off northwards, downstream, after their midday snack over the fence. They range over a considerable distance along both stream banks through the day. But Alex was actually down the bank in the foliage by the edge of the stream, about 15 metres from me, and started panicking, so Bluey came running up shrieking and threatening me & I had to quietly sweet talk him into calming down and just going back to keep Alex safe & calm, and soothing him with well-deserved praise when he did.

        Sitting down at the Eel Spot, Sweety came wandering down the opposite side from upstream while I was feeding the eels, and I pointed them both out to her, so climbed up the bank and stayed over the other side. But the interesting thing was another young male pukeko – who didn’t introduce himself – wandered down behind her and although his initial advances were politely ignored (as they should be; my girl has standards) they spent some time happily cropping away and pulling up tasty plant roots a few apart.

        The new boy wandered back upstream eventually and Sweetie carried on downstream, but I think he will be back. This is how Aspen met the family and joined it only a year ago.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  October 21, 2018

          ‘What kind of girl do you think I am?’

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 21, 2018

            Exactly. He was a perfect gentlepook throughout the encounter, though. I must say. His original enquiry as whether she might be interested was quietly polite and he seemed to understand perfectly when told they hadn’t even been properly introduced & just spent some time getting to know her. He has left his number with her and I imagine he will call again.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 21, 2018

              Oh good, I’m glad that he’s a gentlepook and not a cad with a one track mind and wandering claws.

          • Gezza

             /  October 21, 2018

            Other nice things are happening with my birds. Although I haven’t seen him yet today, I have been getting frequent visits over the past week from a tui who is a drop-dead stunning turquoise blue on his wings and lower back and who flies up in the air and dips and dives and flits about like a tiwaka between the trees.

            He’s quite quiet when he does this. I wonder if he’s been catching flying insects. I must look up what the eat.

            He’s the bluest tui I have ever seen – about 50/50 blue with black, and I know you would thoroughly approve of his beautifully-worked, delicate frilly-lace cape.

            I have some smartphone video clips but as he is often back-lit or in shade when I’ve been able to get a few seconds of video I’m not sure yet whether his blue colour has been properly captured.

            And Barney & Betty Starling gave me a wonderful demonstration of first class starlingness from quite close up this afternoon. They are really beautiful birds – their glossyiridescent feathers in the sun were flashing in various hues as they moved about.

            Very industrious, birds.They have a very methodical way of walking around constantly probing the lawn and a good hit rate on worms and grubs. I was watching them from the kitchen and was able to open the window wide & view them come quite close without their immediately flying off as they normally do if spotted being watched or there is any kind of movement.

            Today I was able to tell them apart. Barney decided to start singing for some reason during their mahi. I was blown away at the range of sounds he produced, and he has a rather nice whistling melody among them when he’s in a happy mood. And they were so close I noticed today that while they both look identical, Barney’s head – at this time of year anyway – is blacker than Betty’s.

            Betty was very busy yesterday gathering up straw-like dead grass from my lawn. She only flew away to their nest when she had accumulated a considerable quantity.

            Reply

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