I Found A Common Toad Hiding Behind My Shed

Introduction

During the 39 years I’ve lived at this house I have seen several frogs and toads passing through the garden. I was never able to say any actually lived here. Well now (6th October 2017) I’ve found a Common Toad hiding behind my shed and living here. Continue reading “I Found A Common Toad Hiding Behind My Shed”

Give Dog Tablets Wrapped In Pastrami

DISCLAIMER: I made a unilateral decision to give dog tablets wrapped in pastrami when I administer tablets to my dog. So far there haven’t been any ill effects.

Before attempting what I have done here you should consult your veterinary for advice. I take no responsibility for any harm caused to other animals by using this method. If you don’t like it don’t do it.

Introduction

give dogs tablets
Worming Tablet

If you have ever tried to give medicine to an animal you’ll appreciate how hard it can be to give dog tablets to a dog. Our dog Leo (a Border Collie) is required to take two worming tablets every three months. These are large as tablets go. Large enough to be shaped like a bone. My wife offered one to him. He sniffed it and walked away.

Why aren’t they supplied inside some meaty treat to encourage a dog to just woof them down?

Continue reading “Give Dog Tablets Wrapped In Pastrami”

Pine Martens Are Saving The Red Squirrel

Introduction

I found an article in The Telegraph entitled, “Red squirrels are fighting back against the greys, experts claim.” It implies pine martens are saving the red squirrel as well as a grey squirrel trapping program. That was introduced to reduce the grey population and give the reds a chance of survival.

The red squirrel shown in the featured image was seen in Doxford, Northumberland.

Pine Martens To The Rescue

Pine Marten Are Saving The Red Squirrel
A Scottish Pine Marten

Apparently predatory pine martens are saving the red squirrel (see image above) as they are inclined to eat grey squirrels which they find nice and plump. The pine marten can catch the grey because they move slowly. This has been found in a study of red squirrels in Northern Ireland where the pine marten isn’t so rare as first thought.

Goldfinches Eating Nyjer Seed? Yes

Cleaning My Feeder

Spring 2014 is on the way and I want to see goldfinches eating nyjer seed again. So after a wet winter I have cleaned my bird feeders. I’ve only had a Nyjer Seed feeder for two years and have kept it out during both winters. I might not do that next winter since the rain soaks into them through the feeding holes and ruins the Nyjer seeds below the top perches of the feeder. Some start to grow, the rest rot and go mouldy. Any goldfinches that come along can’t eat the seed and in the end it’s just wasted. Above the perches it stays dry so it can be salvaged. In my case I separated the good seed and made sure it was dry by spreading it out on a dustpan in the sunshine.

I completely dismantled my feeders for mixed seed and nyjer seed and washed all the parts in soapy water and then reassembled them when dry.

Here is a good article about feeding nyjer seed to goldfinches from East Lansing, Michigan, USA.

Continue reading “Goldfinches Eating Nyjer Seed? Yes”

Fieldfares Visited Alvaston Derby In January 2013

Fieldfare – Turdus pilaris – a member of the thrush family.

When Fieldfares visited Alvaston Derby I was ready with my camera.

On 22nd January 2013 Fieldfares visited Alvaston Derby where I saw them. First I saw them in my garden and later in my friend’s across the road in the same street. Fieldfares migrate to England in winter from northern Europe but this was my first sighting of them. It was a bad winter in early 2013 So I’m sure they came looking for food.

Here are some pictures of one sitting in the snow on my lawn. It was very good of the fieldfare to stay settled for quite some time while I took these pictures and a video: Continue reading “Fieldfares Visited Alvaston Derby In January 2013”

I Held a Young Goldfinch Today. It Was Stunning.

Introduction

young goldfinch
An Adult Goldfinch Feeding On Nyjer Seeds

What a wonderful experience. I wish I had taken a photo. I looked out of my lounge window and a young goldfinch was resting on my patio within 0.5m of the window. It didn’t attempt to fly off so I went outside. I knelt down on the ground and got within 0.5m of it. It was trying to sleep with its head resting over its back. Its wings were neatly folded so I thought it looked OK and not damaged.

Continue reading “I Held a Young Goldfinch Today. It Was Stunning.”

My New Bird Bath

My Old Bird Bath

For some while I have been using a white rectangular butcher’s meat tray as a bird bath during freezing winter months and dry summer months when birds need access to fresh water. It has rested either on the ground, or on a garden seat, or on top of a large Victorian plant pot when the summer flowers have died back. The stark whiteness of the tray and the depth of water (10cm) have, I think, put birds off. The only ones I have seen using it have been occasional blackbirds. Also I feel they need it near the ground but not actually on it.

Continue reading “My New Bird Bath”