Saturday, 22 January 2011

Seasonal Garden Visitors

Having  had such a brilliant year on the apple front, I find I still have more than enough supplies to keep the local blackbird population well fed through the winter months. It's vital to sort through your stash of apples during the cold months and remove any damaged or rotting fruit immediately - the well known saying about one bad apple spoiling the whole barrel is well known for a reason. Garden birds will be more than grateful for these at this time of the year. I find it's a good idea to put them in two or three different places in the garden as blackbirds can be very territorial and the strongest will chase away the weaker ones, but even the most dominant bird can only be in one place at a time, so others get to enjoy the bounty too. 

I think of pheasants as mostly seed eaters, but this hen pheasant came into the garden this morning drawn in by the apple bonanza apparently.

But as I was standing at the kitchen sink yesterday, absent mindedly washing some dishes, I was astounded to see two, yes that's  not one but two, foxes stroll along the fence line and cool as cucumbers, out onto the lawn directly in front of the window I was looking out of. Whilst foxes are common in urban gardens these days, it's very unusual to see them at such close quarters around here. Of course I was outraged at their audacity since I spend half my life trying to think of ways to outfox foxes, and after watching them for a minute, I opened the door and let Mo chase them off at high speed and in great excitement. Sadly I didn't have my camera to hand.  I've never seen two foxes together before, certainly not six feet away from me, but having read on John Gray's blog Going Gently, that January is the month when foxes usually find mates, I wonder whether these two were a prospective breeding pair - they certainly seemed to have something other than safety on their minds anyway.


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