THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

1 July 2013

CUCKOO BABY

         

Look who I saw today on my way home in a grump about wet feet and failure to photograph any of the tens of damselflies I had been stumbling about chasing around a small patch of marsh. I'm assuming the two small birds fluttering around with it were the surrogate parents and the cuckoo was certainly squawking at them a lot. Not absolutely sure what they are as they were so far away; not even blowing up the picture can produce an absolute identification, but I suspect they are Meadow Pipits, poor things. I never expected to see this spectacle for real. Apologies for the quality of the photo!

Some other birds over the weekend:


Dancing Siskin juvenile


Grumpy looking Blackbird Juvenile


Evil looking Blue Tit with porridge nose and some more....



Over the weekend, we dropped a friend of OB's back at a 'Family Fun Day' in the village of Drewsteignton. It was not a huge affair and was somewhat lacking in self publicity. When I saw the entrance I had to laugh at its low key approach - irresistible I'm sure you'll agree:


We found this lovely frog under a tarpaulin covering some off-cuts of wood:


Two more lovely hardy geraniums are flowering in the garden:


Geranium Splish-Splash


Not sure what this one is but I love its subtle reddish purple veins and deep cut leaves

Trigger is much, much better and looking fabulously shiny in the sun. On average I'm removing two ticks from him and Snippet every day; I'm fast becoming an expert with the tweezers and the anti-clockwise twist.


The Madams aren't looking too bad either:


A few more pictures from the weekend....







As you can see from the picture above, all the foals are changing colour. Not a great look for this little one who looks like he has a serious skin condition. 

It's the school sports day tomorrow. Sport is not Origami Boy's thing. Maths, yes, but there are no prizes - no glory for maths. Usually he dreads this day but, when he got home tonight, he had the fantastic news that he is one of only two boys from his year to qualify for the high jump. Every year, he comes almost last in the sprint and feels a bit downhearted so he's absolutely delighted to have beaten all the sports stars in the school. We're really proud of him although, secretly, I'm really pleased maths is his biggest strength. Shhhhh. 

Until next time, here's a windy Snippet. 



44 comments:

  1. All your photos are lovely but how amazing to catch a young cuckoo with its foster parents. They must be run ragged by such an enormous baby!

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    1. I'm very torn over cuckoos. Important to have them but it breaks my heart seeing those poor foster parents, slightly bemused by their giant baby and barely managing to keep up with their appetite!

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  2. Amazing cuckoo photo! I think I would have got all flustered and left the cap on the lens!

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  3. I feel rather sorry for the Meadow pipets too.. best of luck for OB in the Sports Day tomorrow.

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    1. Me too - they looked shattered. High jump is at 12.45.....

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  4. I do love that first photo of Snippet, I want to add a caption of "Where did everybody go?", although that rock to the right of him looks suspiciously like a crocodile!

    Really pleased Trigger is better, he looks beautiful.

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    1. We call that rock 'the crocodile'!

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  5. Congratulations to OB! (I'm more impressed with the maths too - shhh)
    The rocks in your area are fabulous! We have the wind-swept plains, but no rocks.

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    1. Half the appeal of the high jump is calculating the heights....

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  6. PS - so glad Trigger is better. He and the Madams look great!

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  7. Goodness I had to look up cuckoos what evil birds.
    Love the photos of Snippet surveying his kingdom.

    cheers, parsnip

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  8. When I look at your moor photos, I want to transport myself into them. Meanwhile, they are the next best thing. Love the windswept-Snippet-on-a-tor photo. Trigger is looking well and I presume he is sound again now too. I hope OG wins the high jump. That used to be my speciality (I was good at it from years of "show jumping" in the back garden . . .)

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    1. I used to do show jumping in the back garden too, with a hobby horse clamped between my legs! Somewhere, there is a picture of me doing it. I must look it out and scan it. I had my riding hat on for the occasion!

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  9. Hi how wonderful for you to have come across the Cuckoo and its parents and to have taken its photo. Not an easy task. Well done. Loved all the other photos. Margaret

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    1. Complete fluke Margaret and, if I hadn't seen a cuckoo before, I wouldn't have recognised it in flight from a distance. I don't seem to be able to find your blog by the way. Can you send me a link or put the address on here?

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    2. www.birdingforpleasure.blogspot.com

      Hope you can find it. If not email at margaretadamson@mail.com Blogger is playing up on me as any replies I make and I used to reply to every comment, but now they are ALL disappearing. Yesterday, some of my comments to another blogger were put in his spam bin by blogger!!! Margaret

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  10. Go OB!!! Fly tomorrow!!

    A beautiful shot of Trigger, and also the first of Snippet looking shiny and brushed ... was it just the direction the wind was blowing??

    I couldn't work out which foot had been the problem - is the hole completely healed? I do hope so.

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    1. Just the wind direction I think! No amount of brushing does any good I'm afraid.

      The hole in the hoof is still there. I'm flushing it out every day and spraying stuff in it and taping it. Packing it just made him lame again so I've given that up. Today I haven't used the tape so we'll see how it goes. I'm not looking forward to it growing out as it's going to come right to the front and will probably result in a big split. Hoof trimmer is coming in about three weeks so that should be good timing.

      Will pass on your shouts to OB this afternoon!

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    2. Shouldn't your farrier be able to make a special shoe that will hold it all together until it grows out completely? I saw a photo of something that looked more like a very fancy boot than a plain crescent of metal.

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    3. He has never worn shoes so whatever is done can't involve metal. I'm hoping we'll be able to rasp it out enough to stop splitting too badly. The duct tape has been quite impressive! This morning, when I flushed it out, I was quite impressed at how much shallower it is, almost as if it's growing faster within the hole. Perhaps that's just wishful thinking but I don't think so. Keeping everything crossed.

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  11. I love the way you always finish your posts with a shot of Snippet - I particularly like this breezy one.
    I always feel sorry for birds landed with a cuckoo - I think meadow pipits are the most common aren't they? Super photos of baby birds altogether.

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    1. The sight of the Pipits yesterday just sitting there, exhausted, at a slight distance from their huge shouting 'baby' made me feel a bit tearful to be honest. Their dedication is admirable yet pitiful.

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  12. What an amazing pic of the Cuckoo and 'parents'. I've never seen a young Cuckoo with their poor new parent birds in the wild. I'm glad Trigger is much better, too. And my friend's son is very good at maths and high jump, too - so perhaps there is a connection!

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    1. It's very possible....something about the numerical increments perhaps?

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  13. I've never seen a cuckoo baby before either- v jealous, well done getting the pic. Loved the creamy flower too.

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    1. Just amazing luck being in the right place at the right time!

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  14. Echoing everyone else, fancy finding a cuckoo babe as they rarer and rarer you are lucky, and all the other photos are fabulous as well of course;) Trigger looks in fine fettle. Friend has just emailed that there have been many more bites from adders on Bodmin Moor this year, do you have them around your way?

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    1. We do but I haven't sen one this year. I forgot to mention on this post that I saw my first lizard yesterday. I wasn't quick enough with the camera and it scuttled away but I'm so relieved that there are some out there. There was a picture of an adder in one of my early posts which, having just looked back, was around this time of year: http://dartmoorramblings.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/trigger-is-coming-home-and-live-adder.html.

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  15. Trigger and the Madams look wonderful!

    It's been a terrible season for ticks here. So much rain and the bugs have gone into overkill. Carter is finding a lot of ticks on the horses and I have found several on him.

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    1. I absolutely hate ticks - I found one crawling up my leg the other day and caught it before it started burrowing - YUCK!

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  16. Clapping wildly ...love all these photos ! A cuckoo baby ~ what an extra treat.

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    1. I love the idea of you clapping wildly.....it made me smile on a rather stressful morning!

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  17. Trigger looks great, such a shiny coat. I know what you mean about ticks this year, we've had them since May, and I'm squashing them between my nails when I see the flat ones on me. The tick twister is great but it takes a few goes to get the technique just right. Love the blue tit with a beak full of porridge. The low key fun day photo...now that made me giggle.

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    1. I had to suppress those giggles in the face of local opposition. No ticks today!

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  18. Woweee! What a sight. Nature is such a weird and intriguing thing! Snippet sounds like a well behaved doggy to allow tick removal! My pup would never in a million years allow that!

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    1. He knows he gets a treat afterwards if he holds still!

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  19. Wonderful to see the cuckoo fledgling - have only ever seen once in Herefordshire being fed by a dunnock!

    Great news re: OB and being picked for the high jump. Can empathise with how you and OB feel. David my son was very good academically at school but absolutely awful at sports! We used to say exactly the same thing about no prizes for being good at English, Maths etc. but huge fuss over excelling on sports field. I remember once he was so chuffed to win the egg and spoon race!! He's 26 now and just learnt to ride a bike - have to admit to feeling rather proud of him as he has always struggled so much over mastering physical things. Good luck to OB :)

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  20. I've been campaigning for maths prizes for years now! It really isn't fair and almost every modern children's book and telly program goes on about how boring maths is. Then the government complains that not enough children are interested or good enough at maths and science. Congratulations to your son on his bike mastering!

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  21. I've had a soothing 20 minutes catching up with your posts. I start by thinking the bird photos are the best; then I come along to the ones of flowrs, insects, ponies, and I can't choose a favorite. I think I'd like to put on my boots and walk your moors.
    My PC is behaving very badly so won't try to comment on the other posts, but they are appreciated.

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    1. Thanks MM - I'm struggling to keep up with everyone at the moment and as for the summer holidays coming up, I think my evenings will be full of reading!

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