24 May 2013


These birds need to learn some table manners!

I think Woody wins the prize for the muckiest eater. When we lived down in the town, we used to see many Collared Doves but had never seen one up here. I used to be very snooty about these 1950's imports but was actually quite excited to see our first rather windswept one yesterday:

Some other birds this week:

We've had mist this week:

A new foal H:

Isaac stretching:

Ferns are unfurling............slowly:

Foal B:

The fresh green of the new Beech leaves looks beautiful against everything:

A walk with Trigger:


It's half term next week so I'll be doing a lot ferrying again. Pretty soon I'll be moaning that I don't see enough of him so I'm not complaining. I hope you all have a great weekend. I'll be sitting on our home made bench with the camera pointed at the nest-box as much as I can, trying to get Nuthatch shots that aren't totally blurry. For some reason, it's refusing to focus on them as they come out of the hole or sit on top with a beak full of insects. Many, many failed attempts so far I can tell you. Until next time, here's Snippet careering about as usual.


  1. You post the most wonderful, clear close-up of birds. It is like I can just reach out and touch them.
    Hey, you try eating mush/oatmeal (?) with chopsticks (beaks) and see what happens.
    I think they are all super cute.

    I can't e-mail you so here is the info if you want it.
    Fahrneys Pens
    Platinum 3776 Shoji limited edition
    Pilot Prera FP Green

    cheers, parsnip

  2. Fantastic pics Em. You do live in a very beautiful place. But what on earth have you been feeding those birds?! It looks like rice pudding... CT x

  3. Wow, those birds really are messy eaters, but it looks like they are enjoying every mouthful.

    It's so nice to see everything coming out green and fresh and new, if a little slow. Has been cold here, bet it must be on the moor - hope Trigger enjoyed his walk. Love the look of the new foal, I'd call him Bow...the pattern looks like one {laugh}. Have a great weekend and strength for half term! :)

  4. Parsnip - Thank you for the info. They do sell them on ebay but the postage is more than the pens!

    CT - It's oats, sunflower oil, a bit of cous-cous and boiling water, left to steep for about five hours.....yum!

    Ann - Bow's a great name. I've not seen it standing up yet so I don't know the sex but Bow would fit either. Thank goodness it's not another dark, featureless one!

  5. I have thing for birds (I'm a retired wildlife rehabber)so got just a wee bit excited..but then HOLY MOLY..there's a magpie!!! My favourite British bird..I'm the sad person watching a British program and listening our for magpies in the background.
    Jane x

  6. I do love those foals..
    Our woodpeckers are getting almost frantic in their activity. They must have chicks.. here's hoping. I was planning a bit of a stakeout tomorrow too.

  7. It's so interesting seeing some of the same birds we have (magpie, downy woodpecker, finch, European collared dove) so far away.

  8. Em, the photos are wonderful - aren't the colours gorgeous. And Bow looks a sturdy little number, I hope s/he does well. Does Trigger enjoy the scenery, or is it the different menu that excites him?

    Enjoy half term - you're right, they grow independent all too soon.

    Thanks for the photos

  9. Wonderful photos. Song birds are lovely little creatures, but they certainly aren't dainty eaters! The foals are gorgeous and I hope all goes well with the Nuthatches.

  10. Messy eaters are very welcome at our bird feeders Em because they leave plenty on the floor for those birds who don't care to go on the feeders.
    We have a pair of collared doves nesting in the Scots pines but they are so bad at building nests that the eggs keep dropping through on to the ground.

  11. Wonderful photos as always :) I do love your bird close-ups and the photos of Snippet, Dartmoor and the foals are great :)

    We used to get collared doves all the time here but in the past years we only get rare visits. The decrease in our sightings seems to co-incide with the increase in the numbers of wood and feral pigeons visiting garden. Not sure if there is a link?

    Good luck with the nuthatch photos!

  12. Love your pictures! Those birds sure are messy eaters! Great to see the moor coming to life isn't it? Seems late this year but every year it is such a pleasure to see the new foals and green start to appear, a very special place :-)

  13. J&C -Hello and welcome. Lovely to have you. I often read your comments on John's blog and am really enjoying yours. I'll try and keep the magpies coming for you.

    Rusty D - Good luck with that stake out. No luck for me today....too much over engineered carpentry work going on close to the nest box....a cold frame this time, with plastic infill made of a huge plastic bag with giant letters saying 'THE FUTON SHOP'. Classy.

    Terry - The collared dove seems to have migrated everywhere from what I read, sometimes with not very positive results!

    Virginia - Always the menu I'm afraid; the scenery does little but freak him out having grown up in riding school environments.

    Wendy - It's so funny watching them gobble it all up. When I clink the bowl once I've laid it out, there is an immediate sound of flapping tiny wings as they fly in from all directions.

    Weaver - That's a very good point although we've been too mean to buy a feeder and they can just land and munch. I'm surprised the doves have flourished given what you say about their nests!

    RR - I don't know about that either but we don't get pigeons either. Having said that, they are around in the shelter belt a few hundred yards away so they could be seeing them off.

    3M's - I saw the first Tormentil today. Last year it was already all over the moor by the end of March. No Bedstraw yet at all so I thinnk the very few flowers out there will all be happening together.

  14. Wow, those birds are messy eaters but your photos of them are fantastic!!!
    All your photos are.

  15. Absolutely gorgeous bird photos! I love the one of the Magpie looking back over the shoulder. The other photos are wonderful too!

    Great to see all the foals and the beautiful Moor.

    I don't take many Dove photos as we are over run with them!!!

  16. I watch birds all the time, and other than throwing seed every which way, I had no idea they could be such messy eaters!

    It's good to see the change in your corner of the world, and I think it's beautiful in any season because you capture the life and spirit of the place you call home so beautifully!!

    I hope you've had a restful and good day!

  17. HappyOne - Thank you and yes, very messy!

    Gail - Oh dear....I'm beginning to feel some relief at their absence!

    Kim - I had a very restful day - Thank you. Why does a restful day make you feel so tired though? Probably the lack of adrenalin coursing through the veins!

  18. Glad I am not the only messy eater here

  19. I'm sure that's not true John...


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