We got the House!!

Yes, the news of the weekend is that on Friday the 25th May 2012 we got the keys to the house next to my Mum! We actually managed to buy a house!

When we went to pick up the keys on the Friday after work it was like an anti-climax, as we sat holding the keys we were asking our selves. ‘What next?’

Saturday was a day of setting up bills, *sigh* we are going with EDF energy, so hope they are a decent company.

I think all our family are very happy for David and I, we already have one ‘welcome to your new home’ card and my student Rachel gave  us our first house gift, a set of six coasters which are lovely 🙂

On Sunday my Mum and brother Daniel helped David and I clear out the weeds in the back yard. On the hottest day of the year, we were shovelling soil and rearranging bricks.

Before and after shots of the yard!

Though the yard will need much more work to it (the out house needs to be taken down), David and I were happy with the result.

The other news is that the Blue and Great Tits have eaten all my worms! 😦 I may buy more, but this will have to be the last! I think I should have just ordered a three kg bag of the worms to save money. I have spent neary £50 on these mealworms!!! I know where the Great Tit family are living, just over the way from me at the back of another house!

I have seen four Goldfinches visiting the sunflower hearts and also on Sunday I heard the Dunnock, though he did not eat here. 😦 The Magpies have been in the yard as well as the Pigeons. I am eager for the Blue and Great Tit young to visit.

Our Society Finches are feeling the heat! I managed to get some mite spray on Saturday so will be able to medicate them, even though they may not have mites, its best to be on the safe side!

But the biggest news of the weekend is the house! I can’t wait to decorate and make it a home!

To Buy More Worms or Not, That is the Question…

The house purchase is getting ever closer. 🙂 All that we need now is to complete the purchase and then David and I are tied to a 25 year debt! I wonder whether David and I will last together the 25 years?

This weekend I have been topping up the worm feeder five times a day! The Great and Blue Tits must be sitting somewhere close and watching, wating for me to come out with the next cup of worms to feed them. When I put a new supply of worms out, the yard is awash with activity, both Great and Blue Tit couples, (there are one of each) both flying in and snatching a worm.

I watched yesterday as the Blue Tits would rip the poor worms to pieces and then fly off with the end piece probably to give to their chicks! I do hope they will both bring their fledglings to my yard soon.

The Dunnock surprisingly visited the yard yesterday and flew off with just a seed, Ive not seen him for ages! David thought he looked like a baby, but I think he looked more dishevelled!


The Magpie frequently visits and chases all the other birds from the yard so he can hoover the remaining worms from the floor that the Tits have thrown out! The Goldfinches also visited the yard a few times to eat the sunflower hearts.

I am coming to the end of the second shipment of worms and I don’t know whether to spend another £10 on another sack of them?  What do you think I should do?

Worms are Back in Town!

My second shipment of mealworms for the wild garden birds has arrived! It has been relatively quiet of late as the Great and Blue Tits have visited the garden, saw there were no worms and left with a solitary seed feeling sorry for themselves! But today, I put some new worms out in the domed feeder and both the Great and the Blues have been in and out of the yard on several occasions, snatching a worm and eagerly guzzling the poor creature down. I noticed that a Great Tit was busily knocking back the worms for about an hour! He/she must have really missed the worm supply. The first supply indeed only lasted 2 weeks!

We have had quiet a few Goldfinch visitations of late. Yesterday evening, there were four of them all fighting for the sunflower hearts! Today I have seen a couple of Goldfinches on several occasions at the seeds.

Last Saturday David and I went to see if the Haydock pet store had any Gouldian couples. To my sadness they did not and I went home feeling rather sad that we never got any friends for Chocolate and Caramel. I think the worst thing is that I have already chosen names for the new Finches of Rainbow (male) and Aurora (female), though I doubt we will ever get them. The shop did have Owl Finches, which is another breed of Finch I would like to have one day. 🙂

Regarding our finches, Chocolate has been rather enamoured of late with the cooked egg I keep hanging in their cage. I can safely assume that she will try to lay more eggs. This will be the last time I let her lay eggs as I am not hopeful that they will be fertile. Caramel has been grooming her/his chest somewhat over the past week and I am worried that he/she has feather mites. I am looking for a good topical medicine to give to them, but all I seem to find is sprays, (you can be sure I will spray their eyes with it 😦 lol) and then drops which you put onto their back, (trying to catch our finches will be fun to see!.)  So the searching continues…

We’re Famous!

On Tuesday, coming home from a long day at work, I got an email off David with a link to the Daily Mail Online: It was an article on Lily the Red Panda and David’s pictures of her taken two years ago as she came out of the den with Lushui her mum.

Lily in 2010:

David also informed me that his pictures were to be in the Daily Mirror and the Times the very next day! I planned to get copies but nothing prepared us for what came next!

Arriving at work the next day David was met by a colleague who said that they had not only showed the article in the Daily Mirror on ITV’s Daybreak, but they had also mentioned David and I. 😀

Last year David was approached by Solent News about his Red Panda pictures on Flickr, he gave them interview details about how we got one of the first pictures of Lily and some information regarding these beautiful but endangered animals. It is well over six months since hearing from this press company who will split the proceeds 50/50 with David, and we forgot about it, until all the pictures and articles started appearing in the press. It could be two years too late for the news, as Lily is now settled at her new home in Norden’s Ark, Sweden, but it means our names will be inextricably linked to Lily’s name!

UPDATE: David has just emailed me saying the article has now gone to India! http://www.cityjournal.in/Newspaper/20120511/Cocktail/Cocktail_2.html

Pictures and articles list:

The Metro: http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/898472-cute-alert-red-panda-hugs-cub-before-it-takes-its-very-first-steps

Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2141216/Say-hello-world-Lily-baby-red-panda-ventures-time.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Daily Mirror: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/red-panda-hugs-her-cub-tightly-824878

Another Damp Squib of a Bank Holiday!

I’ll start the blog with some sad news, though news we have all been expecting. On Friday we managed to get into the Society Finch nest and have a look at the eggs. They had laid seven little eggs. On closer inspection we saw they were infertile. 😦 I was sad for the finches and for myself as I needed a little happy news. I am now almost 100% certain that we have two females, not two males as first expected. If they are of both sex then they are infertile 😦 Probably from inbred parents 😦

The mealworms I requested came the very next day after I had ordered them! I was very impressed with the speedy delivery but not with the packaging as I had expected the worms to be held in a box, they were not! They were delivered in a cardboard box and inside that they were in a sack cloth bag! How was I to keep them? On peering inside the bag I found a few of the worms were trying to climb the side of the bag to escape! lol Both Mum and I were very squeamish, luckily I had a box for my fatballs so we put breathing holes in the lid and emptied the balls and then tipped the worms into the box.

As soon as I had dished a few of the poor worms out for the birds, the Great and Blue Tits went mad for them! The only downside to using the worms is that we now have two resident Magpies coming into the yard on many occasion to sneak some worms away. Though they seem to be chasing the small birds away with their presence! 😦 Update this Tuesday the Magpies don’t seem to have chased the small birds away, the Great Tits have been in a few times seeking out the worms, I hope their young will be strong!

I have been fortunate to have seen the visiting Goldfinches of late, I just hope they will continue to visit, though I must be more vigilant before opening the back door for the dog as they are very nervous!

The Dunnock couple have been seen in and around the yard this Sunday and I am still positive that they will bring their fledglings to visit when they are grown. I simply can’t wait to see if the Blue Tits will bring their young to the yard too. 🙂

I have an impromptu day off tomorrow, so will have one eye tilted to the sky and the branches of our trees. 🙂

All out of Mealworms!

Not much to comment on the bird activity today as the weather has been so dark and depressing, and then in the afternoon the rain came again! 😦

I have seen one Goldfinch couple at the sunflower hearts today, they seem to be regularly visiting which is nice. 🙂

The news of today is that I am all out of Mealworms! The Blue and Great Tits have been going mad for them! It was been entertaining to watch them swoop down to snatch a worm and then fly off with their quarry!

Twice I have seen the Great Tit couple pass a worm onto each other. If one finds the worms first, he/she then goes to their other half and beaks the remainder of the worm to them. I think it is a lovely display of endearment. 😀 I even saw the Blue Tit couple do the same, it made me sigh an *awww*. 😀

I am also happy to report that I saw the Dunnock, with his fat tummy today, he seemed relaxed hopping about the undergrowth. 😀

The mealworms have been a roaring success! I saw a Pigeon in my caged ground feeder today, happily gobbling up the worms, and even the ingenious Magpie was spotted sneeking his beak under the cage and stealing a few worms! 😀

I have ordered a shipment of live mealworms from website: Livefood UK. People have said that they deliver the next day, so hopefully they will and the birds can get more mealworms. 😀