All Quiet On The Preston Front*

In a fruitless trip to the toilet at the end of the ward, the tube from my drip somehow gets entwined around it’s stand like some macabre maypole. The wheels on the stand must have been transplanted from a shopping trolley – they have a mind of their own. As I shuffle round in circles in an attempt to untangle it the night-shift nurse wryly comments: ‘I see that you’re getting on well with your dance partner’. Later, I cleverly circumvent that problem by accidentally ripping the cannula from the back of my hand. In the half-darkness of the ward and disorientating aftermath of surgery I’m initially horrified: has my inability to pee been supplanted by incontinence? It takes a moment to realise that the dampness on my legs is blood and saline solution.**

I’ve been under the knife again. Now I’m confined to barracks. It seems to me that this year my ‘bounds’ have spread a little wider – I’ve been exploring the Kent, getting out on the hills more often. Now my radius of activity has dwindled to almost nothing, a handful of stations around which I rotate as comfort and energy dictate – bed, TV couch, computer, bath. I have been able to catch up with my blog reading, and leave a few more comments than usual. But walks are out of the question.

At the weekend TBH filled up all of our bird feeders and watching the visitors to those has been an excellent diversion. Over the week something of a routine has been established. Early in the morning, when I tiptoe downstairs for painkillers, a wood pigeon has the feeder and a pheasant picks up the scraps…

Soon the wood pigeon is supplanted by…

…an acrobatic and voracious grey squirrel.

Here s/he has spotted an interloper in the shrubs below, which was quickly chased away.

Once the squirrel has had it’s fill it relinquish’s its post to the smaller garden birds. Unlike the wood pigeon and the squirrel, these tend to stay only very briefly. I have several photos of an empty swinging feeder when I have missed the nuthatch which has visited several times. Goldfinches seem to visit in pairs, but even so this is the best I have managed…

I’ve watched chaffinches…

..exchanging food, a male passing on seeds on to a female, presumably to be passed on in turn to fledglings in a nest somewhere close by?

I’ve been quite surprised to see robins together too, they’re normally so aggressively territorial. They don’t dwell on the feeders though…

So I have action shots…

This bird…

..sat still and let me take several pictures. A juvenile dunnock?

Bullfinches are always in pairs. But I’ve only captured the male, seen here by a small water feature which is much more a draw than our bird bath…

It may be some time before ‘normal service’ resumes. Until then I shall be needing my fix of Challenge and LEJOG bloggers, walkers and gawkers, backyard naturalists….

 

*I know this pun has been used before. But I like it. And we are quite near Preston.

** Sorry to Ken at Fatdogwalks for the plagiarism, the format was just what I seemed to need.

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All Quiet On The Preston Front*

8 thoughts on “All Quiet On The Preston Front*

  1. fatdogwalks says:

    Not only do you steal my style you upstage my minor back complaint with surgery (lol)! Nobody warned me blogging would be like this.

    Hope things are sorted out and it’s not long before you’re out and about again Mark. That’s a pretty good set of photos for someone with a restricted walking range. Great variety of birdies.

    We live in the middle of a modern housing estate and have a very small back garden so our widlife is fairly limited . On the plus side we have nesting pairs of blackbirds and sparrows in the ivy on the back fence, a resident robin, transient magpies, occassional bluetits and a tree rat that appears now and again to raid the bird feeders.

    PS Great introduction to this piece – classic last line.

    Take care.

  2. Hiya Mark,
    Sorry to hear you are resting the clogs for a bit. All the best for a speedy return to Birkitt-bagging form.
    I reckon that Bullfinch on the rock is posing in homage to Sir Ranulph Fiennes conquering Everest.
    Like the Robins too – second one has something of the conjuror about him, about to produce a bunch of flowers from under his whirling cloak.
    Thanks for the tip off about holly flowers, by the way. I have never noticed them before, so popped down to a local churchyard where there was a tree loaded with berries last winter and found it smothered in blossom – attractive flowers up close.
    Take care.

  3. loren says:

    I enjoyed the bird shots since many aren’t seen in America, though we have similar birds,

    It’s also delightful to hear the British names for birds.

  4. Your intro brought back quite a few memories. As they say: been there, done that, got the T shirt 🙂 Wishing you a speedy, full recovery.

    Great pictures of your local bird visitors. I noticed that the Pheasant has thrown down the gauntlet. I wonder what the challenge is.

  5. beatingthebounds says:

    Thank you all for your kind comments.
    The photos were all taken from my seat here by the computer Ken.
    Hopefully, I’ll be up and about again soon.

  6. I’ve been reading your entries ‘backwards’. I thought there were fewer than I expected.
    Sorry to hear of your problems, but it sounds as if you are on the mend.
    My own entries, post Dales Way, are similarly affected due to a minor op on Wednesday. (Not mentioned on my blog as it would ‘worry mother’.)
    You have more birds than we do, and I find flowers easier as they don’t move so fast!
    Get well soon.
    Martin

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