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"Little Sister Is Watching You"


I try as often as I can to take daily pictures of wild life from my kitchen window. Surprising how enjoyable it can be sharing a natter with the wife at the same time drinking a nice cup of tea and a few bikkies and at the same time discussing what bird was that. Often have the little granddaughter standing on a step pretend washing up in the sink with the wife. The little girl will be 3 in March but already learning the name’s of birds including “That Blooming Robin Again.”
When my wife and I both worked I often finished work first so use to get on doing my share of the housework, hoovering, cooking and even ironing. Perhaps I’m old fashioned and believe a marriage works both ways. I knew blokes who deemed it okay for the husband to finish work when he clocked off but okay for the wife to clock off at her workplace then carry on working when she got home. Sit down together when you both can, I’d be lost without my Linda now, perhaps with a carer and the first to admit it. Best 40 years and 9 months that I’ve had. 40 years 2 month married and 7 months before we married.
Today I add more pictures taken of birds as they arrived for their feed. I found that most wait until I have swept the old seed up and change the water. I rattle the feed tin before sprinkling on the path and lawn for the ground feeder. Before I can close the door the Coal Tit darts to the fat feeder before the Robin has had chance to notice.

The said fat feeder.

Another Coal Tit lands on the path. There are usually two that visit me on a daily visit. They always arrive from the same direction, my neighbour’s very tall leylander trees. I find that even birds of the same species have their own preferences . One prefers the fat feeder the other prefers the feed on the ground. When they have both fed they head back to their sheltering leylander tree.

Next the wagtail, do any of you know why but I only ever see these in the garden during the winter months always hanging around the water dish, often sitting on the rim just staring at the water or their good reflected looks

Little Sister Taking Stock

Checking on the feed

Hmm!! Don’t know what the fuss is about this Nijar Seed_

Everything okay, so will clock off duty until my afternoon shift.

What The Heck! A Monster Coming Over The Hill
I’m aiming at 2 birds in the bush , a shadow crosses my eye and a squirrel makes way to have a nosey at me.

Chavvy Chaff

Miss Blackbird comes to town

Savvy Dunnock meets a Wag.

Woody say hello too.

My feet are getting a bit smelly!. Amazing how birds have adapted their feet as two hands and the beak as a thumb
Ever brought or made the wrong size suet balls for those squirrel proof suet ball feeders. I was forever cutting them in half to fit the I had and idea. I gently softened some suet balls in the Microwave then added to an old preheated saucepan. I’m not allowed to cook when alone in the house so Lin always watches over me but I do practice new methods to see if it would be feasibly safe to cook when at home alone. I put the cooker ring on to heat up then turned it off before placing the saucepan onto the switched off ring. I move the saucepan then repeat the process. That way the power is always off when the saucepan is on the ring. I have tried leaving a stew on once as the pan cooled down and the stew we were cooking never burnt (I once had a mini-stroke when I was frying food. Luckily my wife arrived home from work early that day and made things safe. I had managed to switch off the main cooker switch. I had to spend a week in the stroke clinic after that episode)
That was bit long winded so back to the idea of mine as shown in the following photos:

I tightly cling film the out side of the central feeding tube leaving one end open

I add the softened suet balls with the addition of some lard and meal worms and bacon fat and bird feed and rolled porridge oats to a heated saucepan, then proceed to gently stir on the switched off hot cooker ring.

When soft enough (not so hot as to melt the cling film) I carefully fill the central cling filmed tube. Gently tamp down the feed by gently tapping the tube onto the upturned washing bowl. You will notice I have used a blue carrier bag. This is to keep your drains free of fat and nut and can also be used as wrap when cooling down in the fridge or freezer.

Showing the wrapped feeder prior to cooling. Note how clean the up turned bowl is

When fat ingredients are hard enough remove from fridge/freezer, discard the carefully removed blue bag and cling film and re-assemble the Suet Roll Feeder

Hang the Newly Named Suet Roll Feeder With Squirrel Guard
down the opposite end of the hedge line. This will give the other smaller birds a chance to avoid confrontation with the resident Robin. The proof of the pudding is in the eating so soon as I get a photo I will post for you.

Yes! The Suet Roll Feeder method worked. Thank you Mr Coal tit.

Bottoms Up!! Last drink of the Day

A Polite message to young and old. Going back to the late 70s I was still enjoying my new vocation as a dustman after serving for a few years in the Royal Air Force as a Cook.
One cold February morning I went to the back of a house to collect the rubbish from the dustbin ( before black bags and wheelie bins). As I was lifting the lid off the bin I heard a cry for help. I thought that I said that without moving my lips. I heard the cry again and looking down the garden I made out some slippered stocking legs and feet. I went to investigate and found a lady in her 80s but I was unable to lift her as being polite she must have had to much breakfast that day so I had to call my fellow dustcart crew members to assist. Luckily the local GP was just down the road from the poor dear so they soon took over the care of the lady. The elderly lady was a fond bird lover and always fed the birds her scraps from her mealtime plates. This day and I bet a lot of us have done it, she pops outside with the plate, no coat and still donning indoor slippers. Well the slippers lived up to their name. She slipped and fell in between a 2 rows of old and tall brussel sprout stems and could not get up. It was only me hearing her that stopped her freezing to death as she lived by herself. So please for the sake of a couple of minutes, dress in the correct foot ware and clothing before venturing out side to feed your birds and wild life. If alone I always arrange for a close neighbour or friend to ring if the wife is out just to check.

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What a lovely blog Tommy, very much enjoyed it, it is cold and frosty up here today but very bright and still, can see the birds from my window. Take care Tommy Spring is just around the corner.

16 Jan, 2012


What a fabulous blog Tommy,you've got some good shots there of the wild life.keep up the good work. :o))

16 Jan, 2012


Such lovely photos, and a great idea for the squirrel proof feeders.

16 Jan, 2012


My mother slipped and dislocated her shoulder for exactly the reason you highlight, so well warned.
Good idea for the fat feeder and an interesting blog as ever, Tommy.

16 Jan, 2012


Very interesting blog Tommy and your photo`s are really good, the Pied Wagtail only ever visits my garden when the weather is really bad, other times he`s always on the footpaths and roadways, always see them in the retail carpark as well.
You look after your feathered friends very well and your rewards are very clear as shown in the pics, thankyou for sharing, adding to my favs..

16 Jan, 2012


Lovely blog Tomy, a pleasure to read. Take care. Sheila X

16 Jan, 2012


Enjoyed reading this blog Tommy, we still have a heavy frost here in Newcastle so I have been busy making fat cake's for the bird's they are really hungry, do you use live meal worm's in your mix? I also soaked some raisin's for them which went down well :-)

16 Jan, 2012


It's absolutely freezing here in Sunderland too Mavis ... brrrr

16 Jan, 2012


Lovely blog Tommy . OH says that the 7/6p that he spent on the marriage licence was the best that he ever spent !

16 Jan, 2012


That is my home town Sheilar,I was born and brought up just outside of Sunderland :-)

16 Jan, 2012


Whereabout Mavis?

16 Jan, 2012


Penshaw, Sheilar, I came to Newcastle to work ,met and married my now ex husband and have been here now for about 30 year's :-)

16 Jan, 2012


I live in Fulwell, about ten minutes from the beach

16 Jan, 2012


I recall Fulwell is that where the Windmill is ,was there a hospital nearby?

16 Jan, 2012


Yes, there is a restored windmill in Fulwell and yes, there is a hospital in Newcastle Road, near the windmill. Small world eh?

16 Jan, 2012


Hello Mavis, I used the dried mealworms. THe RSPCB had a special offer of ten large resealable pouches for ten quid. I brought them and they are lasting well. I do soak a few in warm water to reconstitute them. That way the birds are getting liquid.
Hello Driad, I thought 7s:6d was the price for a dog licence .
Even a fishing licence was that price. 37and a half pence. Best thing you can buy with that is a 2nd class stamp to keep in touch with old friends. Do any of you remember 1d to spend a penny. How much is it these days?
Hope that you are keeping well Sheilar.
Thank you Lincslass. Yes Ojibway93 so easy to have a mishap. Freezing here at he moment Cazcat and I've heard that we have worse to come from next weekend. It's so nice checking your avatar names and try to guess how you named yourselves. Hi Tulsalady 26 were you a fan of 24 hours from Tulsa and Gene Pitney?. Hello Alextb I like the colours of the bird on your head but can't quite make out, is it a budgerigar. Thanks for your nice comment too.

17 Jan, 2012


Hi Tommy you are a clever lad , got it right first time, what a great singer he was.:0))

17 Jan, 2012


Another great blog Tommy.

Good tip about wearing proper footwear. I'm ashamed to say that I sometimes pop out to the garden with undone shoe laces. An accident waiting to happen I suspect. It won't happen again - promise.

17 Jan, 2012


I am quite obedient ( but not often ) !

17 Jan, 2012


Woof! Woof! Driad My obedience is called perpetual earache ............
Talk about practice what you preach Frybo, I went to the garage to to help my wife find something, I knocked a small bag of loose spuds over and it must have been the largest spud in the bag but it found my big toe. I looked down to find myself wearing a pair of slippers.
What a stupid wally I am.........

Glad I was spot on Tulsalady 26..

17 Jan, 2012


Yes, I wear slippers in the garden too Tommy, silly I know. Great blog as always and I will certainly try the clingfilm tip. Thank you.

17 Jan, 2012


Hi Ginellie I was quite surprised how well the cling film worked, I was worried in case I over heated the suet so I nearly tried foil wrap instead. I have seen birds using now so I'm happy my time and effort was not wasted. Thanks for your nice comment. Love your little dog. Is it a King Charles?

17 Jan, 2012


Yes Tommy she is indeed a Cavalier King Charles. A rescue dog from Battersea, I've had her for nearly 7 years now. She is a real sweetheart. When I got her people said how lucky she is, but I'm the lucky one to have her.

18 Jan, 2012

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