Yeah, You And Whose Army?

Fizz has been having a few problems with the livestock today, I’ll tell you about that in a minute. The day starts with feeding the animals.

It’s probably best not to mention what Fizz had for breakfast, that might have been what started her off.

BreakfastEven before Fizz gets fed and before it gets light, the early bird gets the worm.

European RobinThe Robin tried to land on my arm last night but it was getting dark and I didn’t see her coming, so suddenly there was a lot of fluttering as she tried to perch on my arm and taken by surprise, I moved my head quickly and I think that I said, “Hello” and I scared her off. This morning we were friends again.

There have been a couple of notable birds on the feeder this week. Long-tailed Tits have been here for the last few days. They don’t visit very often so it is nice to see them.

Long tailed titThey arrive in small flocks and feed together. I have counted eight of them on the peanut feeder at the same time and you can hardly see the feeder for feathers. A very beautiful little bird.

Long tailed titThere was also a Woodpecker on the feeder today. I haven’t seen a woodpecker since the little ones fledged last summer so I am hoping that she will start visiting regularly again.

Goldfinches are back in their charms. They disappeared late in the summer when the thistle seed appeared but they will stay here now.

Then it was time to feed the Sheep. They have really taken to this idea of being fed and when they see me they come running, it doesn’t matter if I have got food or not, I might just be taking the Dog for a walk.

This is a rubbish, short video but you will get the picture.

I cut the video so short because the camera was shaking, I wasn’t scared, just common sense really.

SheepThey are eating pellets, well it says “Sheep Food” on the sack that I get them from.

They are all enjoying their food except for that white one at the front, that one is always focused on me. I think that this must be the Bull Sheep (if there is such a thing). It is the one that I observed in my last post and it is always in front and always the first to approach me.

Bull SheepAs Fizz would say, “Remember this face.”

The BullIt says she is number 00127 on the green tag but I just call her “The Bull.”

So I went back and fed the birds some more and played with Fizz in the garden. Then I was cold so I went and got some breakfast and coffee.

Then it was time to walk the Dog.

Remember that I said it doesn’t matter if I have got food or not, they come running when they see me.

That ArmyOh! That army. Col! They’ve got an army.

You can stop that.

Bull SheepThe Bull is interested in my Dog as well as me.

Well, I rescued Fizz from the Sheep and we had a nice walk and a game of ball, on the way to the woods to check the trail camera.

Fizz

FizzNow I would like to have some kind of reference to nature in my blog posts. There is not going to be a wildflower bit at the end of this post because I have been having major problems with my new operating system. It is fixed now but it took me all day yesterday and I am behind.

One little nature observation though…

Wild ArumWild Arum, Arum maculatum is coming into leaf everywhere. We won’t see the spathe until April, it spends a long time as a leaf but it is still nice to see another little sign of spring.

Wild Arum

Wild ArumThings are not going well up in the woods. The camera has been out for four nights and all we have seen are Foxes.

This is a very nice Fox but I have watched 150 videos of Foxes and I wouldn’t mind seeing something else.

That was just one video that I more or less picked at random. It has a nice atmospheric sound track.

As we walked back to the farm we could see them all waiting for us.

The GuantletIt was time to run the gauntlet once again.

SheepThere were familiar faces in the crowd.

Face in the crowdI think that I better lock the door tonight when I go to bed πŸ™‚

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51 thoughts on “Yeah, You And Whose Army?”

  1. Sheep really are interesting, although they really are a bunch of scaredy-cats. They’re not much trouble at all unless it is lambing season. Otherwise, you just keep an eye out for them in case they get caught in a fence. ;

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    1. Thanks Sandi πŸ™‚ It was a good idea. Around nine o’clock last night Fizz started kicking up all kinds of fuss, barking and growling, I have never heard her growl before. The farmhouse is empty (apart from me) So I grabbed a torch and went down to investigate.Whatever it was it wasn’t Human, a Human would just have hit me on the head with a lead pipe and stolen the farmer’s shotgun. Whatever it was, it ran away. Good job I have a guard dog πŸ™‚ (Don’t worry, it might just have been a Fox or Wolves or something like that)

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  2. I’ve never seen a long-tailed tit before. Maybe it’s not here in the US? I so enjoy seeing those sheep, especially their overnight training that here comes the human with the food! The horses on my walk are the same anticipating a soggy carrot or two. Lovely post.

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    1. Thank you Becky πŸ™‚ You will never get on our nerves, it is a great honour to receive a nomination. I recommend that anybody who does participate in the awards check out Restart urgently needed. Becky writes about being a child in a time of war. It isn’t always an easy read but she writes it very well. It is something that we all need to know because war isn’t over so she writes it bravely.

      If I did participate in blog awards Restart would be at the top of my list πŸ™‚

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      1. Thank you so much πŸ™‚ well, I understand the decision to not participate, indeed it’s a lot of work πŸ™‚ but as long as it’s fun for me I’ll go on collecting them πŸ™‚

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  3. Love those long-tailed tits – very attractive bird.

    I think those sheep will forever associate you with sheep-food now, regardless of the reason you pass by their field. I’m amazed that you’re seeing signs of Spring already, we’re still wilting under heat & humidity Down Under. (late Jan and Feb are our hottest months).

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    1. Thank you Vicki πŸ™‚ Yes I read a lot about your long hot summers. Over here it seems very odd to look forward to winter. I am doing my best to send winter packing back to you. It should go where it is welcome πŸ™‚

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  4. We have been getting long-tailed tits here too but my camera isn’t good enough to take such a good photo as you have been able to. I love them! They don’t seem to be as nervous as other birds – maybe because they fly around in gangs. John Clare the poet knew them as ‘bumbarrels’ which, I read, refers to the shape of the nest.

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    1. Thank you Clare πŸ™‚ Forever more they shall be Bumbarrels in my mind but what is a bumbarrel? If I Google for it I get images of “Bums” huddled around a fire in an oil drum but in the early nineteenth century? The term “Bum” to mean loafer would not even have been in common use. Anyway the Tit’s nest doesn’t look anything like an oil drum. Now I am intrigued. What was a bumbarrel and what was it used for?

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      1. I also became curious after I had commented so had a look through some of the other books I have after not finding anything relevant by googling. I found ‘The Oxford Book of British Bird Names’ by W B Lockwood. Not particularly helpful but this is what it says – “A name for the Long-tailed Tit found locally from Lincs. to Wilts. ‘Bum’ literally a swelling, something round, suitably qualifies barrel, here denoting the nest, seen as barrel-shaped. Popular names for this species often refer primarily to the unique nest, as ‘bush oven’, ‘feather poke’, ‘huck-muck – also ‘barrel tit’, ‘bottle tit’, ‘bottle jug’, ‘jack-in-a-bottle’.” These little birds have so much character I am surprised that all the local names refer to their nests!

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  5. What is the significance of the red and blue dye on the fleeces? I loved the sheep video with their cute little ears bobbing up and down. Looks like the white one in front was limping?
    The long tailed tits remind me of chickadees – same family I presume – very distant cousins perhaps?

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    1. Thank you Eliza πŸ™‚ I see the limping sheep. I don’t know much about this but it might be an infectious disease that the locals call foot rot. It is not that uncommon but it is contagious and needs to be treated. The sheep are routinely inspected and treated for all manner of things, in fact while the farmer is away there is a fellow coming over every day to check on them. I just count and feed them. That is what all the coloured paints are for, each time they treat the sheep they mark them with different colours in different places, so that they know who has had what treatment.

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  6. The sheep video was wonderful. I don’t like that they have those awful tags in their ears. Mean. Do you pet them? Fizz seems interested, that’s for sure:) Great post…beautiful birds. Always a treat to see your wonderful photographs and read your stories. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Gigi πŸ™‚ The sheep are tagged like that when they arrive, I haven’t seen anyone doing that here. It does look a bit painful but I have seen Ladies and Gypsies with tags in their ears too.

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  7. They are very colorful sheep. How can the birds get the peanuts out, looks like the peanuts are bigger than the wire. The property there looks so beautiful. Good luck with the bird!

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  8. Pavlov’s sheep perhaps? An Alpha Male can be quite intimidating but just keep waving the mint sauce at him. He will see the error of his ways. If by chance it is an Alpha Female then stay well away. Very, very dangerous.

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    1. Thank you Stephanie πŸ™‚ The Bumbarrels are certainly titillating. I enjoyed the novelty of the orchard but I am beginning to find it a bit intimidating and I won’t be sorry to see the farmers return. Plus I will be due a reward for all of my hard work πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you John πŸ™‚ Let me answer your question with another question. Who is it exactly that thinks that Humans are the dominant species on this planet? I mean, of course Humans do but who else agrees? We monkey around and we feel superior because we mess up more things than any other species and we kill more of any other species than anything else but does that make us number one? In our eyes yes, certainly, we are number one but what about all of the other species that will still be here long after we have gone?

      I was thinking about when I was still quite young, I used to lie in bed listening to a radio series called, “The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.” The basic idea was that the Earth was an experiment, set up by mice to study Human behaviour.

      I have been watching these Sheep, watching me and I have started to wonder, What is going on?

      Yeah of course, we are number one, probably the only species on the planet but why is that Sheep wearing a white coat and spectacles?

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  9. Another wonderful blog. The birds are pretty. We have a Tit mouse here but I DON’T think the tail is that long. Your species is truly elegant. I’m glad you called Fizz away from the sheep as she might be harmed, right?
    Putting out seed for the birds in winter was always one of my joys. Watching them feed was the entertainment and reward for it.

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  10. Thank you Ettel πŸ™‚ The Sheep couldn’t really harm Fizz, they are not very fast. Fizz is not very fast either but she is a bit faster than a Sheep and she would be chasing them if I let her. A Sheep is one of the few animals that I could probably run away from and this is why there is not much money in Sheep racing.

    Do they have bird feeders in the gardens of your nursing home? If not then they really should have. Watching birds is very therapeutic and relaxing. It gives people the opportunity to learn about the common garden birds and the thrill of seeing the very occasional uncommon one. It is also very good for everyone to give something and birds are very easy to give to. I love to watch them through the year, to feed them carefully in the winter and when the chicks hatch and to watch them feeding their young. The first little flights, the first learnings. I don’t know how I would manage without birds. I am counting the days until my beautiful Swallows return πŸ™‚

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    1. I do not have windows in my room that look out to have a feeder. We do have an aviary that we can go watch some lovely little birds and also a great aquarium.
      The windows in my lovely room look out on a roof, but this is a beautiful Nursing Home,…I think the best in our area. I receive lots of therapy from reading your Blog and from Twisted Sifter….and my books.

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  11. Thanks for the birds. I’ve fallen in love with Fizz (don’t tell my own sweet dog.) But thank you for the wild arum pics – we have lots of that around here now and I’m always thinking hostas. I’ll have to recheck.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sheep just pretend to be stupid to lull us into a false sense of security. Great photos of the longtailed tits, mine are all blurry, they are such flitty birds. Glad that Fizz has got your back, she’s a good oppo πŸ™‚

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  13. Thank-you for another thoroughly enjoyable walk with yourself and Fizz, and all the supporting cast of course. I really do enjoy these strolls, and find them to be just as therapeutic as the birdwatching you mentioned earlier. Thanks again, and we’ll see you soon.

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  14. I love your rambles! I, too, can’t believe you’re seeing signs of spring already. We have ice and snow on the way this weekend. Maybe we’ll see a few little bulbs come to life–but rarely before February. The bird shots are especially lovely this time! Sheep are always fun to watch. And, of course, Fizz.
    Elouise

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