Things coming up (or that have been) that are exciting me.

After you see the list, you’ll see I’m VERY easy to please 🙂

Firstly, I purchased myself a “new” used mobile phone on eBay. When I was in Oz, my niece had a Samsung D520, I thought it was a nice looking phone and had the things I wanted to upgrade my phone for – mp3 playing and ringtones, video play and record and Bluetooth. I knew it was a Samsung, but had to check with her what model it was. After getting her reply, I looked on eBay (before that I’d be chasing a Nokia 5200 but wasn’t having much luck getting one for the £40 mark) and someone was selling a used D520 for £30. I thought great price for a well specified phone, so jumped at it. Now I am EAGERLY awaiting its arrival in the post.

Samsung D520

The other thing that is exciting me is the sight of two baby goldfinches in the garden. They arrived yesterday with the regular pair, who I can only assume are mum and dad of these babies.

Last but not least, the prospect of being able to get out and about next week as we might be hiring a car for several days so Em can help out a mate of hers with his computer stuff. Somehow getting around the UK on public transport is just not very appealing. I’ll give you an example why.

We live around 35 miles (around 56 kms) from Cambridge. When we had a car, we might visit Cambridge 2-3 times a year. Needless to say we’ve not been there since being without a car. That journey to Cambridge by car would take around 45 minutes.  That same journey via public transport would take at least an extra hour and cost £40 (around $95 Australian) for two people!! We could hire a car for the day and be able to buy the fuel to get us to and from Cambridge for the same amount of money! It’s obscene!  That’s why we “don’t do” public transport in Britain. Not because we don’t want to, but because it’s a total waste of time and money.

Stevie, the wonder fish!

About a week ago now, we (me and my partner) saw a little tiny fry (baby fish) in our tropical tank. When we set up the tank last year we bought several mollies, a few tetras and a male guppy. The very next day we had fry! The mollies had just let their kids drop overnight! We ended up with 6 or 7 surviving fry, but over time they have fallen ill and died. The tetras and guppy went the same way too. All we had left was one single molly. Now, we assumed initially that this a fry from the molly that was left. We though it was a bit of miracle seeing as the molly hadn’t had company for so long, but it’s not beyond the realms for mollies to incubate eggs for several months.

The fry was very, very small when first spotted, but within the last week has grown somewhat. As of yesterday, it has now become obvious that Stevie (named after Stephen Fry – fry=small fish, hence Stevie) is in actual fact a TETRA! We’ve not had a tetra in the tank since around Xmas, and there has been several tank cleans that have taken place since then. And unlike mollies who are live-bearing fish, tetras lay eggs. So, given all this, Stevie is truly a miracle fish!!


As you can see he is a little fish. The pic is a bit blurry, but you can’t get fish to stay still for you!!

Bats in the belfry (well, the garden anyway).

The are some perks to the English summer, in particular a damp one. Because damp summers mean lots of insects and lots of insects mean BATS! Yes, our little sonar friends are making an appearance again and it’s wonderful. I love standing outside watching them fly around. To see them in flight is amazing, they are so adept at flying, then I suppose you’d be pretty good at it if you relied on sonar. I’m sure lots of people would be put off, as they can get pretty put off at the thought of a bat flying past their head (and they do fly right past us if we stand in the right part of the garden), but I think they are amazing little creatures and really enjoy seeing them each night. A little “wonder of the world” in my own garden. Brilliant!

A Pipistrelle Bat (of the type we think we’re seeing)


I Saw A Tit!

I could hardly contain myself yesterday. For the first time this summer (baring in mind I’ve only been back in the country since July 18, after being absent since Feb 28) I have seen a Blue Tittie in my garden! Yay!!! And the said tittie was eating from an apple that was stuck out on a post. I’ve not seen a tittie go for an apple before. Well, not the ones that visit here anyway.
Also at the moment (I must try and record this) we have a female blackbird who seems to like to spend almost the entire day telling every one off in the way only a blackbird can! At first you hear very high-pitched shrill calls, then there is a burst of annoyed tutting which is as loud as a car alarm! She gets SO pee-d off! At what, I have no idea…life, I presume. It borders on both funny AND infuriating as she can go on one of these “tuts” for a good 15 minutes!

Wildlife – you’ve gotta love it!

Albino Sparrows in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

I was looking at the BBC News website this morning. I like Fridays on Beeb news as there is a quiz called “7 days, 7 questions” which I like doing. ANYWAY…as I was looking on the website to try and locate the quiz, I came across this story.

Albino Sparrow story (click to read)

Amazing that there is two of them! They are the CUTEST little things! It was only yesterday while looking for appropriate blackbird pics to add for my previous post that I saw pics of a partial albino blackbird, but this little “knees-up” is totally white. I hope they get to live to a ripe old age. Life is tough for albino animals. Here’s hoping to a long life…

But which Thrush is which?

I only got out of bed around 30 mins ago, and only just come downstairs to my kitchen around 10 mins ago. I was standing in my kitchen, making a cup of tea when I see a rather bedraggled blackbird. Poor thing! It looked like it was either a dad who’d had too much on his hands during the spring and was moulting, or it was a baby that had just got his black adult feathers. Then I see another bird…very speckled on the body. At first I dismissed it as a juvenile blackbird but then thought “no, way too speckled” and then wondered “could it be?”. Could this speckled creature be a Song Thrush?

I think it very well might have been. Here’s the evidence.


Song Thrush


Juvenile Blackbird

I’m still not entirely sure, but the bird was quite speckled so I hope it was a song thrush.

Oh dear, it’s a deer!!

We (Em & I) went on an adventure yesterday. Since around October/November last year we’ve been without a car. Our car died and it’s gonna take a lot of money thrown at it to repair it. We just don’t have that sort of money, so when he have needed a car for a day, we’ve hired one. More often its shanks’ pony or taking a bus. We haven’t done any travel like that together this year until yesterday. We went to Hitchin for the day. The bus goes around all the back villages of Hertfordshire. It’s only a short walk to the bus stop from where we are. Anyway, because the route the bus goes around the Hertfordshire countryside, yesterday we got to see a deer leaping across the road as we hurtled towards it! It was a young fawn, still very Bambi-like, but it had some speed. There were about 8-10 of us on the bus and there were gasps and cries of “It’s a deer!”. Fleeting as it was, it was really lovely to see. Bus trips around village backwaters DO have their advantages!


A Beautiful Red Deer fawn.

Tubs The Goldfinch.

During the last 12 months we’ve had visits from goldfinches, probably the most exotically colourful birds we see in Britain. We used to get a pair, and only just when I got back from Oz did I see the pair, but of late there has only been a single goldfinch visit. Em has come to call him “Tubs” as he sits on the nyger seed feeder for at least 10 minutes, topping himself up with food. He looks a little rotund these days and sometimes he can visit our garden 3-4 times in one day! He has in the last week, single-handedly depleted our stock of nyger seed. So on our travels out yesterday, we picked up two bags of nyger seed and topped up the feeder. I am hoping that this will entice Tubs’ lady friend (I assume the other goldfinch must be female) to come back and visit with him. They are such gorgeous birds.

Here is a pic of a goldfinch – not Tubs himself, I will endeavour to get a pic of him – for you to enjoy.