My last PC, that blew its electrics after a power cut in January, was almost 9 years old, so it had a decent innings. To be totally honest, the incident was a bit helpful as it was an aging Windows 7 PC that became obsolete last January, so it was time to renew it anyway. My household insurance paid out about 60% of the total final cost after renewal and paying an I.T guru to save my hard drive etc, so it could have been worse.
Now, I have a fast Windows 10 machine that should be future proofed enough to last as long as its predecessor. It might take me a while to get used to the new workings of W10 but that is just the norm with new technology I suppose.
Right, where was I? Since my last proper post we have endured a mini Beast from the East and a nice mild sunny spell to off set it, making us believe spring was really here. Remember Winter II will be waiting in the wings, ready to pounce just as we start mowing the lawn again.
Over these last weeks of Lockdown I have continued to enjoy getting my wildlife fix from the local patch, staying within not much more than a mile radius of home other than to go for some shopping or essentials. During 2021 I have not been birding anywhere outside of my village other than single walks each down to Boulmer and up to Craster.
I have largely succeeded in following Government regulations, but last week my will power was pushed a bit when a county first, a dapper drake Bufflehead, spent an afternoon on Cresswell Pond only 20 miles south of me. For the first time, the following morning I was genuinely relieved with news that it had gone for good.
Staying within almost sight and sound of my house has not been the martyrdom that you might think. There has been a lot of interest ranging from hundreds of thrushes heading to the snow free coast, daily sightings of Barn Owls and even a prolonged stay by probably two Humpback Whales. Not many people can say they've walked along the lane to see one of those... You might think that should be anyone's absolute highlight, and you would be right, it was a lifer for me, but the best thing comes with a bit more swagger even than a 40 foot long cetacean.
The resident Hooded Crow I have posted about on here a few times has now made a move actually into our village, to become a fully bonafide garden bird. One morning it made an attempt to join the dawn chorus, waking me up until some food was put out for it. Since that day, I feed it across the road in the Rectory Paddock each morning on what ever comes to hand. So far it has enjoyed Pancakes, Flat bread, Duck Eggs, Fat Balls, Tortillas and standard bread crusts. Some are eaten on the spot, some hidden in grass tussocks for later. I'd like to see it pair with a local Carrion Crow. Now that it is practically domesticated, it will leave a gaping hole when it does decide to move on...
Here are a few photos to be going on with...
|One of the local Barn Owl pair on a gate post next to the village green.|
|The snow brought hundreds of Fieldfares into the area with a lot coming to fruit laid out in our garden.|
|Hooded Crow. 'Today I is mostly eating fat balls...'|
|A pair of Kestrels frequented our garden during the cold snap. One day they were even fighting on our porch roof.|
|Pre cold spell, the Kingfisher fed in the ditch running along the lane out of the village.|
|Thar she blows! ( You have to don't you)|
|Some distant shots of the Humpback Whale. I cant believe this could be seen from our village road end! The herring gull wingspan gives an idea of tail fluke width, it must be around 8 feet wide!|
4pm UPDATE - There is a dead Humpback Whale in the sea offshore about 2 miles north of us now. Initial thoughts are that it may be due to entanglement. I'm totally gutted. This sea is just too crowded for these animals. I hope I never see another off here.