Thursday 26 July 2018

Goodbye to Little Scrappy Tweetie Bird!

It’s been a while since I blogged. A lot of things have been happening on the home front.

First I did something to my neck/shoulder which means I can’t use my computer and driving is painful. I’ve found a way to sit on the sofa with a laptop so I am able to write, but it’s very slow.

This isn’t meant to be a poor me post especially as it's my poor husband who is really in the wars and in need of looking after. Remember that old saying? It was one my parents used a lot.

That reminds me of something my mum used to say when things went wrong or she was really cross, “Bloody Wars”. You always knew you were in trouble when she said that. I looked it up and apparently it originated in Norfolk, unless anyone out there knows different.

Remember the little sparrow we rescued from behind the wall, the one I was so determined not to get fond of? (That ship sailed on day one). She grew into a lovely young bird and we got her a bigger cage hoping she’d be able to fly a little (out of the cage, she always ended up on the floor! And there was talk of building an aviary for her). We also got a bird table so there would always be food in the garden for her when we let her go.

At one point releasing her didn’t look likely as she wasn’t at all inclined to feed herself. I started counting how many mealworms I was feeding her and it was between 40 and 50 a day.

She wouldn’t eat seed and all she seemed to eat were the mealworms and only if I fed them to her.

We started to put her out in the garden in the cage (keeping the cats in) and she was often visited by a pair of collared doves, but no sparrows.

I put a spray of millet in the cage, more in hope than expectation and the next thing there were millet husks everywhere. Soon I saw her drinking water and pecking at the seed in her dish  and sparrows began to come to have a look.

It didn’t happen overnight, but it was quick once she got the hang of it. She started throwing her mealworms on the floor and flapping her wings. I don’t think she could have said any clearer, “Hey come on, I’m ready! I’ve got this.” But I wasn’t! Oh my goodness, I wasn’t. I won’t lie – there were tears. A lot of tears.

I was heartbroken at the thought of turning her out into the big wide world and all its dangers.

“I’ll leave it until tomorrow,” I said. But my son said, “Do it! The cats are indoors and settled and we’ve all weekend.” So I opened up the cage and she flew right out and went round the garden before landing on the grass.

This is it, I thought. She’ll come back now. The big outdoors is too much for her. But once she’d got her breath back, she flew out of the garden and I thought I’d never see her again, but she came back after a while and sat in the honeysuckle. She gaped her beak at me so I gave her a mealworm and she threw it on the ground then flew round my head about three times before flying away again. She seemed so joyful and the sentimental part of me thought she was telling me she was fine to look after herself now.

I don’t know if she’s been back, but we have had two female sparrows in the back garden and one of them comes right up to the patio doors. I always said if she flew away and we never saw her again, I’d assume she’d hooked up with a group of sparrows so that’s what I’m assuming.

We kept the cats in for a couple of days and I put dishes of food round the garden. I left the cage out there, door wide open, just in case she wanted to come back.

Yesterday my son folded the cage up and we’ve packed it away in the garage, just in case we ever need it again. I hope we don’t, but raising that beautiful little bird from the almost bald little thing she was, turned out to be something very special and an experience I am very glad to have had.

Oh and in case you wondered why it hasn’t rained, that might be my fault I’m afraid. I got fed up getting caught in the rain on the school run, so I put an umbrella in the car just in case. That was several weeks ago and it hasn’t rained since. The law of sod at work. I’m very sorry. I will remove the umbrella just as soon as the grandchildren aren’t looking – they’ve told me to leave it where it is!

Sunday 1 July 2018

The Winner of Plots and Plotting is....

Thank you to everyone who commented on the last post and as promised all the names went into a draw to win a copy of Plots and Plotting by Diana Kimpton.

A long time ago my beautiful dog Indy picked a winner from a cowboy hat for a blog competition and I had ideas of Dusty following in his footsteps.

But I couldn’t find the cowboy hat. So I put the pieces of paper outside thinking Dusty might choose one as he loves picking things up, but they started blowing round the garden. Once I'd retrieved them from various bushes, I weighed down each name with one of Scout's puppy treats – which meant I could unfold the paper so the names were visible (just wish I'd used a darker pen!).

Dusty was watching from inside, licking his lips while I took a photo of the names. Meanwhile Harley strolled up wanting to know what was going on.

What's all this?

I hoped to be able to get a photo of the first treat Dusty took, but before I could let him out, it seemed Harley made the decision on his behalf and I had to agree with her that as the longest serving four legged member of this household, she had that right.

Don't Mind If I Do

So there you have it – congratulations to LL Cool Joe Joey's Pad! I’ll be in touch so we can get the book sent out to you.

The Winner!

By the time Dusty and Tinks came out, all the treats had gone!

What did we miss?

Thank you again to Diana for her lovely guest post and for giving away a copy of her book.