Life, photos but not the universe


Blogger loves me not.  Cut off in mid comment I was and now it won’t let me talk to anyone.  I’ll try again tomorrow.

Outside in the garden however, a triumph!  The goldfinches have arrived and are consuming expensive niger seed at a rate of knots – well, a rate of nibbles really.  Also there are greenfinches and the usual horde of sparrows and a lot of chaffinches but the blue tits and the great tits (or coal tits – I can never remember the difference) have vanished.  Meanwhile, Barney has been struggling with a problem which is no more knotty than the rate at which birds eat seed but very worrisome all the same.  There is a plague of jackdaws around the country, busily destroying thatch.  So far, thatchers have tried double layers of netting, finer gauge netting, tying dead jackdaws onto the thatch (yuck) and some owners have tried shooting them.  The jackdaws are supremely above all this and continue to pull straw and reed out through the netting and scatter it around.  It seems they do it for fun!  Mind, I’m not sure the RSPB have been approached to see if there’s something in thatch that they need – not nesting material as they do it all year round and don’t take it home with them.  Litterers as well as vandals.

Myself, I’m rather fond of jackdaws, they have a wonderful black and grey coat and amazing silver eyes and are immensely intelligent and sociable (for birds) but I can understand that your average house owner would prefer not to have them playing fast and loose with his extremely expensive roof.

Plastic owls with swivelling eyes have been suggested as a deterrent but since even blue tits quickly learn the difference between a  plastic cat and a furry and hungry one I suspect that this might fail.  So I’m going to suggest jackdaw feeders to distract them.  Like wasp traps?  I’m pretty sure no one has tried this – it’s a bit counter-intuitive after all.  Still it works with wasps and the only problem with jackdaws is that they might be bright enough to eat their cake and then play with the straw anyway.  Unlike wasps which drink their sugar water and then drown in it.


Worth a try?

It was supposed to be raining heavily tonight

Fortunately I didn’t believe it and watered the garden.  Lovely gardener would never forgive me if she turned up tomorrow and all the plants had died!

The rain must all be in Mrs Middle’s next door’s garden.


June 28, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Oh. Oh dear.
    BAD birdies!!
    I rather like the idea of feeding them. Perhaps they’d be grateful and leave the thatched roofs alone.
    What about a pile of their own to play with? (just a thought)
    And what’s with them suddenly becoming a nuisance? I’d haffta wonder if it’s something in the thatch itself. *shrugs* Maybe they’re just bored and need toys!

    Not much help, am I. LOL
    I do feel for Barney–maybe it’s in how he’s looking at it. Job security, maybe? (k……NOW I’m pushing it….)

    Sure fire way to get rain–water the garden/wash the car.
    Leastwise that’s the way it works around this joint. 😉

    Comment by Mel | June 28, 2011 | Reply

  2. He solemnly cursed that rascally thief!
    He cursed him at board, he cursed him in bed;
    From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head;
    He cursed him in sleeping, that every night
    He should dream of the devil, and wake in a fright;
    He cursed him in eating, he cursed him in drinking,
    He cursed him in coughing, in sneezing, in winking;
    He cursed him in sitting, in standing, in lying;
    He cursed him in walking, in riding, in flying,
    He cursed him in living, he cursed him in dying!—
    Never was heard such a terrible curse!

    This comes from another story about thieving jackdaws…might be worth a try as well?

    Comment by Christopher | June 28, 2011 | Reply

  3. Unfortunately we don’t get many birds in our garden, mainly due to the presence of our elderly cat.

    I don’t think we had any heavy rain last night either but it came with a vengeance at lunchtime today accompanied by crashes and flashes as the storm sat over us.

    Comment by annajskye | June 28, 2011 | Reply

  4. Nobody knows why they’ve started Mel but it seems that being clever and playful, they are a bit like kids – if you tell them no, they just do it all the more. And if one tries something new, suddenly they all want to : ) Rainmaking done the same way here – add hang the washing out to the list!

    The Jackdaw of Rheims!!! Been cudgelling the brain cell for several minutes on that one Christopher : ) I shall pass on your suggestion.

    We didn’t get the rain or the thunder here Annajskye but Barney did on his way home from London. I feel cheated – I love a good storm.
    If the jackdaw problem goes on long enough perhaps people will have specially trained cats with ladders – our elderly cat will only tackle small birds but I knew one siamese who caught a pheasant once and brought it home – through the cat flap – before um, disposing of it around the house.

    Comment by letouttoplay | June 29, 2011 | Reply

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