Friday, 24 February 2012

Time wasters

Despite my pessimistic prognostication, yesterday afternoon was sunny and warm. The temperature actually reached 17C. And to think that just two weeks ago we had -14.5C! My walk across the Downs with the dog was delightful: great views, a warm breeze (A warm breeze! I February!) and the dog behaved herself. I had in mind to start posting on my Stanmer photo blog a series of pictures I have taken in town over the last few days but they will have to wait while we enjoy some Downland views. A neighbour told me this morning that as it was so pleasant yesterday she took her young son to the beach - possibly a February first. Back to grey, murky mist today, though.

But to get to the subject of today's drivel. I have said elsewhere that I spend far too much time reading other people's blogs instead of doing something constructive. Another way I enjoy wasting my time is by watching the birds in the garden or the park. I think my favourites are the blue tits.

As well as their very attractive blue and yellow plumage, they are such acrobats and I find it highly amusing to watch them searching for food in the trees. They manage to squirm into the seemingly most difficult positions, frequently hanging upside down. To them, the small twig is a bit like one of the parallel bars for a gymnast! One of their endearing traits is the way they patiently wait their turn at the bird feeder, never trying to push another bird away like most of the other species do. They also take a piece of food - nut, seed, fat or whatever - and fly with it to the nearby tree. There they hold the food on the branch with a claw while they eat it. We do have great tits in the garden as well, but not nearly as many. The great tits seem to outnumber blues in the local park, where there is also a family of long-tailed tits.

I recall reading, many years ago, a book written by a woman who delighted in the great tits in her garden, of which there were many. She came to know them as individuals and could recognise each of her regular visitors, presumably through minor differences in the plumage. Her tits became so used to her that several of them would happily fly into her house through an open window. Somehow I don't think that will happen with me and the blue tits. But they do amuse me.


Stephen Hayes said...

No tits ever flew through my window to greet me. My wife keeps the windows closed.

Buck said...

My Inner Eight Year Old had GREAT fun with this post. I won't bore you with his comments, as they are entirely predictable.

Brighton Pensioner said...

I have to say that I was fully expecting comments along these lines - even to the extent of that old joke about 20 Wrens going into a fridge and what came out.