Thursday, June 28, 2007

This fella stops play (and work)

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He's snowy a gorgeous Pekin (we believe from our research) duck that frequently visits for food supplies. According to one website, domestic ducks like kitchen scraps, especially spaghetti! Will have to try this out but at the moment, he's getting his fill of bread and earth/roots/leaves from our freshly grown pot of salad leaves (he pulls the leaves out of the pot). The reason he's stopping us from working is that he now comes into the house to find us and the children can't resist watching him as he patters around. Our work area is right next to the kitchen and this is where he comes in. As the kitchen is in the conservatory we need to keep the door open otherwise temperatures have been known to hit 46 degrees C (honestly - I wish I'd taken a photo of the reading). When the room cools off later in the day and we close the door, Snowy knocks repeatedly with his beak!

Mum and her four ducklings are doing well. Katie took this photo today, the four have grown quite a bit in the last couple of days, one is much fatter than all the others. The three yellow ducklings are beginning to get some brown feathers which is interesting. This site, which I probably posted up before, is helping us to keep track of their progress.
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On the work front, which has been patchy since we moved here, we've been filling out our "nature in our garden" type poster with lots of bits and bobs. We've followed instructions to measure our plum tree to get a rough idea of how old it is and how tall it is (we've also estimated how tall our highest Scots Pine is). Looked at fungi (plenty of mushrooms in the garden) and taken some lovely spore prints. We also witnessed the three baby Goldfinches take their first flights from their nest. These websites are lovely and have helped us with these topics and this book, borrowed from the library, would be a nice addition to our collection.

Scots Pine: Trees for Life and British-Trees
Fungi: Fungus Kingdom and Show Me
Goldfinches: RSPB and British Garden Birds

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We've been working hard on our wildlife garden (for our pleasure and for the RSPB Wildlife Awards) moving nettles, cornflower and various other bird loving plants to the freshly dug area. I was lucky enough to dig up chunks of rotting tree stumps in the front garden which now sit along the edge of the pond ready for lots of new mini-beasts. All seems to be going well although it upset us to find an adult hedgehog had drowned in our small pond as the rain had completely filled it before we'd had a chance to put the stones in. On a happy note we've already seen frogs in the area as well as blue tits and sparrows.
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Last week, during a break in the rain, we headed for an owl centre at a local garden centre. Over a 100 owls to marvel at, from the UK and all over the world, as well as a rather unusual Secretary Bird. We have a Barn Owl close to home which we've seen sometimes in the late afternoons so being able to get close to three active Barn Owls at the centre to see their wings and feathers more closely was lovely. We were lucky enough to found three discarded feathers as a souvenir of our visit.

As I type, Katie and Ben are designing board games. Ben's is a Sonic the Hedgehog game (but different from his last one) and Katie's is a horse game. Katie has also started to write her own HTML for her new website. Although we've had books out from the libary on HTML we found it quite hardwork, especially remembering all the different codes. Katie's picked her new skill up from typing bits of code on one of her horse forums. So once again it's been shown that one can learn from play! Her site is still in it's infant stage, but she's doing really well.
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2 Comments:

At 10:33 pm, Blogger tammy said...

What fantastic animal neighbors you have!! What do the cats think to the ducks??

 
At 7:41 pm, Blogger Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

Allie is a little scared of them as mum duck violently chased him across the garden when he stalked one of her young recently! This must happen frequently to the resident moggies as I've noticed they all take a wide berth when passing by the ducks! Elle

 

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