Sunday, 3 February 2013

And to think I got paid to do this.......

Last shift at work today, and knowing it was going to be very quiet, I took my camera.....and very pleased I am, that I did. I got all my paperwork out of the way first thing, chucked a load of food out into the yard in front of the office window, topped up the bird feeders and prayed for some sun. Well the sun didnt show but the birds did. Before I really settled down to do a bit of 'work-bird-watching' I done a quick check of the yard to make sure trucks were locked etc. Took the camera with me in case anything intresting flew over head, but look what I found instead............
This beautiful little fox was also walking around my trucks and trailers. I've seen foxes in the yard before, but only when its been dark. This picture was taken at lunchtime. He/she appears to be healthy, not skinny, not lame and no visible injurys but one of its eyes looks a bit 'squiffy'. We stayed watching each other for a good few minutes before it turned around and ambled off.
Happily I went back to the office, made a cup of coffee and settled down for the 'bird show'.
Gulls were among the first to arrive. All Black-headed ones. The one below has two rings on its legs. Obviously the closed metal ring I cant read, but the other is very visible. TLXR. I will report my sighting to the BTO website, and let you know if they reply.

I also, for the first time, got a photo of a 1st winter juv and a winter adult together. Sadly the juv is a bit out of focus (photos were taken thru glass), but you can clearly see the difference between the beak and leg colours. Juvs beaks and legs are brownish-yellow, the adults have red beaks and legs.

After the gulls had cleared the yard of food, I threw down some more and went for a quick walk to see the horses in the paddocks. Not one Fieldfare remains, but at the back of the furthest paddock was a lone Redwing, my first of the year. Picture quality awful but record shot for me until I can a better photo.
Back to the office I went ready for another cuppa and another hour or two of 'work-bird-watching'.
I really enjoy watching the different behavhiour when birds eat. The gulls either snatch what they can and fly off, or gobble it down straight away. The Woodpigs and Collared Doves peck at their food until its been flung about and broken down in to smaller pieces. The Carrion Crow below, carried as much as it could in its beak to the nearest water filled pothole, and appeared to 'wash' each morsel before eating it !!!

And the Magpie below, got so fed up with all the other birds taking its food, it reverted to burying bits in the yard. Again, sorry for the picture quality, its more about the behaviour than anything. I've seen a Magpie at Lake Farm do this. I'm guessing that it's too full to eat any more, but too greedy to let any thing else eat it. 

And I finally got a photo of one of the Robins hanging off one of the feeders. I noticed today that this Robin lets nothing else feed on this particular fat block. It chased off several Blueys and Great-tits and even mobbed a Woodpig. As soon as it feeds it dives to the floor to grab any crumbs that may have fallen, then dives into the conifers on the right. Maybe its establishing a territory around a potential nesting site. Will be intresting to see if my theory is right......
After another hour or so, I went back down to see the horses. The horse in the last paddock has a water bucket hanging on its fence with 'Sunny' hand written on it. Ever since June last year when we moved into this yard, this particular horse has NEVER come up to the fence when I've walked up to it. So today I went up to the fence, gently whistled and called 'Sunny', and she came trotting over !!!! Not only did she let me stroke her nose but she also nudged me (quite hard) in the ribs. I have a new friend. Next weekend I'm going to bring some carrots for my new friend lol. This is Sunny......

Walking back from Sunny and the rest of the horses I saw the fox walk in front of the paddock gate. Followed it into the yard next door (where another HGV company are based) and there it was peering at me from in between some vans. This was about four hours after I'd seen it the first time. It's defintley the same fox, it has the same 'squiffy' eye.

When I down-loaded my photos this evening, I zoomed in on the 'squiffy' eye. There is quite a bit of mucus in the corner, and the pupil looks darker than the other. I'm hoping I see Squiffy again, if only to monitor that eye. I was also a little concerned that it was out and about during day light, and that it didnt appear to be that scared of me, just inquisitive. I've asked my fellow work colleague to look out for Squiffy while I'm not there over the next four days. Julie adores Foxes, so I know she will.
Not only did I have a good day wildlife watching at work and getting paid for it, I also had some good news this morning. I cant say what it is yet, but will share later in the week........
Also I never got to try out my new camera rain sleeve from Op Tech USA, as it wasnt raining, but I fitted it to my DSLR and havnt found a problem with mobility or viewing thru the eye cup. The next time it rains I will be out testing it for water-proofing and moisture.
At home now sipping a very large glass of Echo Falls rose, reflecting on a very nice day and planning what Im going to get up to over the next four days off work.....


  1. Wow... now that's a work day that sounds really good to me. Hope you foxy friend's gonna be ok, Wendy.

    and you're teasing us.. ... :)

  2. Brillant blog Wendy! Love the fox photos and I look forward to hearing more about your good news when you're ready :-) x

  3. What a great day 'working' you've had Wendy. Fabulous photos - love that Fox. Don't forget the Polo's to go with the Carrots!

    Mark (Muddy) Walters