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Arnside and beyond

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Saturday 21 April 2012: Feed Me

My favourite blackbird, the lady known as the Boss. Not so dominant now as she was, as she is perhaps no longer in her prime. But she is still the most approachable, or the one most willing to approach us. She is building a nest in the ivy along one of the walls at the moment, so she has had less time to forage for herself. So here she is, asking for a second feed of the day when she saw me this afternoon. Her rival, the short-tailed bird who featured here on 31 March seems to have disappeared. But then there are several young birds using the garden who I think were raised by her in a very early clutch this season.

At the other side of the garden, where there is another pair of blackbirds, the hard-working male with the brown wing and tail feathers has continued to feed Big Chick. BG is now strong enough to fly up out of harm's way into the ivy. Bob the Cat flushed it out of the flowerbed this afternoon, but amazingly showed no interest in the pursuit. Meanwhile he was descended upon by mother and father, desperately trying to distract a cat who had already lost interest. This was the first time I had seen the female doing any family duties for days, but she was there when it really mattered.

After the return of the prodigal tortoise yesterday, we haven't been far today. Reg had a closely supervised amble on the lawn in the late afternoon, but otherwise he spent most of the time parked under his archway of wood bark. Thank you for all the lovely messages left on yesterday's blip, I'm sorry that I haven't yet replied to many. I can assure you that the ultra-lightweight radio tracking device is now on order, so hopefully there will be no more angst for missing tortoises. Our friend Gilly who is staying with us tonight told me a story of someone in her village who lost two tortoises. They were found in the local woods, on the other side of the River Lowther, a substantial watercourse which means they must have walked unseen across the road bridge.

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