Wednesday, 9 July 2008


It is quite a while since I posted, because, as most of you know, Sindie has been poorly and has been staying with me. However, she was well enough to return home at the weekend, so I thought I would sit at my computer and update my blog.

Firstly, the diet is going well, and I have now lost a total of 1stone 1 pound. Sindie has also lost this amount, but unfortunately for her, the steroids she is on have made her face balloon out, and the weight loss is not so evident until you look at the rest of her! Thankfully, she is now cutting down on the steroids, so we have high hopes of her facial swelling going down, albeit slowly.

Now, I haven't mentioned this before, but we are very keen amateur bird watchers (in our garden, that is!) We feed them constantly, and have a lot of regular birds visit us. One day we had a Jay, a blackbird, a mouse and a squirrel, all eating together on dry porridge oats that we left out:0) We have a very scruffy blackbird that is always fighting to protect his territory. Whenever I put food out, he is there, chasing off the other birds! We call him Sid, and he was here last year as well, making his home in the large bushes in our front garden. The lady next door calls him Scruff. He always has disheveled feathers, and feathers sticking out! Hence the name given by the lady next door:0) He is not at all nervous of us, and has three babies in the front garden, and although they try and chase him off, he still feeds them regularly. When they were very young, he used to dive bomb us whenever we went on to the drive!

We were looking out of out kitchen window into the back garden, watching the birds, when we saw what at first glance, we thought was a Jay. It was half hidden behind a shrub. We noticed it was eating strangely, and on closer inspection we saw that it was a beautiful Merlin! But he was busy eating one of my garden birds! All we could see of the bird he was eating were the skinny black legs sticking up in the air, and our first thought was of Sid:0( After our initial shock, we got the binoculars out, and studied it more carefully, and prayed that it wasn't Sid. The Merlin stayed in the garden, eating this bird for at least 15 minutes, then it picked it up an flew away with the remains. It definitely looked black.

We went down the garden and inspected the feathers, and they were dark grey. We still were not sure what colour legs our blackbird had, and were on edge for ages, until, who should we see come hopping into the back garden, but Sid! We have decided that the unfortunate bird was probably a young starling.

I have attached a phot of a Merlin in the middle of a meal, and you can see what a beautiful bird it is.

I now spend ages scanning the sky in case he returns. If he does, I hope I see him in time to warn all my little feathered friends! (Click photo to enlarge)