Saturday, 31 May 2014

Baby Robin

We were out in the garden this afternoon when S called to me that she had spotted a baby bird in the bushes.  I went over carefully, keeping the girls away to spot this little fellow sitting looking at me.  What to do?  It looks like it had fallen from a nest and had some down on it still but where had it come from?

I called the RSPCA and had a chat to a lovely lady who said it may have been a fledgling or a nestling.  She suggested we carefully pick it up and pop it into a little box and someone would come and get it.  We did just that whilst she was on the phone, with J carefully scooping it up and popping it into one of the girls shoe boxes onto some toilet tissue.  The RSPCA lady said to pop it somewhere quiet (in this house?!) so I brought it indoors and said to her it looked like it's feathers on it's wings were formed but it had a lot of fluff elsewhere.  As I peeped at it, it flapped and tried to get out of the box.  I told the lady this so she suggested we pop the box up high on top of a bush or shrub and open it and see if mum and dad bird came back, then call back in a couple of hours.

We did just that.  We put him (I'll call our baby 'him') on top of the rhododendron and opened the lid.  He flapped and got onto the edge as we stepped back. He then flopped out onto the leaves. Within about 30 seconds he had plopped back onto the ground and hidden himself in the leaves again.  Within seconds, two Robins had arrived on the fence with food in their mouths and cautiously found him.  They fed him in shifts and it seems he is their only baby.

At one point, one of the Robins came with a bug in its mouth and flew down to the baby. He made the usual excited little noises waiting to be fed but the Robin just flew back onto the fence and kind of 'squeaked' at him. This was repeated about half a dozen times.  Finally the Robin fed him.  Was it trying to encourage him to fly?

Having watched him for 2 hours, I called the RSPCA back.  The lady advised that as mum and dad Robin were busy taking care of him, it was best to leave him alone. She said sometimes they even push them out of the nest to encourage them to fly.  I told her about the Robin 'teasing' him with food and she said that sounded a lot like they were wanting to get him flying.  I did say I was worried about cats as although we don't have any ourselves, a black and white one is always around our garden at night.  As she said, nature will take it's course.

I hope we have a little feathered friend who flies off later today or tomorrow and remains safe away from cats tonight.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Hoe Valley Geocaching

The weather has been a bit hit and miss over the past couple of days so we decided that as it's the first day of half term, we needed to get out.  Having a quick look on the map we spotted a few more caches appeared around the Hoe Valley and headed off to get them.

Parking up, we noticed that they seem to be doing some building work around here.  Looks like a bunch of houses going up. What a shame. It was such a lovely, green area with the stream and now a huge chunk of it has been hoarded up while multiple houses are built.  Can these councils not preserve anything anymore?

As we approached the first cache location, a muggle was leaning on the fence listening to music and, it seemed, waiting for someone. We loitered. He loitered longer. We left.  We'll try again on the way back ;-)

A nice walk along the stream to our second of the day, Bullet #8.  A nice location to stop for a moment but a bugger to find.  Oh come on, it must be here somewhere?!  Girls and hubby decided to eat the sandwiches whilst I carried on looking. Felt a bit obvious in my luminous pink coat!  Fortunately no-one about.  Finally I put my hand on it.  Hooray!  A well deserved sandwich afterwards on the bench.

Off we trotted to Troll to try out luck.  Looked both sides of the bridge (and under clearly). the clue.  Sure we knew what we were looking for as seen lots of these before. Disturbed every real one that was there but nothing else to find.  Fingertip search around beams and nought.  A DNF. Disappointing but never mind.  Girls enjoyed playing pooh-leaves (we had no sticks at this point) off the bridge.

Away we went past a basketball court that S described as "a small golf course". Did make us laugh.

A nice walk to Bullet #9 which gave us a good bit of searching.  We went to the wrong location at first then I wandered off ignoring the GPS and looked around others.  Soon spotted a likely hidey-place and called hubby over to delve.  Yes, I was right and he made the find.  The girls loved it and it got a favourite from us.

Some more games of pooh-sticks now in the stream with each of us choosing a stick and hubby throwing them all in.

Lovely walk back playing pooh-sticks or pooh-leaves at every bridge we came too.  We even found the world smallest park with a slide with no steps (just a very, very steep bank for the girls to clamber up) and one swing.  They enjoyed it though.

Final cache of the day was Chebarkul.  No-one around now so hubby went for a look.  No joy.  I then went and had a nose around.  Spotted it quickly but well hidden. No idea what the clue was all about but cache in hand which is all that matters.

Swans and Cygnets
Back to the car and got home just as the rain started again.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Busy, busy, busy...and a squashed finger, Ninja style

N with a 'blower'
It's been busy (if you didn't gather that from the title).

I've been very tied up with my research.  All is going well and along with preparing my Brilliant Club course work, it's been heads down at the PC almost non-stop. I'm quite looking forward to half term to force myself to have some time off with my girls.

S has decided she no longer wants to dance after school. She's been doing this almost since she started school last September but she announced to me this week that she's very tired after school now and she's not learning anything new in dance. Fair enough. She has ballet at the weekend anyway.  Talking about ballet, I had to buy the girls some new ballet shoes as they'd suddenly had a growth spurt and outgrown their existing ones.  I then realised that meant I would also have to get ripped off buy some more Clarks shoes for school for them.  S's new school shoes were £38.  £38?!  I barely spend that on a pair of shoes myself.  N needed new trainers for her school too. Fortunately, they had none in Clarks in her size which is particularly good as when we got home I remembered that there were a pair of S's the same size and width fitting in the box in the garage.  I had kept them as she'd barely worn them for her last half term at nursery.  They fitted  perfectly so I ended up not picking up the ones Clarks ordered in for me (sorry Clarks!).

N has been beyond exhausted recently.  I'm sure she's on a massive growth spurt.  She complained yesterday about being tired all day and went to bed and to sleep at 5.45pm on her own! On her own is the important bit here.  She never, ever wants to go to bed before S and vice versa.  Therefore for her to snuggle down while S was still downstairs about to do her school reading to me, was amazing.

Poor little N had a bit of a run of it yesterday. You know when you tell your children to *not* stand behind you when they have crept in to the lounge or kitchen Ninja like?  Yep, that! I was hanging out some washing and stepped back to feel a crunch under my foot, shortly followed by a very big scream. Yes, I had stepped onto N's finger as she was trying to catch an ant behind me. I didn't even see her there. I felt rotten.  Fortunately her finger had a kind of squash cut (if that makes sense).  I think her finger kind of squashed and dragged a bit under my foot as a piece of skin was hanging off the top. Sudocrem and a plaster were the order of the day then.  To finish it off, she fell over and grazed her knee on the way to collect S too.  She really was tired.

Looking forward to a super weekend of sunshine, BBQ and fun with my 3 girls and hubby.  Hope you all have a nice weekend too.