Evidence if it were needed that Fran will never be a naturalist

While we were having breakfast today, I looked out of the window at the garden. 'Quick! Look!' I said to my husband. 'There's a squirrel trying to ram raid the bird feeder.'

He ran to the window. 'Which one?' he said.

Eh?

I said, 'I don't know. How am supposed to know all their names?'

'No, which bird feeder?' he said.

Ah. Of course. For a moment there, I thought he'd mistaken me for Francis of Assisi, not Fran of Leamington Spa.

We have two bird feeders. They are meant to be squirrel proof but that doesn't stop the rodents from attempting entry. They wrap themselves round the bird feeder, hanging on for grim death, while trying to access the contents. They try every which way: upside-down, downside-up, or suspending themselves from it by their claws, swinging the bird feeder from side to side wildly like someone on a theme park ride.

I wouldn't call myself a bird watcher at all but I do like sitting by the window, watching all these antics. If it's not squirrels, it's fat pigeons the size of chickens, balanced precariously on the bird feeders, looking a tad embarrassed like gigantic blousy ladies leaning on the bar at posh cocktail parties where everyone else is wearing thin tubes for dresses and is in danger of falling down gaps between floorboards.

The bird feeders are there, clearly, not for the pigeons or the squirrels, but for the small birds that frequent the garden. The only one I recognise is the robin, however. That is the sum total of my knowledge. My husband can peer out of the window and say, 'Oh look, a lesser-spotted pointy-beaked pearly-tit' or 'Haven't seen the pink-winged yellow-breasted stipplebeak around for a while'. But, for me, they're divided into two species: the brown ones and the colourful ones.

'Two of the colourful ones were fighting on the bird feeder earlier,' I tell him.

He tries hard to educate me. 'What colours in particular?'

'Some yellow bits. Some blue bits. I think. Hard to tell when they're scrapping over food like a couple of toddlers.'

'That'll be the gold-feathered blunty-beaked spotted long tails,' he'll say. 'I've told you about those before. I thought you'd have learned the names by now.'

'I have more important things to do.'

'Such as -'

'Eating cake. Checking Facebook to see if anyone's liked my joke. Going to bookshops intending to buy nothing then spending £79.80.'

'Hm.'

I know he thinks I'm a Philistine when it comes to nature appreciation. It's his fault for marrying me even after several walks in parks during which it became clear I didn't know an oak tree from a beech tree or a bluebell from a snowdrop.

He was warned.

My view right now. No sign of Colin the Squirrel for the moment. 





Comments

  1. You're a city girl, aren't you!

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    Replies
    1. I've got 'city girl' going through me like a stick of Blackpool rock.

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  2. Heh heh :) Yes, why do husbands try to change us? It's not like we do that to them, right? . . . I know I'd NEVER do something like that . . . :)

    Love the description of the pigeons! Perhaps because I identify with it. Ahem.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jenny! Yes, I know, right? I would never, ever try to change my husband, even for a newer model ;)

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  3. Please share your blog often! This was fabulous! I like the blousy ladies. So funny.

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    1. Thanks so much, Ruth! I'm really glad you enjoyed it :)

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  4. Haha! Brilliant. Steve and I have just the same bird - wise. And plant-wise. And pretty much everything else general knowledge-wise apart from books and chocolate. Funny, that... Great post as ever x

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    1. I'm superior grammar-wise. That's about it.

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  5. I've lived in Australia for 66 and a half years and only last year learned what a wattle bird was.

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    1. I've just looked up the wattle bird on Youtube. My goodness, what a voice!! Who needs cockerels?

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  6. But you can recognise a sparrowhawk (1st September) and name it....!

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    1. ... only after my husband told me what it was. Otherwise, I'd have said, er .. brown bird of prey? But, well-remembered!

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  7. I'm a great lover of nature myself. Not that I know bird names or tree types or such stuff. I don't feel the need to be introduced.

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    1. I feel the same! Surely 'brown bird with an orange beak' is enough!

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  8. 'I'm jealous, I only see seagulls, pigeons and the odd duck from my balcony. I think that , between them , they've eaten all the rest. We seem to have far fewer cats and dogs, too ...

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    1. Ha ha! That really made me laugh. What a macabre image came into my head!

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