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Thursday, 29 March 2012


The glorious weather has had us out and about in the camper. Last weekend it was sunnier on the western side of the Pennines so we tootled over the A66 to Ullswater in the Lake District and had a picnic on the grass near the steamer pier...

We also visited Aira Falls on the way down the lakeside...

And took the Saturday papers with us for a good read and some crossword puzzling.

We have also spent days at Whitby and had picnics at Seaton Carew and Hardwick park near Sedgefield.

While at Hardwick Park we had a walk around the lake and spotted this enormous nest in the top of the trees which is actually a squirrel nest or drey.

The weather has been warm enough to bring out the good folk of Bishop Auckland, dressed in their "Resort Wear" and fake tans. The shortest shorts, the briefest tops and for the blokes no top at all.
Jackie, our neighbour walks her little dog a few times a day and at quiet times she has seen foxes, rabbits and even chickens around the shrubbery nearby....but coming home late last week she spotted an owl for the first time. She was so excited and went home to tell everyone. Then the next day when she was out for her early morning walk and came round the corner to go past our house she saw it again. Still in the same place! And it still is!
I bought it at a bric-a-brac shop and decided that it might frighten away the Jackdaws which are trying to nest in the loft. They get in under the gable of the top window and dig at a small gap between the roof and the flashing. We have tried many materials to fill the gap and deter them....expanding foam, lumps of timber, rolls of insulation etc, but the gap is impossible to reach from the inside. We use the loft for storage and are not keen to share it with half a dozen jackdaws.
So far nothing has worked. They arrive early in the morning and mine away at the stuff. By the time we get up the yard is strewn with specks of green expanding foam and wisps of insulation not to mention nest-building twigs and splats of bird droppings.
So...bring in the big guns. This is Nev in his cherry picker.

He lined the underneath of the overhang with chicken wire and jammed a ball of it up the inside where they had made most effort to get in.

Since then they have had a go at getting in each morning, pecking away at the wood and hanging on the chicken wire but it seems to be a success.
They will have to go elsewhere. The owl was no good for frightening off jackdaws but he can stay because the neighbours like him. Another neighbour mentioned him today while she was complaining about the damage the jackdaws have done to her roof. Like with ours they have had a go at lifting the flashing to get in so they must have considerable strength.

They will now have to nest elsewhere.

Hope you all had a good time during the lovely weather. It may have been the summer we wont get later.

Cheers Gillian


carol said...

What a glorious time you have been having! Beautiful landscapes, thanks for the photos.

I wish the owl had worked because I have the same trouble with starlings. The neighbour did much as you with his intruders but got thoroughly bitten for his pains - not by the birds, by fleas!!

Now I'm really uneasy when I hear them rustling around. I begrudge paying someone to do what has to be done.

chillsider stitching and opinions said...

Aira Falls is/are so lovely.
We have starlings under the eaves too, they don;t seem to do any harm and I spend my time keeping Gert and Daisy out of the bedroom cupboard which they are convinced will give them access to starling pie.
this morning I came down and found either G or D had brought in a birds egg [quite big, white] so will have to lock them in at night to protect birdies while nesting in or out of the eaves.

Gillian said...

I don't feed the birds or encourage them into the garden. I wish I could but Miss Tigger would dispatch them within a day or two!
She sits on the top landing and mews loudly for us to let down the loft ladder so that she can go up and scare them off but even she cannot access them.
They are still banging on the eaves trying to find a way in!
Cheers Gillian