So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog

Bullfinch eating dandelion seeds!

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Plague

This year has been a good one for mice. In one of our holiday houses, they’ve been coming in since the beginning of September. They’ve got in the water meter reading station.  Eaten my apples in the cellar right down until there’s just a mark in the crate. Fighting with the birds for the peanuts. They’re big mice too. When I asked the chimney sweep, he says it’s like this all over the Lungau.

‘It means it’s going to be a very cold winter,’ he said in tones of deep foreboding.

But is this plague not simply the result of a very successful breeding summer for the mice? They couldn’t possibly grow so big if there hadn’t been a lot of food and the right conditions? Or maybe in the past, a warm summer was followed by a colder winter? Often local sayings are right, so I’m off to buy some more fire wood…


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Jays

 

These quite stunning birds are usually very shy, but it seems a family has found my bird table and are stuffing their faces!  They tend to fill their crops and fly away, I guess to bury the sunflower seeds.  They are beautiful, but they scare the smaller birds, so I find myself scaring them away when I see them feeding. They tend not to be here in the winter, so maybe I am being a bit mean!!


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Bullfinches

Since the demise of Paggy, the Bullfinches have been coming to my bird table. This year they stayed and had babies. I feel honoured!


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Passing through

Anyone know what this bird is that stopped by us last week?


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Dead things

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Dead, squashed mole!

This wet and humid summer is playing havoc with the wildlife. While I’ve been out with the dog, there’s been dead moles all over the place and many dead fledglings. The moles I guess have been washed out, unable to find the worms maybe. The fledglings wet and not many bugs to be fed upon with this rain, bees and butterflies don’t fly!!

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The result is, in middle August, I’ve started feeding the birds who’ve come down to avoid the storms. I’ve got about six Bullfinches,  some sparrows, I’ve seen chaffinches, most of the tit family and greenfinches. They certainly are hungry! The Robins are back, I love their chattering, clicking song, reminds me of when my son was born!  The Fieldfares are forming into groups now the Vogelberries are ripening. And I’m seeing more and more field pigeons which have arrived since us, nine years ago.

Its now late August and it feels more autumnal than late summer. The farmers have been cutting hay when they can, I can see it going on until September, but I wonder of the quality of the hay when its all so full of water! The thunderstorms have been incredible too! Inbetween the wet has been beautiful weather, just wish there was more of it!