It's not The Serengeti Plain but out there in our suburban back garden I have seen plenty of wildlife over the years. Mammals have included hedgehogs, foxes, a badger, American grey squirrels, rats and field mice. However, as you can imagine, the real stars of the show are birds - those amazing flying creatures that live amongst us.
This Christmas Eve morning, I pulled back the curtains and saw a mischief of magpies - nine of them hopping around near the feeding station. I have also seen our native robins, thrushes, crows, rooks, blackbirds, wood pigeons, collared doves, hedge sparrows, a pheasant, blue tits, coal tits, long tailed tits, goldfinches, Eurasian jays, a sparrow hawk, swallows, house-martins and starlings and I am sure I have missed a couple out.
Yesterday, for the second time in a week, I was puzzled to see an unfamiliar bird in the garden. She was mostly black with white head markings and she was sitting near the top of a small sycamore tree watching the world go by.
I came downstairs and riffled through a drawer to find our binoculars. Invariably, it is at such a moment that target birds choose to depart but fortunately I was able to observe this one for a full minute before if flew away.
I will keep looking out for her and wishing her well. Her appearance was a welcome early Christmas present and a reminder that we should treasure our avian neighbours. Please don't let them go the way of the dodo.
Meanwhile, high in Yorkshire Pudding Towers, the jury is already in a huddle as they deliberate once again through the Christmas period over who will be prize winners at the annual Laughing Horse Blogging Awards Ceremony. Above all, they are considering who will be The Blogger of the Year for 2021. Watch this space and please have a HAPPY CHRISTMAS.