Something I never expected to be doing on a Saturday morning was discussing my fat balls with one of the Infectious Diseases nurses from work.
Mrsslippy has gone away for the day to Mrs Ethicons baby shower, with Katieluv, Horledge, and Littleginger/Ginger Warrior (who due to an argument with some snow is taking some time out from warmongering, and is Timmied up in a sling).
I wasn't embarrassed to show Cheryl my balls, she's probably seen loads in her time, although I think she was a little surprised to see mine, particularly at 9.30 on a Saturday morning.
My neighbours have seen them, as they're often proudly hanging out in the back garden. In fact the first thing I did when I got home was go round the back and get them out.
Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm, I spilt my seed everywhere.
For this morning I was caught at our local garden centre stocking up on bird food. A jumbo tub of fat balls, and a 3kg bag each of peanuts, mixed seeds, and sunflower seeds. If they'd got any mealworms I'd have had them too, but today wasn't to be.
I also invested in a new pole to hang feeders off, as the one we have with a big tray on it has been claimed by pigeons, and the starlings seem to think the other pole is for them, and them alone. This brings the total of feeders to 8 or 9 or something, plus loose balls.
I know it's not cool, but being as I am not either, then I shall come clean.
I am a birder. A card carrying member of the RSPB.
Not a Twitcher - they are just list making completists, who will travel the length and breath of the country just so they can say 'seen it'.
I enjoy the simple pleasure of just sitting and watching our feathered friends going about their daily business.
Not to say if I did see something rare or unusual I wouldn't be excited, but I'm just as happy watching the starlings munching on my balls.
We've got a pair of binoculars each, and even a couple of spare pairs. I'm sure the people who live over the back will report me to the police one day for spying on them due to me often hanging out the window with a pair of bins glued to my face.
If it wasn't for the fact it's pissing it down I'd be there now, seeing who fancies a go on my new treats.
While I wait for it to subside, I'll share a few pictures of some of the little feathery things that have brought me some joy over the years. There are dozens more on my website, and just you wait until we get back from Brazil. I'm gonna have Toucans, and Hummingbirds, and Parrots.....
Stork Billed Kingfisher - Borneo
Oriental Pied Hornbill - Borneo. Noisiest bird I've ever heard.
Heron - Regents Park. The place is swarming with them. I wouldn't call them tame, but they're certainly approachable.
I have no idea where I interrupted this Blackbird having his dinner - somewhere in the Lake District.
Cormorant on Lake Windermere. We hired a row boat, and Mrsslippy's careful oarsmanship got us really close to it.
Rain's stopped. I'm off to inspect my balls.