Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Unemployed Bird Scarer!

The bird scarer had little to do! The ground was so frozen, that the birds couldn't peck at the furrowed earth, and were thus denied a pice of the tasty crop.   By midmorning on Wednesday the sun was warm, as we walked past the scarey face, that looks like a cross between an angry bird and me on a cold morning, when I have to get up out of bed.  I walked with a friend from the centre of Devizes along the frozen towpath to "The Crown" at Bishops Cannings.   It's a good, flat walk with much on interest to see and hear on and beside the canal.
The birds cheeped in the trees, and overhead we heard the call of a circling sparrowhawk, identified for me by my walking partner who has more knowledge of bird call that I, although I can recognise a territorial robin and a wren in the bushes.
It was a cold morning, and midway we popped into the pub for a welcome coffee and a warm up!  We took a short cut back to Devizes across the frozen fields, saving ourselves a mile of frozen mud and large puddles covered in swirling patterns of half frozen ice.

This wretched width of cold (thanks Philip Larkin) was seen from Laywood Bridge, with the distant hills of Salisbury Plain on the horizon.  Unfortunately heavy guns "crumped" all morning during army manoeuvers, which rather disturbed the peace and quiet.  

The ducks sit on the ice, while in the background two swans annoy the boat owner by tapping on the boat´s hull and demanding food.   I never fed the ducks or swans from my boat, because once they knew that I was a good source of easy food, they would wake me very early in the morning with their taps on the hull.   It was even worse in the mating session, when the tapping was accompanied by frantic squawking and fighting amongst the male ducks on the metal roof of the boat!   I must admit though, that I did enjoy being out there with  raw nature!

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