Watching the Birdies

It’s Birdwatching Weekend so here is a bird and a nest (probably not related).
Admin1 is reading The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Rowbotham, which was compulsively page-turning (read in an evening) but didn’t have much else going for it.
Admin2 is reading The Kingdoms, a bloody-gory wibbly-wobbly twisty-turny time-travelling tour-de-force by the incomparable Natasha Pulley.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

A blackbird finds a tasty snack on our lawn.
Admin1 is reading Empire State by Henry Porter. Admin2 has been reading Sixteen Horses by Greg Buchanan but is probably going to abandon it because:
The one-sentence paragraphs.
And the unfinished remarks___.
And because it is so ponderously literary and slow.
And also because it is about cruelty to animals.
No fun.

Fox Snooze

A nocturnal predator enjoying a daytime doze among our overgrown ivy.
Admin1 is reading The Cliff House (should be called Cliff Hanger) by Chris Brookmyre. Admin2 is reading Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard; filming by gaslight in a cabin in the woods.
After allowing recovery time for agonising jabs, we did the GSQ with family support and scored 12.5. Better and better.

Upside-down Goldfinch

Here’s an indistinct picture of a goldfinch fossicking in some ragweed.
Admin1 is reading Grave’s End by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster, which was as boring as you’d expect.
We scored 9 on the GSQ but hope that the people in the middle of nowhere will give us some extra help. Rescue us, A, B, D and G!
[update]: And they did. So we scored 10. Thanks guys!

Ragweed and Bluebottle

A blue fly alights on a yellow flower in a Ukraine solidarity moment.
July 2022 saw our hottest day ever recorded but was on average only a tenth of a degree hotter than July 2021 and had a lot less rain but only slightly more sunshine.
Admin1 is rereading Salt Lane by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ.

Eye Eye Skipper

A new visitor to our garden, the fluffy-bodied, beady-eyed, long-horned small skipper. Its caterpillars live on long grass so they have profited from No-mow May extending into June and July. And at last we had some proper rain today, but it didn’t register on our rain gauge due, no doubt, to the damn pigeons which have taken to sitting in it and probably using it as a toilet.
[update] and indeed they did. Here’s the evidence:
Cleaning it out added 5.4mm to our rainfall tally which is probably fair. Except that changing the batteries added another 5.4mm.
Admin1 is rereading A Book of Scars by William Shaw.
We had a Chinese banquet for supper and scored 11 on the GSQ, restoring our running average to exactly 10.

Critter of the Day: Hoverfly

Nature’s little helicopter, floating silently before this excessively complicated construction of petals, frilly skirt, dome, pillar, sphere, hammers, nails and curly springs.
Heatwave well over. Top temperature today: 17.2 °C.
Admin2 is rereading A House of Knives by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading The Sun Chemist by Lionel Davidson.

Lavender’s Blue, Lavender’s Green


We missed last week’s family meal so this week we had 2 quizzes to do. We scored 10 on this week’s and a mere 7 on last week’s, even with generous marking, so our running average is now below 10. That bee is definitely cleverer than us.
Admin1 is reading Dead Rich by GW Shaw and Admin2 is reading The Chelsea Murders by Lionel Davidson.

Red-Faced Robin

It’s probably just sunburnt. Today was our second most sunny July day ever: 13.1kWh and counting.
Admin1 is reading Eversion by Alastair Reynolds. Admin2 has tried reading Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary (distressing), The Dead Line by Holly Watt (jejune) and The Buried Life by Carrie Patel (rubbish) and is now rereading Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson which is pleasantly cooling.

Critter of the Day: 7-spot Ladybird Larva

This unlucky baby lady has nothing to eat in a gardenless street and is lucky so far not to get squashed.
Admin1 is reading This Charming Man by CK McDonnell. Admin2 is reading The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths, in which the archaeologist and policeman continue a lockdown-busting romance and anyone with eyes to read will know whodunnit halfway through, so who knows how the audiobook will work.

The Birds and the Bees

Birds have had a hard time around here lately. The other day we found one of the baby starlings inside the house, banging against the window like a fly. Opened the window and it shot off into the sky. Yesterday we found a dead adult starling with a ring on its leg and reported it to euring. I’m looking at you, cat.
The bees are happy though. They are in clover.
Admin1 is reading The Fallout by Yrsa Sigurdardottir,  a fearsomely complicated child-abduction story. Admin2 is rereading London Rules by Mick Herron.