Monday, November 17, 2008

Note to self...

... new notebook. My current one keeps dropping pages out - they don't make them like they used to. And I keep sellotaping pages back in. It's a recipe for disaster. There's no integrity there. I feel a huge Meinertzhagen fantasy revision of my entire note keeping system coming on. Anyway, yesterday

16th November 08
I popped over to Cape Verde and got a nice Razo Lark on the lawn of my hotel. Oooppps, there goes the Meinertzhagen thingy again. Stop it. Really, I was in Newtonhill, seeing... more Long-tailed Tits (5) Coal Tits, and Goldcrests, though tbh not as many Coal Tits and Goldcrests as in the past couple of weeks and I think maybe the autumn is finally coming to an end. Not before I score one more Sibe, hopefully. Whereas on last week's walk round the patch I got maybe 50 Goldcrests, today it was certainly less than 20.

Along Honeypot Lane at the Retreat, which was to be fair quite busy with Chaffinches and Blue Titmice and such, there was a single male Blackcap at the feeders. 3 Redpoll sp. flew over the track to the beach, and at the bottom of the track I met a fellow Newtonhill birder tick - Matt Parsons, who also had seen nothing very interesting today, but who had seen one of 'my' (or quite possibly a totally different one) Pallas's Leaf Warblers on Tuesday. There was a single Common Stonechat up the cliff sides. A quick look offshore (dead, 4 Northern Gannets and a few gulls of 4 spp hanging around the lobster boat) down there.
And then to the allotments (also very quiet, save for Common Blackbirds, European Robins, Dunnocks) but meeting 2 other Newtonhill Birders - a very interesting trend - who also saw 'my' Pallas's on Tuesday. I went down to Muchalls, but things just got worse, though there were a few fresh-in looking Redwings

We've got a mouse/mice in the loft. Heard 'em last week, so I dusted a trap off and put it up there armed with peanut butter. For a day or so the mouse was eating the peanut butter without setting off the trap, so I finally put it on an absolute hair trigger and 5.30 am we heard 'ker-snap' and victory ... WAS MINE!!!!! When I went to collect the pathetic corpse later I felt guilty cos it was only a wee teenage mouse - about 2/3 full size - trying to get out of the cold etc. I noticed/presumed that it had nearly got away again, because the peanut butter was gone. But just in case loaded up the trap and left it a few hours. When I noticed the peanut butter gone again. So now I knew what was happening. We have some sort of General Haig-type mouse in the loft, sending the young underage mice over the top to die in the jaws of the trap, then sucking up the spoils and the glory of victory (OK, the peanut butter) for himself. So I rammed some chocolate and more peanut butter onto the trap, the idea being that they would have to tug real hard to get the choccy and ka-boom for them. A bit later... heard the ker-snap again... went up to get my prize but lo! and blimey! Not only was there nothing in the trap, but they'd taken the choccy and peanut butter and, believe me dear reader... DISMANTLED the trap! My mouse had taken out the hinges that held the spring loaded and rendered it useless. I can see I am up against a worthy opponent. And I have no more traps. So extras have been ordered, via the miracle of ebay, and I'll have another go. There may have been a point to this story but it has temporarily escaped my mind.


Ipin said...

I hate having to start a new notebook before the end of the previous one - OCD, I know! I used to have seperate notebooks for foreign trips, but couldn't bare that, I do dread the thought of losing one with a all of the notes from a good trip in though.

Alastair said...

Mice - kids stuff. Rats is where it's at oh doc. Brush offsprings teeth send them to bed then remember to go and fetch nail scissors .... perrrdong .... cat flap goes, head towards offsprings room clutching nail scissors and ... aaaaagggghhhh large rat running about on stairs - cat watching with amused grin. "Get it you useless hairball!" I scream. Expletives a plenty, girls scream - daddy such a turn of phrase - do not attempt to stab rodent with nail scissors (suicide mission), girls watch as I rush for broom and returning manage to beat Rattus to a pulp in front of them. Cat phones Social Care.