April, 2013 Archive

A spot of birdwatching

Living in a rural City has many benefits, and one thing that I love is the amount of birds that we get in the garden everyday. I have been feeding the birds everyday for the last few years and we now get a lovely bunch of birds come everyday at different times, for different food. I think my “feeding station” is a bit like an “All You Can Eat” buffet at times!

Here are some of our daily visitors …

(Click to enlarge the photos for a better look, and thanks to Dave for taking the pics for me 🙂 )

We are surrounded by big trees so we have quite a few of these giant, food guzzlers.. the mighty wood pigeon (very different from the normal pesky urban pigeon)

wood pigeon

Next up we have the handsome blackbird


And what about the greedy starling


Staying on the same colour trend what about the cheeky jackdaw .. I just love his eyes


Then a bird that was once really common, but numbers are dropping, the trusty sparrow


Let’s get some colour now, how about the chirpy blue tit (slightly out of focus)

blue tit

Next up one of my favourites, the bright and bold chaffinch


How can we beat the chaffinch … well what about these guys … 2 male goldfinches. These have just returned to the garden in the last couple of weeks after being away during the winter. These 2 came all last year, every day together, to feed on their ultimate favourite meal of niger seeds.

gold finch

Then to finish off is what we think is the female goldfinch and a young looking blue tit.

female goldfinch

We have a robin that comes every day too, and I’ll get a shot of him soon, and sometimes the red spotted woodpecker pays us a visit, but I haven’t seen him for a while.

Videos for your cat to watch!

Last night we had an experiment in our house. The kids are hooked on YouTube and spend countless hours on their iPad’s watching videos, so we thought we would see if we can introduce Poppy Cat to a video or two. A quick search and we found some specially created cat entertainment videos.

It first she kept getting distracted with other things going on, but then all of a sudden, that was it, she was hooked. At one stage she was touching the screen with her nose but was captivated!

We started her off with a gentle mouse video, that’s not the best quality ever but did the trick..

Or you could go for something a bit more realistic maybe

or if you want to make your cat dance a little try this. This is the simplest video to make but Poppy cat can’t resist a laser pointer!

Officially Hen-less

Three years ago, nearly to the day, we decided that we would have some hens roaming around in the back garden, Tilly, Milly and Bella.

Back in June last year we lost our first hen to a fox, then sadly on Boxing Day we found another one missing and a trail of feathers leading out of the bottom of the garden… and this morning when I went out to feed her, we’d forgotten to lock up the run last night and not only was there the normal feather trail down the bottom of the garden but there was evidence of an attack in the hen house 🙁

Its such as big shame and I feel so sorry to the poor hens who we didn’t protect enough, and really annoyed that Mr Fox has decided to come to our garden for his food. This all started when a small holding with lots of chickens sprang up at Bishopton, close to our house which we can only think has brought the foxes in. For the first 2 years of having the hens we had no trouble at all, and then now one mistake ends up in a death.

Here are a few snaps of my 3 girls!
Love this one of them eating their porridge from a frisbee 🙂

welsummer hens 1

welsummer hens 2

welsummer hens 3

With the fox now roaming around we really can’t get any more hens which is a real shame so need to find a home for my Eglu Go and the extended run we added on last year, so if you know anyone that wants it let me know.

Eglu and extended run

Can you believe it though that Miles’ guinea pig that we got in August 2006, so its 7 years old is still alive and well…this is the day we got the guinea pigs.

pinky guinea pig

And we have still got Poppy Cat who we adopted .. this is the photo from January 2009 when she came to live with us

poppy cat

The Tour Recap

It’s hard to recap on the weekend without writing reams about how great it was, so its time for some pictures for my recap. Dave took over 2000 photos during the weekend with his super cool long distance lens on his camera, so was able to get some really good action shots from the touchline. We’ve just spent most of the afternoon uploading them to the “parents only” photo gallery and I’ve just now been able to go through them all and pick out some ones that captured the weekend for me and the kids.

Bronco sponsored the playing shirts along with the coaches shirts and it was a bit weird seeing the Bronco logo everywhere at first, but it made us very proud we were able to do it for the club and the kids.

We took Bob The Campervan with us, dressed up with his tour ribbons

bob the campervan (1280x889)

The theme on the tour was Cops and Robbers and all the parents got their tour polo shirt … here’s mine which we had to wear all weekend without fail or there would be punishment.

becks (1280x853)

We also had SWAT fancy dress outfits and the kids had their robber polo shirts to wear at all times


Even though it was Ethan’s tour with the U11’s, Miles had a great time too and spent loads of time with the younger kids which he loves to do. I love this picture, I wonder what they are chatting about 🙂

miles and oakley (1280x853)

There is a great crowd of parents at Ripon Rugby club and standing on the touch line cheering on the kids is a great memory

touchline parents (1280x817)

A big thanks goes out to Pete, Dave and Nigel who are the kids great coaches (as well as fellow parents). Al who is also a coach, couldn’t make it on tour, which was a shame as he is Mr. Motivator, but they did a fantastic job at getting the kids fired up before the matches.

the coaches (1280x894)

Here’s a bit of a team huddle

pre match team talk (1280x867)

I must mention the gale force wind on the Sunday that we were greeted with when we arrived. Carnage had taken place during the night with gazebos blown clear of the pitches and portaloos blown over! One of our shelters didn’t make it but thanks to the experts we got our primary shelter secured and tethered to one of the Land Rovers 🙂

shelter strapped down (1280x853)

To show how windy it was this is what I looked like most of Sunday!

windy becky (1280x932)

and you needed sunglasses to keep the dust that was everywhere getting into your eyes… still finding dust now!

So now for some of Ethan’s action

ethan running (1280x931)

ethan on a run (1280x854)

ethan ruck (1280x940)

ethan tackled again (1280x893)

ethan with the ball (1280x854)

And all that’s left is the team photo…we narrowly missed the finals, but played some great rugby, all came home in one piece, and all had a superb weekend… roll on next year 🙂

team photo (1280x864)

Ripon Rugby Club on Tour

Tomorrow the Junior section of the Ripon Rugby Club are heading to Scarborough for the annual rugby tour. At the rugby festival the teams from the U7’s, U8’s, U9’s, U10’s, U11’s (Ethan’s team) and U12’s will compete against teams from across the UK to see who is the champion. The tour is a great occasion for the club, for the kids to spend the weekend together and the parents, who have spent a long and cold Winter on the sidelines at training and matches, to socialise.

This year Bronco is the main shirt sponsor for the tour, and we have supported the club since Bronco started 10 years ago, and we currently also sponsor the U13’s team (Miles’ team) playing shirts. The theme for this year’s tour is Cops and Robbers, with the adults being the cops and the kids the robbers. It will be fancy dress all weekend with specific tour rules and a kangaroo court for rule breakers. The weather for the weekend is looking promising so we’ll hopefully get some sunshine 🙂

Here are the tour shirts .. the players

ripon rugby bronco tour shirt

and the coaches

ripon rugby coach tour shirt

I’ll do a follow up post after the tour 🙂