It’s a hard life

3rd May, 2021

Thrashers at the watering hole yesterday afternoon.

As far as I know, their lives are no harder than any other bird’s.

Except that I can never bring their name to mind when I see one, so they get called “Flashers” or “Dashers” or even “Road Runner”, an entirely different bird.

Lovely to see the two together.

No doubt they are building a nest and preparing to create baby Thrashers.

Red-Breasted woodpecker usually dines at the suet feeder, but lately it’s been joining the fray on the ground.

With one feeder appropriated by this saucy chap, the free-for-all on the ground is getting frantic.

The other day Little Red lay down in the feeder, so stuffed, he had to have a siesta.

I thought he was going to put his feet up again yesterday when I took this picture, but instead he demonstrated his dismount by launching himself at a roof support and bouncing off it, onto the porch where he frightened the life out of a grey squirrel.

Under the hedge, Hogsley took an afternoon snack.

While Mrs C and a young Red Wing were picking at the remnants.

So who is having a hard life?

Apparently being a grey squirrel can be a bit tiresome.

They are so numerous and they compete not only with their own kind but with the pugnacious Little Red.

Not to mention hawks that hover constantly.

Last year we had Gimpy. This year we have Lumpy.

Grant spotted him yesterday. Without the zoom lens he appeared to have a big growth and we were concerned what it could be, though it doesn’t affect his appetite.

Today I got some pictures and it’s obviously an infection from a wound as you can see puncture marks.

The wound seems healed, but there must be an abscess inside. Unless squirrels are different, it must be so painful. I remember having a tiny abscess on a tooth that was agonizing and Lumpy’s is enormous.

One’s instinct is to try to help but the likelihood of it being possible is not even remote.

We would have to trap him and get him to the Wildlife Rescue for treatment. I wouldn’t dare to guess at such a thing for a wild animal.

As for trapping a particular grey squirrel….

We are hoping the abscess will burst and hopefully we will recognize Lumpy from his injury scars.

It’s awful when they just disappear, like Gimpy and Mrs Plod.

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