Yes, I have posts inside of me yet to be written, singing poetic karioke to some odd little memory tunes... but they shall not happen until I can resolve my current bafflement with Blogger and what I think is my completely used up free photo space. So no pictures from my point of view until I come up with an alternate plan - which never fear, is doable, just not as quickly as I'd hoped. (There are many free hosting sites for pictures, I know. I'm just working on getting something more permanent up and running. Well it's up and running, I just can't access it yet.)
Until I resolve this little problem my posts will sadly remain mostly verbal- well with the odd non-commercial use generic picture from the picture library files supplied by Google. This will limit somewhat what I want to write about as there won't be pictures "live" from Corfu which is of course what this blog is about. That and my rambling.
I had been planning to write on the return - or should I say averted return of our spring swifts. (or as we refer to them, "those idiot noisy birds".)
I actually started writing this post on the 19th of March. (time does pass on little winged feet...) Life, friends over for dinner, the weekend, followed by an entire week's worth of miserable cold virus of the head and chest sort, conspired to postpone the entry til today. I still have a stuffy head and my voice is a bit deep, occasionally interrupted by a messy sounding cough, but I am no longer in that sickroom nether world between feeling sorry for myself and actually feeling miserable.]
So, as I started to say, today I heard the real harbinger of spring screeching a welcome note! The swifts have returned!
There was a mud nest in the corner of the portico and a couple of birds came and started "fixing it up"; we thought, when we first moved here that - romantically- they were swallows returning to their little mud nest shell in the entryway. We didn't realise when we first saw that first mud nest in the portico that every surviving baby ever born in that nest would decide to roost in the front entryway- at the same time. They were surprisingly legion!
From two birds suddenly the flock arrived and the front porch became a daily Waterloo of screeching birds and flying clumps of sticky mud and bird leavings everywhere, on the walls floor and screens.
The first couple of years one nest became two, with much fighting, and two became four with more fighting and noisy constant misunderstandings. These birds do not find each other good neighbors.
Then expansion of territory became the general flock idea and the whole house was inundated by diving screaming birds.
Obviously some lost. They did not resign from the battlefield. There were still spots to find on other parts of the house! Every day it felt like an episode from an imaginary Alfred Hitchcock sit-com, The Trouble with Psycho-Birds.
The small nest in the corner of the entryway, became two nests and that year there were over 8 babies- most who fell out of the nests.
The next year the same thing happened again only all the babies from the previous year -that had survived- now insisted that they had a right to build a nest here as well as the previous tenants! So we had a few more nests and several failed attempt nests, that were simply large muddy spotches on the wall. The mud was rock-hard and impossible to remove.
Fast forward to several years later.
Our romance with the birds had long since faded. When they arrive we begin our tactical maneuvers! The whole length of the front terrace is strung up with aluminum foil in key places... otherwise they drop mud and bird poo all over ourselves and any of our guests who try and sit in the shade on the terrace! The mud does NOT come out of the cushion covers. (we have recovered the porch furniture TWICE.) Not romantic. Not charming.
A few of you will say, "Ah but there must be a way to live and let live," and I say to you- "WE have tried, but THEY take no prisoners!"
Last year we had a war of birds over the primary spot in the entry! Swooping and screeching from dawn til dusk.
We could not open the front door from April til September. We couldn't even open the window on the door for some air circulation without being deafened by bird shrieks.
The cats were nervous wrecks. Both the dog and the cats were afraid to go out the front door, and no guests could come in that way as they were assaulted by diving birds!
We covered the entry with a bamboo curtain and a sign to lead guests around the house to the back kitchen door. The birds again expanded. They tried to colonize the back covered terrace (which would have made it impossible to come in or out of the house at all!)
We discovered a secret weapon.
We learned from nature, as last year we had a viper climb the wall and try and clean out the nests. The snake was out of luck and only managed to terrify me, as the baby birds were all trying out their wings and bumbling all over the yard. Still after the snake came, the birds refused to return to the porch and instead we had a babies outside our bedroom screaming at first light to the mother (who was approximately the same size as they were) to feed them! (the only reason I have these pics are because I posted them last year to my mini blog on Tumblr...back on July 17!)
Anyway, that experience set our minds working . We strung some leftover hose up on the rafters and magically the birds avoided the area completely! They thought it was a snake!
So now I have a rubber snake (no photo attached re: see above photo site problem) dangling in a key place and though the birds arrive they shriek and carry on for a few minutes, to this point they still fly off. T has strung up the yellow hose as well.
It may not work. As we all know there are NO guarantees in this life. T washed off four big mud splats from the wall this morning. Still we live in hope!
As for the Swifts? Do not feel sad for our little feathered friends.
Since we first bought the house here, and were the only house for miles, there are now -between our house and the main road (a distance of approximately 2 kilometers) - well over 15 new houses with lovely overhangs and terraces.
I love all my new neighbors. Many of them are avid bird and certainly animal lovers and I am sure will welcome the little 'banes' of our existence' with open hearts.
I wish both birds and neighbors well.