Strange things


Are you wearing a mask again? Some people are our doctors cover up but patients do not seem to. It was the same at the hospital where I went for an X-ray recently.

The X-ray was to see if my operation was going well (it was). There was a volunteer to guide the way he was old like me and said by way of being jolly that he did not need X-rays anymore he just had to stand near the window and the doctor could see right through him to his bones!

My elderly sister recently had a health emergency and was rushed to A&E (not in Shropshire) she was given urgent attention and a bed. But the hours dragged on and went into the next day and then she was transferred to a seat in a corridor where she waited five hours. In the end, it was decided that she could go home. Of course, she was upset and cold. This happened elsewhere to a friend’s elderly mother too, sitting in a corridor for hours waiting for treatment. This, it seems can be expected and we need to get used to it.

I never get used to the kestrel flying over our fields. He seems to have taken the electricity pole in Oak Meadow as a look out perch in case an unaware vole scurries by. It is a special sight to me now because kestrels are on the amber list as their numbers have dropped over the years. Late yesterday when I was on our lane, I saw one swoop over our field, Goose Bottom, and onto the pole and then through the open window into our old bird hide cum summer house in the corner. I saw his gingery back and his sharp pointed wings. Then today Mr T found a small pellet on the window ledge. The kestrel must have been roosting here at night and regurgitated the pellet. It is full of the remains of creatures it has eaten. This one has fur and a lot of little white bones.

We went again to the nature reserve near Welshpool just over the Shropshire border to see the wildlife there. To my surprise the water level has risen and the little island in front of the hide is completely submerged. It was dusk and I had gone to see the birds roosting safely on the island. But there were no lapwings swooping in with their distinctive blunt wings. There were instead murmurings of starlings dramatically changing shape like whisps of dark smoke in the wind. And there were warnings of bird flu which hasn’t gone away just like our COVID.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

The is a kestrel's regurgitated pellet, it has little bones and fur inside. Next to a two pence coin (for size)


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