Unusually we had the Kingswood Firework party this year on the actual fifth of November. But, as is usual, we had a magnificent bonfire & fireworks & BBQ. No guy to burn this year, despite plenty of candidate effigies, such as a lettuce, a Liz or a Boris. The weather was a little damp, although the rain did hold out to the end of the firework display. Those finishing off the burgers, bangers, beer and wine did have to shelter under the canopies when there was a short torrential downpour.
For a few, the evening ended in a Kingswood house where a considerable volume of whisky etc was consumed, amidst much camaraderie.
I missed several days of fox cubs, they run the battery down on the camera in only a few days. One night the fox cubs spent the whole of darkness playing! The Infrared light soon depleted the battery! The batteries changed and, on the 4th and 5th of May the Fox cubs are still around. A little bigger, now steady on their feet and much more active.
On the 31st of October a strong wind blew through Aylesbury Vale. It was an exceptionally strong one which drew my immediate attention to the outside world. The poplar trees in the garden were being whipped around by the gusts. Luckily they did not succumb to the wind, but they did blow around, losing leaves and a few small dead branches. We lost a few larger branches from our willow trees. The large willows near the field pond were flattened even more. They were already going over, being supported by their neighbours and the hedge. Outside our home the A41 was covered by the last of the autumnal leaves.
I walked out to investigate the road block down the road, but soon stopped. There was this weird hissing sound, and then the smell of gas. A tree in Kingswood had lost a branch and broken a link pipe between two bulk Calor gas cylinders supplying the local eatery. The sound of the escaping gas could be heard throughout the village.
We were worried the gas could ignite and cause a serious problem, so called 999 to asked for the fire brigade. But it took so long that we hung up and tried again. Finally, we were put through to the fire brigade which answered immediately. They said they would come out. In the meantime a neighbour had sorted out the gas and was able to turn off the taps. Called the fire brigade again. They were already en route but said they would still come so they could check as a precautionary measure. They took some time to arrive from Aylesbury, because they had to negotiate several blockages on the A41 due to fallen trees.
A video of our Red-legged Partridges. When we first saw the partridges there were 7 chicks. Every day we checked and counted the chicks, she managed to hang on to seven for several days. We were concerned the Crows, Magpies and Kestrels would feed on the chicks. The partridges were in our garden every day, though for only part of the day. They would be missing for long periods and then suddenly show up.
After a few days, the number of chicks started to decrease, first to 4 chicks. Then a few days later there were only 2 and finally, a couple of days later, all the chicks were missing. We thought maybe they had been predated by the Crows or Magpies. Interestingly our neighbour across the road also had a Red-legged partridge which also lost its chicks over the same days. It does seem this dim bird was taking the chicks across the A41 where the traffic is high with large numbers of trucks feeding the building spree going on in Aylesbury Vale. I am sure Darwin would have some comments about the survival of Ref-legged Partridges
A video of the partridges in better times as they walked about our garden.