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A cold, crunchy morning down our local ex-sewage works (Rodley Nature Reserve) gave Grub a chance to practise his ice-skids – and try out the proper children’s binoculars that Grandma Twitch gave him for Christmas. He practised on herons, gadwall, pochard, coots, tufted ducks, kestrel, swans and a crow skating across the ice. (This reminded me of a famous sequence of photos in National Geographic years ago, of American crows sliding headfirst, on their backs, down a short bank of snow, then waddling back up and doing it all over again: playing; no more, no less.) Grub thought his binoculars were fine – until he had a go with Grandma Twitch’s turbo-sonic-laser ones to watch a great spotted woodpecker chipping at a nestbox hole. With those, you don’t just see the woodpecker: you see sawdust.

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  1. Well done Grub! I hope you will be doing the RSPB Wildlife Explorer’s ‘world’s biggest birdwatch’ for an hour on Jan 29th & 30th. Is Grandma turbo-sonic-laser too?

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