Doodlebone an all-round winner

Tilly, hard at work where she shouldn’t be, demonstrates comfort and ease of movement in her Doodlebone padded dog harness.

TILLY the terrier and the Happy Moonraker are always happy to endorse a product if it’s any good.

Tilly’s new collar/harness is one such product. Made by Doodlebone, it has all the features that any self-respecting dog would specify if able to do so.

It has soft padding where it is needed, it is washable, the stitching is strong so that it hasn’t fallen apart in the first few weeks, and it is made from a breathable mesh fabric.

Robustly made, it also boasts reflective edges, so if we are out at twilight, drivers can see both of us because the Happy Moonraker also wears a highly reflective waistcoat.

Then we come to the best bit for humans: it’s the D ring which is big enough to clip the lead on by using just one hand. A fiddly little D ring is an absolute menace when your hands are full and you end up having to put everything down in order to use both hands just to clip on the lead. So Doodlebone definitely win the trophy for both design and construction.

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Feathered friends come calling

At the start of winter I decided to buy a box of 140 fat balls because it would be better value than buying them in smaller quantities. It has worked well, although of course they are loose in the box, rather than in nets, so it has been necessary to keep topping up feeders dotted around the place. Peanuts and seeds have also proved popular.

A friend who knows about these things says that wild birds should not be fed after the end of April, so I’ve somehow got to advise all our feathered customers that there will be no more cafeteria service until late autumn.

It’s been fun looking for more of my bird photos, all taken through glass.

This robin was tugging away at the worm and must have thought several times that he (or was it she?) had bitten off more than he could chew. He did win in the end.

Pheasants, both male and female, are often to be seen outside. It’s just a question of making sure that they can’t see The Happy Moonraker as the camera is lifted.

Great spotted woodpeckers are fairly common, as demonstrated by this one as it pecks away at the peanuts in the feeder. The smaller, lesser spotted woodpecker is seldom seen in the garden, unfortunately.

The last time we had snow I managed to capture this party of long-tailed tits enjoying the buffet put out for them.