June Top Trumps. Pack you bird books and binoculars...

(108 Posts)
SaggyCeratops Thu 31-May-12 23:56:09

I'll start. Today, I saw a green woodpecker, and got really close to a little owl. I came into close proximity to about a million mosquitoes, and have just removed a wood louse from the bathtub! confused

GrimmaTheNome Mon 11-Jun-12 12:58:57

Hello all. Back from the canal... wildlife a bit disappointing, perhaps due to a paradoxical combination of the water shortage causing lock restrictions on the Oxford Canal so we went on the Grand Union instead, and pissing down rain most of the time (thank goodness for Gore-tex!). Lots of the usual flora (yellow irises and waterlilies in abundance) and dozens of ducklings; one grebe in a marina; swifts and swallows. The only thing I saw which was new to me were freshwater crayfish - a dead one by a lock which someone opined was English not an American invader, and a whopper which a boy had caught and was proudly showing off to all passing boaters.

amistillsexy Mon 11-Jun-12 14:51:39

<<waves to Grimma>>

I've found you!

I started my own (sadly not well-visited) thread about this, to tell you all that we've got bats!

Lots of them come flying round our windows (3 floors up) each evening at dusk, and are still flitting round when it's dark.

I don't know what type they are, though. Can anyone help with identification? They are really hard to actually see, as they go so fast!

GrimmaTheNome Mon 11-Jun-12 15:35:02

I think bat experts think about location and listen to them with special bat-listening frequency-dropping thingummies <technical or what?> at least as much as visual identification - afaik they are all pretty small and fast!

I was able to identify the bats which regularly have a summer roost under our soffit boards because one day we found a dead one and a live one clinging to the brickwork in the side alley so we were able to take a good look. Ours are pipistrelles, the commonest type which are particularly fond of soffits.

chixinthestix Mon 11-Jun-12 21:54:53

yy to what Grimma said. We have noctule bats here which are huge - saw 3 last night but the only reason I know this is because we saw one in daylight when it first came out in the spring and was a bit confused. Otherwise pretty impossible to tell without a bat detector I think although if they are really diddy they are likely to be pipistrelles...sounds like they are roosting in your roof too amistillsexy. Cool.

amistillsexy Tue 12-Jun-12 07:32:54

It does look as if they are roosting in our roof, which is odd because we had our house re-roofed only 3 or 4 years ago, so they've only recently moved in!

I heard a programme on the radio the other day where they were bat watching. They mentioned a national bat survey, so I think I'll check that out.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 12-Jun-12 15:06:45

Are they actually in your roof? Often the summer roosts are just under the boards outside (that's what ours do).

Anyway, todays spots ... we went to Warton Crag, which has huge numbers of jackdaws living on it. Lots of red and white valerian growing on it. While walking, the most notable wildlife was the variety of slugs... black, chocolate brown, ones with bright orange edges and some almost peachy coloured. Fab views over Morecambe Bay from the top. Thought that was it, but back in the car park there was a cluster of people with binoculars trained on the cliff - a pair of peregrines! I couldn't find them but someone had set up a scope and kindly let us have a look. smile

amistillsexy Tue 12-Jun-12 22:49:21

I don't know, Grimma. I just assumed they were in the roof. They might be under the overhanging slates I suppose. We don't have soffits, but I'm sure they don't need much room to roost!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 12-Jun-12 23:15:53

I found a poor wee baby wren, stiff as a board in a feed bowl today. I was really sad then I found it's poor wee parent, dead on the floor too! sad sad
I'm wondering if the parent died first, then the fledgling came looking for it and got stuck in the bowl! <<feels responsible>>

Oh Saggy, that is awful sad sad sad.

Back from Anglesey. Saw my oyster catchers and lots of other fab stuff, and two enormous seals. They really were huge.

The thing that struck me most though was the absence of rabbits from the caravan site. They used to be everywhere, but I saw only one all week.

FryingNemo Thu 14-Jun-12 19:44:52

Today I saw something absolutely bloody amazing.

THE SUN! I couldn't believe it! It's been so long since I saw it I had to check in a bookication guide bk to see if I had correctly identified that big yellow object in the sky. I do hope to see it again this summer!

FryingNemo Thu 14-Jun-12 19:47:12

You see, it fried my brain.

I saw a cinnabar moth on ragweed (because I put it there).

But it's too cold. I saw that yellow thing too, but the wind chill factor took most of the charm away.

chixinthestix Thu 14-Jun-12 21:49:45

Nothing here but grey grey skies, wind and torrents of rain. Saddest of all is that the buzzard nest we have been avidly watching since March has failed. I think the chicks must have died in the awful storms last week while we were away on holiday as there have been no adults around at all since we got back and the nest seems completely empty. sad sad

violetwellies Thu 14-Jun-12 22:09:44

I hate to say it <smug> the weather here has been fabulous we walked cross country to my friends for coffee and the holly was buzzing, I've never noticed holly flowers before (tiny waxy white) so I can thank you all and tissue fabulous thread for that smile

Selks Thu 14-Jun-12 22:44:33

This is an awful breeding year for wildlife cos of all the rain and cold.
In the brief hot spell a month ago there were loads of house martens around and it looked as if they were going to nest on our house smile. But they've all disappeared. sad

GrimmaTheNome Thu 14-Jun-12 23:20:46

Oh dear. Springwatch has had a few tragedies too.

But its been a nice day in Lancashire too - pretty good all week actually.(V windy and raining now though). We've got a new baby blackbird in the garden, to add to the earlier crop.

Today walking (near a west Pennine moors reservoir) we heard a cuckoo and saw a warbler singing loudly just above our heads, while holding a small caterpillar in its beak. Don't know how it managed that! DH thought it was a juvenile wood warbler, I think it was a chiffchaff fooling us by doing its song rather than its chiff-chaff call.

And lots more slugs, great big black and brown ones on the path.

I have a pair of bullfinches eating sunflower hearts on my feeder. Goldfinches are queuing up behind.

The clouds are so close and wet and grey and heavy they feel like being roofed in by drenched old lagging.

Selks Fri 15-Jun-12 14:20:03

Bullfinches - lovely! And Goldies too - love those.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jun-12 16:30:33

The daddy blackbird (looking a bit tatty, he's obviously done breeding for the year and is moulting) was busily feeding the new baby with marrow dug from yesterday's dogbone. 0

Cirkey - nearly hit a fecking blackbird this morning. Driving to the stables and the bloody thing just flew down and landed in the road right in front of the car, with a beak full of goodies. I think I avoided it but had to do a big swerve. I looked on the way back as there was no sign of anything squished.

There is however a completley flattened blackbird on the road outside my father's house. Always makes me sad.

And saw my curlew quite close up this morning.

We had a bullfinch in the garden at the weekend.

Six peregrines including one prodigal peregrine chick that left the nest early a few days ago but was hauled home today by its mum- a lovely sight!

GrimmaTheNome Mon 18-Jun-12 19:42:19

7 black headed gull chicks - 3 on one nest, 3 swimming with parents, another one (that I could see) in a nest hidden in a reed bed.

Half-grown coot chick swimming with its parents who were assiduously diving and feeding it.

Cormorant, grebe, tufties.

Red deer stag with magnificent set of still-velvety antlers, and about 6 does.

lots of ragged robin.

Swarms of little blue damsel flies and a few chunky dragonflies.

LostInWales Mon 18-Jun-12 22:19:06

Wow Grimma, that's a great days spotting. Love the prodigal peregrine chick too barbarian. I saw my shelducks today for the first time in ages accompanied by 4 shelducklings, a very pleasing sight.

PorkyandBess Mon 18-Jun-12 22:25:10

Gah! my ds has rescued a baby wood pigeon which ended up homeless after visit from tree surgeon (accidentally, he didn't see nest).

Bird (nn Dodo as it looks just like one) is now staying the night in his room.

Not sure how this is going to work out!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 18-Jun-12 22:38:11

Wildlife has been a bit sparse recently, but last night, dd her friend and I were exploring the tack rooms of our stables. The end room was occupied by a bat, hunting for bugs. He was flying round and round the small room, and we all stood inside, whilst he flew round our heads! It was amazing! He was quite large, with huge ears. He flew out, back in, round some more, and we saw the whole thing from within two feet!

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