July Wildlife Top Trumps Drag Your Wellies from the Swamp

(55 Posts)

I declare one common newt. Who's going to bring out the basking sharks?

GrimmaTheNome Sun 01-Jul-12 21:39:39

We need Ariel - although maybe we'll get some holiday spots soon.

I've not seen anything new or remarkable recently, but have been enjoying some gorgeous dog roses along various paths.

MooncupGoddess Sun 01-Jul-12 22:31:17

I saw a stone curlew yesterday! They are very rare in England these days, but there is a site in East Anglia where they come every summer to breed, and I went to have a look with my father (v. accomplished birder). After quite a lot of fruitless scanning of the heath where they hang out my father finally spotted one, camouflaged in the grass and just moving its head a little from side to side. They are strange creatures, very prehistoric-looking with big yellow eyes.

Nothing else to report but a large frog, hiding under a brick in my garden. Hope it's OK, there are certainly lots of insects around for it to eat.

chixinthestix Sun 01-Jul-12 23:38:07

Today's spot was a dipper, posing very prettily until DCs came piling along the riverbank and it shot off. Lots of heath spotted orchids and bog asphodel too.

I've also learnt the difference between a dog rose (hooked thorns) and a field rose (straight thorns) and realised that we have both in the hedgerow opposite the front door. smile

GrimmaTheNome Mon 02-Jul-12 08:47:45

Strong early entry there from MCG, and my 'learn something new every day' from Chix about the wild roses.

Just back from run jog ok well mostly walk along the canal - got really close to a heron before it put up, and glad to see 'my' swans have 6 strapping cygnets.

iseenodust Mon 02-Jul-12 09:52:39

Driving home last night we were assailed by the scent of peas. Summer has arrived at last for the farmers at least.
<knows it's not wildlife but hopes marginally more interesting than a marking spot post>

GrimmaTheNome Mon 02-Jul-12 12:30:42

That is interesting, if you didn't realise there was a pea smell. Do you live in one of the agricultural areas where Birds Eye owns vast tracts of pea farm?

The only non-animal agricultural smells I've been aware of are rape and brussel sprouts (my DB lives in the Bedfordshire, which is very sprout-scented at times)

violetwellies Mon 02-Jul-12 13:39:53

Sprout scented Bedfordshire smile I'm looking forward to using that at some point smile

iseenodust Mon 02-Jul-12 15:05:00

The pea smell comes when the viners are doing their thing. It is pure scent of fresh pea. grin Farmers own the farms round here. Interestingly they have formed a collective purely for negotiating prices - and the approach has paid off I'm told ! Farmer's wife also told me it is far less than 12 hours from picked to bagged frozen.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 03-Jul-12 15:22:38

Just went down to the kitchen for a cuppa and spotted a woodpecker - haven't seen one in the garden for a while so that was nice smile

Pair of siskins on the sunflower hearts

violetwellies Tue 03-Jul-12 21:14:16

pair of red legged partridge started turning up with all the little birds @ hen feeding time. And a cursed fox.
I have lost an arucana, a faveroll, two croad langshan cockerels and am down to six from 9 croad hens. As well as assorted xbred bantams. All in broad daylight.

chixinthestix Thu 05-Jul-12 18:33:55

Big lazy buzzard circling above the garden in the sun (yes sun! For a whole hour!) this afternoon. Despite the failure of 'our' buzzard nest my neighbour has heard young calling from the other well hidden nest further down the valley. Very happy about that. smile

GrimmaTheNome Thu 05-Jul-12 18:50:39

Walking by the Ribble - big black-backed gull wheeling overhead (can't compete with the buzzard) while below, a pair of ducks hitched a ride on a log floating upriver with the tide.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 05-Jul-12 18:51:24

Right now, songthrush giving virtuoso performance accompanied by drumrolls of thunder.

Had to stop the car whilst a duck and 6 ducklings crossed the road. Tiny ones. A relief to see them as most of the duckings were washed away in the great rains exactly two weeks ago.

And now it is doing it again. Nature hardly stands a chance this year.

Saw a very strange small frog on the bridlepath yesterday - must do some research.

It wasn't a frog, it was a baby toad blush

GrimmaTheNome Sat 07-Jul-12 21:24:24

My spot today is singular but numerous - a swarm of bees. It was shaped like a pine cone but about the size of a football, hanging from the branch of a neighbour's ornamental plum tree; the branch had been bent nearly to the ground by its weight.

violetwellies Sat 07-Jul-12 22:07:14

Ohh wow bees, it must be the weather for it, our builder couldnt come last week as his bees were swarming, I've never seen a swarm.

GrimmaTheNome Sat 07-Jul-12 22:21:35

I'd never seen one before - it's quite a thing! There were bees buzzing round it -peaceably, minding their own business; but when DD came back this evening from the neighbour's house (daughter is her friend) she said it was all quiet and still.

chixinthestix Sun 08-Jul-12 20:55:00

Well, finally some top spots worth posting about. Fantastic walk today out into beautiful limestone grassland with 5 species of butterflies including a silver washed fritillary and a silver studded blue. Also a huge green bush cricket, an emperor dragonfly, moths, lacewings, golden ringed dragonfly and lots of blue damselflies. And 39 species of flowering plants, although could have been more...or less...DD was counting.
<admits Nat Park handicap> Was lovely and even a bit sunny at times. grin

PorkyandBess Sun 08-Jul-12 20:58:25

We've got a fair few bees in our garden.

Our baby bird flew off today.

Then, 2 hours later, he flew onto dh's head.

So now he's back in his cosy box for the night confused

whojamaflip Sun 08-Jul-12 21:02:22

Had the most gorgeous neon pink and brown striped Elephant Hawkhead moth in the kitchen last night - the honeysuckle is just coming into flower by the back door and I think it got confused and flew in. smile

GrimmaTheNome Sun 08-Jul-12 22:06:32

Chix - very impressive esp ID'ing the various dragonflies.

Looks like July is Insect month.

The swarm was today near lunchtime but was gone when we got home about 5.

iseenodust Mon 09-Jul-12 10:36:35

Spotted the albino pheasant ! He's been around a couple of years but I've not seen him since I found these threads. He was just mooching in a field.

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