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

violetwellies Fri 01-Jun-12 08:50:47

Ceratops? Saggy are you extinct?

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Jun-12 08:56:01

Thanks for starting smile even if those were May spots
I'd love to see a little owl in the wild.

I don't expect to see much today, work and packing - then I'll be away for a week. Narrowboat on the oxford canal, hopeful of bird life there (must remember to take book and binoculars). There was a Great Outdoors thread a while back about 'best places to see wildlife' or suchlike, and I think I came to the conclusion that 'from a boat' was a good general rule (be it canoe, badly sailed dinghy, boat trips in places like anglesey and cornwall, and Norfolk Broads 'tub')

Ten million greenflies!
Swifts and goldfinches.

First wild roses out around here.

iseenodust Fri 01-Jun-12 11:02:33

Not a good start. Just seen a black ladybird with four red spots in the garden - they're the 'bad' variety aren't they?

I used to see lots of little owls lurking in trees when I rode my horse in the summer evenings.

Off to Anglesey tomorrow so hoping for oyster catchers and seals, at the very least.

Incaminka Fri 01-Jun-12 11:14:19

I'm very lucky with our garden. 5am this morning, muntjac and fox!
Not so lucky re fox -he's had 6 of my hens. I am getting a trap to catch and rehome him.
We also have a green woodpecker but not seen him today. Have seen blue tits, great tits, kestrel, robin, blackbirds, songthrush.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Jun-12 11:27:08

Ooh, I should think there's loads of birds on and around Anglesey at the moment - its the only place I've seen puffins (from the aptly named 'Puffin Cruises' and choughs (at South Stack))

iseenodust Fri 01-Jun-12 12:22:13

Seriously needs a bigger garden. I fancy at babbling brook at the bottom.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Jun-12 13:17:53

A brook would be fab, but even a small pond is pretty good. I went out at lunchtime and watched some very active water snails including a nice chunky ramshorn. We have a little 'barrel pond' on the patio - this is great for attracting birds near to the house to drink and bathe.

I saw Puffins and choughs on Skomer.

Too many walking issues to get to South Stack, but the RSPB place on the cliff top has telescopes.


Barrel pond - I have always fancied one of those - saw a programme once where someone grew a water lily in a barrel pond. How big is yours Grimma? Is it difficult to keep healthy?

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Jun-12 13:32:36

Roughly a foot deep and 14" diameter - too small for a water lily but its got a couple of spiky plants, some aerating floaty stuff and a few small water soldier offsets from the ones in the proper pond. It needs topping up in summer esp as the dog also uses it as a water bowl- (collect rainwater, or fill a bucket and leave 3 days to dechlorinate)and I have to remove blanket weed by hand (not exactly big enough for a barley bale!). But because its small its easily manageable. The birds love it. smile

iseenodust Fri 01-Jun-12 14:19:12

Barrel pond - need to learn more. thanks Grimma

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Jun-12 17:46:35

My pleasure smile. No garden is too small for a barrel pond. You need plants in it in pots which come just below the water level (on a halfbrick if needbe), topped with gravel, for the birds to stand on.

OneHandFlapping Fri 01-Jun-12 17:51:26

I came on to say I'd seen a little owl - which was very exciting, only to find every bugger's already seen one!

Selks Fri 01-Jun-12 20:16:53

Lots and lots of house martens....not rare or wow factor as such, but I'm just very pleased to see them as they have been absent here for two years previously.

violetwellies Fri 01-Jun-12 20:53:56

Edmerflower out, and various shades of hawthorn from a deep pink (guessing Pauls Scarlet ) to a gorgeous cream with edges blushed pink. All hedgerow trees so not wild, but very pleasant smile

FryingNemo Fri 01-Jun-12 20:57:10

Pied woodpeckers and lots of baby blue tits. I hope these ones don't end up in a cat like last year's ones.

I love house martens too. When we bought our house there were four nests along the eaves but when we moved in they were gone. I asked the previous owner what had happened and she said, "We knocked them off for you." I was so upset.

Selks Fri 01-Jun-12 21:28:18

Also loving all the wonderful hawthorn blossom and billowing cow parsley at the moment...it's beautiful.

FryingNemo...that's awful angry sad

chixinthestix Fri 01-Jun-12 22:14:50

Hmm barrel pond sounds good and so much more MN than my washing up bowl pond.....

However our resident hen blackbird has her daily bath in the dog's water bowl on the back doorstep so yes, any bit of water will bring the wildlife in grin

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Jun-12 22:24:29

My 'barrel' is actually plastic - anything the right size from a garden centre or hardware store that hasn't been pre-drilled will do. As I mentioned, ny dog thinks it is his water bowl (he's a dachshund, perfect height for him to drink without lowering his head grin). Why do dogs always prefer 'outdoors' water with bits in it?

chixinthestix Fri 01-Jun-12 22:31:33

I really want one! The washing up bowl dries up too quickly and is too small for snails and proper pond plants, although the ragged robin in the stone sink/bog garden is looking v good atm.

You are completely right there Grimma, stixdog has perfectly good fresh water indoors but waits by the back door every evening to be let out for a drink. I think he likes the blackbird detritus.

violetwellies Sat 02-Jun-12 16:19:44

FryingNemo they'd have lost the sale if that had been me...

FryingNemo Sun 03-Jun-12 18:17:23

Violetwellies - I was devastated. I could not believe it. My only consolation was that it was August and the fledglings would have been long gone by then (hopefully).

No wildlife spots today - it has been raining horizontally most of the day.

violetwellies Sun 03-Jun-12 20:36:04

Yesterday a beautiful gossamer web, thick with midges got to love that spider, today a pretty blue flower that I don't know the name of ....yet smile

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 04-Jun-12 08:28:49

OOOOOO! I have just had a siskin in the garden! It is our frst ever siskin, can't wait to tell DS as he'll understand my excitement whereas DD and DH won't.

FryingNemo Mon 04-Jun-12 08:44:29

Siskens are beautiful aren't they? We had a couple here last month. Such pretty birds.

Selks Mon 04-Jun-12 12:49:39

Siskins are indeed gorgeous. We don't seem to get them hereabouts (Pennines) sad. Fab that you've had one on your feeder, Hellhas!

Selks Mon 04-Jun-12 12:50:17

My spot is one from last night - a little owl in the field next to my garden. Very cute.

Twites- N Wales coast.
Just making a barrel pond- thanks for the good idea!

mummylin Tue 05-Jun-12 12:12:18

hello ,just returned from Portugal and wild life to be seen IN OUR ROOM was two giant cockroaches and a grasshopper,nothing unusual you may think but we were three floors up ! We spotted little lizards amongst the rocks and then came across a massive ants nest which i was fascinated by because they were big ants and their eggs were black !!

I posted this on the other thread,so have c&p it here !

mummylin Tue 05-Jun-12 12:23:21

Oh ans i forgot ,in the area where we used to go to a little bar late at night there was a mother cat with 5 little kittens,4 tabby ones and 1 black one.They were so cute so i bought some tinned cat food and took it down there each evening.I think the bar owners in the little area tend to look out for them a bit so they do get fed sometimes. I tried to get pictures but they seemed to run away a lot,but im sure i have one of the black one.I will look later and see what i actually managed to get.

SaggyCeratops Tue 05-Jun-12 14:02:55

I have just been twittered at by a fledgling robin! I was mucking out, and he fluttered over, perched in the door and gave me a good telling off! confused
I had a couple of finches in my garden yesterday. They looked like goldfinches, but had a red cap rather than red faces. I cant find them in my AA Book of the British Countryside! I'll have a google later.

SaggyCeratops Tue 05-Jun-12 18:17:13

<<smug>> I have just found a lovely pair if binoclishers wink at a local yard sale. I can now twitch properly! grin

saggarmakersbottomknocker Tue 05-Jun-12 21:25:40

This weekend; a kingfisher, we followed it up the canal and it was fishing and dipping. Fab. Also a pair of woodpeckers and a greeb with its babies on its back.

SaggyCeratops Tue 05-Jun-12 21:55:54

Ooh, 2 Saggys! confused

SaggyCeratops Tue 05-Jun-12 21:56:08


saggarmakersbottomknocker Tue 05-Jun-12 22:45:09

<waves back> smile

MegBusset Wed 06-Jun-12 20:30:23

An albino starling, in the garden this morning. Never seen one before!

SaggyCeratops Wed 06-Jun-12 22:54:34

Well, I know it isn't wildlife, but I was outside, and terribly excited! I was mooching around the paddock tonight, and a Spitfire flew over. He did a display, right overhead, then a fly past and disappeared into the distance. He was followed by a Dakota, that did the same display, ant that was followed by a Chinook.
I watched the whole thing with my new binoculars, and I felt like the display was just for me. [Grin]

chixinthestix Wed 06-Jun-12 23:03:15

An amazing cluster of tiny spiderlings in my garden. In fact two of them, in a dense piece of web between two twigs. They were all clustered tightly together but when I moved closer to look, suddenly one cluster sprang apart and the teeny spiders scattered everywhere. They were very cute and quite a bright yellow colour.

Saggy are you really the Queen?

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 07-Jun-12 07:25:14

Wow, an albino starling, that's cool so is the personal air display.

Took the dog out for a gentle stroll yesterday and saw loads of blue damselfly (I'm no good at knowing if they were Azures, Variables, or Common Blue), got loads of photos on the camera and one or two of them are actually quite good (I am going to hint to the family for a new, better camera for my birthday present this year I think). Also got photos of Common Spotted Orchids, yellow flags and Ragged robin. Saw a couple of hobbies while wandering and the kingfisher dashed up the lode in front of us.

MrsPnut Thu 07-Jun-12 15:44:57

We went to Clumber park today and spotted dozens of goslings. The parents weren't doing a very good job of looking after them but instead kept hissing at us minding our own business on the path.
There were also a few cygnets but their parents kept them on the lake.

We also saw a spotted woodpecker but not which type it was - dd2 spotted it. Then we shared our packed lunch with a group of male chaffinches and a blue tit. The kids also had fun spotting about a million squirrels.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 08-Jun-12 19:08:46

I completely lost this thread for a while. Some weather we're having, aren't we?

I found a decomposed mass of grimness on a remote beach today. I think it was a shark. I think it was. Very hard to tell! grin

LostInWales Sat 09-Jun-12 17:19:23

Silly me, I kept looking at 'threads I'm on' and thinking everyone had given up on nature blush, June seems to have got going rather quicker than I expected.

I'm very jealous of all the tiny owl spots.

So far this month I have seen lots of bats flying around a ruined abbey at dusk very atmospheric and today I saw this Kestrel which was very exciting. I'm not good enough at taking pictures to show that he wasn't actually 1m above that bank, that was the background he was quite high, damn you hilly Wales!

violetwellies Sat 09-Jun-12 20:39:13

We (me + dog and child) wandered down the quarry field which used to be lifting with rabbits, and although there were none, there were two hares, big one and a 3/4 sized one. Lovely smile later we saw an adult rabbit with myxi & 3 babies, then a cheeky 'teen' sized one ( not what I called it) eating my lettuce. I've already had t use pots to stop the hens scratting them a out. <sigh>

SaggyCeratops Sat 09-Jun-12 21:06:40

A green woodpecker and a pair of gold finches today. Other than that, I'm working pretty solidly, and haven't seen much else.
I did get a kiss from my friends Highland pony yesterday, he has worked out that if he kisses the human, a mint will be dispensed from the pocket. I think he sees us as a kind of mobile vending machine! grin

MegBusset Sat 09-Jun-12 22:49:32

Hedgehog, in the garden, just now!

FryingNemo Sun 10-Jun-12 07:20:03

I need a hedgehog, can I borrow him/her? I will return him/her when they've eaten all the slugs in my garden.

I saw a roe deer yesterday when I was out on the bike - I think I startled it a wee bit as I burst out of the forest into the field. wink

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sun 10-Jun-12 22:56:51

Today, I became entangled with some silkworms! I was working at Barleylands in Billericay, and there were masses of them, hanging from a tree. They were pretty amazing, twenty or thirty hanging from one strand of silk!

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!

GrimmaTheNome Mon 18-Jun-12 23:40:32

Porky - good luck with Dodo. You do know that dodos actually were a type of ginormous flightless pigeon?

Oh, we also saw a little rabbit today. DH said, oh how cute and how perfect - it really was, lovely healthy little thing. I'm glad to say (after some of the sad reports from elsewhere) I've never seen a myxie rabbit in the North west.

Saggy - great bat spot! [http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/uk_bats.html Here ]] are pictures of UK bats, there are a few with long ears.

PorkyandBess Mon 18-Jun-12 23:46:10

yes, Grimma - I found that out from my son this evening!

Its beak looks just like a dodo's.

I have never seen a myxie rabbit either and it's very rabbitty round these parts.

Out walking the dog last week, we lifted a branch hoping for an interesting find underneath and saw 3 snakes!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 19-Jun-12 00:02:29

Ooh, what sort of snakes?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 19-Jun-12 08:28:17

We have Myxie everywhere here. My friend lost three Georges to it! apparently all pet rabbits are called George!
Although, I have to say, we have bloody wild rabbits everywhere here anyway! It's like a plague! They eat everything!!!

I have seen a myxie rabbit in the North West, but about 15 years ago.

Saw a mother duck with just one quite large duckling on one part of the canal the other evening. Then on a higher part of the canal 7 tiny ducklings with no mum to be seen sad. They were scooting around cheeping in panic.

The next day I was there again and there was a mum with just one tiny duckling, relentlessly calling for the others. I wonder why she disappeared and left them to fend for themselves for a while?

Disclaimer - bastardog was on the lead so he was not responsible for scaring her.

RandomNumbers Wed 20-Jun-12 15:42:51

Purple hairstreak butterfly flittered in my garden today. Gorgeous.

PorkyandBess Wed 20-Jun-12 20:29:06

Grass snakes, Grimma.

I hate seeing the daily demise of the ducklings. We have a river here and I see the poor little things' numbers diminish.

Baby bird is still here and thriving.

I saw a cuckoo on Sunday morning and an enormous dragonfly nymph today.
I should love to have seen that purple hairstreak!

GrimmaTheNome Wed 20-Jun-12 20:43:46

Oooh, I've only seen a grass snake once, when I was a child. It was in the garden and the cat was trying to work out what to do with it. I've got a sort of mental photograph of it, one of those memorable moments!

My latest baby bird is fine too. It was with its mum who was foraging in a tub for seeds dropped by the smaller birds from the feeder stuck to my patio window. She was trying to see off the smaller birds, who totally ignored her!

I'm going right off these birds though...just had nasty concrete slabs replaced by lovely pinkish sandstone, and got a new set of table and chairs and the little bastards darlings are crapping all over them. Grrr.

PorkyandBess Wed 20-Jun-12 20:43:51

I wouldn't know a cuckoo if I saw one! I do hear them often though.

chixinthestix Fri 22-Jun-12 00:06:58

Haven't heard a cuckoo for several years now which is really sad. Not much wildlife around either since the sorry demise of the buzzards.
Did see a very cute little family of sparrows lurking in a bush, 3 large chicks following dad along the branches and begging for food. He was doing his best to ignore them but they didn't give up and he went and got some sunflower seeds from the feeder for them.

iseenodust Fri 22-Jun-12 14:16:08

Huge upset in the village when we thought 6 cygnets had become 5. Worse still the swans let the 5 cygnets make their own way to be fed and the geese were not being friendly. Turned out the swans were trying to rescue the missing cygnet. It had got stuck between a couple of rocks. Cue rescue attempts. Swans not appreciative so RSPCA called who appeared as if by magic. All ended well smile

Now the goslings are nearly fully grown and the cygnets getting larger, the ducks seem to have decided it's safe to have a second lot of ducklings. (RIP the first batch I fear.) Counted 17 little fluff balls whizzing on the water - not all one family.

violetwellies Fri 22-Jun-12 14:18:51

We have spuggies smile The swallows are a bit miffed I think. There was a beautifully sculptured swallows nest in the barn, a lot of had work new very expensive architecture smile Then the next door plot was bought by sparrows smile !
So this huge overflowing scrapyard of a nest and a raucous family. .. Three swallows inspected the horror & it looks like the swallow family cant cope with the neighbours and have put a nest up elsewhere grin

chixinthestix Sat 23-Jun-12 00:15:52

Violet I love your sparrows lowering the tone of the neighbourhood grin

Slubberdegullion Sat 23-Jun-12 07:19:53

Much excitement in the garden yesterday. Neighbour phoned to say there was a bird of prey eating something in our garden, and there was, might have been a sparrow hawk, I have some photos I'll try to upload later but what was more awesome was a magpie was mithering it to give up the pray.
Cue many stare offs with the bird of pray stock still glaring at the magpie and the magpie strutting about giving it all that and occasionally making daring incursions into the BoP's personal space.
After about 15 mins the BoP had had enough of this outrageous behaviour and took off, baby bird in claws, followed closely by the magpie and then shortly afterwards by a mummy and daddy blackbird (I presume) who had been observing the whole thing from the bushes.
sad and yet [nature]

GrimmaTheNome Sat 23-Jun-12 09:28:27

I was up far earlier than I wanted this morning but recompensed by whole family of tree sparrows (plus a few house) at my window bird feeder. I was hoping when I saw two earlier in the year there'd be more later. smile

SaggyISTheNewMrsDeppSoThere Sat 23-Jun-12 22:17:49

Not spotted by me exactly, but I was at an event where some people I k is, who forage, were also working. There latest find was a whole load of 'Chicken of he woods' fungus. It's stunning! All peach and yellow!
They also had some live crayfish American signal! I love those little blighters! They look SOOO prehistoric! and taste SOOO good!

PorkyandBess Sat 23-Jun-12 22:24:17

I remember seeing Jamie Oliver cooking 'chicken of the woods' on a TV show.

Ds and I came across 3 crayfish on a towpath today, left there to die. He (sanctimoniously) informed me that, as they were American signals, it was illegal to put them back in the water.

But sympathy took over and we took pity on them and did just that.

SaggyISTheNewMrsDeppSoThere Sun 24-Jun-12 21:30:55

He's absolutely right! It's an offence to put them back! you should have eaten them! They are happy walking overland though. Sure they weren't just going for a stroll? smile

PorkyandBess Sun 24-Jun-12 22:13:23

No, they really looked on their last legs. I am very bad, but I felt so sorry for them.

We had walked on, but had to go back!

LostInWales Sun 24-Jun-12 22:22:14

Torn over the cray fish replacement, they are buggers for getting rid of our naive species but I'm not sure I could leave them to die either. Can't understand why someone would fish them out and then leave them, surely if they were grabbing them they could take them home to eat?

Saw a brilliant display of parenting today. The shelducks were on the mud flats as the tide was out and I kept my dog on the lead until they were on the water and safe, unfortunately my Whippet wasn't intelligent enough to realise that so made a run at them, one of the adults flew right down on the water towards the dog, distracted him and then flew a foot or so ahead of him hitting the water with it's wings and making a big fuss until our dog was way away from the ducklings. The adult then just flew up properly and landed with it's family in seconds. The second time it happened (stupid dog!) was much easier to watch as I knew the duck was capable of flying away properly if it wanted to. Clever ducks.

PorkyandBess Sun 24-Jun-12 23:16:09

Clever ducks, yes! I love to see their clever parenting.

Re crayfish. I have lived here for 15 years, in an area with a lot of rivers and one of them runs through our garden.

Until 2 years ago, I had never seen any type of crayfish (and our kids spend their lives paddling with nets in our river & fishing out their finds). Then suddenly, the American signals appeared.

In my naivety, I think some crayfish are better than none. And I read that if you see the American ones, there is no chance of any British ones in the area as they will have been long wiped out.

iseenodust Mon 25-Jun-12 09:45:52

Saggy noting the incisive use of caps in new name - fab choice.

SaggyISTheNewMrsDeppSoThere Mon 25-Jun-12 21:23:51

Today, I have been viewing horse porn! shock the stallion has arrived to visit my two mares. It's been interesting! or so DD13 seems to think
Not nature exakerly, but unusual!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 25-Jun-12 21:29:07

I had the most fantastic walk yesterday evening and saw,

Roe deer
A meadow pipit
A woodcock
A turtle dove
A nightjar
A meadow warbler
A yellow hammer
Daubentons bats
Leislers bats
Serotine bats
Natterers bats

GrimmaTheNome Mon 25-Jun-12 22:40:34

Blimey Viva, I think that lot is going to scoop this months prize. Five different types of bats and you knew what they were? not to mention all those birds... we haven't had woodcocks or turtle doves before, nor (I think) nightjars.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 25-Jun-12 23:04:11

Turtle doves are very rare. I've never seen one before.

You can ID bats by their flight patterns as well as size of bat. We also had a bat detector with us which helps as you can hear them chattering on it. Different species have their noise at a different frequency so what frequency you're picking the noise up at is a big give away. Plus the actual sounds they make are different.

violetwellies Wed 27-Jun-12 22:24:15

We had a bat survey as a precaution before restoring some barns and our result came last week - one bat, grin I know I didn't really want a breeding colony to work round, but one bat is a bit pathetic

violetwellies Sat 30-Jun-12 20:49:31

Where has everyone gone? Have you all been washed away? Its not July yet so you can't be there. I'm feeling very lonely.

chixinthestix Sat 30-Jun-12 22:50:10

Hi Violet I'm still here. Nothing remotely interesting wildlife wise to update on though unless you count pelting rain and mud. Hoping for a better July......

Hi Violet still here (in the swamp). Nothing remotely interesting except one cinnabar moth which I put on some ragwort and sheltered with umbrella through the storms. It has laid eggs so I am hoping for black and yellow caterpillars.

Or is it July?

GrimmaTheNome Sun 01-Jul-12 20:26:05

It's July! Go on barbarian, start a new thread. smile

GrimmaTheNome Sun 01-Jul-12 21:38:26

Thanks - new thread is Here smile

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