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Jane Louise

Observations Of Nature Through The Seasons.

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I often walk areas of the Nene Valley and over the last couple of years have noticed a drop in waterfowl overall, not just over wintering ones, on the up side there seems to be a lot more swans though.

 

BBC did an interesting article on why some of our winter birds are no longer visiting the UK

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22484907

 

Also have to agree on the missing hedgehogs, used to get plenty making a visit to the garden, not seen one in over a year.

 

We do have an urban fox that walks the street in the small hours though.

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First ducklings of the year, down by the river this evening. They're in there somewhere.

 

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It's sort of nature.

One of our hens laid her 2nd 3 inch egg in a week today. It's a beauty.

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I had just been wondering where my resident bullfinches were having not seen them in months .. when the female appeared shortly followed by the male .They ate a few flowers on a nearby blackthorn..10 feet from where I sit . She then flew to the barbed wire fence @ 5 ft away and gathered some hair strands and flew back to him . They did a little dance swaying sideways facing each other then she turned her back to him and... they mated in front of me , him like a chubby hummingbird fluttering behind her .!  What a privilege to witness such shy birds most intimate moments ...

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There seems to be a lot more wasps about than bee's so far. Both wasps and bee's are big this year!

bumble bees and queen wasps I would guess 

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This photo taken 4 days ago showing 5 eggs. Posted Image

 As from today my blue tit now has nine eggs altogether and has started incubating. Twelve days or more and then the eggs will hatch.Posted Image

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Ever get the impression that wildlife are taking the mickey? They seem to be moving into my garden in ever increasing numbers and variety. I'm sure they see me as a soft touch, and they're absolutely right, wanted to go outside for a smoke the other day...couldn't go out the back, the Partridges were there, couldn't go out the front, the baby rabbits were there. Idiot here waits 'til they've all finished munching.post-6280-0-90060100-1372598160_thumb.jppost-6280-0-61701400-1372598201_thumb.jppost-6280-0-42802700-1372598245_thumb.jp

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They have to accept you as much as you accept them J'? You don't have to run out and yell 'Boo!' but i've found that they can 'read' you and so will not see you as a threat or interference to their business?

Nothing better than having your own little 'St. Francis' moment with the critters around you eh?

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It's not me that bothers them, I can be out in the garden and they will quite happily come and eat. I was filling the bird feeder the other day and the fat ball holder was about a couple of inches from my ear, the Blue tit fledglings didn't bat an eyelid, let alone fly off. If the Partridges, Rabbits or Squirrel are already in the garden and anyone goes to open the door, they panic and scarper - they're expecting the dogs to come flying out. Two loopy Spaniels, completely oblivious to what's on the lawn but utterly determined to get to the bottom of the garden before the other one beats them to it.

 

My best ever St Francis moment was years ago, working at a hotel/country club just outside Bath. 70 odd acres of grounds, lots of it woodland, stretching from the steep hill tops around Bath, down to the wooded combes at the bottom. I was sat up a tree at the top of the hill, looking down through the wood, surveying the undergrowth and noting where the old Hazel coppice stools were. I'd been there for about 10 minutes when I noticed something move out of the corner of my eye, it was a Weasel, come to see what I was up to. I didn't dare move a muscle, was breathing as shallowly as possible, as it approached ever closer. It got as far as a hair's breadth away from my hand and just sat there looking at me for a good five minutes. It then just ambled off, not a care in the world. Magical.

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Can anybody tell me what these are?

 

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I've seen them in the fields over the last week, but last evening they were flying around the gardens. They behave like starlings, flying around in small flocks. Their call is more of a trill.

 

 

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They look like young starlings to me.

 

Yep, with a few adults. They young ones are a dull brownish grey. It's fun watching the adults feeding them meal worms in the garden lately.

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They look like young starlings to me.

 

 

Yep, with a few adults. They young ones are a dull brownish grey. It's fun watching the adults feeding them meal worms in the garden lately.

 

Thanks both. Never knew young starlings were a dull grey. Always thought they were starling coloured.

 

Now thinking the birds in the field are something else. Will try to get some snaps.

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We've had a pair of greenfinches lurking round the garden pond for a while .Finally managed to get some pics of one!

 

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Blackberry bush in my back garden is producing berries now,still some weeks to go before they turn black though of course.

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From September sightings so far. I've seen thousands of crane flies, the robins singing for their territories, plenty of house martins and a gathering of starlings yesterday. September onward is always an interesting time for wildlife.Posted Image

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not seen many wasp this year but we have had thousands of bumble bees, been hearing reports of people seeing alot of wasp but were i live only seen od one or two   could the cold winter last year have anything to do with this

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We've had a pair of greenfinches lurking round the garden pond for a while .Finally managed to get some pics of one!

 

Posted Image

 

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A Beautiful Male Siskin Posted Image

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Saw a flock of fieldfares today stripping elderberries of a bush.

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Saw a flock of fieldfares today stripping elderberries of a bush.

 

Ha - not round here, I bet the buggers to 'em for me wine!

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Loads of mushrooms out now, tis the season. Took a big dinner plate sized Parasol mushroom home and had on toast, tasty. A good few Porcini mushrooms too, and a lot of magic mushrooms too Posted Image which I won't be eating. They even grow on my lawn.

Edited by Bobby

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Loads of mushrooms out now, tis the season.

 

Ye there does seem to be an awful lot this year. I'd love to try some but really don't trust my judgement at all. I've done the magic ones but the less said about that the better, and Shaggy Ink Caps - which are out of season now. Er,that's it. Knowing me I'd pick Destroying Angels instead of common-or-garden field mushrooms. Mind you, those bright red ones with white spots which elves sit on look nice...

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Ye there does seem to be an awful lot this year. I'd love to try some but really don't trust my judgement at all. I've done the magic ones but the less said about that the better, and Shaggy Ink Caps - which are out of season now. Er,that's it. Knowing me I'd pick Destroying Angels instead of common-or-garden field mushrooms. Mind you, those bright red ones with white spots which elves sit on look nice...

 

You can get a mushroom species identification book, can't go wrong then if you use common sense. Parasol mushrooms and Porcini/Ceps are easy to identifiy and can't really be mistaken for anything poisonous. Not seen any of the red white spotted ones yet (Fly Agaric... Amanita muscaria), need the weather to turn a bit colder I think, maybe this/next week. Eat those though and you could well be seeing elves. They sure are pretty though. Here's one I photographed the other year

 

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For parasols look in well drained areas in open heathlands, grassy areas. Porcini mushrooms are usually found around oak trees. The Fly Agaric above are often found around birch trees in chilly weather after rain.

Edited by Bobby
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