Monday, 6 July 2020

Out and About

Ok the post title might be stretching it a bit, we're doing some major renovating work on the dining/living room at the moment so we haven't had time to go anywhere really! 

We did make a detour after dropping a food shop at my parents a few weeks back to see a Rose Coloured Starling in Collingham. It had been around a while and was still showing well though at a distance and mostly in the garden on a farm - very patient owners with all the bins/scopes trained towards their house! It was flying with a flock of Starlings and helping strip the cherry trees. I only got a record shot but was able to watch it for a while. A beautiful bird and one of 70+ that have popped up around the UK over the past month or so. 

We've been to the woods before work a few times and have seen young Chiffchaffs, Robins, Long-tailed Tits, Blue/Great Tits and a very young Woodpigeon!

My commute to work, which i've missed a lot, is lovely, it's quiet of course, there's very few people and only a handful of school children.  Someone has set up a little feeding station at the side of one of the paths, I think it must be someone from the flats over the road, it draws in the Sparrows, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Tits. I've seen a Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Pied Wagtails, heard Chiffchaffs and Chaffinch singing. Seen Swifts, House Martins and Swallows - Swallows at head height as they fly to and fro from the farm field. Plus a Skylark singing near work almost every morning, that is a delight!

The garden is bursting with flowers, bugs, bees, birds, mammals...........We haven't mown the front lawn in a while and all sorts are coming up through the grass - Ragwort, which we've had Cinnabar Moths on and Sparrows hanging from it, clover, daisies, buttercups and self heal. I've sprinkled a few wildflower seeds in one of the beds over the years and there's always something flowering over the months. 

A bit of a worn Ringlet Butterfly, only the 2nd i've recorded in the garden

We've had Hedgehogs every evening up to 4 at times, they have been quite entertaining charging around at high speed bowling into each other, it's fascinating behaviour. We have a couple of Bats at dusk, a Squirrel is still a regular and there's been a Fox now and again, when we first saw it it wasn't in the best of conditions, mange perhaps? But it's fur is growing back and it's looking slightly better each time we see it. 

Some of the young Starlings are starting to get their adult feathers now, we're still getting up to 30 on a regular basis but i've noticed large flocks of them gathering around town too. There are still lots of young House Sparrows being feed by the adults, we also have young Goldfinch, Blue/Great/Long-tailed Tits, even one young Greenfinch briefly stopped on the feeder. Overhead we have Swifts and House Martins.


House Sparrow


Long-tailed Tits

Starling - you can just see the adult feathers on its back


Magpie Moth in the almost empty water dish, it was drinking the droplets

There's been a lot of rain over the past week and mushrooms have started popping up 


We even had hailstone that looked like a light covering of snow

The Caterpillar I saw eating the nettles wrapped itself in a cocoon but the following week the nettle leaves it was on looked like they'd been eaten

We may at some point, depending on how things go in the house venture further afield on my husbands weekends off!

Monday, 15 June 2020

A Bit of Drama

One of the garden Sparrowhawks finally made a successful swoop around the feeders and caught one of the young Starlings last week. We somehow missed this happening despite the patio doors being wide open and only realised when we spotted her on the lawn eating the bird. I have to admit I did an amazing commando crawl through the dining room so I could reach up and grab my camera without disturbing it! I was then able to sit at the patio doors and watch, pretty gruesome but absolutely amazing! It's the first time one has actually landed in the garden with a kill.

I was able to watch until she flew off taking part of the bird with her, a friend pointed out that perhaps she has a nest and was taking the remains for the chicks? It made my weekend to be able to watch this beautiful bird so closely! 

A little bit of video - with a hint of a wobble in the middle as I wasn't sat very comfortably!