Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Bird Watching and Other Critters

We spend a lot of time bird-watching, usually when washing and wiping up. It's a good thing we don't have a dishwasher.

A few weeks ago I was at the sink, looked up and saw a bird on the path. It looked a bit stunned like they do sometimes when it's windy and they've crash landed. First glance and I thought it was a small pigeon, second glance I realised it wasn't but what on earth was it? I knew if I moved to get the camera or bird book it would be off, so I just stood still and looked hard. It's back was grey but the wings were lighter and all had dark edges to the feathers. After a minute a car pulled up and the bird was off. I went and got the bird book but couldn't see anything that fitted the description. When I told Col he suggested a  Cuckoo which was something I hadn't considered as I've never seen one before. So the bird book came out again and yes, that's probably what it was. Wow! It must have been on it's way out of the country. Wish I could have got the camera.
If we get the cold winter that several newspapers are forecasting the Blackbirds and Fieldfare will soon appear to find the windfall apples. I'm glad there are so many apples on the trees this year that we don't need to pick up many windfalls to use. Our Pyracantha is something else they they will feed on when the going gets tough.






This dead dragonfly  was on the floor in the craft-room a few days ago. How did it get in? No windows open in there.. Would a cat have brought it in through the cat-flap? There's always windows open upstairs and in the kitchen but they are not very close to the  craft-room. It was sad to see it but good to be able to get a really close look at the colours.

There were not many butterflies around here this year but Red Admirals love to feed off the fallen plums and to sunbathe. I managed to sneak up on this one on the Bramley apple tree.


This was a sad but interesting surprise. I found it laying on the path early one morning. We have 16 different types of bat in this country and I'm not really sure which one this is but it has big ears!

Then of course there is this bushy-tailed creature who I spot almost every time I look out of the window, usually carrying a walnut!

 So cute......BUT he's nicked all the good walnuts straight off the tree.

I'm so pleased that I can take close up photos like this with the camera everyone got me for my 60th last April.

Back Soon 
Sue














20 comments:

  1. I love to see the wildlife, some lovely pictures there, I still waiting for the birds to arrive, we have had one poorly goldfinch, which we didn't see again, the robin is about briefly in the morning and I saw a tit grab a bit of nut the other day. Hopeful they will visit when its colder.

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  2. Wow, you could almost start your own museum with your assorted creatures. Great photos
    Did you contact the Bat Conservation Trust over the bat? Due to all the different viruses they like to be informed and often ask for the bat to be posted on to them for research purposes into bat carried viruses.

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    1. Bats are a legally protected species and also carry many viruses, including rabies. Although the risk to humans is minimal, research is vital by returning the bat to the BCT. Protective gloves should always be worn when handling a dead bat, and although posting is squeam~worthy it is a necessary means to an end.

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    2. Hope you don't mind me adding a bit to this- UK bats don't carry Rabies, although there is a similar virus that some species such as Daubenton's carry which is transmitted to humans if you get bitten. I've been surveying Daubentons for a few years and have never had one bite me so the chance of infection is very low. Most bats don't want to get tangled up with a human and their excellent flying skills make it very unlikely that they ever would. The only time this may happen is with young bats learning to fly. It is standard procedure to handle all bats with gloves to minimise the risk of infection (provided you have a licence to handle them in the first place of course).

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  3. The squirrels have pinched ALL the walnuts off our tree!

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  4. I love watching the wildlife in our garden...

    Unfortunately dragonflies only live for a few months as flying adults but in larval form the large dragonfly like yours can live for 6-7 years underwater before turning into a flying adult..and damsels only live for a couple of weeks as flying adults, such a shame they don't live long in their beautiful form :o(

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  5. Lovely photos Sue, so sad to see the dead Bat as they always seem to be so endangered here but also a sign that they must be living nearby which is nice. Very lucky to spot a Cuckoo too, we hear them a lot when visiting my parents in France but I'm yet to see one. Have a nice day x

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  6. Lovely photographs Sue. We find with our pyracantha that the blackbirds leave it well alone until one day, quite late in the winter, when they descend in force and gobble the lot. I think they must be slow to ripen.

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  7. Great photos how lucky to have seen a cuckoo, I have never seen one :-)

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  8. Well done on the juvenile cuckoo- a relatively rare sight. Your dragon is a Southern Hawker, lots of them about now but they'll be gone in the next few weeks. The bat could be a Bechstein's which is a rarity, although hard to tell from the angle of the photo. Best thing is to contact the Bat Conservation Trust and ask them what they'd like you to do with it. As already mentioned in another comment, all UK bat species are protected by law - it's even illegal to handle a dead bat without a license, believe it or not - and they may well be interested in seeing it, along with details of where and how you found it for recording purposes. This will be especially the case if it is one of the rarer ones.

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  9. Lovely photographs Sue. I've never seen a cuckoo. Lots of squirels around here though. We have been watching some just this afternoon. X

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  10. Lovely photo's, our bushes are loaded with fruits, my mum always said it was a sign of a bad winter coming.

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  11. A cuckoo! How lovely :-)
    To touch on yesterdays post slightly, i was wondering if you had ever read The Snow Goose? A wonderful tho melancholy book.
    Kay xx

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  12. Good to see all your wildlife, and thank you for the excellent pictures. Our most abundent crop is acorns, and they are plentiful again this year. The chipmunks and squirrels are busy taking them away, though they leave plenty to sprout in the flower beds.

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  13. You've got your own mini zoo there. How great to see a cuckoo.
    xx

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  14. Lovely photos. I'm useless with a camera. I would like a bird table once the garden is finished.

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  15. That Squirrel is a cutie; we only have red ones here, and they scream at me if I get too close (when they're pinching the Walnuts).

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  16. Great photos. I would love to have a resident squirrel.
    Lisa x

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