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August 18, 2022, 09:49:08 PM

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Wildlife spotting

Started by Twit 2, August 06, 2018, 12:59:58 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

purlieu

Very jealous of all your wildlife encounters here. Hopefully be recovered from Covid enough in a couple of months to get back to the countryside and spot the fuck out of every moving thing that exists.

Meantime, the garden pond has been providing a good amount of diversion to keep my fucked body entertained. We've given up trying to count the number of frogs - at least five individuals, but quite likely more - as well as the very cute newt, a couple of species of damselflies have been present and egg-laying, some broad bodied chaser dragonfly nymphs have been identified (sadly a two year cycle, so they won't be hatching until next summer), snails floating about upside-down and eating the blanket weed, and the water boatmen are getting bigger by the day. It's remarkable how much is going on in such a little environment, but I've had an hour or so sat by it on every sunny day and it's so lovely to watch the development of a little ecosystem. One of the frogs was out and about in the yard last night, too.






ZoyzaSorris

Quote from: Endicott on June 12, 2022, 10:03:59 AMLooked this one up, I think it's a female wood duck.




And maybe this is the male in eclipse plumage (I'd never heard of this).



Mandarin ducks I think (very close relatives of the wood duck  mind you, the wood duck is basically the north american counterpart of the east asian mandarin duck, both of which, unusually for ducks, nest in tree cavities - hence the attenborough friendly phenomenon of the ducklings having to do a high dive for their first swim). Feral wood ducks are occasionally seen in the UK but mandarin ducks are quite well established into self-sustaining populations in some areas (including round me in SE London). And long that may continue, another non-native that doesn't seem to do any notable ecological harm and adds to our not exactly over-endowed biodiversity in this country in my view (as well very much aesthetically!).

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

We took an alternative route to the cinema last night. I'm glad we did. Blinkin' peacocks!!!



Spoon of Ploff

Kestrel update. One of the youngsters was out of the nest this morning. After exploring the tree it'd grown up in for a while it took what (i assume) was it's first tentative flight into the next tree over and promptly got mugged by a crow.

Not fatally though. I saw one of the adults fly in with breakfast a little later.. and probably some advice about not speaking to strange birds.

Brian Freeze

Didnt know that about Mandarins, will definitely share that fact.

Really glad you can enjoy your pond @purlieu while you wait on your recovery to go further afield. How big is it if thats not too rude to ask.

I dug one which holds 220 litres or so and wish I'd gone for twice as big. Seen a tiny frog and a bigger one in the last couple of weeks. Very cool dudes.

Brian Freeze

Its been a good week for multiples.

One afternoon we spotted four frogs in the same patch of pond, all different sizes so we think a couple were last years introduced tadpoles and a couple were much smaller so we think they were the tadpoles that hibernated.

I had been despondent about the lack of frogspawn this year but have a glimmer of hope of them establishing themselves in the pond next year.

This morning I saw a group of three dippers and Im guessing it was parents plus a large offspring. Very happy to see that happening locally.

ZoyzaSorris

It generally takes about 2-3 years for common frogs to reach spawning age so I wouldn't give up!

Plenty of animal life to be seen in northern Scotland last week, particularly bird life. Various birds of prey. Lapwings, curlews and oystercatchers in vast numbers, and found a wagtail's nest with tiny newly-hatched chicks. A decent number of golden plovers on the hills. Obligatory plover pic for plover-lovers:



Didn't see a single mountain hare though, in an area where they would once have been ubiquitous - they've been persecuted to the brink of extinction in places by 'sporting' estates. Quite a lot of brown hares on the lower ground though:




Dex Sawash


Brian Freeze

Quote from: ZoyzaSorris on June 26, 2022, 08:53:19 AMIt generally takes about 2-3 years for common frogs to reach spawning age so I wouldn't give up!

Thanks for that, you have saved me from sulking next year at least. Hope these guys make it that far.

Blue Jam

#2860
Loadsa Common Swifts outside ma hoose tha noo, very entertaining. I am sat in my little home office by the window, with my little binoculars, looking for all the world like Michael Paine The Nosy Neighbour.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

While in France I saw several wall lizards and a stick insect, and we were treated to a bat show every evening at dusk.

Endicott

I was trying to get dragon flies in flight, but failed. Still, got a first for me, damselflies eating lunch.




Gotta love the little pile of legs this one is leaving.


Spoon of Ploff

Quote from: Endicott on June 27, 2022, 09:01:34 PMI was trying to get dragon flies in flight, but failed. Still, got a first for me, damselflies eating lunch.




Gotta love the little pile of legs this one is leaving.



picky eaters.... lovely pics there.

Spoon of Ploff

Little Owls about this morning..



A couple of vidz.





Pink Gregory

wols!

I was at a falconry demonstration when I was ten and a little wol landed on and sat on my head for a bit.

really hope that's not a false memory

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Woo! I once saw an owl sitting in a tree during the day. It had it's eyes shut, but it must have been listening to us, as its head was always facing us.

I managed to get a half decent pic of a damselfly on my phone camera recently, but nowhere near as detailed as Endicott's.

I wish I had a waterproof camera that I could take out on my kayak. There's loads of amazing wildlife that I only ever seem to see while I'm on the river: Marsh harriers, grass snakes, kingfishers, herons. I'm pretty sure I even saw a beaver once.

Endicott

I'd love to see an owl in the wild.

I just saw a blue tit having a bath in the water bowl on the feeder pole. Drenched it was. No wonder the water gets so disgusting!


bgmnts

Saw a regular blackbird today with its mouth agape. Just walking around bold as brass mouth open.

Unsure if they were a bit gimped or just ready and waiting for a worm to walk up to it and crawl in their rmouth.

Brian Freeze

We saw a daylight Barn Owl last Saturday, had kind of forgotten about it as the dog fell off a cliff afterwards and distracted us.

Dog is fine but limping extremely well thanks.

Endicott


madhair60


purlieu

Quote from: bgmnts on July 08, 2022, 04:34:08 PMSaw a regular blackbird today with its mouth agape. Just walking around bold as brass mouth open.

Unsure if they were a bit gimped or just ready and waiting for a worm to walk up to it and crawl in their rmouth.
Panting, most likely.
Quote from: Brian Freeze on June 22, 2022, 02:05:01 PMReally glad you can enjoy your pond @purlieu while you wait on your recovery to go further afield. How big is it if thats not too rude to ask.
Not that big, maybe six foot by three? Ponds can be very much a case of if you build it they will come. Started off a few years ago with an old washing up bowl filled with water and dug into the ground, within a couple of weeks frogs had moved in.

shiftwork2

Quote from: shiftwork2 on June 17, 2022, 09:03:36 PMPrepared to keep this window (and blind) closed for 5 weeks and we'll see what happens, but I'm not optimistic.

Windowsill nesting doves update: successful after all.  I have tried to keep out of their way as much as is sensibly possible.

The second egg arrived the following day



and this pair of dinosaurs arrived last weekend.



Once they've fledged and fully departed the creeper is being cut back...


bgmnts

Quote from: purlieu on July 11, 2022, 11:54:33 AMPanting, most likely.

God yeah that makes sense. I was right by a river at the time but it's a fast flower so unsure if birds can risk that.

What's the consensus on moths in your bedroom? I currently have about 4 or 5 just chilling. They won't fuck anything up will they?

Des Wigwam

No. If you're worried about holes in clothes and furniture then it's not the moths but the larvae that do that (and I am not even sure the larvae become moths - might just be mothballs is a misnomer).

bgmnts

My only worry is that I have a pet mouse so just wondering if they'll pump him full of moth aids or something. Not arsed about holes in anything really. Just want to have a live and let live policy.

Des Wigwam

Moth on Mouse violence is extremely rare. Think you'll be fine.

I'm like you though - spend ages ushering flies out of windows and lifting woodlice out of drains. I binned all the rat traps my neighbour put down. I revived a bee the other week with very expensive agar syrup so I felt good about that.