nature notes

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Marigold
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Re: nature notes

Post by Marigold » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:40 am

Bird problems - probably not only in France, I'm afraid.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... pesticides
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chrismahon
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Re: nature notes

Post by chrismahon » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:02 am

It's very much area dependent Marigold. In the vineyards to the North of us they use pesticides in a massive way and as a result there is almost no wildlife. They still use set-aside methods on the fields down here, so I think things are pretty much unchanged. In our search for property we avoided any areas with vineyards- this was because a friend of ours said the chemicals used were dangerous. Recently a study of 'house dust' in vine producing areas revealed traces of pesticides that were banned from use 6 years earlier! One village Mayor said it was so bad she was unable to open her windows during the growing season.
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Marigold
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Re: nature notes

Post by Marigold » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:57 pm

Lovely 12-minute video about bat conservation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcF-2r8 ... e=youtu.be
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit » Tue May 01, 2018 2:12 pm

We have rediscovered our very own snake, living amongst some stones on the boundary. In the sun it lies about on the road, basking. Last year it was in a wall. Its a ladder snake, very handy if, as OH says, you need to play snakes and ladders, as its all in one!

We have something small, field mouse or vole of some sort, which scuttles from one side of the path to the other. We also have a large resident toad (bit surprising, given how hot it gets here, but its survived at least one summer) and for the first time a clutch of small frogs. Its been so wet and its so fertile, that currently there is plenty of undergrowth for them to scuttle in. Shortly this will die off in the heat and/or be strimmed.

But, todays puzzle is:

Our neighbour had/has 2 caged canaries or similar. For a few weeks I have been hearing some muffled wolf whistling but close to our house, not the neighbours. Do you think this is a)an escaped canary or b)something mimicking it? I should say that the caged birds lived outside in the summer, and did wolf whistle, but they aren't there at the mo.
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Tue May 01, 2018 4:09 pm

They haven't got a Mynah bird hidden away have they, as they often get taught to do things like that.
OH says Marsh Warblers are fantastic mimics and have a wonderful repertoire which they pick up on their wintering grounds, but she did say she has never heard one make a human noise yet..
Margaid
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Re: nature notes

Post by Margaid » Tue May 01, 2018 11:33 pm

Do you remember the BT Trimphone if the 60s? It was one of the first to "warble" rather than ring. My mother was always rushing in from the garden to answer it because a number of the local wild birds could imitate the sound.
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Wed May 02, 2018 6:51 pm

Oh I remember the the Trimphone, there was a Starling that used to sit on the telephone wire outside and imitate it and mum would rush in to answer it
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LadyA
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Re: nature notes

Post by LadyA » Thu May 03, 2018 12:30 am

The farm down the hill has a telephone bell in the yard, which I can clearly hear. It sounds exactly like my landline, a late 1990s model, only in the distance. I was driven nuts one day because my phone kept ringing, but by the time I went to answer it, it had stopped. Then I realised - it wasn't the phone. It was a starling, imitating the farmyard phone! He had quite a repertoire, running through the songs of all the other birds around, as well as the phone!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit » Thu May 03, 2018 2:31 pm

Ah, we do have starlings here, the speckledless variety, which having looked it up for its proper name I see is actually called the spotless starling. I wonder if that is the answer to my conundrum. Thanks all!
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rick
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Re: nature notes

Post by rick » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:59 pm

I've been noticing lately how some birds do the head nodding thing when they walk and some don't.
Nodding - Chickens, pigeons, starlings, some small birds as well - tits I think, when they walk which isn't very often
Leaning forward into a smooth run - Pheasants, blackbirds,
Swaggering (no apparent visual stabilization at all, at least not when walking) - Crows, ducks ...

Little things ..... !
Last edited by rick on Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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