nature notes

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Tweetypie
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Re: nature notes

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:16 pm

These are the birds I see daily in my garden. I love watching them from my conservatory window.
Robins, sparrows, dunnocks, blackbirds, song thrush, blue tits, coal tits, long tailed tits, chaffinches, doves, pigeons, rooks, starlings, mallard ducks.
On an occasional/weekly basis I see a snowy owl fly over, bullfinches, magpies, buzzards and birds of prey (usually going for the small birds)!

Have a resident squirrel or two, usually found trying to get into the squirrel proof bird feeders, but no foxes and no rats, as far as I know. None reported.

I would live in a house in a forest, if I could :-) That's my dream.
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rick
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Re: nature notes

Post by rick » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:35 pm

Sounds pretty good where you are Tweetypie!
We have a much smaller range visiting our garden - pigeons, robins, blackbirds, sparrows, the occasional blue tit - thats about it although my neighbor did show me a blurry picture of a pair of goldfinch on the feeder this morning.

Crows do bob as they walk - just noted one doing it in Asda car park. Probably wrong about ducks too :)
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Tweetypie
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Re: nature notes

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:25 pm

Notts is surrounded by forests. I am 1/2 mile from Sherwood Pines, close to other woods and at the top of my lane, lots of fields. I love it.

The blackbirds make me chuckle. They do 3 or 4 running steps, then stop and cock up their heads. My blackbirds have learned how to hang upside down to get to the suet feeders, or they fly in the air, aim for the hanging suet block, knocking it and then picking up the crumbs on the grass.
I hang out loads of suet feeders and seeds, but only on the back garden now, away from the hens. I just love watching the birds.

I can't tell the difference between crows and rooks, except that crows are more solitary?
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rick
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Re: nature notes

Post by rick » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:04 am

There are folks here on the forum who will know rooks well,
but I think they have a larger beak and it is paler towards the base. A bit bigger and squarer in their appearance?
We did have a nesting colony of rooks just outside Leamington in a stand of Black Poplar but it was suffering from a wilt disease and declining the last time I looked. I know the trees are still there but not sure how they are fairing now - may have too much die back to be good for nesting. Rooks are a bit rare around here, I should go and look for them.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: nature notes

Post by Hen-Gen » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:42 am

Different strokes for different folks. Love to see the birds about.
What depresses me is the huge decline in so many species within my lifetime. Whether its agriculture, climate change or increased predation varies but if we can't look after our planet then the future for the generations to come looks bleak.
Totally mesmerising for me are snipe 'drumming' at dusk. They fly up then drop with their tail feathers splayed and it makes this noise. Ever remember as kids pegging a bit of cardboard to the back frame of your bike so the spokes going round made a whirring noise. Just like that.
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:20 pm

Snipe drumming on the Ouse washes magical. OH and I went to the Ashdown Forest last Friday and listened to the Nightjars churring and had two pairs chasing around our heads at dusk, also some roding Woodcock.
Crows are solitary nesters and tend to fly about alone whereas Rooks nests colonially and rookeries may be hundreds of years old. The huge rookery at Buckenham marshes in Norfolk is mentioned in the Domesday book.Rooks have a pale grey/white leathery patch at the base of their beak crows are all black. We are lucky enough to have a Rookery in the woods at the back of the garden, and Jackdaws roost there also, it always sounds a lovely social place and to be standing in the garden as C1300 birds fly into roost is amazing or leave in the morning.
Birds we miss are Turtle Dove and Spotted Flycatcher which are real rarities around here now.
OH who does bird surveys says if any of you see flocks of starlings have a good look as there has been a huge influx of Rosy Starlings hitting our shores as they migrate this year and you may get lucky especially in coastal areas they are like a starling but with a rose pink breast and back, and a long head feather.
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Marigold
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Re: nature notes

Post by Marigold » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:28 pm

bigyetiman wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:20 pm
We are lucky enough to have a Rookery in the woods at the back of the garden, and Jackdaws roost there also, it always sounds a lovely social place and to be standing in the garden as C1300 birds fly into roost is amazing or leave in the morning.
Holding your umbrellas, I presume?
When we moved here 48 years ago there used to be snipe on the marsh in our valley, and huge flocks of lapwings in the fields behind our house. All gone now. The farm changed hands, went all modern, then the lapwing chicks hatched and then got sprayed with whatever poisons the farmer was using on the crops, so none succeeded.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: nature notes

Post by Hen-Gen » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:17 am

Marigold, this kind of environmental vandalism is the one thing that really makes me angry.
When I moved here I rented a two acre field from a neighbour. Seven years of appropriate management turned it into an ancient meadow with a wealth of orchids and other wild flowers. On a still summers day it was a pleasure to go in it, lay down and listen to the bees, hover flies and sky larks. Fifteen months ago a new incomer bought the land and took the land back. Fertiliser and silage cutting have now turned it into a green desert devoid of life.
It angers me that field margins are cut, bushes are burnt and silage is cut from the edges of the fields inwards. Such people would be the first to complain if someone trashed their car or stole a few sheep. And yet the harm they wreak is far worse.
Sorry to rant on but there is nothing, absolutely nothing more important to me than good stewardship of our countryside. The concept that you don't own the land you only care for it for future generations is lost on the grant-grabbing materialists.
When I moved here I fenced and walled off a quarter of an acre and planted it up with a dense crop of native scrub. The trees and shrubs are now a 10 foot high tulgywood which attract rare migrant passerines and at least once a year I have van loads of twitchers in to tick some rarity. I don't say this to big myself up but to point out that if I can do it on a small pension then anyone can.
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:16 pm

Very well said HG :-)17

I can identify with Marigold's post, reflecting on changes, although I know that in my case its because former farm land was built on, with ordinary housing, not super swanky, so I can understand why. However, living here in Portugal we are in the midst of a strange duality. On the one hand I have never seen so many wild flowers and grasses, of different types each year. If one was the plant equivalent of a twitcher, I am not saying things are rare, but you would get to see such a range, I am constantly bewitched and walk about with my book, crossing things off as I manage to identify them. But on the other hand, I have never seen ordinary smallholders with such a penchant for chemicals. You need a licence to use them, but its all about how you use them, not about the quantity (or the need in the first place). But there again, people kill the wild forms of plants to give their edibles the best chance of thriving; and in a remote, rural and poor area, who am I to complain. But I realise this is different to the wanton destruction of habitat. I have friends who like order in their house and I suspect they would not allow the wild plants to bloom, but would have dealt with them long before, whereas I just adore them, and the grasses. I often think of my old flock on the range, I was lucky enough to have wild meadow grassland as my back garden and it was heaven for them (and me); they would appreciate it here in the Spring (but not the summer!)

My own nature observations yesterday included a different ladder snake to the usual one, much smaller, but much braver, S-ing across the patio as I nearly trod on it, and then laying low on a bit of ground I use every day. It had very distinct markings, perhaps they mellow as they age. One of our guests was a quivering wreck behind the window, but I was fascinated! This morning was very exciting - a red legged partridge in next doors garden. They live in the forest nearby, but I have never seen one on more cultivated land.
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:40 pm

Well said also HG. Along a lane not to far from us a lovely cottage was for sale with several acres including a lovely orchard. New people moved in, orchard felled, the gorgeous wisteria covering a pergola gone. The rough meadow full of flowers and butterflies grubbed out and concreted so they can park cars, their caravan and have room for friends to park and a couple of shipping containers for storage. Hedging replaced by fencing and so many security lights on, it rivals Blackpool illuminations.
You mention an umbrella Marigold we have never been "got" yet by the rooks etc flying about. They are far to well mannered. Kingfishers by the lake today with 2 young and the Great spotted Woodpeckers have 3 noisy youngsters following them about. We also have quite a good number of tree bumble bees as well this year.
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