nature notes

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Tweetypie
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Re: nature notes

Post by Tweetypie » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:39 pm

Gosh, that's a bit of excitement MrsB. How unusual. I would have been tempted to take a photo, just to get it identified. Makes a change from the ususal Autumn visitors i.e. daddy long legs :-) Would have loved being a fly on the wall, watching all of you, ducking and diving.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:22 pm

You are right, that would have been an excellent idea.....now why didn't I think of that! Tonight's installment was also quite interesting, if less exciting. We watched a praying mantis lay her eggs, on the back of an outdoor chair, making the cocoon as she went. It took maybe 30-40 mins all in, and when she had finished she levered herself upright, walked along the edge of the table, jumped off and flew to the ground, scuttled along, stopped, looked just like an olive leaf on the ground, and then jumped onto an olive tree and got lost in the foliage. A few days ago I found the shed skin of a different mantis, in the same general area, so possibly we have a whatever the collective noun of mantis' is!
Icemaiden
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Re: nature notes

Post by Icemaiden » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:47 pm

A confession of mantises? A prayer book?
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:06 pm

A congregation of praying mantises?

Its been incessantly wet here all autumn. Last week we ventured outside at night for some reason, around the same outdoor furniture which was home to the praying mantis cocoon (which has disappeared). And we found a fire salamander. It was incredibly brightly coloured, obviously a warning. Its the first time I have seen one properly although my OH says we have something similar in the woodshed as well.
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:13 pm

Lucky you having a Fire Salamander in the garden, I have only seen pictures of them.
We currently have some very vocal Tawny Owls around the garden, two males and a female, they get very vocal from about 5.30am.
How about a clergy of mantis ?
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Marigold
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Re: nature notes

Post by Marigold » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:14 am

it's RSPB Birdwatch this weekend - see https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... s-40-years
it would be very interesting to hear what people saw in different areas of the country - and abroad, if you have an hour to spare. We keep a tick list of birds seen in our garden, starting afresh from Jan. 1st, and are up to 23 species so far this year. It finished up at 34 in 2018. The trouble with the one-hour Birdwatch count is that, whilst all the 'regulars' will get recorded, the less common but sometimes seen species won't make an appearance. One of our rarer birds here is the wren, despite the article saying they're recovering. We only saw one last year, and this year we were delighted to see another skulking around in the border under the big window, from where we sit and watch them.
The instructions for Birdwatch say that birds flying over don't count, but the article says you can claim Red Kite if one is overhead, as often happens here, they're very common. For our own list, we count birds that are 'earthed' by perching in trees or bushes, or on the ground or visiting the pond, and we include any we can see in neighbours' gardens either side, on the grounds that birds don't observe boundaries. There was a bullfinch in a tree next door on New Year's Day, rare here. We also include birds in our 'airspace', i.e, flying overhead in the space immediately above the garden, but we have them in a separate list.
Here's the RSPB link with all the info, in case you're not registered yet - https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/ac ... gLO3vD_BwE you can do it all online, no need to have the pack unless you want one.
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:37 pm

OH is ready to go, she has done the big garden Birdwatch for years and also does the weekly BTO garden bird watch which also includes mammals, butterflies, insect and reptiles.
The garden total for this year is 34 at the moment, although surrounded by farm land and having a lake does bump the list up somewhat especially when the local pheasants and partridges work out when duck/goose feeding time is. we have yellowhammers visit the feeders in the hedge and they brighten up a dull day.We have a pair of Egyptian Geese that used to visit daily withe a flock of Canada Geese then thought " why the hell are we flying in and out every day when we could just move in" they are real characters and come up and tap on the kitchen door or just lurk around near the chicken run in the hope of extra food and roost time.
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Tweetypie
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Re: nature notes

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:27 pm

Silly me hadn't realised you were discussing this on here. 😊

I've only seen 6 bluetits and 1 male blackbird during a 1 hour stint today. So disappointed, but it's my own fault for not feeding them through Autumn and winter. Ive put the fatballs and seeds out today and hope I attract some different species tomorrow.
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Marigold
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Re: nature notes

Post by Marigold » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:27 am

You'll attract more species if you provide a more varied menu, Tweetipie - and also, of course they need a bit of time to find what you're offering, as you say. I put out 4 feeders, one mixed seed which has dried mealworms added, one sunflower seed for goldfinches, one kibbled peanuts for bluetits and one of fatballs. (Autospell keeps on giving me 'footballs'!) I also scatter some mixed seed on the ground, especially on very cold days, for the ground feeders such as blackbirds, and quite a variety comes to investigate this. I've had to put feeder guardians round the feeders as the woodpigeons, collared doves, jackdaws and starlings were just clearing everything out by lunchtime and not giving the little birds a chance. The mixed flocks of tits that come through at intervals during the day like the kibbled peanuts and fatballs particularly, and the bluetits fly in, take a bit of peanut and fly away with it to eat in safety and privacy elsewhere. They definitely prefer their peanuts in easy-to-grab little bits, rather than having to cling on and keep nibbling away at whole peanuts. I do also provide a large shallow dish of water, though they mostly use the pond edge for drinking and bathing. If there's no pond, this is essential especially if the weather is freezing.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: nature notes

Post by Hen-Gen » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:06 am

Very impoverished here at the moment. Lots of birds go south, or beyond, for the winter and seabirds, well, they stay on the sea.
But common visitors to my garden ie a lawn are hooded crows, ravens, redshank, rock dove, blackbird, starling, house sparrow, herring gull and lesser black backed gull. The corvids and the gulls only come when the left over Sunday roast is put out.
When I kill young cockerels in the summer I always put them out for the birds who fall on them like a flock of vultures.
The only finch type bird is the twite and they are far to wary to approach civilisation.
So no tits, other finches, thrushes, robins etc.
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