nature notes

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bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman »

It certainly does Hen-Gen. Also illustrates the fact that with nature you can learn something new everyday.
It is the 70th anniversary of the Essex Birdwatching Society and they have sent all the members a copy of the very first annual report for 1949. Red backed Shrikes were an abundant breeding species in Essex, now absent from the UK. The Turtle Dove and Spotted Flycatcher were numerous as were Tree Sparrow all now virtually vanished from Essex. Only raptor reported was Sparrowhawk and the excitement of a Hobby being seen, they are now commonly breeding.
Concerns were raised about the decrease in breeding Redstart, Hawfinch and Woodlark, Hawfinch being the only one that is just about hanging on in a couple of Essex places
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Marigold
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Re: nature notes

Post by Marigold »

It's not only birds that do amazing migratory journeys. See this about an arctic fox https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-f ... e-48824181
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chrismahon
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Re: nature notes

Post by chrismahon »

After hearing them in distant trees all around us for weeks, yesterday we got our first fleeting glimpse of a pair of Golden Orioles that landed in a fig tree. Just now they landed in a poplar tree right behind the house and were clearly visible through the french doors- the colouring of the male is the most vivid yellow you can imagine and much brighter than the pictures we've seen on the internet. The female is rather duller, but still yellow in the wings.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit »

They are spectacular aren't they, though I've not seen one for a few years now. Yesterday the pair of whatever raptors we have nearby were calling to each other as they wheeled about in the sky, seemingly just for the joy of it. I was doing a bit of light gardening, the sun was out but not scorchio, and it just felt like a lovely moment.
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

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Remember going to Lakenheath to the old Bryant and May (matchmaker) poplar plantation, back in the 60's early 70's on a warm dawn morning in early summer, the damp ground would be steamy and misty and you would hear the fluty call and see the males flitting around. Then the site closed and the poplar trees started falling, the RSPB took over the site and started to manage the site for …. Bitterns and Cranes by turning abandoned carrot fields into reed beds, in spite of general outrage. Even more trees fell and the Oriole population got smaller and smaller, until in the 90's we were down to one pair and a couple of lone males, then just a pair, then a lone male. None for the last 3 years.
Guess people won't pay to hunt for small bird in tree, but will to see big long legged birds wandering about, and hear a Bittern boom.
There was a small population at a secret site in Cambridgeshire, not sure if they are still hanging on there.
They build an amazing nest also which hangs from a branch in a true Disney cartoon style.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

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And isn't that a shame? We all know habitat loss is a major factor in the decline of species, of all sorts. I watched a Gardner's World on wild flowers recently, saying that over 90% of meadows have disappeared in the UK. Such a shame, I used to go to the chalk downlands around Lambourn to see vast swathes of ox-eye daisies, and I'm pleased to say you can still see vast swathes of poppies on the South Downs around Brighton, but neither are meadows, obviously.

Well in the way that coincidences do turn up, my OH returned from a cycle ride yesterday and said he'd seen a golden oriole! Last evening there was a small group of goldfinches on my cosmos, couldn't quite see if they were eating the central boss of stamen/seeds (I know they eat seeds in general but the flowers aren't over really and the seed cases can't have many plump seeds in them) or the petals. Either way I was suprised to see the flower stalks were strong enough to support the birds bodies.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: nature notes

Post by Hen-Gen »

MrsBiscuit wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:55 pm
And isn't that a shame? We all know habitat loss is a major factor in the decline of species, of all sorts. I watched a Gardner's World on wild flowers recently, saying that over 90% of meadows have disappeared in the UK. Such a shame, I used to go to the chalk downlands around Lambourn to see vast swathes of ox-eye daisies, and I'm pleased to say you can still see vast swathes of poppies on the South Downs around Brighton, but neither are meadows, obviously
Yes, it’s a great shame. Fortunately pockets still remain. Upper Teesdale and Swaledale and the machair of the western isles of Scotland are a joy.
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

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We have a nature reserve near us that has meadows that are triple SSSI's and it is a joy to walk through as are some local water meadows, but they are few and far between around here.
Swaledale, lovely place.
Most small birds weigh next to nothing, but it always amazes me to see a Bittern standing on top of a slender looking reed, drying off after a rain shower
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

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We have been lucky with a flock of bee-eaters around here for the past 10 days. At first they were close enough to see the magnificant plumage but more recently they have taken to flying about en masse, making their distinctive calls (which is what alerts me) and then congrating on a tall, dead, tree. I read that they do this to knock the sting out of the bees on the tree before eating. They have a distinctive flight as well. Lovely!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: nature notes

Post by Hen-Gen »

Exciting times. With global warming all sorts of things are moving north. Saw my first Red Admirals here a month ago.
I was intrigued when bym itemised all those strange ibis/heron/stork species that have taken up residence in the south.
I’m hoping for wildebeests on the South Downs.
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
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