nature notes

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bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:16 pm

I should think possum gloves count. Your geological formation being linked with the Appalachian mountains sounds more exciting than the line of flint in the chalk cliffs locally which is known as Whitakers 3 inch band and stretches right down to the chalk cliffs at Dover, I learnt that at school and like ox bow lake it is firmly lodged in my brain
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit » Sun May 12, 2019 5:23 pm

Well after a long gap where all it seemed to do was rain, we now have a period of heat. This morning I watched a pair of broad bodied chaser dragonflies mate in mid air over a patch of water, then the female dipped her abdomen down to lay eggs about 20 times, whilst her mate waited, then they flew off together. I also watched a female lay eggs in the same patch of water yesterday.

We also saw a raptor circling, fairly close to the ground and house to check it out, before going upwards and away to glide about on the thermals. We got the super binoculars out, but still not very expert at identification. However, it had a lot of white on the underside and I can discount many birds. We have narrowed it down to either a Bonelli's eagle or less likely an juvenile Imperial Spanish eagle. Both are rare in Portugal, but my research reveals there are tens of breeding pairs, and the ISE is known to be in our region. They both nest in tall pines/large eucalypts and that is what we are surrounded by. Both eat rabbit a lot, and we don't have many around here but the Bonelli in particular feasts on red legged partridge, which we do have, plus the usual rodents/birds etc. The research also reveals a great difference in size, but when the bird is so high and far away its hard to accurately decide how big it is! We are quite excited and are hoping for a repeat viewing. I know that there is a pair of whatever this is, nesting quite close by, its been there for either one or possibly two summers.
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Tue May 21, 2019 10:56 am

Sounds amazing, see if you can get a few pics, don't have to be perfect, and I am sure somebody will be able to I D it for you.
OH came across a Wryneck this morning on a local survey, which she was dead pleased about, and a Great White Egret did a fly by.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit » Tue May 28, 2019 10:51 am

Well the mystery bird hasn't been seen by me, but it has been hanging out near a friend's house, he says its still too far away to get a photo, whilst driving along, along our rather narrow twisty roads. This particular person is new to the area and quite cautious, he toots the horn going round every bend! More interestingly, another friend said there was an Spanish eagle in the area before I mentioned my suppositions, so I think the chances have improved that this is our bird, and that it is a Spanish Imperial.

Today's unlikely spot was a) me doing the housework and b)seeing what I presume was a dying glowworm on the floor whilst hoovering. She had 2 segments of light on when I saw her, this dimmed to one and I thought she was on the way out, then 2 bands came on again and I took her outside. She was on her back, very feeble. The body is like a small white maggot with segments, but she has legs and antennae. The light was yellow, whereas when I have seen them at night its a very clear green. Our door is open most of the time, and the floor is tiled, and at this time of year we have a variety of insect visitors, and a few four legged ones which nose their way in and flop down on the cool floor!
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Tue May 28, 2019 11:46 am

I was amazed the first time I saw a glow worm, what incredible little creatures, and the light is so bright for such a little thing.
You are very lucky, with your assortment of wildlife.
Our wildlife highlight yesterday was actually seeing 2 Quail fly up in front of us, they had been lurking in some long grass by the path we were walking along. Then Nightjar hunting in the Ashdown forest. Well not a hunt as such we just went to our usual spot and had 2 flying abut and churring, once the sun went down, not as many as usual calling, but a bit of a chill wind came up and the flight path from Gatwick was over our heads this time.
Sounds good on the Imperial Eagle front, hope you get better views at some point
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Hen-Gen
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Re: nature notes

Post by Hen-Gen » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:58 pm

Yeh! My first male cuckoo spotted in my plantation this morning. Someone heard it calling yesterday but couldn’t find it. It was mobbed by starlings. Only an occasional visitor/sporadic breeder to these parts. Bet the meadow pipits are nervous!
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:54 pm

The nightjar(s) have been churring the past few weeks, lovely sound. I didn't realise they were present on Ashdown Forest, I must tell a friend of mine who drives across it every day to work. We saw a glowworm outside this evening, but the real excitement was earlier on today. There were 2 lizards rolling over and over, showing their bellies, in the leaf litter near a clump of agave. I am not sure if they were mating or fighting as I didn't notice them to start with, then I was too noisy and they split apart.
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:06 pm

Opposite Gills Lap car park in the Ashdown Forest is our chosen spot, cross the road and stand by a lone clump of pines trees. The Old Lodge area is good also we could here some from there. I have no doubt there are other spots also
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:40 pm

Interesting article in bird watching mag this month Hen-Gen. Some Red necked Phalaropes they tracked from Fetlar with little satellite trackers went all the way to Peru to overwinter. They went via Iceland, Greenland, USA, Caribbean, Ecuador. Bit different to the idea they would head to the Arabian Sea
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Hen-Gen
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Re: nature notes

Post by Hen-Gen » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:00 am

Yes, bym, this caused consternation in the local birding circles when it was discovered last year. It had always been assumed that they joined the Scandinavian population and headed down to Arabia where they spend the winter. But no. As you say ours head off to South America. Quite why they go on such a long and perilous journey is a mystery.
It also illustrates why so many of our migratory birds are not only dependant on our conservation efforts here but also on the same wherever they winter.
At least by going west our phalaropes are nowhere near Malta
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