nature notes

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rick
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Re: nature notes

Post by rick »

A couple of things have been buzzing around in my mind lately - corvids and hedgehogs...
Around us there are lots of brick walls. There is a hedgehog that routinely comes down the pavement at night as the only way of connecting the route from several doors on the opposite side of the road to the east to a couple of doors to the west. There are a few wooden fences that could do with a hedgehog hole and would be easy but it wouldn't be connected without holes in double brick walls. A diamond core drill is the obvious answer but what diameter would a round hole need to be for a hedgehog? It would need to be no bigger than necessary as the bigger the diameter the harder it would be to drill. would a 110mm hole be big enough?
I really love corvids and remember coming across this story of crows collecting litter in France for treats a while back but just came across it again (Puy du Fou park.) So I was thinking you could set that up anywhere - like on the roof of the house as a trip from our local park to the roof would be a cinch for a crow. But it may be too successful! What if you found some wallets and rings in the trash can?! The perfect crime! :) That really wasn't my motivation in thinking about it - becoming Fagin for a gang of feathered Artful Dodgers! - there is loads of litter around here (mostly from bin bags ransacked by foxes) that needs picking up and a workforce of crows would be excellent!
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman »

Very weirdly OH looked this up yesterday for someone down the road, and according to British hedgehogs society and various other organisations it needs to be 13x13cm (5x5ins) which is ideal for them but excludes domestic pets from getting into your garden.
You can even buy bespoke plates to go around them which states they are a hedgehog highway, please do not cover. The info came from www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk. Ours was wandering around last night with youngsters following on which was nice.
I remember reading a similar article where corvids had been trained to pick up cigarette ends in the Netherlands, could do with training a few around here to pick up litter from cars.
Plus they would work all daylight hours every day, no union, no lunchbreak as it would be on the job refreshments, and no overtime pay, plus come spring they would provide their own replacements :D :D :D
It would be the perfect crime if they brought home valuables, they would never squeal or caw on you to the police.
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Marigold
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Re: nature notes

Post by Marigold »

See British Hedgehog Preservation Society - BHPS- https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/
and click on the link to Hedgehog Street on the Home page. Also see (and sign) the petition for hedgehog highways
https://www.change.org/p/help-save-brit ... g-highways - seeking a law compelling developers to leave hedgehog holes in fences etc in new developments.

I’m glad your hedgehog keeps to the pavement, Rick. It makes me so sad and angry when I see yet another of our precious hedgehog colony lying dead on our road with its guts spilling out. Perhaps the reduction in traffic will have helped this year’s breeding season to be more successful, although our local FB wildlife site has had lots of pics of deer in people’s back gardens etc, so maybe the wildlife is getting too relaxed for its own good round here.
Margaid
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Re: nature notes

Post by Margaid »

bigyetiman wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:19 am
Very weirdly OH looked this up yesterday for someone down the road, and according to British hedgehogs society and various other organisations it needs to be 13x13cm (5x5ins) which is ideal for them but excludes domestic pets from getting into your garden.
Cats will climb fences and walls anyway ...

Took the 6"x 4" sheep netting out of the bottom of my post and rail fence so that the cats, particularly Smokey, could get into the fields more easily. Even chunky Pickle could get through the netting but Smokey has long legs and I think maybe she got caught up and that's how she broke her femur.
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rick
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Re: nature notes

Post by rick »

I think I'll try a 127mm drill on the rear boundary wall as an experiment. If I can make a jig for it so its easy to do anywhere I think I may advertise a hedgehog hole making service.
Signed the petition - a very good idea and will ask our ecologist what is happening already in planning. Do have to say, being in planning myself; there is also a push from council members to increase tree canopy cover in the city from 18 to 25% through planning conditions. I'm all for planning and developers having this as a goal but developers are only involved year on year in a tiny fraction of what is already out there and most of what is happening is under permitted development (paving over driveways and going to B&Q etc.) I hate to be a sceptic but politicians will have retired with numerous policy accolades well before any effect is measurable and the maths say a 1% increase over 60 years is all you could possibly get through development alone. Meanwhile policy has halved the allocation of public open space per 1000 population and squeezed private garden sizes due to meeting housing density targets. (Can you tell I'm somewhat frustrated?!)
Sceptical but not defeated - there simply has to be a way. Of course planning and development has to be exemplary so as not to make things worse and set a good example but the lions share of what can have a truly significant effect is in the small individual efforts and choices made by existing private property owners. It really is power to the people - if that's what they want.

When building the new wall on the side boundary, did leave a hole by arching over the pear tree but our garden doesn't offer much at all in way of interest for a hedgehog. Main problem is it is also a dead end so needs another hole or two on the other boundaries.
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bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman »

That's really good Rick.
here are a few moths from the last couple of nights. We got a really plain one out that turned out to be called a Timothy Tortrix :D
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MrsBiscuit
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Re: nature notes

Post by MrsBiscuit »

Your photos are so fascinating, every single moth looks interesting, far more than when I see them in real life. I love the Timothy name 9even the girls?!) and I particularly like the brown tail because it looks as though the moth is wearing a non-PC ermine robe!
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dinosaw
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Re: nature notes

Post by dinosaw »

I've just been trawling through this thread and am amazed at how many different types of moth you have managed get BYM, great job. I went up to photograph a couple of chicks that my broody Sussex had hatched on Wednesday and managed to snap this butterfly. I think it is a marbled white but have to admit I had to look it up. I couldn't get anywhere near any of the moths flying about, dozens of red and black ones which I think are Cinnabars.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: nature notes

Post by Hen-Gen »

I remember as a kid telling people that when I grew up I wanted to be an entomologist. That soon went the way of other childish aspirations but I’ve always loved seeing insects even though I can’t name most of them.
One of the downsides of living up here is that insects, reptiles and amphibians are under represented. One of my enduring memories is of laying in the grass down south listening to the sounds of bees, hover flies and grass hoppers. And of wasps chewing the wooden trellis work that supported the clematis. You could hear their little mandibles chomping on the wood.
So for me it’s not about the beauty of some new butterfly. It’s about the whole web of life of which we are just a small part.
And the one day a year when all the ant nest in the area synchronised the emergence of males and queens and for one day everywhere was crawling with ants. For me it beats the Serengeti any day.
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
bigyetiman
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Re: nature notes

Post by bigyetiman »

Here is a Cinnabar moth.
I agree Hen-Gen the whole insect world is fascinating. Wish I could ID some of the micromoths I get in the trap but they are so small and very similar to each other. Some of the moths come in all shades from pale to dark, not easy when the book only shows you one colour and not all the variants.

I think Marbled Whites are stunning, some of the brambles at the local golf course are covered in them at the moment.

Dragonflies at well, they are amazing
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