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spuggies and jackdaws and hedgehogs and frogs

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27 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

They weren't ' squaring up ' ?

My two were making grunting sort of noises and facing each other, a few inches apart and moving forward and back, and side to side, rather in the manner of wrestlers at the opening of a bout.  I had no idea whether it was laddish aggression, possibly to do with territory, or a male and female romantically sizing each other up!

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4 minutes ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

My two were making grunting sort of noises and facing each other, a few inches apart and moving forward and back, and side to side, rather in the manner of wrestlers at the opening of a bout.  I had no idea whether it was laddish aggression, possibly to do with territory, or a male and female romantically sizing each other up!

Foreplay , nothings easy when you're covered in spines ?

Can last for several hours apparently ?

So a lot longer than me ?

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1 minute ago, GUBRATS said:

Foreplay , nothings easy when you're covered in spines ?

Can last for several hours apparently ?

So a lot longer than me ?

I wanted to show the 'thanks' and 'haha' icons (or whatever they are called), but can only do one, I think.  So, "thanks" and "haha!"

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17 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

My two were making grunting sort of noises and facing each other, a few inches apart and moving forward and back, and side to side, rather in the manner of wrestlers at the opening of a bout.  I had no idea whether it was laddish aggression, possibly to do with territory, or a male and female romantically sizing each other up!

They are quite grumpy when they encounter each other, and IIRC they spend a lot of time on their own as adults.

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17 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

Foreplay , nothings easy when you're covered in spines ?

Can last for several hours apparently ?

So a lot longer than me ?

Remember the old line?

Q) How do hedgehogs have sex

A) Carefully.

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I've always enjoyed seeing dragonflies (and damsel flies too), but not really had any idea what I was looking at.  My daughter kindly gave me a small pocket guide on the subject for Christmas (Britain's Dragonflies by Smallshire and Swash) and I have made first use of it today while walking the dog on the outskirts of our village.

I saw a common darter.  As the name implies, it is, well, pretty common!  But I take delight in all such sightings - common or rare - and it was satisfying to be able to put a name to a face, or in this case, an abdomen!

ps caught a bit of quiz show called Tipping Point this morning when I came down to let the dog out and make mugs of tea for my wife and me.  Question - "there are three species of snake found in Britain - the smooth snake, the adder and what?" Contestant - "errr, python?"

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19 minutes ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

I've always enjoyed seeing dragonflies (and damsel flies too), but not really had any idea what I was looking at.  My daughter kindly gave me a small pocket guide on the subject for Christmas (Britain's Dragonflies by Smallshire and Swash) and I have made first use of it today while walking the dog on the outskirts of our village.

I saw a common darter.  As the name implies, it is, well, pretty common!  But I take delight in all such sightings - common or rare - and it was satisfying to be able to put a name to a face, or in this case, an abdomen!

ps caught a bit of quiz show called Tipping Point this morning when I came down to let the dog out and make mugs of tea for my wife and me.  Question - "there are three species of snake found in Britain - the smooth snake, the adder and what?" Contestant - "errr, python?"

Once I was on a little island with the Yak camping in the middle of nowhere and it was just the right moment...saw the first massive damsel fly hatch and mating...what a crazy frenzy at the top of a tree by my camp....quite a sight...watched them for hours.  Millions of them and I had to take refuge in the tent.  You don't get to see such a thing too often (only once for me).

Edited by Kayakman
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3 minutes ago, Kayakman said:

Once I was on a little island with the Yak camping in the middle of nowhere and it was just the right moment...saw the first massive damsel fly hatch and mating...what a crazy frenzy at the top of a tree by my camp....quite a sight...watched them for hours.  Millions of them and I had to take refuge in the tent.  You don't get to see such a thing too often (only once for me).

We created a garden pond in the house we lived in before we came to our current one and deliberately put no ornamental fish in it.  We let nature take its aquatic course.

One of the great, late springtime delights was seeing dragonfly nymphs slowly ease their way out of the water and up the leaves of some of the plants we had put in the edge of the pond.  There they would wait while the sun and warm breeze dried them and then slowly but surely break out of their casing.  If you went back an hour or two later, you would probably see the empty, ghostlike casing still clinging to the leaf it was on.

A great privilege to witness that, as I did a few times! 

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35 minutes ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

We created a garden pond in the house we lived in before we came to our current one and deliberately put no ornamental fish in it.  We let nature take its aquatic course.

One of the great, late springtime delights was seeing dragonfly nymphs slowly ease their way out of the water and up the leaves of some of the plants we had put in the edge of the pond.  There they would wait while the sun and warm breeze dried them and then slowly but surely break out of their casing.  If you went back an hour or two later, you would probably see the empty, ghostlike casing still clinging to the leaf it was on.

A great privilege to witness that, as I did a few times! 

Yes it is!...if you are in a wilderness areas when vast numbers hatch (weather has got to be just right) then they 'swarm' at the top of a tree but only for a short time...its a miracle in nature to watch...but the window is small...that is what I saw....it was really something.  There were millions of them and Thank God I had secured my daily water supply from the lake before it became polluted with the huge numbers of empty casings.  It was a beautiful thing to see and I'm glad I had the chance to witness it.

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The pair of magpies that have nested in the big tree behind my house for at least the last 5 years have been evicted by a pair of crows, who have completed repairs on the nest. Not sure where the magpies have gone but when I saw the crows building I realised I hadn't seen them for a while. Also the last few days I've spent some time early afternoon watching the local heron get harassed by the more local crows when it's made its daily fishing trip to the nearby pond - must try and get some pictures.

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1 hour ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

The pair of magpies that have nested in the big tree behind my house for at least the last 5 years have been evicted by a pair of crows, who have completed repairs on the nest. Not sure where the magpies have gone but when I saw the crows building I realised I hadn't seen them for a while. Also the last few days I've spent some time early afternoon watching the local heron get harassed by the more local crows when it's made its daily fishing trip to the nearby pond - must try and get some pictures.

Crows are always up for a fight. I regularly see them in aerial combat with the buzzards over a nearby field.

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Old Faithful we never lose at Wembley

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1 minute ago, Ullman said:

Crows are always up for a fight. I regularly see them in aerial combat with the buzzards over a nearby field.

They're usually squabbling with the magpies around here and they've obviously got the better this year for what is probably a prime nesting site given the number of hedges and song birds nearby. 

Thinking about the local birds I've not seen our sparrowhawk (nor its aftermath) for a while now. It used to like hiding in our eucalyptus but quickly adapted to lurking in the hedge after that was cut down.

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Bats everywhere tonight, all of a sudden, like someone released them all at once.

Pipistrelles I think. A very welcome addition to the neighbourhood along with some swallows. 

No swifts yet overhead ......

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One of the last summer migrant arrivals is now being reported from the heathlands of Hampshire - the nightjar.  Do any of you in Yorkshire ever get a chance to see or hear this fantastic bird?  I believe they occur in Wykham and Cropton Forests in the North York Moors, and on Thorne and Hatfield Moors near Donny; also possibly at Skipwith and Strensall Commons, near York.

Thomas Hardy mentioned them in his novels, but used the old Dorset country name for them - 'nighthawks'.  And he called their strange, mechanical, drone of a call 'whirring' rather than the 'churring' used by modern birdwatchers.  I believe another country name for them was 'goatsuckers'; as they were thought to attach in the dead of night to the teats of goats (and cows), thus explaining sometimes low milk yields the next day.  Country lore is often spot on, but not in this case!

I will make a crepuscular (what a great word!) visit or two to a nearby bit of the New Forest that always hosts a few pairs through the summer.

The popular song of an earlier era, My blue heaven, begins "Whippoorwills call, evenin' is nigh.."  This is a reference to a North American species of nightjar, I believe.  

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The fourth and final egg of the Chichester Cathedral peregrines hatched a few minutes ago, round about 10.35am.  Apparently you can rewind the webcam by up to 12 hours to see something you have missed.  here is the link:

https://www.carnyx.tv/LiveCameras/WildlifeCameras/Chichester.aspx

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19 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

One of the last summer migrant arrivals is now being reported from the heathlands of Hampshire - the nightjar.  Do any of you in Yorkshire ever get a chance to see or hear this fantastic bird?  I believe they occur in Wykham and Cropton Forests in the North York Moors, and on Thorne and Hatfield Moors near Donny; also possibly at Skipwith and Strensall Commons, near York.

I know most of those places very well but have probably never been at the right time. The only jars I can recall in Cropton were in the New Inn. There were loads of swifts though. I've cycled across Hatfield Moors many times but you wouldn't catch me out there when it's getting dark.

Skipwith Common is well worth a visit for anybody ever in the area.

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Old Faithful we never lose at Wembley

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3 hours ago, Ullman said:

I've cycled across Hatfield Moors many times but you wouldn't catch me out there when it's getting dark.

You could always stop off here for a refreshing pint...

cb43190bf8cfb6b4f4b5f78b9c22fbbe.jpg

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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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Saw the first Cinnabar Moth while out today ,and whilst out walking stepped off the path to let people go by and came across a Redpoll nesting in a Willow bush , don`t see many about so pretty lucky .

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Saw my first housemartins of the year today at Kilham (near the wonderfully named Kilham Hall).


Old Faithful we never lose at Wembley

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The RSPB has webcams on Coquet Island in Northumberland, showing nesting roseate terns and puffins.  Here is the link (I think and hope!):

https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/conservation/projects/coquet-island-seabird-sanctuary/

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22 hours ago, Ullman said:

Saw my first housemartins of the year today at Kilham (near the wonderfully named Kilham Hall).

Isn't that where they make Domestos?


                                                                        RADFORD OUT!

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3 minutes ago, Old Frightful said:

Isn't that where they make Domestos?

Bravo!

But this is what always springs to mind for me.

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Edited by Ullman

Old Faithful we never lose at Wembley

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