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spuggies and jackdaws and hedgehogs and frogs


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Of the hirundine species (swifts, swallows and martins), swifts are the last to arrive and the first to go.  In my experience, their departure is pretty much as regular as clockwork.  They leave from mid-July onwards and there will be none after either 31st July or 1st August.

Sure enough, here in south-west Wiltshire, there were one or two still about yesterday, but none today that I can see.

Autumn is here!

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I saw an echidna, creature a bit like your hedgehog, about 5 years ago. I was about 40km out of town and there it was wandering across the road. Always make me glad because If you see one it usually means there are more around.

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29 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

I saw an echidna, creature a bit like your hedgehog, about 5 years ago. I was about 40km out of town and there it was wandering across the road. Always make me glad because If you see one it usually means there are more around.

' Sonic's ' cousin 😀

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22 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

' Sonic's ' cousin 😀

Had to google that. Hedgehogs and echidnas, Brits and Aussies, cousins. Okay mate, good luck with your season restart.

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2 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Had to google that. Hedgehogs and echidnas, Brits and Aussies, cousins. Okay mate, good luck with your season restart.

What season restart ? , My team isn't restarting 😂

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4 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

What season restart ? , My team isn't restarting 😂

I thought Leigh won that debate on that other thread (through sheer attrition ) and thereby gained promotion.🙂

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Last night the 2 lovehogs were on a ' date night ' on my patio , spotted them around 10 , they were both eating from the bowl of food , at 10 ish they were ' dancing ' 😉 under the garden chairs , as I checked before heading off to bed they were sharing the water bowl for a late drink , fully expect to see them both sharing a ' fag ' tonight , I'll know the dirty deed has been done then 😂

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1 minute ago, GUBRATS said:

Last night the 2 lovehogs were on a ' date night ' on my patio , spotted them around 10 , they were both eating from the bowl of food , at 10 ish they were ' dancing ' 😉 under the garden chairs , as I checked before heading off to bed they were sharing the water bowl for a late drink , fully expect to see them both sharing a ' fag ' tonight , I'll know the dirty deed has been done then 😂

Check behind the bins for a tiny condom with lots of holes in it. :kolobok_wink:

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Saw my first ever adder on the Llyn Peninsula coastal path. It wound its way across the footpath in front of me and I got a really good look at it.

Unfortunately it had slithered into the gorse by the time I got my phone out, so you're all just going to have to believe me. I don't think it helped that I shouted "Snake!" to my wife and  friends who were in front of me. 

Apparently it's one of the best places to spot them but even then they are rarely seen by the general public. 

The only snake I've seen in the wild before was a grass snake in a flooded field, within a mile or so of where I saw the adder 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Edited by Leeds Wire
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1 hour ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

Dipper on Clapham Beck

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Lovely little things, aren't they?  Apparently they roost under river bridges so that's the best place to catch sight of them.
Do you live near Clapham? Lovely part of the world!

Edited by Leeds Wire
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Just now, Leeds Wire said:

Lovely little things, aren't they?  Apparently they roost under river bridges so that's the best place to catch sight of them.

Yes, the first episode of Hugh's Wild West has some fascinating underwater filming of Dippers in the Wye. We watched that one for quite a while hoping to see it go in the water but it was obviously too shy!

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When I walk to the supermarket, I cross a bridge over a stream that feeds into the local reservoir. Quite often, you see a heron, but it is usually a fair distance from the bridge. Yesterday, however, he was sunning himself on a branch very close to the road and didn't seem bothered by the attention. I wish I'd had some sort of camera to hand.

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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On 21/09/2020 at 03:53, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

Dipper on Clapham Beck

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Are they named `Dipper` because of the way they fly, a movement they make, or perhaps because they feed by `dipping` their heads and catching insects from the water or maybe from under the water ? I`d be very surprised if they completely submerged themselves looking for prey. He/She sure is a little beauty though.

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I have a list of about half a dozen reasons why people don`t believe in climate change and the threat that it poses to the diversity of species, and I am not here to start a debate about that. However listening to Donald Trump talk about `raking` forests and others say that forests should be `thinned out` made me realise, a) they haven`t got a clue about what a ludicrous idea that is, given the size of forests and the variety of habitats within them, and b) they don`t really care. Forests, who needs forests ? what have they ever done for me !

And of course the same argument could be made about biodiversity. Dippers who needs dippers ?

Could we live without it ? Would it matter if we only had a few species that we had a specific need for? I know that it would be greatly diminished for me if when I went for a walk if I didn`t catch sight of an `adder` or a `heron` or an `echidna`.

But is it really essential.

 

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My daughter ran into a very large male blackbear (Boar) yesterday on the Bruce Trail...once again she did everything wrong...she is very uncomfortable around bears....negative experiences in childhood can affect one for a lifetime....

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8 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Are they named `Dipper` because of the way they fly, a movement they make, or perhaps because they feed by `dipping` their heads and catching insects from the water or maybe from under the water ? I`d be very surprised if they completely submerged themselves looking for prey. He/She sure is a little beauty though.

They're named after the bobbing motion they make and they really do dive and swim under water. Have a look at these

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=video+dipper+diving&docid=608015692607588754&mid=0A9D3F75CC1F18279ED50A9D3F75CC1F18279ED5&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=video+dipper+diving&&view=detail&mid=5E5CF89B741ADAE8BAF35E5CF89B741ADAE8BAF3&&FORM=VDRVSR

 

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Dippers like clean, fast flowing water, so tend to be found in rural areas.  However, this is not exclusively the case.  I once saw one or two in the River Ness, in the heart of Inverness.

As the shape of a dipper suggests, they are quite close relatives of the much smaller wren.

 

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7 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

Dippers like clean, fast flowing water, so tend to be found in rural areas.  However, this is not exclusively the case.  I once saw one or two in the River Ness, in the heart of Inverness.

As the shape of a dipper suggests, they are quite close relatives of the much smaller wren.

 

I watched the footage supplied by Les, at first it was ducking in and out of the water quite quickly, maybe the Dipper equivalent of `putting a toe in `😉 but then it ducked under and was gone for what seemed like ages, I was starting to think , this is not good, then up it came right as rain. I imagine that water would be quite cold.

I have piece of swamp on my farm that  I have had locked up for about 15 years, there is a family of wrens in there and they are the funniest darn things you`d ever see. They never shut up, they are at it from dawn to past dusk, if I go down there in the evenings there is a particular bushy tree(Paper bark) they like to roost in at night and they are in there , you can`t see them, twittering away right through until it gets dark, with eventually the occasional twitter then silence. Whenever  a little bird stops and looks at me I am reminded of that line of Robbie Burns,...." and fellow mortal ".

The reason I bring this up is because as like you say the body shape is similar to the Dipper, I was thinking when watching the Dipper whether some of that bulk may be a layer of body fat. They made need that in that cold wat-er, a little body like that could get cold right through very quickly.

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Several years ago i went for a walk on January 29th (i made a note) down Crummock Water , it was very cold and sleeting at the time , and there were 2 Dippers taking nesting material to the Wear where they nest . The young didn`t appear until April but they certainly got started early .

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