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spuggies and jackdaws and hedgehogs and frogs


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Winnie, the Winchester Cathedral peregrine, has laid her first egg of 2022.  Others will follow, each at a few days' interval from the one before.  Only when she knows there are no more to come will she start sitting on them in earnest, to incubate them.  I think she will probably lay four, but three and five are possible.  Here is the webcam link:

Winchester Cathedral | Peregrines (winchester-cathedral.org.uk)

Meanwhile, we have had a warm sunny day, with a little breeze and temperatures climbing into the lower teens.  I have seen three brimstone (bright yellow) butterflies, two in the New Forest and one here in the garden of WWD Towers.

Spring must surely be here!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I also posted this in the photography thread, but it deserves double exposure.

 

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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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I believe Britain’s noisiest bird the Bittern is making a comeback which is good news. I don’t think i’ll ever see one around the ghetto where i live, or am i likely to hear one but im pleased about that. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 31/03/2022 at 17:56, Josef K said:

I believe Britain’s noisiest bird the Bittern is making a comeback which is good news. I don’t think i’ll ever see one around the ghetto where i live, or am i likely to hear one but im pleased about that. 

Heard one booming away in the reedbeds at Far Ings, Barton-on-Humber on Sunday. Sadly he didn't show himself. Did get to see a marsh harrier though so was pretty pleased about that.

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Old Faithful we never lose at Wembley

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On 31/03/2022 at 17:56, Josef K said:

I believe Britain’s noisiest bird the Bittern is making a comeback which is good news.

My sister would give it a run for it’s money 

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It is a sure sign that summer is coming up quickly when the reptiles get active.

Mrs WWD and I are just back from our New Forest dog walk at Turf Hill.  We spotted a common lizard making its way over an area of short grass (a 'lawn' in the vocabulary of the forest)  Then we also noticed an adder very nearby.

Was it maybe eyeing up the lizard for lunch?  Quite possibly, in which case our arrival on the scene will have thwarted its ambitions.  The adder slithered off into the dry heather and bracken roots, while the lizard ran erratically ahead of us, and thus in the opposite direction to the adder.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just seen a pair of goldfinches collecting my dogs hair, my dog is an husky so always plenty of it about. We have never had goldfinches in the garden before so hopefully they will build in holly bush they keep flying into.

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Through the fish-eyed lens of tear stained eyes
I can barely define the shape of this moment in time

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3 hours ago, my missus said:

Just seen a pair of goldfinches collecting my dogs hair, my dog is an husky so always plenty of it about. We have never had goldfinches in the garden before so hopefully they will build in holly bush they keep flying into.

Fingers crossed for you!  I've always liked the collective noun for goldfinches.  Apparently it is a 'charm' of goldfinches, which I think reflects how they come across to us humans very well.

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I have seen my first few swallows in the last two days - four in all in two locations.

I am hearing cuckoos now on quite a few of my daily dog walking trips in the New Forest, but by no means every day.  Nighjars should be around from about now.

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Posted (edited)

I have a pair of goldfinches and a pair of chaffinches in my garden , and on thursday my first blackbird chick emerged which is as early as ive known .

Unfortunately i also had a real trauma when for the first time i saw a rat at my ground feeder . Really shook me up

Edited by DavidM
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4 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

I have seen my first few swallows in the last two days - four in all in two locations.

I am hearing cuckoos now on quite a few of my daily dog walking trips in the New Forest, but by no means every day.  Nighjars should be around from about now.

Saw my first swallows today at Slingsby on the edge of the Howardian Hills AONB. Also spotted a pair of lapwings in a field and a couple of goldcrests kept flitting in and out of a tree in the pub garden.

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Old Faithful we never lose at Wembley

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With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

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Saw a grass snake on the road near North Cave wetlands today. It didn't flinch as I rode by. Must have been nice and warm on the tarmac.

Old Faithful we never lose at Wembley

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23 hours ago, Hopping Mad said:

Unsurprising. Consider how many fewer insects, nowadays, are plastered to one's car front and windscreen after a summer evening drive.

But I see somebody in The Times today making an interestingf point, which had not previously occurred to me.  It is that, as car designers continually seek to improve their cars' efficiency by minimising wind resistance, their designs will see more air move up and over the car, rather than hit the windscreen head-on.  One might suppose, therefore, that the insects go with the flow of the wind, and this might explain, at least to a degree, the decline in the number on your windscreen after a drive in the summer.

Sounds just about plausible to me!

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14 hours ago, Ullman said:

Saw a grass snake on the road near North Cave wetlands today. It didn't flinch as I rode by. Must have been nice and warm on the tarmac.

Sadly, a slow worm, twenty yards up the hill of our village street hasn't fared so well.  It is very squashed and dead.

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One of my neighbours saw a swift flying over her house yesterday.  They are always the last of the hirundine species to arrive here to breed.

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11 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

But I see somebody in The Times today making an interestingf point, which had not previously occurred to me.  It is that, as car designers continually seek to improve their cars' efficiency by minimising wind resistance, their designs will see more air move up and over the car, rather than hit the windscreen head-on.  One might suppose, therefore, that the insects go with the flow of the wind, and this might explain, at least to a degree, the decline in the number on your windscreen after a drive in the summer.

Sounds just about plausible to me!

I think it's a bit of both, with the latter disguising the former.

"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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A couple of the usual pigeons were on the lawn today chowing down on the spill from the bird feeders. A young jackdaw came down, and to get the pigeons out of the way it hopped up into the air about 4 inches and lashed out with its foot into the body of one of them. It's the 1st time I've seen a bird dropkick an adversary. 

Wibble

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When we first moved here in 2004, I saw a completely white pigeon hanging with the common ones. Today, I saw at least a dozen of them. That one original mutant has probably been sowing its oats and has plenty of grand pigeons around. 

"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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3 hours ago, ckn said:

When we first moved here in 2004, I saw a completely white pigeon hanging with the common ones. Today, I saw at least a dozen of them. That one original mutant has probably been sowing its oats and has plenty of grand pigeons around. 

It's the Pat Mustard of the bird world

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Wibble

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On 02/05/2022 at 14:24, voteronniegibbs said:

Next doors House Martins have been evicted from their usual nest box. A family of starlings have gone in and their young uns are screeching away. 

We used to have lots of Swifts nesting where I live , then the local housing association put all new roofs on the houses and removed all their nest sites , so the Swifts went away , but then we got House Martins nesting , which we'd never had before .

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On 07/05/2022 at 10:50, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

One of my neighbours saw a swift flying over her house yesterday.  They are always the last of the hirundine species to arrive here to breed.

First swifts of the year overhead at the beautiful Arthington Cricket Club near Otley yesterday morning. 

I umpired my son's U13 match but had one eye on a mischievous red kite who spent the whole match mithering a crow's nest.

In other news, we have a new family member, a massive carrion crow who has been named Dave by the kids. He's here every day now, he loves the bird bath and the old fruit that we throw out. He hasn't put off the blackbirds or smaller birds but the wood pigeons don't seem happy with him. I hope he finds a mate. 

 

PS: Arthington CC, where there really are cows in cow corner:

cowandcricket.jpg

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