Naturewatch - today I saw....

Order yourself a latte, and a pastry (The virtual cinnamon buns are excellent today). And have a nice chat.

Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby spotteddick » May 2nd, 2016, 6:58 am

Thanks for that I think that Kaufman is the one for me it being more compact and more use when travelling around, we are phoning our friend Richard in San Francisco this week and will ask him to buy it in advance for us.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Hope » May 4th, 2016, 1:34 pm

Swifts! First time this year. Love seeing them as it's such a big sign of spring.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby billinalaska » May 6th, 2016, 3:23 am

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » May 7th, 2016, 6:48 am

Bill - we took niece to the zoo this week - I saw my first ever Bald Headed Eagle right up close :shock: :luv:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » May 7th, 2016, 5:02 pm

I have seen a lot of these over the last ten days:
26598874460_204eaa1c49.jpg


turkey vultures, I think.

And a fair few of these too:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby spotteddick » May 9th, 2016, 12:57 pm

Good Afternoon.
I am just back from a few days hunting (the May Bucks), we shot a few, but more to the point, I was out very early (you need to be as the Roe come out of the woods to feed as soon as the dawn breaks. But that is not the point on the way back to my camper I decided to have a walk through the Schloss Park, unfortunately I had picked the wrong weekend, the Prince was having his annual open weekend so the rear entrance was closed, there was a sign directing visitors round to the front entrance, humph said I I know better way, part of the park had once been under British military jurisdiction as this was where the Major General of 3 Armoured Division had his Residence. As I turned into the entrance to "The Ems House" I saw a flash of colour on the Large spreading chestnut tree, I turned and saw the back end of a bird disappearing into a hole in the trunk, I was sure it was a Nuthatch Sitta europaea- Kleiber in German, now these are not rare and I often see them when out in the woods up home, but this was the first time I had a chance to get some decent shots of a pair coming and going to their nest holes at very close range, so I stood and saw them as they flew o and returned, I wondered if they had eggs or even young and sure enough I was able to catch a one removing a packet of poo. I returned each morning at around 06:00 and each time was able to get some good shots of the birds.
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The Chestnut tree
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Taking the chicks breakfast
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Removing a packet of poo (200x199).jpg
Removing a packet of Poo
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Nuthatch exiting its nest hole
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » May 10th, 2016, 3:08 pm

Fantastic Dick - we had a pair visit the feeders where I used to work. I presumed they nested in the woods behind the offices, but I never saw where :)
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Pepper Pig » May 10th, 2016, 5:47 pm

suffolk wrote:Bill - we took niece to the zoo this week - I saw my first ever Bald Headed Eagle right up close :shock: :luv:


Was that Sid? We went to one of the zoos in East Anglia and there was a falconry display. Sid participated but looked a bit fed up. :o :D
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby karadekoolaid » May 11th, 2016, 2:53 am

Well I`m afraid I haven`t got any photos of the moment, but today I saw:
1) a woody woodpecker popping out of it`s hole in the top of my pine tree and
2) A three toed sloth hanging from a bamboo pole. Probably trying to decide whether to hang in there or just go to sleep!!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » May 11th, 2016, 2:32 pm

mayflies, by the score.

(accompanied by the chirruping of swallows - too misty to see from the ground).
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby billinalaska » May 12th, 2016, 1:49 am

A Canadian Goose as it passed about a meter over the roof of the car while I was driving down the road at 100kph. :scared: Sorry no photo. :D
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » May 12th, 2016, 6:28 am

Was it overtaking? ;-)
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby billinalaska » May 13th, 2016, 3:51 am

suffolk wrote:Was it overtaking? ;-)


I wish. :lol: Three of them took off, right to left, in a loose V formation. Two continued on. One panicked and did a hard turn to the left for a 180. They were originally just about the middle of the road and slightly higher than me, distance about 40m down the road. When you make that sharp of a turn the wings lose lift, meaning it sank down to about the front of the car. Luckily it managed to climb fast enough for me to get under it. I did look in the mirror to see if got caught in the turbulence I caused and was pulled down in front of the truck behind me, it wasn't. These things weigh about 3.5-4kg or more, so it would have been a big ouch. If you read the article at wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_goose , that E-3 (aka AWACS) was going to feed my computers radar data.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby spotteddick » May 13th, 2016, 6:25 am

Yep bird strikes ain't to be sniffed at and geese in particular. The Canada Geese are becoming a bit of a nuisance here, they are shitting the lawns and footpaths in the parks (I am sure they shit more than they eat) :evil: . They have also taken to staying put all the year round now!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby billinalaska » May 13th, 2016, 3:58 pm

The local goose problem, yes it is a big problem, was partially solved by:
Stop mowing, they won't hang around in tall grasses. To easy for predators to sneak up on them. This worked well out at Elmendorf, quit mowing the area between taxi/runways and off the ends until the edge of the trees.
The indigenous people were given permission to gather eggs here in Anchorage around the lakes. It was a subsistence staple for them.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby spotteddick » May 15th, 2016, 5:44 am

I was on the North Sea coast of Germany mid-week and had a nice two days in the small shrimping port of Husum. It was pre-season so not overrun so it was easy to get a pitch on the mobilehome site run by the fishing firm of Loof, direct on the harbour, what could be better. It is also direct on the salt meadows and the Greylag geese are rearing up their gosling right now. I had a smashing sunset and an even better sunrise.
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The sunset across the salt meadows
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Sunrise (200x150).jpg
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The Two Towers (Old and New)
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Goose march across the salt meadows
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby spotteddick » May 15th, 2016, 11:52 pm

This weekend was the garden bird census. So last night I filled the feeders, and food trays and so in great expectation was up and ready I had taken 09:00 until 10:00 slot as I know from experience that this is the busiest time at the feeders. Bur alas no one had told the birds, though there was a few it was but a smattering of what is normally about at that time. We normally have a dozen Goldfinches ducking and diving to get prime place at the feeders, but today just one solitary Goldfinch :( . But the great Tits did appear in great numbers as did the ringed doves and wood pigeons, but they go anywhere for a free feed. Of course the Siskins have now moved further South so no appearances there. I suppose that is the reason for the census at this time of the year, to find out not only the numbers but also their breeding range.
But my hour count was:
Great Tits 7
Blackbirds 3 (they are very territorial at this time of the year)
Bullfinch 2 (a pair)
Greenfinches 6
Goldfinch 1 (where have they all gone?)
Crows in the tree 2 nesting pairs
Magpies 3
Wood pigeons (the voracious pair that visits each day)
Collared Doves as above
Also various geese, ducks Black-headed, Herring gulls as they did a fly past.
The weather was also to blame as earlier in the week there was warmth so that brought the birds out to sing in competition from their choral perches. Ah well that's it for another year, next count is the autumn census.
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Dick

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » May 16th, 2016, 6:42 am

Yours obviously don't want to be counted any more than ours do Dick - they all go and hide :rolleyes:

We count differently - we have to record the largest number of any one species seen at one time during the hour.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby spotteddick » May 16th, 2016, 7:06 am

We do that as well as total number seen over the hour, there is then a chance of correlation (are they repeaters or singles). But what we at NABU are looking for are trends, to find out if birds are migrating to breed, my Siskins, Red-pols and Robins have moved on, while the Blackbirds, Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Great Tits have increased at the feeders this shows they are breeding in the area. In the row of Leylandii that forma the border to next doors garden. the pigeons, doves, crows and magpies are well just there as every year. The reason for passing birds is that we want to know if any (like the white tailed/ golden eagle and red and black kites and Canadian geese) are becoming more prevalent (which they are)
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Mamta » May 16th, 2016, 5:58 pm

That is pretty impressive Dick! I haven't been getting many birds in my garden through the winter, because it has been rather bare. I am trying to fill it with perennial +evergreen bushes this year. Stopped vegetable gardening, well mostly!
i saw a couple of red kites over Hitchin yesterday, while I was on my way to Letchworth. Do they count :D ?
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby billinalaska » June 7th, 2016, 2:47 am

Last Wednesday I saw out the window at 3:30 am.
Image

And later I found some squatters (it's a Robin) on the other side of the building.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Zosherooney » June 7th, 2016, 5:18 am

Lovely photos peeps, we were sat watching TV last night (still light), we have virginia creeper on the brickwork next to the window and we had a fab sighting of a male bullfinch clinging on to the virginia creeper, seemed to be pecking off insects we suspect. Sorry no photo but a nice long sighting of his superb plumage.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 16th, 2016, 12:17 pm

Look who I just found in the front garden - isn't Mr Toad a handsome chap?

Toad in front garden.jpg


No wonder the hostas in that bed are so damage-free :D
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby smitch » June 16th, 2016, 1:00 pm

He's great! I really love frogs and toads :luv: Wish we had them in our garden, we've got loads of slugs this year!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 16th, 2016, 1:04 pm

I love them too. He's one of the biggest I've ever seen :D I've seen a much smaller darker one in the back garden. We've got frogs, newts and a visiting grass snake as well. :D
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Mamta » June 16th, 2016, 1:23 pm

I have a few in the garden, but occasional snail are still survives. I put 4 on the bird table this morning.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby aero280 » June 19th, 2016, 3:19 pm

Yesterday I was at Silverstone watching my grandson race his new car round the track, but we did have another visitor.

I don't know what it was. Not a red kite. My son reckoned it was a buzzard.

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Seatallan » June 19th, 2016, 3:44 pm

Looks like a buzzard to me. Lovely pic :luv:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 19th, 2016, 4:00 pm

Yes, I'll go with buzzard too - there's quite a few about now. We saw several on our journeys to and from Cornwall, and I often see one, sometimes a pair, near Beccles when travelling to Suffolk.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » June 19th, 2016, 5:33 pm

definitely a buzzard. we have loads around here and they have previously nested in a tree behind us.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby billinalaska » June 24th, 2016, 10:17 pm

You'll have to forgive all my blurry pictures, taken through the windows. But on Tuesday morning I looked out and could see the waves in the lake weren't right. Out pops this young bull (if you look closely in the lower right corner you can see where I put my wife’s ashes, along with 2 dogs and 2 cats).
Image
Then he wandered over and a cow came out of the bushes. I though AHA! Mom and last years baby.
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But then this came out of the bushes.
Image
There's no way she'd allow both of them to be that close, and I knew he was trying to curry favor for when the rutting season arrives.

Later that day I was driving back from town and spotted a dozen or so Caribou grazing by the road.

The next day suddenly the Mallards went ballistic. I looked over and saw an immature Eagle flying by about 10' off the water, about 10' off the bank.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Busybee » June 25th, 2016, 7:14 am

Wonderful pictures Bill, and what a beautiful place for your wife (and pets) to rest.

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby uschi » June 25th, 2016, 12:42 pm

Wonderful creatures, Bill!!! Well done!


I have two nest boxes on each end of my balcony. Normally that is not a problem, but this year the great tit male gave the blue tit male a lot of grief and the latter was a bit on the timid side. Anyway, the great tits have flown and the blue tits weren't seen for days. So I checked their nest ...

ImageBlaumeisennest by natterjack3, auf Flickr

How on earth could one little blue tit hen produce eleven eggs???
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 25th, 2016, 12:55 pm

They frequently lay more than that Uschi :D

http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nbc/blue-tit-blog
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby uschi » June 25th, 2016, 1:17 pm

Poor thing and all for nothing. I put the nest back, just in case, but I doubt that they are still at it. I haven't seen them for days.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby uschi » June 27th, 2016, 5:41 am

Snails in my palm. I collected these, because they differed so prettily.
ImageSchneckentrio by natterjack3, auf Flickr

ImageSchneckentrio by natterjack3, auf Flickr
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 27th, 2016, 6:22 am

I love the Mint Humbug snails Uschi - we get them in our garden - it's hard to dislike them, even when they're eating my Hostas.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby uschi » June 27th, 2016, 6:50 am

I dislike slugs, but I like snails.
Did you know we don't have separate words for them in German? They are all Schnecken (pl.), but slugs are "Nacktschnecken" = naked snails. :oops: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby cyprusmoira » November 16th, 2016, 9:39 am

When we moved into this house we knew that it was a traditional Cypriot garden, that is mainly earth which is covered in grass Winter and Spring plus a couple of carobs and some fruit trees. We were suprised to see Autumn Squills appear under fruit trees when the watering system was reinstated. Since then the little Maritime Narcissus have appeared, there should be many more as soon as it rains, there is a small patch of Autumn Grape Hyacinths.
Deb has found anemone plants, endemic in this area and a single cyclamen corm.
All these flowers except the cyclamen grow wild in this area. We are hoping for wild orchids in the Spring
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » November 16th, 2016, 9:43 am

Oh Moira - that sounds absolutely idyllic :D
I don't know the Autumn Grape Hyacinths ... can you post a picture?
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby cyprusmoira » November 16th, 2016, 9:53 am

suffolk wrote:I don't know the Autumn Grape Hyacinths

A photo might be difficult owing to their position but their Latin name is Muscari Parviflorum. I had to look them up in Marjorie Blamey's Mediterranean Wild Flowers

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » November 28th, 2016, 4:00 pm

Yesterday we saw several small groups of Redwing while we were driving out in the countryside. Just now I went out into the garden to get some parsley and heard Redwing in the hedges and trees nearby - they're moving into the gardens as the temperature is dropping.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Seatallan » November 28th, 2016, 5:54 pm

We saw quite a few on our walk over the Downs on Sat and my friend who has recently moved to the remote croft in Northwest Scotland texted me last week to let me know the trees in their wood were literally groaning with migrating Redwings and Fieldfares. :luv: :luv:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby aero280 » November 28th, 2016, 6:37 pm

Early this morning I looked out of the window before getting into bed and saw an urban fox strolling casually down the middle of the road taking no regard of the car that was trying to get round it... :o
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » February 4th, 2017, 3:53 pm

Things are feeling a bit springlike today. Not been out at all all week as languishing with a very bad cold, but just spotted a Greater Spotted Woodpecker on the feeder, plus the usual suspects - a pair of robins, some blue tits, blackbirds, starlings, parakeets etc. It's nice to have the birds back again after what feels like a long time.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » February 27th, 2017, 12:22 pm

On Friday I saw a murmuration of starlings. I didn't get any great pictures, but here are a few:
17016868_10155122909985719_37111943204635730_o.jpg
16903527_10155122910005719_4166577094215079334_o.jpg
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Herbidacious
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » February 27th, 2017, 12:56 pm

Brilliant! :D
Not seen a big one this year, but have seen smaller groups forming up before joining the bigger groups.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » February 27th, 2017, 3:21 pm

Apparently this was small. The chap at the wildlife reserve we spoke to said this was probably about 250,000 but they had ones of several million a month ago. Need to go earlier next year...
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Kitewatcher » February 27th, 2017, 6:28 pm

They will mostly be gone by St Patricks Day or soon after.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » March 4th, 2017, 12:08 pm

The nest box used by our bluetits last year was trashed by Doris ............... but today I saw them both busily popping in and out of another nestbox we fixed onto the ash tree last year :D
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