Naturewatch - today I saw....

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » June 4th, 2018, 6:59 pm

aero280 wrote: I think they were hunted to extinction in the past because they caused a lot of damage to small domestic and farm animals.

I'm always suspicious of human intervention in nature. I'm old enough to remember myxomatosis...


kites were once protected as they are mainly carrion feeders - except for eating small live mammals - like young rabbits.
myxi isn't the same in the human intervention stakes - and wouldn't have happened here if rabbits hadn't been introduced by the romans!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby aero280 » June 5th, 2018, 5:17 pm

Photo attachments are back! :)

My nephew's mangolitza pigs. Just two, the rest are in the woods...

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 5th, 2018, 5:43 pm

Yippeeeee! Thanks aero!

Here is how my rose is doing. Nine buds. Three of them have opened up since that picture was taken. See the elder is now in full bloom outside.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 7th, 2018, 12:58 pm

Grove House Gardens have been explored today. Squirrels everywhere! One inquisitive squirrel soon turned into six around my feet staring up at me. They are so fast though so the most I could get in one shot was three.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby cyprusmoira » June 11th, 2018, 8:29 am

We have a very popular bird bath, probably the only suitable source of water around here. I have just been watching a number of sparrows trying to set up the Cypriot All Comers Record for the number of sparrows in one bird bath!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 11th, 2018, 8:38 am

Oh bless them Moira! How lovely! :luv:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby hickybank » June 11th, 2018, 9:53 am

Great White Egret, Ham Wqall RSPB reserve, I think they look so gracefull

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Image
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » June 11th, 2018, 9:58 am

TeresaFoodie wrote:One inquisitive squirrel soon turned into six around my feet staring up at me.


beware - they are vicious little blighters.
having been attacked by a grey when i was at school i wish nothing but ill for them. the quicker they are eradicated from the uk the better.
reds are much more agreeable (and prettier).
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 11th, 2018, 10:03 am

Beautiful photos hicky, very graceful!

What do squirrels do, just come over and pick a fight for no reason, as in launch? These got up very close until I moved then they shot off to be closer to the trees. I wonder if they come in various degrees of tameness, maybe depending on how hungry they are? Until I mentioned squirrels here I had no idea they bite humans.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » June 11th, 2018, 10:09 am

Great pics, Terry.

I take it our image allowance has been robooted/restored...

That's a bit harsh, Scully. Anyway like it or not, they are part of our ecosystem now. They've been here for long enough (since the 19th century) for it to be unwise to mess with it/them without thinking very very carefully about it (humane treatment of animals issues aside, which would be my first concern, frankly.)
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 11th, 2018, 10:17 am

Herbidacious wrote:
I take it our image allowance has been robooted/restored...



Indeed! Aero / Rio sorted it a few days ago. :tu:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » June 11th, 2018, 10:35 am

they may be a part of our eco system but they are not a beneficial addition or a necessary part - other than as food for carrion feeders and pine martins etc.they could be eradicated without detriment to the ecosystem, only benefit. they are responsible (apart from the introduction of squirrel pox and therefore death to the native reds) for the death of a large proportion of our remaining forests by ring barking trees, they eat hazelnuts before they're ripe so decreasing the crops in this country( apart from decreasing the food crop for the surviving reds who wait for them to be ripe) - and bite the stalks off our chestnuts before they're ripe, too.
they are vermin. if you capture one it is illegal to release it back into the wild.
thankfully there are eradication schemes around the country - including contraception not just humane killing.
you may think i'm harsh but what about new zealand? they have plans to eradicate all small mammals (there aren't native ones) because of the decrease in kiwi population.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby aero280 » June 11th, 2018, 11:35 am

Squirrels are just rats that live in trees. Or in our case, in the roof. It cost a lot to eradicate them. They chew off anything that looks like a nut. We had some electrical stuff stored in the roof. All the plugs were gnawed off the cables. The hifi system I was keeping for my son while his flat was being decorated, was also destroyed. A neighbour had his car’s brake pipes chewed through. They are not cuddly pets. They need to go.

A TV chef promoting squirrel steaks, mince and roasts would help enormously!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby hickybank » June 11th, 2018, 1:00 pm

So just to get everyone's hackles up, her is a cute picture
Image

But honestly if there was a campaign to eradicate the Brown Rat everyone would be in agreement, but these look cute.
Unfortunately that is all they are, as already said they are not native & have almost wiped out the Red Squirrel, they are destructive & a menace,I for one would love to see them gone
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 11th, 2018, 1:05 pm

We in East Anglia are doing our best to deal with the problem in a practical way ... those of a sensitive disposition should look away now

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/want-nuts-w ... -1-5014944
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » June 11th, 2018, 1:11 pm

I guess we will have to agree to disagree then. (Or I will have to agree to disagree with everyone else :shock: ) My point about the ecosystem is that it's hard to take into account all consequences, good and bad, when eradicating or, for that matter, reintroducing components of it.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 11th, 2018, 1:26 pm

Herbidacious wrote:I guess we will have to agree to disagree then.


Absolutely :hug: but while I absolutely do not support mis-treatment I cannot ignore the damage they do to broad-leaved woodland and the havoc they wreak on nesting birds. If we're not going to attempt to eradicate them, then the sensible thing to do is to manage them and control their numbers humanely.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 11th, 2018, 2:13 pm

I won't be looking at the link!

And I don't know too much about the problems caused by squirrels whether red or grey, other than what I am reading here, but I was giving this some thought whilst watching a grey in the park earlier. And I guess I had in mind the awful images of dead sea birds being found with bellies full of our plastic waste. Surely, if any species deserves to be eradicated from planet earth it's us? What good does humankind do? We just destroy most of the time, all of us, in a round about sort of way whether we mean to or not.

Just saying....

Cute pic by the way!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby earthmaiden » June 11th, 2018, 2:14 pm

I the past few years, local people have started feeding the squirrels in our parks. As a result, they have become very tame and demanding and the natural eco balance has been disturbed. I have seen the nasty nips they can give and the trouble a friend had when they destroyed the lead round her chimney and nested in the loft. It baffles me why people think it's a good idea to feed them.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 11th, 2018, 2:39 pm

Similar has happened with seagulls in St Ives ... people started feeding them with chips etc around the harbour ... now they swoop down and snatch pasties, chips and even ice creams from your hands if you're walking along or sitting and eating near the harbour. They have no fear of humans. Even tho' we're aware and try to guard our food having a whole scoop of best Cornish honeycomb icecream snatched from a few inches from your face, leaving me with an empty cornet, is no laughing matter when it happens to you. :shock:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 11th, 2018, 5:13 pm

There is a square in Luton town where you can sit, if you feel like being swooped at by dozens of pigeons. I saw a funny thing there a few weeks ago. The pigeons were all perched up on the roof tops until a young lad decided to break up and scatter a whole loaf of bread. A little old lady was sat with her rollator on a nearby bench, presumably needing a little rest, which is why we were there; my mum needed a rest. Anyway, as these pigeons started to land for the bread, I swear I have never seen anyone move so fast. She grabbed that rollator and charged it at the pigeons with all the energy she could muster. It was absolutely hilarious. She was like a coiled spring with that thing! :lol: I'm not knocking her for doing what she did, but I was slightly jealous that she moved faster than I probably can! :lol:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Badger's mate » June 12th, 2018, 7:48 am

A TV chef promoting squirrel steaks, mince and roasts would help enormously!


I have to say that you wouldn't get very impressive steaks off a squirrel :D

They're a bit like rabbit, less nice though, relatively bony.

British woodlands would benefit from us all eating more venison. :hungry:

Just about everything in our garden is an introduction. No thought has ever been given to the implications of garden introductions, at least until it's too late. Most cause no trouble and enhance our lives but there are bound to be occasional problems, which we would be wise to sort out. It was ever thus and will continue to be so. There will be GM crops, there will be benefits and repercussions, the latter cropping up unexpectedly, I'm sure.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » June 12th, 2018, 11:47 am

More baby bird action this morning. This time, two adult magpies feeding a young one.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » June 13th, 2018, 1:04 pm

I got very distracted yesterday by all the various sorts of baby birds being fed n the feeder yesterday. Most of my photos were rubbish (stupidly left ISO on Auto) but...
42042912844_971e232f60_z.jpg


42042907284_e0aaf14b69_z.jpg


40949613420_17c15583fe_z.jpg


One of the blue tits (not show here) was very straggly. I do hope it was gaining its feathers rather than losing them...
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby hickybank » June 13th, 2018, 2:15 pm

The last one to leave the nest is usually a bit scraggy, as long as it is being fed should be o/k although predation rates among fledglings is always very high
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 13th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Lovely photos!

I was telling my mum about the owl programme that was on last night. She then told me that she had recently been seeing large birds flying over her house, so I Googled red kites and sure enough that's what she has been seeing. Then as we left to get the bus into town we both saw one circling over my flat. What a coincidence.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby PatsyMFagan » June 13th, 2018, 6:35 pm

I see a Red Kite most days now as they are spreading more and more from Stokenchurch where they were released and later bred .. in our neck of the woods anyway ;) My next door neighbour asked if I had spotted the eagle that he had seen flying around :aww: :rolleyes:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 13th, 2018, 9:04 pm

:lol: When my mum asked my four year old nephew if he knew what type of bird the red kite was when it flew over, apparently he said 'That's an eagle'. When my mum corrected him he said 'No nan, that's definitely an eagle'. :lol: :tu:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » June 14th, 2018, 6:51 am

hickybank wrote:The last one to leave the nest is usually a bit scraggy, as long as it is being fed should be o/k although predation rates among fledglings is always very high


Hum we don't mention that. (My Sunday morning 'gift' (that was not for sharing) I suspect, under my bed.

For those who decry such wanton acts of evolutionary unavoidable badness, it's probably his 5th in 11 years.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Badger's mate » June 14th, 2018, 8:08 am

Last week we were in the garden, heard a 'pruk pruk', looked up to see a raven mobbing a red kite directly above the house. There have been ravens around the area for a while, it was the first either of us had seen locally.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Ratatouille » June 14th, 2018, 8:32 am

If all big birds are eagles in the UK all big birds are buzzards here :lol:

Except we do have quite a lot of very knowledgable people round here who can tell you about all the raptors we see. We have learned a lot from them and now even know the Provencal names for some.

As for squirrels my late MIL was extremely fast on her feet when a grey tried to steal from her many bird tables. She had a large stick which she was not averse to applying and she was normally an incredibly gentle soul.

We don't have greys here but there are lots of reds/ The biggest nuisance animal in these parts, apart from wild boar of course, are the doormice which cause massive amounts of damage to old properties and to melon fields. They too are very cute only don't tell that to any farmer.

As for introducing wildlife there will always be problems but on the other hand re-introducing once native species can only be good . They have done it with wolves here up on the plateau. The Luberon mountains are called that because of the loubs (female wolf in Provencal)

The egret pictures are lovely Hicky


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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby aero280 » June 14th, 2018, 11:41 am

This green woodpecker has been grubbing around our garden all morning! :)

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Ratatouille » June 14th, 2018, 12:08 pm

He's very handsome Aero.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 16th, 2018, 6:12 pm

One of four pigeons that I regularly see pecking around outside and perching in the Elder tree spent about twenty minutes watching me from my living room windowsill today. Walking over to close the window didn't even bother it.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Busybee » June 18th, 2018, 12:01 pm

Poppies, poppies and more poppies. Beautiful dog walk through the fields.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby hickybank » June 18th, 2018, 12:05 pm

How lovely, nothing to beat it
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » June 18th, 2018, 4:04 pm

they are truly joyous. they would make rather nice wall prints and 'thank you' cards.

i know they have different connotations but i find poppies such happy flowers.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » June 28th, 2018, 11:51 am

yesterday, a stoat ran across the road in front of me as i was driving home.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 28th, 2018, 12:26 pm

:D :tu:

We've seen a few in the Bodmin Moor area
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Badger's mate » June 28th, 2018, 1:24 pm

First marbled whites of the season this week
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Busybee » June 28th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Stripey caterpillars everywhere! First year in ages I have noticed them.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 28th, 2018, 5:35 pm

There's been a massive bug clinging onto the big England flag hanging out of one of my living room windows since yesterday. It's hanging in a bit of a wind tunnel between the building and a tree, so it won't stay still long enough for me to see what it is. I can clearly see a big, lozenge shaped body and few tiny legs. It's not a bee or wasp. Can't think why it might want to stay there unless it has died and has got stuck to it. It's obviously well latched on because it's getting a real wind bashing! I'll try for a photo later....
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 29th, 2018, 11:04 am

My flag bug has either flown away or dropped off!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 29th, 2018, 11:24 am

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 29th, 2018, 2:36 pm

I don't think so. I was bordering on saying it might have been a Cockchafer :lol: but the legs look too long. All three look too spiny. It was only clear that it was an insect when I got up close and then I could only just see the legs. Tiny little legs.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » June 29th, 2018, 2:44 pm

Actually, I've just tried to identify it myself but it freaked me out too much! :scared:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Ratatouille » June 30th, 2018, 9:31 am

The barley has been cut in the field at the bottom of the street and we were kept awake for a lot of last night by several barn owls having a merry old time hunting. I think they were having a convention. It was such a bright moonlit night we coule see them clearly and were fascinated watching them from the bedroom window. I have never seen several together like that. I thought they were territorial.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » June 30th, 2018, 10:07 am

Could they be a 'family' ... this year's fledglings learning to hunt.

For the past few mornings we've been able to sit in bed with our :mug: :mug: and watch a buzzard circling in the sky not far away ... think it must be near the old woodland around the river and on the edge of the marshes ... magical ... we're on the edge of a city and can watch this from our bed :luv:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 3rd, 2018, 6:18 pm

I found and thus saw a dead black rat in the kitchen just now. NO doubt dispatched by Basil. I feel unclean...
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 3rd, 2018, 6:36 pm

i saw a large white butterfly land on my young, purple sprouting broccoli this afternoon. i checked myself from shooing it away, thinking suddenly, that i would rather see the butterflies than feel the guilt of eating the un-nibbled broccoli later in the year. if i get caterpillars i'll transplant them or put up with shop bought broccoli.
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