Category Archives: Animal behaviour

My Photograph from November

Between storms, snow, ice, colds and flu, I didn’t get my camera out much this month! But one blustery morning I got a real treat – the opportunity to watch a lovely little Reed Bunting dart around a quiet, windswept reed bed!

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Click here to see my photo from last month here.

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My photograph from April

With the coming of Spring, nature really has sprung to life!

Blossom is flowering, the warblers are arriving and the bees are buzzing! All of which has gotten me out and about with my camera enjoying the blue sunny skies! So much so, I had a really tough time choosing my photo for this month.

After much deliberation I chose this photo of a buzzard, I watched this beauty soar low over my head while walking through one of my favourite nature reserves – The Knapp and Papermill. It was a impressive moment to watch, made all the more unique when I realised the buzzard had a frog clutched in its claws!

Bad news for the frog, good news for the buzzard and a magnificent sight for me to see!

Buzzard with Frog in its claws!

Click here to see my January Photograph , February Photograph and March Photograph

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My photograph from March

A friend of mine is a car park attendant, she likes to sprinkle a few peanuts and grain out in front of her kiosk for the local birds.

Little Dunnocks and Robins stop by, a pair of Blackbirds join them too. But my friend’s favourite visitor is a Crow. The Crow doesn’t just visit to snatch a tasty morsel or two, it wants my friend’s attention! It perches in the tree above the kiosk, caws loudly and breaks off twigs and pine cones to drop on the roof till my friend pops her head out to say hello to the friendly Crow!

My friend is singled out too, none of her fellow parking attendants get a greeting from the Crow.

I popped by last week to see my friend and had the honour to meet this handsome bird! This charismatic creature has now not just enchanted my friend, it has charmed me too!

IMG_7387PS

Click here to see my January and February photographs

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National Insect Week – day 1

It’s National Insect Week this week! You can find out a little more about it here: http://www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk/
To mark the occasion, I’m going to be posting an insect photo a day!

Today I have chosen to share with you a fascinating encounter I had with a Wood Ant. I took a moment to admire this amazing little creature, she made it clear that my attention wasn’t wanted by adopting an defensive posture! So I left her and her sisters in peace!Wood Ant

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Life between the headstones

One of the ecosystems I find most fascinating and wonderful  is that of urban wildlife. We concrete and build, but there a some small instances where still nature struggles on, adapting where it can and clinging to the pockets of green that remain within our towns and cities.

One wonderful example of those pockets of green amidst our concrete jungle is the cemetery. A place for our dead is a home for nature’s life.

I visited my local cemetery yesterday and was instantly surrounded by bird song. I even had a bee fly up to me which, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say was a greeting!

I had Wrens express their alarm at me and a Blue tit call loudly to any who would hear. Crows sat high, observing the world, whilst Magpies hopped  between bushes and  gravestones. Wood Pigeons franticly flapped into flight and Redwings darting about looking for berry-laden branches. Squirrels foraged frenetically. I watched Blackbirds warming themselves in the winter sunlight and Long-tailed tits flit from tree to tree. A Sparrowhawk circled repeatedly and was then chased off by a bold Black-headed Gull. A Goldcrest combed the branches of a Yew bush for any morsels it could find.

All this activity thriving amongst the tributes for lost loved ones, because life finds away!

Wren

Blue Tit

CrowsMagpie

Wood PigeonRegwings

SquirrelsBlackbird

Longtailed Tit

Sparrowhawk

Goldcrest

HeadstoneLove

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The Crow and the Conker

Crow: pick up conker, fly up high, let go of conker, chase it down, catch it ….. and repeat!

Really quite amazing to watch, especially as it was such a blustery day. It truly looked fun, in fact it looked like the crow was having fun!

This was one clever Corvid learning through play!

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Wha…?

Tufted Duck I caught this Tufted Duck mid-preen. It’s a moment that made me smile!

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Call of the Wild

I apologise for my absence again! I have been busy with one thing and another.


Milligan is doing well. In fact he is feeling the call of the wild! This wonderful photo was taken by Morris-Henshaw, it shows Milligan at the patio door looking very wistful.

Call of the Wild

I had hoped Milligan would be on his way by now, out exploring the local gardens, but unfortunately the weather is not quite ideal. Though there was not much snow on the ground where I am, the temperature is still very cold. Spring is very slowly beginning to show, but there’s not as much life out and about as there has been in previous years. I’m waiting for the weather to become a bit more stable, one swallow doesn’t make a summer!

Preparations have been made to get things ready to release Milligan. I’m waiting for the best time to release him as I want to make sure, after looking after Milligan for all these months, that he gets the very best start this spring! Although I don’t know when Milligan will be released, it will be soon and I do know I will miss him.

Milligan

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Blissed out Hog

My sincerest apologies for being incommunicado for the past few months. My promised updates on Milligan’s progress have been waylaid as I have had some much needed rest to recover from a chest infection. I’m back, fighting fit and can tell you that Milligan is happy and well.

He is now a grand 780g.

Unfortunately, he got to the 600g, safe hibernation weight, at the beginning of November. Just a bit too late to let him make his own nest in the cold winter air out in the wild.

He was one hedgehog that wasn’t near a bonfire on fireworks night.

I have plenty of little tales of hedgehog observation to tell. I will tell them retrospectively over the coming weeks. But for now, I’ll leave you with a picture of a blissed out hog.

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Milligan gaining grams

In a few short days my resident orphaned hoglet has grow so much he is now 200 grammes! A third of the way there!

He’s also picking and choosing his preferred foods! He’s not very keen on cat/dog food, walking straight through it to get to his favourite food of cat biscuits! He cracks them open for the soft inners, akin to an Oreo eater!

Some Meal Worms were added to the biscuit mix and were ignored by Milligan for a few days. But once tried, the tasty snacks disappears without so much of a crumb left!

These diet choices mean two things, lots of fresh water is needed and only a few grams are gained in weight.

So following the Hedgehog Preservation Society’s advice, some off-the-bone cooked chicken has been given to ‘Mills’. That was wolfed down incredible quickly! That gave Milligan’s weight the final push to the 200 gramme mark!

So all these tasty meals are put out for the growing hog, it’s up to him what he eats. I’m happy just as long as he’s eating and piling on the grams!

 

Milligan and his meals! 2

Milligan and his meals! 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newspaper has been used to line Milligan’s living space. The intention was to make it easier to clean the area out. However, Milligan has had other ideas! Why walk on the newspaper when you can walk under the newspaper? Leads to a rather sweet game peek-a-boo, when the food is changed and water replenish!

 

Peek-a-Boo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These aren’t the best photographs in the world, Milligan is as curious as he nervous of the camera, so he never sits still! I don’t want to over expose him to me either, I take one or two shots if the occasion arises but other wise he’s left to choble his food alone!

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