Wildlife Corner

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tizer » 27 Jul 2019, 08:42

Judging from Wendy's post and our experience here in Somerset, climate change is sending the butterflies north!

When we lived in the Somerset Levels we saw lots of starlings, not just the big winter flocks going back and forth to their roosts but small flocks around the village and landing in gardens. Since we came to live in town we can't recall seeing a single starling here. Wherever we've lived in towns in the past there have always been starlings. Now it's all pigeons and gulls.

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tripps » 20 Aug 2019, 08:58

We had an outdoor family gathering with meal on Sunday. The star of the show - leaving aside the new baby who won hands down - was a wasp who took a fancy to a small piece of roast chicken, and after inviting all his friends, had the best Sunday lunch they'd had for a while, closely observed by the family. We didn't know that wasps ate chicken - we went back later and it was totally gone. :smile:

No photos since I found the missing camera on a table in the garden after several days being rained on. It's drying out now. Hoping for the best.

PS. Next door diagnosed the lack of plums on my plum tree. He says the root stock has grown better than the plum graft since I have two types of leave on the tree. Big pruning session indicated.
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tizer » 20 Aug 2019, 15:56

They were probably taking the bits of chicken back to their nest to feed the larvae which need a lot of protein.

Life is getting difficult for bees...and in the longer term that will make life difficult for the producers of foods like fruit that require pollination...
`Why 500 million bees have died in Brazil in three months' LINK

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 21 Aug 2019, 02:13

I have seen a lot of butterflies in the last few weeks, even on the wetter days.
We had a wake of crows on the Green yesterday all day. They were feeding each time I saw them, up to 50 at one point in the morning. Never seen so many before. (I thought the collective noun was a murder but when I checked I found that if they are feeding it's a wake.)
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tripps » 21 Aug 2019, 09:19

I cut the front grass yesterday, and noticed that there were no butterflies at all on the Buddleia. Well actually just one. Ah thinks I - I'll photograph that and present it as evidence of global warming / second ice age . (Take your pick).

The photo was rubbish - not good enough to post , and whilst I was engaged, next door came out and we spoke. He said he had seen on Sunday, the bush covered in butterflies, of many differrent types - including fritillaries' . He knows about lots of stuff.

Collapse of stout party. Fritillary

I'll tell you more about the grass cutting another time - it's still a developing saga. :smile:
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 22 Aug 2019, 02:59

I always sided with Roy Strong on lawns. He reckoned they were an English obsession and hated them. I have heard many good reports of Camomile Lawns, much less maintenance. (RS also thought dogs and children should be banned from gardens.....)
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tizer » 22 Aug 2019, 09:50

I'm glad we no longer have a lawn to look after. Instead we have lots of beautiful flowering perennials and shrubs and they're attracting in lots of insects. Blackbirds don't miss the lawn - they enjoy turning over our bark mulch to pick out the worms and other invertebrates.

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 23 Aug 2019, 03:34

I'm all for low maintenance gardens!
I have had phases of gardening enthusiasm several times but on the whole I found the most satisfying was growing vegetables and fruit. A good cabbage or row of Parsnips can be so satisfying in more ways than one.
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tizer » 23 Aug 2019, 08:56

Mrs Tiz brought this to my attention for OGFB - it's from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
`Avian malaria-mediated population decline of a widespread iconic bird species' LINK
`England’s House Sparrow population fell by 70% between 1977 and 2016, and this once ubiquitous species is now absent from many urban areas. New research involving the BTO has found evidence that malarial parasites may be linked to this species’ decline....'

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 24 Aug 2019, 05:32

Yes, we used to call them 'Flying Mice'. They frequently came indoors in the mill and the engine house.
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Wendyf » 24 Aug 2019, 07:33

Last night I rescued a peacock butterfly from the poly tunnel and have seen 3 more on my field walk this morning.

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 24 Aug 2019, 07:38

Nice. The next few days will favour them.....
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tripps » 02 Sep 2019, 12:01

Tripps wrote:
21 Aug 2019, 09:19
and noticed that there were no butterflies at all on the Buddleia
Looked again today, and there were loads. Got the best camera out, and here's the result
P1000570.JPG
P1000570.JPG
Next door says they are painted Lady and Red Admiral. Not sure what a Peacock looks like.

The lawn mower saga is resolved. More later. :smile:
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Wendyf » 02 Sep 2019, 12:28

Peacocks have 2 large blue spots like eyes on their wings.

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 05 Sep 2019, 04:09

Many mornings as I go to open the back gate in the dark to let Jack out for his early morning pee I walk into a spider's web strung between the small shed and the workshop, a distance of about five feet.
How the hell does it do it! Scaling up it's like stringing a wire across Niagara Falls.
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by PanBiker » 05 Sep 2019, 08:44

They use the wind and ride on their line like the antics of spiderman with out the casting element. Once they make a connection at the other end the rest is easy. The casting off into the breeze must be a bit of an act of faith in our terms that there will be something to latch on to at the other side. Mind you they can always haul themselves back in. :smile:
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tizer » 05 Sep 2019, 09:12

Stanley wrote:
05 Sep 2019, 04:09
How the hell does it do it! Scaling up it's like stringing a wire across Niagara Falls.
It's due to factors such as gravity, pressure, wind resistance etc not being amenable to scaling up or down.

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 06 Sep 2019, 04:41

:good:
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by plaques » 06 Sep 2019, 10:22

A mixture of 'wildlife' and mystery Insect. What is it?

Ugly little beast. about 6cm long and 1 cm thick.

.Image
.
Image

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by PanBiker » 06 Sep 2019, 11:17

Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar.
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tripps » 06 Sep 2019, 15:39

I came across one of these today - coincidence?
cake.jpg
Are they by any chance related? - I think we should be told as they say in the Eye. :smile:
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tizer » 06 Sep 2019, 15:53

Chocolate Hawk Moth caterpillar! :extrawink:

Plaques, I hope your caterpillar survives to become a moth. We've had an Elephant Hawk Moth regularly in the garden for the last couple of weeks and they're wonderful to watch, just like a miniature humming bird. Yesterday I was watering it's favourite plant and it was hovering around my legs, as if to say `Come on, get out of my way!'

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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 07 Sep 2019, 02:04

What strange creatures they are!

Image

This is my Caterpillar picture. Smallest and largest at a dealer in LA in 1982.
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Stanley » 09 Sep 2019, 05:23

I can't find it online but badgers are in the news again as a study shows that thousands have suffered severe pain in the cull and there is no conclusive evidence that the cull is reducing the rate of TB infection in cattle.
I have never supported this slash and burn policy, I believe it is aimed more at protecting beef exports than any viable effect on the disease in cattle. A succession of reports have said the same thing, that there is no evidence that it is working and now we have these accusations of cruelty and bad supervision of the cull. At the very least, we should have a moratorium on this medieval approach to the problem which nobody can prove is working.
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Re: Wildlife Corner

Post by Tizer » 09 Sep 2019, 10:28

Here's today's BBC news on the topic...
`Vet says badger culls caused 'immense pain'' LINK

...and this from Saturday's Guardian:
`Thousands more badgers face cull as number of killing zones surges' LINK

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