Nature Watch!

Take time out of each day to watch a bit of nature!

...It can be plants, birds, animals,frogs, small insects etc ....whatever!

Enjoy your five minutes of calm and let us know what you have been observing!

For starters.....

...I rescued a woodlouse yesterday from my bathroom..... it (she) had babies tucked underneath which promply spilled out all over my hand!

I spent a few patient minutes ensuring all the babies found their Mum again outside my back door. Even the smallest creatures care for their young!


489 Replies

  • what a good idea kate! unfortunately no signs of any nature here yet i'm afraid but that woodlouse story was lovely

  • One of the Hebe bushes in my front garden/patch of mud is full of bumble bees at the moment. I went out the other day to take photos of them and was there for at least half an hour, which gave the neighbours something to talk about. It found it amazing how many different types of bee were buzzing around in my bush, which I hadn't noticed until I was looking more closely.

  • I have a friendly robin that for as long as i can remember in this house he comes sit on my windowledge every morning, hes so sweet and i find myself talking to him!!

    Andrea xxx

    Ps thanks Kate for a good light hearted post makes a nice change xx

  • Talking robins, not long ago I had 3 red breasted robins in my garden at the same time. I thought they were strictly territorial - I have never seen more than one at a time before. My garden is only 30 by 70

  • Helloo Nature lovers!

    Cathy, yes male Robins are territorial ( they can fight to the death!) though you may have had a couple of females there too! (or could be youngsters even).

    Had piles of soggy sparrows in the garden this AM - they are now happier cos I bought them some more food! Five Kilos of the stuff from work.

    There seems to be second batches of baby bunnies around cos I nearly squashed 5 of them playing in the driveway of work last week. They were very chilled out bunnies cos they just ambled off the gravel on to the verge.

    ( I think rabbits in roads are going to be a chief factor in tyre wear on my car! LOL)



  • i love 2 watch the birds that land on my balcony theres a nest on the balcony upstairs n i sit n watch them for ages when they fly down!! not sure but think they maybe doves as there white n i also enjoy watching the people stop and look at them cause they do not look like normal everyday pigeons! the little birds cum n take the feathers that have flown down very interesting to watch the little birdies wiv huge feathers in there beaks they seem 2 come at the same time everyday 2 collect that days feathers!!!!!

  • Clare, they may be collared Doves. Slightly pinky peach coloured with a black band across their throat. Also more sylph like than fat pigeons. Though there are some doves around in Essex....

    Hop over to RSPB site for birddie info.

    So glad peeps are enjoying the wonders of nature!

    Anyway, nice weather for ducks at the mo!


  • I usually put out one of those net-covered ""fat balls"" for the Blue Tits,Coal Tits etc but over the last month or so,something seems to take the whole thing off the railings within a couple of hours of putting it out-I have a list of suspects-Crows, Magpies ,Squirrels (we have a couple in the park),Kyser Soza-oh,thats another type of suspect!-any ideas?-it i bugging me because whatever is pinching it seems to wait until I go out and when I come back,its gone!!!

  • Does it count that I've been nature-watching my cat? I think I'm going to have to buy him some armbands if this rain continues.

  • Does it count knowing you have a seagulls nest on your office roof ! only prob is that roof leaks and until all babies have flown nest they can't actually get up to fix prob cause adult seagulls go for them to protect young. The fun of working for NHS!!!!!

  • Bluejam, tis probably the squirrel or even a starling will demolish one in a morning.

    You can get metal wire cages to pop them in - then you can bolt the whole lot to the railings. chilli pepper is a good squirrel deterrent! Birds can't taste the chilli but the squirrels can.

    Seagulls - can be very pecky when they have babies.

    Cat with arm bands! LOL!

    Had a ladybird in my mini green house - libberated it on to some aphid loaded plants. Also Bumble bees on the Lavender today.

    Hebe bushes always atract lots of insect pollinators such as nice Bumble bees - they are at risk in many areas of the UK.


  • On the subject of Bumble Bees,do you get any of the ones which are predominantly black but with a fairly vivid red ""posterior""?-some of the people I work with have never seen one but they were fairly common when we were kids (all those years ago!)-maybe they arent even Bumble Bees but they appear the same apart from the colouring.

  • Worked from home today and…..

    Saw a woodpecker in my garden. Never seen one of those in my garden before. But neighbours on the right often see same woodpecker in their garden.

    But more excitingly saw the biggest ever heron perched upon next door neighbour’s roof - left side. Watched it – heron - dive into new pond - and just stay there -created by next door neighbour and who is passionate about his Carp /Goldfish.

    Think this heron was intent upon on whatever killer herons do. From my perspective of cat watching seemed VERY similar.

    Twas a very messy pond and garden when the heron left.

    Birds. Perfect miniature velociraptors. But SO cute! Cos they are SO small compared to other animals! LOL

    Insects are even smaller. But won’t go there! I’m not terrified but hugely respective..!

    And Kate you were SO kind to mummy woodlouse…. nature and so on!

  • I saw a beautiful white swan today gliding gracefully down a flooded street! Hope the raw sewage floating along with it doesn't harm it, think the swan had come from the park round the corner which is also flooded. A neighbour had 30 fish in her pond pre flood now has only 5 which have been rehoused in lid of paddling pool!

  • Bluejam, re bumblebees: I have all sorts of them on my hebe, including the red-bummed ones you were asking about. There are also some that look as though they're wearing american football padding on their legs - big bulging, yellow pads on them ... though come to think of it, they could be bumble bee-sized armbands!

  • Or should that be legbands?

  • Pollen sacs?

    I saw mummy and daddy sparrow on our arbour this morning, as I was applying the old polyfilla...that's about all of my foray into nature just lately. Unless you count the ants up the drive....

  • The Bumble-bee is a ... Red Tailed Bumble bee ( Bombus lapidarius) - still fairly common though most BBees are declining! The one with the white bum & yellow & Black stripes, is a ... White tailed Bumble bee (Bombus terrestris)

    Yes, the yellow leg warmers are pollen baskets - they are females ( workers & queens)

    Herons are very efficient fishers!

    Cherrish the sparrows - they are officially an endangered species.

    I encountered my first bit of wildlife at 8AM this morning - in the fridge!

    A lovely, verry chilly little grey slug sitting on my lettuce!

    I moved it gently to my compost bin!


    Happy wildlife watching!



  • I think ive traumatised my little robin red breast:(

    I usually have my window open and he sits on inside on sill but today were cutting grass outside and was making me really cheasty so had to shut the window!! then along came robin onto the outside sill tapping his beak on the window!! bless looked like a head banging bird? hope hes ok

    love Andrea xxx

  • Oooo, I didn't think that queen bees did any work. I thought they just .... buzzed and sat around being all regal. How exciting.

  • Hello Bee watchers!

    Andrea - I am sure little Robin will be fine!

    More wildlife in the fridge! this time it was a caterpillar on the Spinach! Was lovingly removed to the compost bin!

    Saw quite a few Large White butterflies today - around 8 I counted. Hope some more prety ones apear soon as my Buddleija is in bloom now.

    Lots of Swallows & Swifts whizzing around today too!


    Happy twitching!



  • Got some nice Honey bees (Apis melifera) on my Lavender.

    Not seen anymore flutts today!


  • Flut watch!

    There was a Meadow Brown butterfly by my front door as I got back this PM.

    Oh, and a bumble bee (White tailed one) buzzing round my lounge last night - finnally got it out the door after casualty!


  • Todays highlight was an annoying bluebottle which buzzed about all morning but has now disappeared-oh,and some lesser-spotted chavs drinking cider in the park tonight-which the old bill are confiscating as I type-beat that ,Humble and Oddie!!!

  • I saw a red admiral on friday made me smile as i was standing at the bus stop :-)

  • I spotted a fox last night walking casually down our garden path, am worried in case it chomps the ducks that have decamped into the flooded field and tennis courts opposite our house. Flood waters gone down in back garden now, phew, ten foot still awash. Is it really July? We are still on red alert for flooding to reoccur, school just round the corner from me still has over 3ft of water swilling around inside. Its not going to reopen till Sept! Saw bumble bee in the geraniums yesterday but raining heavily here again today so no other wildlife spotted.

  • Lois, hope foxy found something else for supper!

    Had a bumble bee caught in a spiderweb on my car wing mirror this AM - was successfully released.

    Meadow brown still flying around.

    Also, at work we have a pigeon nesting on our fire escape! Daft bird does it every year!


  • A B**ody Penguin Waddled onto My Hotel Room Last Night!!!!! We had left the Door of the cabin Open and I got up to go to the Bathroom and This Thing was standing in the middle of the floor! I have never screamed as Loud in my life!!!! I promptly went out and put it back in the sea!!! It wa right Beside Our Room!!!

  • ooooooh! I wish I had a penguin in my room!

    Excellent Elephant - glad you are seeing the NZ fairy / blue penguins! They are very inquisitive - they can make quite a racket nesting under houses. I hope the penguin has recovered too!

    When I was in the Falklands a young chick took shelter under our cabin one morning - ran under penguin style - wings flapping! Well it was a force 8 gale blowing!

    Had a fantastic vapourer moth caterpillar on my front door today - Stripey. hairy red spots and has 4 yellow shaving brush type tufts on top!


  • Butterfly count!

    Meadow Brown - in lounge batting up the nets!

    Lots of Large whites

    A Small tortoiseshell

    The buddleija bush is flowering so hope the word gets round and more flutts arive for a nectar slurp!

    Lots of earwigs on bird table - kindly evicted.

    Baby sparrows bouncing on back wall.

    And the Housemartins are still whizzing around too!


  • Where has all the wildlife gone!

    Still got loads in my garden - Oh and a lovely young bluetit was tucking into the nuts earlier.

    Mum had a baby rat under her bird feeder - time for the rat man again me thinks!


  • Hello Kate,

    Today i saw two beautiful butterflies (orange with black markings) on the tree at the bottom of the garden that has purple cone shaped flowers and might be a budlea but am not sure. Hull has had terrible floods and now that the water levels have receded baby hedgogs are being found in abundance. Sadly some are dead but for the ones who made it the local paper has given advice on how to feed them - cat biscuits and dog food! Tis nice they are thinking of the wildlife along with the instructions on disinfecting and boiling all water for humans!

    Happy nature watching, love Lois

  • Found newly dead slow worm in garden again today got thrown in with ferrets who sniffed it and went back to eating their dried cat food.....

  • Marmite!

    Slow worms are protected species! What did it die of? They are legless lizzards so not sure if a ferret would fancy one for lunch!

    Lois - butterfly ID

    orange all over Black spotty pattern with wobbly wing edges? = Comma

    Orange tips with white = Orange tip.

    yes the Purple cone bush is a Buddleija!

    Baby bluetit still on the nuts! Had a few bumble bees today too!


  • It died from some unknown creature in my garden biting it's head off!! Probably next doors evil scraggy cat that has no brain since it got run over and just kills everything that looks at it

    We have loads of slo worms had to convince kids they weren't snakes last summer as they wouldn't go in garden well overgrown wildlife patch that pretends to be garden/childrens adventure zone.

  • Marmite, you are so lucky to have lots of slow worms!

    I have a baby robin in my garden now - just like a normal robin but with no red bit yet! Cute!

    Oh, and Mum has 5 baby rats under her bird table - Marmite, can we borrow your ferrets?


  • carmly removed hedgehog from middle of road last night on way out as sat waiting for it to finish crossing rd and when decided it liked middle of rd pulled car over and picked it up and told it it was safer to use pavement. not sure it was impressed as it just curled into ball and ignored me.

  • Hi everyone

    Kate this is a great thread:-) love wildlife wish i had gone into that rather than research:-)

    Wow had a look at slow worms and they do look a little scary. Have a wormer, so can just cope with those worms:-)

    Having an invasion of the most amazing moths at the moment - we had a large blue one and a large brown one in the house this week. The brown one was on the window letting its wings dry - luckily it escaped our cat as she would have eaten it if she had seen it - but we managed to protect it and it flew out into the night. There is woodland at the back of our house, so think there must be quite a few either coming in from there or laid in our house.

    The bathroom is full of spiders - they are left alone as they catch all the strange little bugs and mossies that come in from out back. My mum thinks I am mad:-)

    Saw a pair of fast moving little yellow bird on Monday - kind of the same size as nuthatchers but couldn't find my glasses to see what they were - as i didn't recognise them - am keeping an eye out to see if they come back.

    Had some baby blueys out front but missed them leaving the nest - put freeze dried worms on the bird table and mum and dad went mad for them.

    Katherine - oh cute little hedgehog - haven't seen one in ages - our roads their enemy:-(

    Well could go on and on but better get some work done:-)


  • Hellooo!

    Katharine - well done on the hedgehog rescue - when rescuing or moving animals from roads, move them as far as poss from the road cos they often just toddle across again!

    Julie - glad you are into spidery bathrooms - my house seems to be full of all sorts of critters.

    Blue Moth? Will have to look that one up! I get orange ones - Oak Eggars.

    Baby Bluetits going mad this AM cos feeder empty so was out there in PJs feeding birds before breakfast.

    Yellowybird may have been a greenfinch?

    Happy twitching!


  • Had a lovely little Bat, probably a Pipistrelle, wizzing around my garden this evening!

    Night all


  • On our drive to the west coast, we stayed in a small British columbia town called Kimberley. We stayed in a condo on the side of a ski resort. As I was waking up one morning, sipping my tea on the balcony, I caught sight of two black bear cubs running down the hill. They were so cute! I do know that this meant that momma bear was not far away, so I didn't do any exploring, but it was very very neat to see!

  • Brynne - bears sound lovely. Hope Mum bear kept away. They can be a little over protective!

    Had lots of green finches in the garden the last few days.

    Will give a nature report when I get back from Wales

    Keep watching the wildlife!

    Love & Puffins



  • On my way to work the other day, stuck as usual in a long queue of traffic, pouring with rain, I caught site of a blackbird intent on digging for grubs with its beak. It was quite frantic as if in a bad mood. I wondered if it was thinking I'm fed up of doing this, day after day doing the same old thing , digging for worms and grubs to feed the family, when I would rather be back home tucked up in cosy bed. Perhaps it was just thought transference, but for those few moments I felt we had connected. Who knows !

  • On my way to work the other day, stuck as usual in a long queue of traffic, pouring with rain, I caught site of a blackbird intent on digging for grubs with its beak. It was quite frantic as if in a bad mood. I wondered if it was thinking I'm fed up of doing this, day after day doing the same old thing , digging for worms and grubs to feed the family, when I would rather be back home tucked up in cosy bed. Perhaps it was just thought transference, but for those few moments I felt we had connected. Who knows !

  • Poggins, I like your blackbird analogy!

    Puffins! Love them! Want to go back to Skomer next year to see more!

    I also saw a seal and a porpoise too!



  • Just back from the US south west. Fed very friendly chipmunks in Zion National Park. Offered one some food and was almost killed in the rush re ‘point it out to you no feed 100 dollar fine’ Saw a rattler when hiking down the Grand Canyon. Just retreated under a stone. Not me but almost! Saw turkey vultures Don’t know them, but they are fat and can fly. Would love to have seen mountain lions and brown bears.

    Home... and a wasps nest in the loft - fifth year running - hmmm!


  • Hi Mia,

    Chipmunks sound cute,

    Saw lots of Turkey Vultures (TVs) in the Falklands - Black feathers & a red beak!

    They are fairly widespread across the Americas!



  • Heaps of swallows/swifts zipping about in the park-pardon my ignorance but I still cant tell the difference-they move too fast!!!

  • Spotted very sick looking fox cub running up and down outside house on road tonight. Looks terrified and confused (and nasty to me not going near!)

    DH just off to neighbours see what they're going to do about it.

  • Bluejam

    Swallows have a big bite out of their tails making a deep V shape - think Gulp = Swallow.

    Marmite - probably sarcoptic (sp?) Mange. Caused by the scabies mite - did it look manky & bald? Either that or it was lost & confused.



  • It is most pleasurable sitting out on the patio enjoying the fruits of my cultivation of the wild life. There is a Mistle Thrush which hops around on my lawn awaiting me to put out some food. It just stays there whilst I throw food towards it and quite happily comes within two arms length. Chaffinches, Robins, Magpies and a squirrel also have become very trusting, maybe 3 arms length away.. Unfortunately, a neighbour has a nasty cat, (is there any other type), which I have to ensure does not come into my garden.

  • Sad fox update, unfortunately got splatted by car at some point. Everyone had decided to leave it for a day to see if had just got lost.Prob for best as really didn't look good before.

  • Is this a particularly good year for blackberries or have I just spotted the freakiest ever ""bush"". It is on the end of a wall near work, 6 ft high and more than that in diameter but you can hardly see any of the ""branches"" or leaves for fruit - it is absolutely festooned with berries (all at different stages). The birds were having a whale of a time on it this morning - so much so that I wouldnt dream of picking any and spoiling their fun.

  • Gorn fishing - a well aimed water pistol helps with cat repulsion. Glad you have mistle thushes!

    Marmite - poor foxy - probably the best if it was mangy. Hope there are some nice healthy foxes around though.

    Cathy - Wow - I like your description of a Freaky blackberry bush - just watch your white sheets on the line LOL! (*Splat!*)

    Mum has a nice blackbird that sits ON her bird table - he is quite old as has 2 white spots. There were 2 pigeons having a row in the tree outside my office at work today - wing batting each other.


    Happy watching!



  • Close encounter with a bat tonight-I almost swallowed it !!!

  • Gulp!!!

    Sad site today on the A12 - squished baby badger - poor thing!

    Anyway, garden bouncing with sparrows.


  • At work yesterday evening; 1 pheasant (no pluckers!!) and several noisy Oyster Catchers and a couple of feral cats!!

  • Nothing left in the surrounding area alive as the ferral children have scared off everything including seagulls....

  • Marmite, keep them away from the minibeasts too! LOL!

    Bjam - oystercatchers are quite a hysterical bird but I do like them. Saw some on Wednesday at work too.

    Got young bluetits still in the garden - usually upsidedown on the nuts.

    Fortunately elderberry tree next door is full of berries so birds won't go too hungry when I am away.

    Wednesday on the marshes - saw lots of yummy samphire and other marshy plants

    Also, Little Egrets, golden plovers and various other waders.

    Our barn owls at work raised three chicks this year!

    Will report back with the Oxford wildlife next week - hope it willinclude some Red Kites!


  • This last week while driving on the M40, I saw quite a few Red Kites!

    Fantastic birds that have made an amazing comeback with the help of us reintroducing them.

    Oh and there were badgers on the site last week But I missed them but I was hooted awake at 3am by a Tawney Owl!


  • Bought a very effective evil scum scarer. not seen the most obnoxious animal on the planet since, the cat.

  • I find a syringe full of water does the job! Unless your cat is Hydrophillic!

    There is a small white flut snoozing on my back door out of the rain!


  • Close Encounter of the Sparrowhawk kind!!

    I was sitting in my garden ( small!! about 6m by 6 m square) revising my saltmarsh plants when there was pandemonium among a flock of starlings. They dived into a bush by my garden with a loud crashing of wings on leaves... shortly followed by a sparrowhawk which hedge hopped over my backwall on a B line for me! It swerved right and under the washing line and disapeared round the bush into next doors garden.

    Was fantastic to see a sparrowhawk that close!

    Saw lots of birds out a Bluehouse Farm reserve yesterday

    Little Egrets, Lapwings, herons, etc also heard barn owl chicks making a racket from the Owl box in the barn.


  • Todays birdies!

    Little egrets,


    Gadwall ducks

    robins, sparrows.

    Lots of nice sea lavender in the salt marshes.


    PS My bird table is suspiciously quiet...........

  • Wasps

    My neighbour had a big surprise when I pointed out to him a LARGE wasps nest hidden behind leaves in his Laurel. I was watching starlings, enmass, gorging the berries, when my eyes spotted this well hidden wasps nest. As they have three young children, they got pest controllers in who injected poison into the nest. The advised that a nest that size would have around 4000 wasps, OUCH!

  • I have a 1 inch moth of some type which has welded itself to my windowpane for the last 36 hours -it doesnt appear to have moved a millimetre-too early to hibernate surely?

  • Moth

    Give it a poke! if it moves, it was just resting, if it drops off, it may have expired!

    Though it may just be sleeping - pop it outside.

    I often have to round up dosing moths in the morning that have parked themselves in my flat overnight.

    Wasps - ouch - The nest must be amazing though.

    Night all


  • Got back from work to find moth has gone-may have been resting I suppose,but even I move at least once in 36 hours!!!

  • LOL, Was probably a confused moth! Thought it was autumn but then realised it is still summer!

    Anyway, met a manky rabbit on the way home from work - was sitting in middle of road not doing much - Myxymatosis is horrid!

    Anyway, going to find some wildlife tommorrow with my new camera (and I don't mean my neighbour!)


  • The birdees are back in my garden - well I did invest in a 5kg bag of bird muesli for them! LOL! They weren't too impressed by a peanut unly diet apart from the Bluetits.

    Robin had also taken up residence again and was yelling his beak off on the post!


  • Not seen much of ladybirds this year-is it true some frightful green variant has been invading our land??

    -re Bluetits; do they enjoy telly?-at times they perch on the window frames and I would swear they are watching the telly through the window-curiously they dont like Wildlife docs?!!

  • Hi Ian,

    yes there are some alien ladybirds but they are not Green. They are the Harlequin ladybird from the Far East that arived in the UK 3-4 years ago.

    They are polymorphic - come in all sorts of patterns, but are generally larger and rounder than our native ladybirds. (They have brown legs and a brown carapace - the underside near their back end!!)

    They and their larva are ferocious feeder - will gobble up all the aphids then set about eating our UK ladybirds! Not good!

    I have seen and recorded a few here in Essex!

    Hop over to

    for the main recording and information site.

    I haven't seen as many either this year!

    Bluetits are naturally curious I think! Though coal tits are very bold! They used to knock on my window when at Uni at 6:30am if the nut feeder was empty!

    Take care


  • Thanks Kate;

    although I havent seen many of our native ladybirds,I must admit I havent noticed the Harlequin ones either-too far North??

  • Not ""watch"" exactly-but I could hear what sounded like 2 owls last night in the park-I had a look out but couldnt see them although they sounded close;one was giving the traditional hoot-hoot while the other was emitting a screech -type sound -a young-un??

  • Tawney Owls me thinks!

    One goes 'Too wit' and another replies 'Too Wooooo'

    Regards the screetching, probably a young owl wanting dinner!

    Got a rebelious robin in the garden - shoos away other birds - needs an asbo - still gettting lots of blue tits - not seen the sparrow hawk again.


  • Strange fury critter IN work building today! possibly a mink!

    Was funny as colleagues started to clear boxes from corner and more arrived with a net, thick gloves and a big box.

    It ran out via the kitchen!


  • Badgers!

    ( Hope leccy doesn't cut out again - lost 1st post!)

    Went badger watching last night, was fantastic and the badgers were very habituated to people! The guy was hand feeding them at one stage! We saw around 8 different badgers ( he appologied there weren't more but that is the most I have ever seen anyway - only one live previously)

    They were fantastic and I got some good photos too!

    One followed be back up through the woods for a bit very close!

    One fantastic night!


    PS the badgers had names & characters - the latest one we named Zac as he was up to Z in the alphabet! LOL!

  • 4 dead mice on our driveway this week!!!!!

  • Poor mice - were they catted or drowned?

    My robin is making him/herself at home in the garden.

    Oh and it was a backward seagull day today with the strong wind!

  • Went on a biology field trip Friday. We were at a bog identifying plant species. didn't see too many animals, but got to discover 5 different ""ecosystems"". Twas glorious day and the leaves are just starting to turn so we had a spectacular show. It was also my first time discovering the nature of this part of the country in a bout 10 years or so. Lovely!

  • Wow, I love bog plants - do you have a lot of sphagnum moss in Canada?

    We get diddy cranberries in the UK - smaller that the US ones.

    Glad you are getting some good ole Ecology teaching! Fantastic subject.


  • Yes indeed Kate, the sphagnum was one of the ones we were supposed to be looking out for. It was really neat. It really is turning out to be a great class

  • The Jays are back. Every recent winter, there are a pair of Jays who frequent the gardens and I noticed them back this morning, absolutely beautiful plumage (no Monty Python jokes) and you would never think of them as a member of the Crow family.

    There are so many insects and fruit around, I'm holding off from putting feed out on the bird table until later in the season but scraps of bread and meat they do get on the lawn but I make sure my vermin cat scarer is on.

  • Very sweet robin is still bouncing around in the garden!

    My Niece Anna met Acorns for the first time this week .... she thought they were Olives when Grandma asked if she knew what they were! LOL

    (She was wheened on olives! )



  • Robin wars outside,they follow the blue/coal tits around and pick up the scraps that fall down from the feeder-but they havent learned to share yet!!

  • Flocking Heck!

    Just been watching that Titchmarsh programme from last night,-up to 7 million! birds in a starling flock,quite spectacular!!

  • People often dismiss starlings but they are very pretty birds close up and they are just fantastic in flocks.

    I did watch Titchmarsh last night too!

    Oh and the other name for Skuas is Bonxes! Try Antarctic Skuas for dive bombing!

    You shouldn't duck when they come at you as next time they will come in lower thinking your head is lower! LOL!


  • Have found a colony of Harlequin ladybirds - living in and on the post box round the corner busy guzzling on the aphids that were falling out of the tree - they were also popping in & out of the post box too!

    They are an introduced ladybird who when they have finnished munching on aphids start eating our local native ones! Little horrors but nice to look at as they come in all sorts of patterns!

    See here for web sites!


    PS I now have some of them in a film container for ... voucher specimens!

  • being stuckin costa, my opportunities for nature spotting are quite limited at the moment. Although i can't see it, can i include my MRSA in the nature watch?

  • LOL, you could always ask microbiology for an Agar plate and leave it open for a bit, seal it and see what grows (Don't open it though!!)


  • It is RSPB Feed the Birds weekend!

    Pop out some food for the birds!

    Ideal food

    1 - peanuts in a proper metal feeder (Not plastic mesh bags - the birds get stuck in it) and if not allergic to nuts. ( you not the birds)

    2 - bird food - mixed stuff - looks like muesli - in a feeder, on the ground or on a bird table.

    3 - fat balls - suet/lard with bird food in. You can make your own.

    4 - meal worms - you can get freeze dried ones if you don't fancy the wriggling ones - the Robins will love them.

    5 - bacon fat

    6 - stale fruit cake - Be aware of booze soaked cakes = boozed birds! hic!

    7 - windfall apples or ones in your fruit bowl going a bit brown - blackbirds will like them.

    8 - un cooked pastry - mould into maggot shapes

    9 - Saw a coconut in half and hang it up

    10 - dried fruit such as currants, raisins etc

    Happy twitching!!

    Kate & her friendly Robin

  • I hope there are some well fed birdies out there!

    Nearly trod on the Robin yesterday morning - he is getting very tame!


  • pole cats

    I discovered 3 pole cats playing in my garden recently (4.00am) I watched then for over half an hour. I could hardly believe my eyes. I have been informed by the local wildlife guru, that they have wandered over from North Wales. I have set up an outdoor night video camera, but unfortunately have not seen them since.

  • Hello Poggins!

    Wow, your lucky to have pole cats (they are the wild version of Ferrets)

    They are just begining to increase their populations again - we may have some just popping over the border into Essex from Hertfordshire.

    I hope you see them again!



  • On the way down from Carlisle yesterday saw some sort of bird of prey (I think) flying low over a field,it was reddish brown,bigger than a crow but only about half the size-if that-of an Eagle-I am sure it was some sort of bird of prey,it had that ""look""-any ideas??

  • I saw a load of birdies flying over my head today. Me being the most unlucky person in the whole wide world right now-does anyone wanna guess what happened next?

  • Supposed to be bring good luck isnt it??

  • Probably a Buzzard - very common now!

    May be another one of the bigger birds of prey but without a really good description - difficult to say. Anyway Buzzards are nice!


  • Autumn Watch


    Autumn watch is on every night on BBC2 at 8PM for the next 2 weeks!

    Was hillarious last night watching Bill Oddie being savaged by a very small Hedgehog! LOL!


  • Is anyone still looking out for our magnificent wildlife?

    Got sparrows gallore on the garden today!

    Oh and Bobin the Robin too!


  • Our"" 2 robins seemed to have realised now that there is plenty in the feeder for both of them-the blue/coal tits always seem to have a queueing system or will quite happily feed 2 at a time and a Chaffinch has appeared in the last couple of days but as yet is a bit reluctant to ""have a go"",preferring to nibble at the scraps that fall to the ground.

  • We had a collecion of little green caterpillars in the kitchen today- not sre where they came from originally but we found a lot in the veg recycling bin by the sink...they were evicted from the bread bin, half way up the wall and on the taps and put into a plastic tub with gauze on top fr my little sister. We reckoned they would die outside in weather like this. Anyone know what the best thing to feed them is? we've given them nasturtium leaves and a variety of other things at the moment.

  • I still have liitle catterpillars munching outside on nastursiun leaves and pupating quite happily. So they should be OK - or try cabbage!


  • Thanks. They seem to like nasturtium and its growing over the path anyway so removing a few leaves won't matter! Little sister (3) is fascinated.

  • Watched a pair of doves ( posh pigeons?) in our garden today shepherding their three 'teenager' brood into good behaviour aka whose turn it was to take a bath in bird bath fountain.

    Background entertainment was supplied by ubiquitous two blackbirds sparring for territory.

    All behaviour seemed very familiar.

  • This morning, it was rather chilly with a light frost when I put out chopped roast chicken skin along with my bird seed. I always put some on top of my pent shed, as well as the bird table.

    A pair of common gulls came swooping in to get the chicken skin on the shed roof and were mobbed by a combination of Magpies and Rooks who drove the gulls off.

  • has anybody been watching autumnwatch?? how sad for the little grey seal pups it made me cry! i know im sad lol! but it was quite upsetting to hear the bad weather had been washing them out to sea awwww!!

  • After a very cold morning, -1.9c at 8AM, I put out plenty of bird food, hung up fat balls, peanut feeders and scraps from last nights culinary delights.

    So far I have seen Blue tits, coal tits, bullfinch, starlings, blackbirds, rooks, woods pigeons, collared doves, robins, a wren and magpies, plus a pair of squirrels. On a brilliantly clear blue sky, it gladdens your heart watching profusions of wild birds in the garden.

  • does watching the grey squirrels out of the window instead of working count?

  • I think that squirrels definitely count. Although unfortunately I watch them often for more than 5 mins.....soooo cute!!

  • Glad to see peeps feeding the tweets!

    My birdies had bread rolls & goat cheese for lunch today - had been in my fridge all week and was a little old.

    Autumn watch has kept me more or less sane this week - Oooh I do like Simon King! Mmmmmmmmmmm!!

    And three cheers for the Beavers who managed to get the tree down by the end of the series!


  • Kate's blue tits far more interesting.

  • Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL LOL.

    How are your squirrels??


  • Kate

    Fine, nibbling my nuts with relish.

    I didn't ask about your beaver?

  • Ho Hum!

    Lets get back to real wildlife!

    Bit blustery out there today - bird cake has been installed on bird table but birds are a bit sparce today - blown away with all the leaves me thinks!


  • No matter how difficult I try to defeat the squirrels getting at my peanut feeders, they eventually work out the solution, the clever so&sos.

    I have feeders, hanging from the washing line by garden wire and, this morning I espyed a squirrel hanging by its tail, which was looped around the line, trying to extract nuts.

    I find them a bit of a pest but you have to admire their determination and ingenuity.

  • If they are grey squizzes, try a coating of vaseline on the line! But not if the line is 30 ft off the ground like one person I knew - bit cruel!

    You can get steel feeders from the RSPB which are naw proof and also have slim access bars on too!


    PS Who's nicked my sparrows??

  • Was in Marbella about 2 weeks - this is where I got my virus Grrr. Anyhow I think your Sparrows are there. We were right on the beach, the appartment complex had beautiful gardens flowers, I especially love the Bird of paradise ones plus lots of trees and shrubs and masses of sparrows. Really tame they came onto the balcolny even while we were sitting there. Maybe I caught bird flu from them. only kidding.


  • story of a red squirrel swimming across Ullswater.

    many apologies if ""address"" thingy has come out wrong-I am fairly dim computer-wise!

  • Plucky little Squirrel!

    Looked happy to be back on dry boat too.

    There was a lovely Song thrush, may be this years young, in the front garden today, seemed fairly tame sitting under the bush - though it seemed to have a cheeky streek as there were leaves strewn all over the path! LOL!


    PS Sparrows are back!

  • Stanley Park yesterday afternoon, 2 Magpies-""one for sorrow,two for joy"" how prophetic that turned out to be!!

  • Had quite a few blue tits in the garden recently - I hope they are enjoying the old pack of almonds I have filled the peanut feader with! Lucky birds!

    Bobin the Robin is still around too!



  • Two fields up from mine Hundreds of Geese feeding, Lots of other birds in our garden feeding from the trays and ""feeders"" that we have re stocked, (will have to get a book on birds do I can learn to recognise individual breeds/types), Have seen two rabbits prancing along my field and one of the neighbouring cats is looking at me through the window (I do not know if cats count!!)

    Fields are now empty of cattle (far too cold for them)

    Once I feel better will take a wee walk to the bottom of the garden (nearly 100m long) and have a look in the pond, (all the fish will be sleeping for the winter so I do not know if there will be anything to see!)

    The only other ""wild"" untamed life I could see through the window and Nebu mask earlier today was.. my Hubby chopping logs for the fire.

    Will have to try to educate myself now that I am no longer in the city (only problem is that it is pitch dark by 3 to 4 pm!! Very short days this far I star watch instead as there is no artificial lights to distort the wonder of the heavens above!!!

    Can anyone recommend a really good Nature Book for a beginner?

    Will try do do better next time!!!

  • Susy,

    Hope the wild creature has come back in side with his logs! LOL.

    Regards books, you could try the RSPB web site - sales etc or Dorling Kindserley book company do very good educational and pictorial books. There is one on birds and loads on wildlife in general to get you started. In the Orkneys you must get all sorts blown in. (Hence the twitchers landing en mass on occasions - and NO I am not a twitcher , just a bird watcher! LOL) Geese, what sort? We have dark bellied brent geese on some of our reserves in Essex at the mo - saw some greylags the other day in a field with some Canada geese.

    Have you seen the Orkney Vole yet??

    Love & hugs



  • Hi Kate...sorry but I do not know what kind of Geese they are for sure...I think they are ""Canadian"" going by the markings I can see. Yes..I have seen an Orkney Vole, but not recently. At the moment Hauling gale and rain with not very pleasant here in Orkney...Still in bed but hope to be breathing better in a day or two and may weather permitting go to the bottom of the garden and pond. Thank you for info regarding suitable web sites.

    Will start studying more about local flora and fauna.

  • Probably are Canadians as they are quite distinct.

    Glad you have seen the vole - very cute.

    Bought a roosting pouch the other day for the birds - the robin may make use of it in the spring.

    Birds at the mo..... Robin, blue tits, sparrows, dunnocks, starlings, noisy blackbirds at 6am and the wren!


  • Is it just up here in Cumbria ,or are Magpies experiencing a bit of a population explosion?-I saw one this morning at work outside our changeroom area for the first time ever,when I was growing up,they were virtually never seen;maybe they are just more adventurous now!

  • They may be less persecuted nowadays....

    They don't seem to have a good reputation as they do eat baby birds.... but something as well as sparrowhawks, woodpeckers etc has to eat them otherwise we would be knee deep in blue tits! Just part of the food chain.

    I do like them!

    One bird I do see a lot more of now is Jays. Very pretty member of the corvids or crow family.


    (Takes off the Bill Oddie green hat)

  • saw something ferret-shaped run across the road a few times then launched itself into the canal and disappeared. We jumped out of the car to look and could see it thrashing around but couldnt tell what it was (it was very dark and the only light we had was from a phone) it then swam away and we could see the trail of bubbles... just to confuse us even more we spotted a vole/rat type creature swimming just below the surface of the water. Any ideas what the ferrety shaped thing could have been?

  • Magpies, Jays and other members of the crow family are all carnivours/scavengers and do take young nesting birds. However these do nothing like the decimation caused by the worst predator of bird life, the domestic cat.

    It should be mandatory for all cats to wear a collar with an effective bell to give wildlife the edge on these evil creatures.

  • Ferret thing was probably a stoat (Black tip on tail) or a weasle (No black tip) - not sure if they swim? Will ask colleague tommorrow. How big was it? Hope it wasn't mink (evil water vole snackers!) They are big and brown with an evil look on their face. Where abouts in the UK did you see these ctitters?

    Most likely a rat in the water as watervoles are rare -ish and in decline in some areas.

    Cats - bibs have been shown to be more effective at stopping cats catching birds - the hinder the cat!


  • Yes, weasles and stoats do swim quite happily!

    Got fed up of filling up the nuts daily for the tweets so bought a HUGE nut feeder and hope that will last the fat little blue tit a few days at least - there is one very round one out there! LOL!


  • Just thought I would let you know that here in Orkney as well as the usual ""Pelican Crossing"" we have ....

    Signs saying.......

    Ducks Crossing - Wild ducks crossing the road - NO JOKE


    Otters Crossing - Again no yoke - ( have been lucky enough tio see both in action as it were... My son when he was little used to wonder how they knew where to cross safely ....I told him we have have very clever wildlife here in the Islands !!

    Does anyone else have something similar out there in your own patch?

    Would love to know...

    Hugs from Orkney


  • Oooh! would love to see more otters.

    Saw one in a loch on Mull one morning, we have them in Essex, making a comeback against the naughty mink.

    Wildlife signs

    There is a village up the road which must have had duckings all over the place because someone, probably a child, has made signs saying Danger Duck Crossing!'

    There are about 3 of these laminated and pinned to trees.

    Scarey ducks!


  • Hi Kate... Otters are great wee creatures.

    Glad to hear about the laminated signs ...the ones we have here are official traffic signs ""Triangle with red border"" many times when I was out and about (specially in the summer-Tourist Season) cars will stop and passengers disembark to take photos of the signs, specially the ducks as there is always a few about... it is so comical to watch them line up to cross the road.

    By the way ..came across another Orkney vole.... sheltering from the rain amongst my ""Logs"" , so cute, wee round body and short tail as you know (Microtus arvalis orcadensis) I think it's their Proper name - my brain seems to absorb some really weird and useless info at times !!


  • Woodpeckers: do they mainly ""peck"" in the mornings?-sounds a bit daft but I swear I can hear one in the park outside my flat but only ever in the morning!

  • Green woodpeckers drum only rarely, usually enlarging a nest hole, territorial etc

    and possibly food.

    Greater spotted woodpeckers drum in the Spring! ( confused spotted??)

    I am sure I have heard them at other times of the day such as the afternoon.

    Haven't really logged when the drum / peck!


  • Sounds like it might not be one then,I will try and see if I can spot anything through the binoculars.

  • Is there anyone out there in your park with a pneumatic drill???

    Yes, bins would be a good idea... let us know what it is.

    Susy, voles sound cute - are they quite common like the common vole in the rest of the UK? - do they have many predators on Orkney?


  • Embarassment time: turns out my ""woodpecker"" is actually someones alarm clock-the girl 2 floors above me demonstrated the sound -never mind!

  • Now that one beats a cuckoo clock any day! LOL!

    Anyway, still enjoy watching our feathered friends!


  • Nature update!

    Zac & I watched a Squirel in sisters garden yesterday, then we made a bird feeder out of an old plastic 4 pint milk bottle! Shoved a twig through it, cut two windows and popped some ham fat & bread crumbs in it - not seen anything on it though it would have to be an acrobatic blue tit - gives the birds something interesting to do.

    Today we all watched a Muntjac deer wander by the back fence and I found a harlequin ladybird in Anna's bedroom!


  • Kingfisher

    Saw a Kingfisher on Christmas day!

    Was peering out the window at Mums, still snuggled up in bed and it plonked itself on a branch over the ditch by Mum's house!

    Was there for quite a few minutes and managed to get a photo of it too!


  • I rescued a hedgehog which had trapped itself inside a McDonalds large size coke cup-didnt seem too grateful though!

  • Heard on R4 this morning that some (loggerhead?) turtles have been washed up on our Western shores-bet they notice the difference in sea temperature from ""home""!!

  • Yesterday I had a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on a feeder, a very rare garden visitor and today, all the birds suddenly took off, the result of a Red Kite flying over.

    Two very unusual birds in two days. Amazing.

  • Just booked myself on a couple of members events at London Zoo - got to be there early one morning to quote ""..see what the animals really get up to when the Zoo is closed!"" unquote. Should be great fun, but got to wait till April.


  • Wow, we have been bird aware!

    I love red kites - first saw them driving down the M40 - a bit distracting. Seen lots of greater spotted woodpeckers but not a lesser one yet.

    Alan, your zoo experience sounds good - please let us know what animals realy do get up to out of the public glare.

    Bluejam, we do get turtles up the western coast quite frequently looking for their favourite food - jellyfish.

    Anyway, contending myself with the odd bluetit and windblown sparrows today. Though I will be at Flatford Mill over the weekend so hope to see some more wildlife ( not including the mouse in Willy Lott's cottage!)

    Oh, and don't forget the RSPB big bird watch on the 26-27 January!

    Take care



  • THanks for a great thread Kate!

    We too have woodpeckers (greater spotted) outside front & back of house, also ""regular"" garden birds, and nuthatches. Had a red kite fly over in the summer. We go to see them being fed in mid Wales, where you can see loads of them - it's a wonderful privilege!

    And I was listening to an owl hooting outside about an hour ago when I ran the dogs.

    Great place to live! Hope you are well?



  • In one of our flask loading bays yesterday I saw a fox-first time I have ever seen one venture so far into the ""complex""-we also appear to have a bat on the ceiling,its about 35 metres up but we are positive it is one -even with our elderly eyesights!!

    NB Kate,is Flatford Mill featured in a Constable ??

  • Yes, Flatford Mill is in Constable country / Dedham Vale Suffolk ( Essex) and is where he painted the picture of the Haywain next to Willy Lott's Cottage - where I was staying this w/e!

    A couple of swans, kingfisher and lots of nice fungi!


  • Global Warming, worrying sign

    20th Jan 2008. spotted my first Willow Catkin of the year. Never ever seen one out this early in the year.

  • Hazel catkins have been out for a couple of weeks here!

    Also, was playing with camera today revising F. stops etc when the sparrowhawk came lumping over th back fence again! Was too busy watching its brief visit to remember I was holding camera and missed a photo oportunity!



  • my neighbours cat has taken to lurking beneath the bird feeder but fortunately doesnt have the patience to sit there very long-and the bushes nearby are just high enough to give the birds a bit of a warning as to its presence-our treecreeper seems to have returned although it never seems to stay very long and is always solitary.

  • hi

    hi my mum and i

    we have been watching birds out my kitchen window in a warm house. and feeding them each day i find it interesting and relaxing to watch its seams so silly it tickles me pink that their is plenty of bread and apple and bird seed for all the birds but black birds always fight over the bread and apple and bird seed and due to a sad experience they killed one of their own species. i dont know why they do it there isnt any need to is their. and in the summer i go out in the garden to butterfly watch i love it. from groovy chick

  • Big Garden Bird watch!

    Click onto the above website ( copy & paste link) for the info on the RSPB bird watch this weekend - you can do it from the comfort of your own home with tea, nebs etc at your side.

    Just watch the dickie birds for an hour, note the maximum number or each type ( eg blue tit, robin, Ostritch) seen at one time ( not totals as birds pop backwards & forwards to the same feeder) and record them on the RSPB web site.

    Will count my tweets tommorrow as didn't have time in the daylight today!

    Happy twitching!



  • Curiously,in the hour that I chose,virtually none of my usual visitors showed up-this could give a somewhat distorted picture if repeated on a large scale-my ""grand total"" was 1 blackbird.

  • Lots of my regulars also gave my garden a miss though about 9 starlings gobbled up all the meal worms I put out for the smaller birdies!

    Have found in the past I get loads of different birds - perhaps the RSPB forgot to inform the birds that they were to be counted at the weekend with lots of free food available!

    Saw a hobby today as I drove out of work gate!


  • Nearly Bagged some partridges this morning!

    Toddling across the road - daft birds!

    Lots of tweeting going on in the garden.................


  • It has been so cold here ...that yesterday I had a wee Orkney Vole trying to come in by the kitchen door... poor wee soul ... felt really bad at encouraging it back out to the log pile !!!

    Lots of love and hugs from the Windswept and rainy Orkneys



  • Oooh, poor vole, hope he/she found a sheltered spot in the wood pile.

    Stopped at one of our reservoirs today - saw a little egret & a heron standing literally a few feet from each other.. Got yelled at by the geese and some funny mixed up geese hybrids.

    Anyone here see lookeast on BBC1 last night, My colleague Darren was talking about the otters comming back and also ...otter poo!


  • After weeks of forlornly fluttering about in front of it,my local robin has now learned to grasp the bird feeder and cling on while it feeds-it will probably be even more of a bully now!!!

  • I spent yesterday evening at London Zoo, learning about the threat to the very existence of amphibians.

    •One-third to one-half of the world’s approximately 6000 known amphibian species could go extinct IN OUR LIFETIME.

    •This would be the largest mass extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs.

    •Their population declines and extinctions signal that changes are occurring in the environment that will negatively impact humans.

    I cannot ever remember such an impassioned plea for understanding and help and I would like to ask you all to follow these two links to learn more about what could happen, what is being done now and what could be done. They will say it all so much more succinctly than I ever could.


  • Hello Alan,

    Thanks for the useful links - will have a browse in a mo.

    People often don't notice animals in danger / near extinct / on red database lists etc if they aren't cute & cuddly - like the panda that is doomed to extinction by the very fact that it evolved itself into a precipitous life - a carnivore eating bamboo!

    I assume you have also being watching Life in Cold Blood - they filmed the last of the golden frogs in the wild then went out and collected the lot to help save the species.

    There are many species still being discovered today and probably many species that have never been formally identified that go extinct before we see them.

    People in the UK sometimes moan about the cost ( often thousands of pounds per newt!) of moving one Great Crested newt from an area to be developed - what cost can we put on amphibian & animals ( and plants in some cases)??

    BTW the Post Office got its way and is building on land in Thurrock, Essex destroying prime brownfield habitat containing many rare invertebrates ( insects & Bugs) - their argument ..' there is land next door they can use.' How do you tell a spider which way to go to avoid being squished by a JCB?

    Sorry, got going a bit there!

    Anyway, Bluejam - well done to the robin for learning! Mine sit on the feader fine because there is a seed catcher dish attached ( supposed to stop the seed falling on the lawn & growing - you should see my lawn!!!)



  • You will probably think this heresy,but I would gladly see the seagull become extinct-our courtyard is infested with them and June and July are ""dive bombing"" months -if they are so protective of their young,why dont they keep them away from humans like most animals do with their offspring??-grumpy old man ""rants"" !

  • Some car advert on Talksport this morning claimed that the Owl was the only bird which could distinguish the colour blue- is this true?

  • Hi,

    People have created the ideal habitats for seagulls and rats. we insist on throwing edible things away, create vast feeding grounds ( Land fill sites) and often sit outside to eat very tempting titbits - chips on the pier! Animals have learnt to take advantage of human laziness.

    And no I haven't a clue if owls can see blue!


  • Curiously,I dont have anything in particular against rats-but seagulls are the Devils work!

  • Was told at work that owls can't see blue,

    However did you know that Jackdaws are the only member of the crow family and also all the UK birds to have Blue Eyes!


  • Tweet!

    Spring is springing!!! Hawthorn are just begining to burst their buds!

    Loads of sparrows stuffing their beaks, robin still yelling, starlings squabbling..... and I have run out of tweet food so all they are getting at the mo is NUTS!


  • Watched a couple of squirrels playing today. When the rain started, one went off to shelter in a tree, the other one ran out to the end of a branch of the same tree, totally exposed to the pouring rain, and then wrapped its tail over himself (herself?) and waited there all the time it rained. It was as if its tail was a built-in umbrella.



  • Got covered in worms today when I opened the lid of the compost bin!

    Yick! Either,

    a - there are too many worms in there .

    b - they need some drier stuff in there as it may be too soggy

    c - it is too warm for them!!

    Will try some shreaded paper as I don't really want to relocate worms into the house via my trousers!

    Alan, squirrels can be quite amusing!


    De- wormed!

  • Pheasants lurking by the roadside at work yesterday,didnt seem to be too phased by the traffic or by the nearby dog pound-other things on their mind perhaps??

  • Yes the male pheasants seem to loose all road sense at this time of year.... they have their tiny minds on other things me thinks!

    In August they have other things to think or more like worry about!

  • A rather spiffing Chaffinch visited the feeder today but was ""discouraged"" by our testosterone-fuelled Robin which clobbered it and feathers literally flew!!-it hasnt been back!

  • Has your poor Chaffinch been seen since the robin bashing?

    Have a Chaffinch in garden - I am going to have to ween down the bird food and tell the tweets where to go for food when I move - going to give nice neighbour a feeder anyway.

    Yesterday on Nature womble - Squirrels, got nice photos, swans, tuffted ducks, coots, fieldfares, Redwings, Longtailed tits, blue tits great tits, black birds thrush & some black headed gulls.



  • Peacock Butterfly!

    I just saw my first butterfly of the year today, a gorgeous Peacock sunning its' wings on my neighbours shed roof. It then fluttered into a tree full of blossom and I lost sight of it.

    So perhaps summer is here already!


  • Got Blue Tits nesting in a Xmas present, a sliver birch log nest box.

  • Oooh! Peacock flut! I have only seen a large white flutting around.

    Glad the blue tits have got a top range Des Res! Hope they bring up a happy large brood.

    Got usuall batch of birds twittering in the garden - robin, blue tits, great tits, sparrows, black birds, starlings and collared doves.

  • Someones cat wailing away last night at 2 in the morning,it had parked its derriere on my bedroom window ledge-quite scary when you are half awake !!!

  • Just had a beautiful young fox wandering around the garden before it got mobbed by Magpies and ran off.

  • Little bunnies seem to be emerging and the lamb population is still increasing. There were some very new ones around.

    Loads of the usual garden & woodland birds bouncing and yelling at work!

  • I saw an owl at dusk last night. Didn't get a good look at it though, managed to fall over and miss it.

  • ..this was great to see & hear, a cute robin red breast singing it's heart out (in short little bursts with equally short breaks) at the top of a tree in blossom today....


  • Chaffinch returned to the feeder today but by the time it made its mind up to have a nibble, ""Rocky"" was back!!-a little greenfinch was much less timid but it only had to contend with a couple of smallish blue tits who are usually quite happy to share.

  • Ducks on the canal today! The ice has melted/broken enough in spots that the mallards can bob around again! And Canada geese can be seen (and heard) overhead these days, in trusty triangle formation! Ah, two telltale signs of spring (finally!)

  • Bluejam's post has just reminded me that we have a hawk who seems to like using our front garden for its dinner plate. So far have seen this hawk – think it’s a Merlin- eat a chaffinch and today a dove, (know this dove has been one of a pair for ages, GULP) in less than a week. Used to think that heron were the most predatorial of birds. But I guess they are all the same when hunting prey underwater or in the air.

  • Sounds like active bird life at the mo!

    I get a sparrow hawk in my garden nicking the collared doves!

    Went on a Boat trip today along the Essex Coast in a lovely restored Thames Sailing Barge - we set off in a snow storm and returned in a snow storm but inbetween it was good but cold! Lots of lovely birds, Marsh harriers, Egrets, curlews, lapwings, avocets etc and it was interesting to see some of our reserves from the sea!


  • Mum & I were digging up the garden... litterally!

    And also dug out the compost bin - poooeeeey - ready to move.

    Little Robin, being his usual very inquisitive self was all over the place, on the forks, fence, ground etc and even trying to slide on the poly bags!

    Then as Mum & I had a cup of tea back in lounge, he came in the back door and started to explore my lounge, perching on the boxes - Oh how I wish I had my camera !!


  • Seal spotted at Southend-On-Sea!

    As it was a nice day today I decided to take myself to Southend and get some air. At the end of the pier I sat on a bench soaking up the beautiful warm sunshine, and listened to the calm waters splashing softly against the pier support structure.

    My calm was disturbed by a growing crowd to one side all getting rather excited, so I went to investigate, and soon heard mutterings about a seal. This was where the pier curves round slightly creating a sort of pool area.

    And it was true. I could hardly believe my eyes. Popping up out of the blue green was the most gorgeous seal, with two great big black adorable eyes. It would watch us for a few seconds, before arching it's slender body back down again into the depths.

    This happened two or three times before it swam under the pier to the other side, and made it's way in the direction of Westcliff.

    I watched it keep bobbing up for air every few minutes as it gradually got too far away for my eyes to focus on the reappearing black spec!

    What a day!!


    PS I do hope this is not going to be another whale event, where the creature swims up the Thames into fresh water....

  • Excelent! We need seal records at work.

    Which type was it? there are common and grey seals around the Essex coast as well as porpoises.

    If you can let me know the more or less precise location , date , time etc we can record it on our brand new database at Essex Wildlife Trust.

    I will check out the different features of the two seals - one has a huge head like a roman nose, the other is cuter looking but I can't remember and all my books are in a big box!

    Visit or PM me details!

    Great !



  • A wren appeared this morning,havent seen one in ages!

  • Last Friday I went up to a small nature reserve in Northumberland near Duridge Bay. I spent a while in one of the bird hides peeping out at the lake in front of me and I saw an otter! It made me so happy, and it's such a wonderful thing to see in the wild :o)

  • ...not my favourite creature, but yesterday I had my first encounter of the year with a dreaded wasp! It kept crashing into the side window of my car, as if I would wind the window down and offer a it lift!


  • Snails, Pigmy Hippos, Tigers, Stick Insects, Gorillas, Humming Birds, Vultures and Marmosets - all in the same day - and in London too! I spent a couple of hours at London Zoo on Thursday morning with a small party of ZSL members before the general public were allowed in. A wonderful morning that included talks from keepers, researchers and the chief vet. It was worth the early morning start and the waiting in the pouring rain while they looked for the right key to let us in.


  • Wow Alan, You lucky thing!

    I found a frog in my new garden the other day when planting the Rhubarb back.

    Today There was a blue tit on the feeder at last.

    Also found the local blackberry patch ........ yummmm!


  • I saw an owl yesterday, it was a whiteish colour, i was on the train and did a double take. Saw lots of rabbits, 2 hares and some lambs too. Lois

  • Two horses have just gone down my street.


    Okay, they had mounted policemen on them, but it's not something you see everyday in the city any more.

  • im listening to nature living in a rather residential area , you dont normally get woken at four thirty in the morning by some ones chickens .

    ive also seen a few bees about and had a close encounter with one yesterday , this means summers on its way

    also seen some cute baby birds in my garden tonight

    aahh bless ...

  • Whitish owl will be a Barn owl!

    Becky - we have mounted police back in Essex again. nice site!

    Chickens! We had a cockrel at work who crowed all day - till the fox got it!

    nearly mangled a baby rabbit in the car today - missed it ... just!


  • .. seen the odd bird collecting nest building material flying in and out of the hedges in the garden. Also have heard the woodpecker again in the woods next to the garden.

    Also there has already been some mole activity too....

    I live in the middle of no where ...

    but I would rather not see any foxes as I have just acquired some more chickens! Have also seen alot of queen wasps surfacing in unusual places - eg crawling out of the chicken food pellets!

  • Saw a Roe Deer eating some OSR this morning - amazing!

  • We (We????-since when did I become royalty?!!) now have 2 Chaffinches at the feeder -the new one looks like it has John Prescotts version of Bulimia !-the food in the feeders is now disappearing quite rapidly each week.

  • Mum & I were tackling the front garden and there was a small flock of goldfinches rolling through the maple trees!


  • This years first bee sighted this afternoon-is this late?-speaking of Goldfinches,I dont think I have ever seen one before-do they not ""venture"" this far North?

  • Yesterday.. we had our first day of sunshine and the garden was full of bird songs, I saw my first two doves (had not seen any for years)... cooing playing dodge the tractors as they passed by... Sad to say that the shock of the sun rays bouncing on the fishpond... was possibly the reason we lost TWO of our Koi !... and today we managed to get some of the excess pond plants out before the RAIN and Gale came back... shortest spring on record! (just one day long)

    The few daffodils that had survived the rain, wind, snow and ice... will probably now give up the fight. The only bit of good news is that there seems to be a lot of insects for the Koi and other pond life to feed on.

    Well if anyone has any Sunshine to spare... I would appreciate a loan or a swap of some... Willing to swap for some Free Clean Orkney Fresh Air... (someone I know SOLD a jar of it on a famous auction site for £4 (there is one born every day).

    Any takers ?

    Love and hugs from the WET and WINDY Os



  • Gorgeous Woodpecker parked on the bird feeder when I arrived from work this morning,it didnt stay very long though but I,m hoping its lurking in the park somewhere so I can get a picture of it sometime this ,ahem,""Summer

  • Pigeon...

    On Saturday I somehow acquired a baby pigeon which had fallen from its nest under a motorway bridge and was sat in the road being attacked by a pair of magpies. Since there was nowhere we could safely leave it, it is now in an unused guineapig hutch in the garden. We used hay to make a sort of nest for it and it's looking a lot better than it did on Saturday.

    The only problem is, I don't have a clue how to look after it or what to feed it... So far I've been giving it sugary milk every few hours through a syringe, as recommended by a friend who has some experience of looking after baby pigeons. Anyone know any better things to give it? I have given it a shallow tray of small seeds (left over from pet quails) but it doesn't seem to know what to do with these yet.

    I don't know how old it is but it seems to have most of it's adult feathers, with a few yellow fluffy ones poking through.

    Does anyone have any experience / random knowledge? I'm kinda stuck with it now. It's rather sweet but it seems to think I'm its mummy already!!

  • large baby Birds are best left where they are found!!!

    they usually have Mum or Dad close by anyway - this happens quite abit with some birds like pigeons and owletts.

    It is often best to let nature take its course ( yes I know it sounds harsh) than to take the bird in and have it die a few days later.

    Baby pigeons are fed on 'milk' bought up my the adult from the crop. Though when bigger they should be finding their own food.

    it is probably too late to take it back and I advise to contact the RSPCA about advice. ( Wildlife conservation organisations eg RSPB don't usually take on board baby birds)


    PS birds have fleas too!

  • A slightly asthmatic sounding Wood pidgeon on the patio this morning-or is that their ""normal"" call?

    -perhaps it needs a dust mask?

  • If anyone spots an unusual looking pidgeon around Seven Kings / Ilford with very few feathers on its rear end please pass on my best wishes. It flew through our open back door, through the house and had a good flap / fight with the closed front door before ascending to the upper levels with hubby in chase. Eventually caught fighting the bedroom windows and released to fly off to the big blue yonder. I was totally amazed at how many feather it could leave behind and still successfully fly.

  • There is a very fat pigeon that has found my bird table.

    There was a very soggy sparrow today too.

    I think there is a hedgehog using the garden as there is a poo on the path.

    Not seen any bald pigeons!



  • Our local bird population was diminished by one this affy as a Sparrowhawk (I think) swooped on a youngish Blackbird while it was waiting for a feed-caused a hell of a lot of startled bird shrieks for a few minutes then everything carried on as if nothing had happened!

  • That's nature for you!

    Otherwise we would be knee deep in baby blackbirds & bluetits!

    Will be a sparrowhawk - they have a habit of smash & grab!


  • We couldnt leave the pigeon there, as we were on the way out of the animal sanctuary I volunteer at, (and in sanctuary uniform!) and it was being attacked by magpies, we took it back to the sanctuary hoping the people who usually take them home would take it. Unfortunately for various reasons nobody else could take it, so it ended up coming home with me where we put it in a guineapig cage and fed it through a syringe. No-one thought it would survive the night.

    Two and a half weeks later it is eating bird seed, and whatever it finds on the lawn when we let it out each day. It's not going to be long now before it flies away for good... It can fly down from the back of the bench, top of swings, the tree we sat it in etc. but can't quite take off from the ground yet. It has also been de-flead and de-mited pretty soon after we got it, using cage bird spray we had left over from pet birds. It looks so different from the scraggly chick in the road less then 3 weeks ago.

  • First bat sighting last night,they always seem to be solitary despite wildlife programmes showing hordes of them together.

  • Bats in the UK are usually on their own when you see them or in a very loose knit groups. They do live together in colonies in all sorts of places.

    I think a Sparrowhawk has discovered my garden - there was a mad scurrying of pigdeons and other small birds yesterday and when I looke d up there it was fliying past. No casualties yet!

    More Frogs seen in garden, there a re a couple by the shed under the rotten timbers.

    We have a clever mouse at work too - popped up out the toaster the other day, been seen in the cupboards and heading behind the AGA. Its mates have been rehomed but this one is trap shy!

    Anyway, happy nature watching!


  • A young bluetit was perched on one of my window ledges this afternoon and I was able to get within about 12 inches of it with the camera but its close-focusing abilities werent really up to the task of taking what would have been a nice shot,the robins chaffinches and blackbirds seem to have disappeared in the last fortnight maybe the sparrowhawk has scared them off!-oh and the cat that lurks near the feeder doesnt help I suppose!!

  • Baby blue tits are very curious!

    Had a very startled blackbird do a ciruit of the lounge yesterday when a sparrowhawk swooped at the bird table. I wondered what on earth it was, I think both of us were supprised.

    Still unearthing frogs in the garden. Not much else at the mo.

    I need to install a budleija bush to attract the fluts next year, and a honeysuckle for the front garden to attaract insects and moths.

    My garden seems a bit sterile at the mo. Any one got any spare worms?


  • A swarm of bees has attatched itself to the doorway of one of our ""satellite"" buildings at work so we paid it a 5am visit this morning and,thankfully,at that time of morning there was not much activity-but it was still interesting,we were wondering why they would attatch themselves in a ""busy"" area instead of the safety of the relatively nearby woods??-maybe they are dim????!!-we had an idea for a documentary called ""Johnathon Dimbleby,s Dim BumbleBees"" (it sounded a lot funnier at that sleep-deprived hour!!)

  • Bee update: a local bee-keeper safely removed the swarm-I just assumed they would get rentokil in ,so a win-win!

  • Hello Bluejam,

    Glad the bees were rescued! Perhaps they were attracted to the radiation??

    with honey bees every effort is usually made to rehome them rather than destroy them, bee keepers are often on the look out for a spare swarm. Also pest control peeps will often have bee contacts to take them off their hands. After all they are a very usefull insect! food crops would probably suffer severely if bees became endangered.

    There is a book advertised in The Guardian today that looks interesting....

    A world Without Bees, by Alison Benjamin & Brian McCallum

    Guardian books, I htink.

    still got mt little frog in the garden and the swifts screem around most days.

    Oh and there is a hedgehog poo right by my new honeysuckle!


  • If I am not wrong (like that never happens??!!) there is a film out at the moment based on the ideas in that book,I think its one of M Night Shamalayan,s films (director of The Sixth Sense).

  • Our local Focus DIY store has an outside garden section which I was browsing this afternoon and on the ""Ivy Borealis"" display was a sign stating that if you wanted one of the plants you should seek a member of staff as a bird was nesting among the plants and they were trying not to disturb it-clever ploy I thought to stop people nabbing the plants,but just as I was about to go,I spotted the nest-blackbird sitting there staring at me-didnt seem too disturbed,the sales assistant said it had been there for a while-I suppose the way the plants are arranged,it does look like a hedgerow of sorts!!

  • I have noticed nest boxes on display being squatted in at garden centres too! LOL!

    Anyone for fleas? The 3rd batch has hatched! Yeeeuuuck! Though I think they are getting fewer now. Only found 4 bouncing!

    I am not having the flea man back because I itched & reacted more to the flea spray than the actual fleas. I am using a bit of shop brought spray when I see them then run away quick and leave the house!

    BTW Fleas were in residence when I moved to my new home 3 months ago!

    Birds are happier now I have got some more bird food for them - they didn't seem to like cold potato......................


  • Hedgehogswe have little hedgehogs living in our garden they've been around for years , they always come out about 9/9.30 at night ! i have no idea wat to feed them on any ideas cos they look so weak and tiny. yes they are the most gorgous animal in our garden but pufh they stink our garden out some times . ah that nature lol xx

  • Hedgehogswe have little hedgehogs living in our garden they've been around for years , they always come out about 9/9.30 at night ! i have no idea wat to feed them on any ideas cos they look so weak and tiny. yes they are the most gorgous animal in our garden but pufh they stink our garden out some times . ah that nature lol xx

  • Glad you have hedgehogs in your garden - they are probably this years babies!

    Feeding them - they do a very good job of eating slugs and snails so don't use any harmful slug pellets in your garden. Don't feed them bread and milk - it will give them the squits and tummy ache too. Best thing to feed them is cat food but not the fishy varieties. Also provide a bowl of water for them too.

    A nice dark corner left untouched in the garden and lots of leaves in autumn will provide them with a nice place to snooze away the winter when it comes.

    I have only noticed them smell when I have picked them up. The poo smells of linseed apparently ...........

    Hope this helps you and your hogs!


  • Frog rescue

    One of the frogs in my garden managed to hop into a large plastic bowl of water (I have containers by the shed at the mo to catch the rainwater until if fit a rain water butt!) The bowl was quite full due to the rain and there was a frog floating / half heartedly swimming around in it, unable to get out due to the steep plastic sides.

    Poor think looked at me as if saying 'get me out of here!' It must have been tired as it didn't wriggle as I picked it up out the water and plonked it on the patio.

    It sat & looked at me for a bit the wriggled off behind the bowls!

    I have installed lumps of concrete & bricks in the bowls now so they can at least climb out onto something with grip and hop out.


    ........... gribbit!

  • ...Gribbit ????

    oh,I see.....apologies Kate ,just got up off night shift!!

  • Found said frog on the back door step last night as I went to close the back door!

    Found another frog today under a lump of concrete!

    I think when I get my mini pond installed I will be getting baby frogs next year !

    Hop,, hop ... hop!


  • Where has my family of Blue Tits gone??-a few days ago ,there was anything up to 7 of them ""buzzing"" around the feeder but the last 2 days,I havent spotted any-have they moved to a more productive feeding site??-

  • They have probaly dispersed off elsewhere - this always happens with bluetits, don't worry, they will be back later on in the year!


    PS - frog IN shed - evicted said frog & blocked up the hole, well hole needed mending because I don't really want rats in there. There have been mice in the shed though..............


  • Forgot to mention....

    On Monday at work when having lunch outside on the picnic tables, we can see straight into one of the large barns. I noticed something flapping .... there were four young barn owls stretching their wings and flapping around the beams!

    Very cute! I think is was so hot in there as they had popped out their owl box during the day.

  • re-appearance of some Blue Tits yesterday plus a chaffinch and a ""new"" Robin and an Owl hooting in the trees last night-curiously,while sweeping around our walkway yesterday swept up about 8 bones of varying sizes-1.5-3 inches,remains of a sparrowhawks meals ??

  • So that's where all of our birds have gone. All headed north, presumably in the hope of cooling down a bit. Just one lonely robin in the the bird bath today (first I have seen for weeks), and one rather tubby pigeon - a regular visitor who has suddenly decided to take the weight of his feet when having a drink from the very same bowl. He now drops down to his belly and looks very comfy.


  • Found: One brother. discovered scavenging for food in the bins today. This specie of male is quite commonly found in front of the playstation eating crisps.

    My family aren't wierd, honest

  • I've got a peanut/seed double feeder which hangs on a washing line near bushes. The seeds go in a week with a combination of Blue, Coal, Green and Great Tits, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Bullfinches, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Starlings feeding all day long.

    I am also getting a young Jay coming into feed on scraps I put out. For a Jay, it is remarkably trusting and will eat within 20 feet of where I'm sitting.

  • Theres been a whole host of insect activity in our garden while its been hot especially around our veggies. Sat giving widge her bottle yesterday watching the bees pollinate my courgettes and cucumbers. Also saw couple of cabbage white butterflies fluttering around garden.

    The birds have been out too... Our cheeky robin is still around eating all the strawberries off the plants but maybe thats what

    makes his feathers so red!

    Sadly all we saw today were a couple of bedraggled pigeons and magpies looking very sorry for themselves!

    Oh well roll on the sunshine (she says hopefully!!)

  • A rather tired looking bat joined us at 3 in the morning at work-every so often ,one of them will get ""lost"" in the hoistwells that we use to bring Uranium flasks into the building and then I think the general weirdness of the place unsettles them-we went to get a box for it to release it but it had gone-hope its safe !

  • Hellooo!

    Midge - your garden sounds a hive of activity!

    Gorn - carry on feeing! I love the small coal tits - not many here in Essex.

    Bluejam - Bats - You need a Licence to handle them unless they are sick or injured - contact Cumbria WT for more advice if the bat returns.

    Be aware that if you pick one up - use thick gloves!

    Cabbage white caterpillars! They are busy gnashing their way through my Nasturtians! I have relocated some of them to the compost bin but yesterday it was carnage out there! So, I have resorted to organic caterpillar marmaliser spray! There are hundreds of them and my poor nasturtians are looking very skeletal! Don't worry, there will still be plenty of them left! I just need a bird that eats them!


  • slugs and snails

    out in the garden is slug and snail heaven 4 my 3 yr old he thinks snails r the next best thing 2 chips.if he finds them he has 2 make sure all the baby ones have mummies and all the mummy ones have daddies.etc.once a boy stamped cruelly on a pet nail[has my little chap calls them]and my little man screamed the place down 4 wot seemed like hours.he was heart please dont hurt pet snails they have has much right 2 live has any other creature in the garden.thanks mum 2 a very big snail lover.

  • LOL!

    I don't squish snails, just relocate them into the wheelie bin!

    Better not tell him about a hedgehogs diet!

    So nice to hear of children playing with animals in the garden!

    You can tell him that snails make dotted slime trails as they have to pul their shells with them and slugs make continuous slime trails as the just slime along.

    You can also try popping a snail and a slug onto a smooth piece of clear plastic (Older people can use glass sheets) such as an empty pop bottle and watch their undersides work!


    Anyone want any caterpillars??

    Oh boy are they itchy!

  • Eek have also discovered a major cabbage white catapillar infestation on my nasturtiums today... little blighters! Why dont they ever eat the weeds?!

    Alys thought they were very cool thou and spent ages just staring at them - she's never seen catapillars before... what it is to be 11months old!

  • Spotted next door but ones rabbit having escaped its lead( yes normally its on a chain in the garden) in next doors garden heading our way - poor thing don't think it's realised we've got ferrets........

  • A license to handle a bat??-last time we just ""captured"" it in a box and took it outside to release it-seemed ok to me-but I know one did bite someone about 10 years ago so we were careful !

  • Yes! you need a Licence from 'Natural England' which can be obtained after a specific training course - you can contact Cumbria WT or your local Bat group for more info.

    The following animals need licences before you can handle them, live trap, and or disturb their habitats.

    Dormice, Great Crested Newts, Water Voles ( just got full protection!) some shrews, smooth snakes, otters, naterjack toads etc.

    You may find you have a bat roost on the premises!! If you have you will need specific permissions to do any work in the vicinity!!

    This is know to cause some angst among planners and sometimes bat roosts are destroyed because of the red tape that may occur!

    How did you manage to get the bat in a box? I assume it was tired and you managed to pick it up.

    Kate - who holds a dormouse licence! But never seen one! LOL! I need it to poke around in their boxes!

  • The bat had been fluttering about in the building for about 24 hours so it probably was exhausted-we just put the upside down box over it and gently manuevered the top ""flaps until it was enclosed ,then took it outside and released it-from a practical point of view it was the only way to get it out.

  • Not a lot going on in the veggie patch out back at the mo - just one lonely fieldmouse stealing the rabbit food out of Mr Bunny's bowl this morning and our ever present cheeky robin!

    Mind u did spy one small grubby looking thing eating her way through my basil plant and waddling throu the sweetcorn with her recently discovered legs and brand new pink shoes!

  • 1336, 12 Aug, had a Greater Spotted Woodpecker on feeder. As they are very rare garden visitors, I had to check with binoculars and tried to get photo, but, it flew off before I could get a decent shot.

  • Strange insect crawling up the wall last night-it looked like a cross between an ant and a spider-more like a spiders size though-with reddish body and legs-I dont recall seeing one before so I took it outside carefully in case it was a mad poisonous ""foreign"" one.


    -are you that old ,GF???????

  • Reading the Indy yesterday,there was a story of a penguin from Edinburgh zoo which had been adopted as a regimental mascot by someone from the Norwegian army (didnt give details of species or why it had been dopted) and ,apparantly, has now been given a knighthood by the Norwegian government!!

    -unless it was Norways equivalent of April Fools Day of course!

    -if it was a King Penguin ,will it now be Sir King??????

  • It was a King Penguin - Saw it somewhere..................

    Saw lots of Red Kites over the M40 on Saturday when driving home from the KA holiday!


  • Nils Olav is his name. He is a King Penguin and has been promoted to the rank of Honourable Regimental Sergeant Major - the first bird to hold the rank in the Norwegian Army.

    For more, including the history, whch goes back to 1961, see:-

    The article does not say how he salutes, though.

    Oh - the birds are starting to come back to London after their hols (up North?). The little ones have come back first - waiting for some of the bigger ones to reappear. It must be getting a bit cooler here.


  • A Friend of mine told me the other day she saw a frog jump up and catch a bat and start to eat it .is that possible?

  • A Bat eating frog???????? I don't think so!

    There are some tropical Bats that may skim off fish and frogs from the water though but nothing big enough in this country that will eat a bat!


  • Was it a CRICKET?

    Cricket. Bat. Oh dear. Sorry. Please excuse me. That was even worse than one of BJs. Time to take my pills, I will go now. Birds hiding again today - I'd better go and look for them.


  • Ooooh,I love a challenge:

    A man was stung by a Bee yesterday;

    scroll down please

    -It charged him £10 for a jar of honey!!!

    vaguely Nature-related?

  • I can see it is a hive of activity.

    Back to reality.

    There is a fox who visits my garden every evening and spends a fair time but I just wish it did not leave its calling card so often. It is a beautiful creature, not mangy like a lot of town foxes. I think it lives on the golf course which is only 400 metres away and has a very large copse.

  • My garden and our two & half acre field are slowly becoming a NO go zone for birds as I am sorry to say that... We seem to be the owners of the fastest bird catching Border Collie pup in the world ( I had never heard of such a thing but my 18 week old puppy seems to have it in for the feathered wild life) he has brought three still fluttering birds into the house in the last six weeks... none thankfully in the last week but he has come very close a few times.

    Any suggestions?... (please be nice)

    only wish he would do the same to the midges... now that would be something !



  • Very Large Cow Bell or a bib??

    A bit of aversion therapy perhaps?



  • Thanks Kate... we have put two metal tags (with his info on the collar) which I think is why he is finding it more difficult to sneak up on them... however he is a POUNCER ie: more cat than dog (leaping gazelles have nothing on him)... but will consider cow bell when he gets bigger !

    Hugs from the Orkneys


  • LOL hence Dog Tags!

    Just seen the end of a wildlife programme on BBC 2 about Bats eating frogs in Panama! Still no frogs eating bats though..................

  • I found three different caterpillars on one of the plants in the back yard today. I thought it was a bit late for caterpillars, but obviously not. How lovely that there are going to be beautiful flutterbies fluttering from my back yard :o)

  • talk about cat and mouse

    in the bathroom yesterday washing my hair,i looked up because a reflection of something outside on the windowsill caught my eye.after a second glance i realised it was a little brown mouse scurrying along the i watched for a couple of secs .all of a sudden i saw a bird fly at it and a piercing screech from the mouse so i flung open the window only to see a bird no bigger than the mouse itself fly off with it in its beak.wot do u think to that then!!!!more believeable than a bat eating frog hey???

  • I don't know of any birds of prey in this country that are mouse sized!!

    Perhaps it was a rat & a sparrowhawk???

    Any more description of said mouse - eating bird??

    I am not sure that mice walk along window sills in broad daylight, a rat perhaps may??


  • Our ""local"" cat has taken to lurking around the bird feeder all day,causing the birds to keep away: does anyone know of a good way to discourage it without resorting to violence??

  • a water pistol should do the trick.cats hate water.

  • More Batty Adventures

    Another bat paid a social visit into our changerooms at work yesterday-it was hilarious watching people dodging it in the corridors as if it was a rabid Rotweiler!-we managed to coax it back outside through the subtle ploy of opening doors for it which it seemed to recognise was better than fluttering about in corridors for hours-a Supervisor on another shift said he had seen quite a few of them a couple of days ago-maybe they like us!!

  • Rub the juice from a lemon onto the stake of the bird table or sprinkle on the grass (the lemon that is). Cats have a very keen sense of smell and generally avoid anything citrus.

    I have wild pole cats in my garden. Maybe I could loan you some. Cats don't go too near them either, but they only come out at night, so probably not that much use heh.

  • Just getting my bird table ready for winter. To solve the tree rat problem (aka squirrels) I am putting a chicken type mesh around, large enough mesh to allow birds through but not tree rats

  • My birds have been stuffing their beaks all summer!

    Orange peel is also supposed to repel cats... I find a large pump action water pistol very effective....................

    Polecats sound fun! We have heard of sightings on the Herts / Essex border - they are making a comeback.

  • Spent yesterday at London Zoo trying out my new camera. The highlight of the day was seeing a particular little mangabey monkey, by the name of Conchita, with her mum and dad. Conchita was hand-reared as mum was far too poorly to look after her new born. Conchita has now been re-united, very successfully with Lucky and Bella, the parents. Seeing them all united in one family group was fantastic.

    Conchita is the star of her own TV series which has been following her progress. Anyone who is interested can see the series at:-



  • Just had my five minutes of calm, my friend Harry Hedgehog has just paid a visit to my garden this evening. Hopefully he is doing his job and getting rid of those pesky slugs in my garden.

  • Not seen my hog yet, just his droppings...................

  • Our Building at work is home to lots of Harlequin Ladybirds!!!

    Eeeeek! They were crawling out the window frames.

    Harlequins are an introduced ladybird and are a potential threat to our lovely native ones.

    You can ID them by flipping them over - they have brown legs and underside and are also rounder and larger than our ladybirds. They eat our ladybirds when they have polished off all the aphids.

    Let me know if you find any & I will dig out a web link!


  • Got Harlequins at home too!

    Oh, and Bluejam, I had my very own little bat whizzing around outside my front door last night, probably a pipistrelle.

  • Kate what are Harlequins? Haven't seen the hog but we often have a bat flying around outside our home too!


  • What type of bat are we likely to see up here Kate?-the last week or so ,they seem to have disappeared-cooler weather??

  • Saw ""our"" Red Squirrel this morning , scurrying through the leaves on its way up into the top area of the park-first time I have seen one for about 2 years,they dont seem to venture among the dog walkers -grey squirrels dont seem to mind humans at all.

  • Thought there were only red squirrels in parts of Scotland and on the Isle of Wight. Oh well they say you learn something new every day!

  • Just been to the Falklands for 18 days, penguins, Albatross, Elephant seals, dolphins, orca etc ,,,,

    Anyway, Harlequin ladybirds are slightly larger than the UK ladybirds and have various patterns. They were introduced to the UK and are a pest as they eat our ladybirds!

    Bats, Umm, not sure, if very tiny, pippestrelles, but best check with Cumbria WT for guidance on the species in your area.

    Red squirrels - Found on the Isle of White, Brownsea Island ( Dorset I think?) Thetford Forrest in Norfolk, Anglesey in North Wales, Cumbria, Northumberland and Scotland - basically anywhere that doesn't have the grubby Greys as they pass on the Squirrel pox to the reds which they can't fight off.


  • Thanks Kate for information on Harlequin Ladybirds, interesting, no nature sightings to report on today, haven't been out, but been watching Wildlife ER on five, so next best thing. The baby badger brought back some lovely memories of my first hols in Cornwall.

    What a fab experience on the falklands, green with envy here.

    Look forward to reading about your time on the island prehaps in future posts.

    Thanks Katina

  • Counted 8 Blue Tits at the ""restaurant"" at one point yesterday-the local cat doesnt like rain so they were ""filling their boots"" !!

  • Talking of blue tits and little birdies right now I wish I was in Trebah Garden of Dreams in Cornwall. The little birdies there are so friendly, last summer we shared our tea with them at the outside resturant tables. That memory was the best part of this holiday. Oh I wish I was there now.

  • Got blue tits and a robin attending the bird table.

    Today I saw, Water voles close up - very cute, Harvest mice close up - very dinky, Wolves, Wild boars, badgers, beavers, wild cats, pole cats, roe deer etc. Well it was all at WildWood in Kent!! Work outing to see watervoles breeding project.



  • Had lots of blue tits & black birds in the garden on the feeders and long tailed tits in the trees in the front of the house!

    ............Please don't forget to feed the dickie birds!!!.................

    Mine had a handfull of freeze dried mealworms lobbed out the bedroom window this AM to go with the nuts & seeds!


  • Red Squirrel was lurking again in the lower part of the upper park (if that doesnt sound Double Dutch)-was wondering if it has been uprooted from its normal haunt by the Parks Dept ,s annual tree pruning efforts??

  • Pheasant at work yesterday (not literally) and a barn owl swooping over the traffic on the way home at night-probably off for a pint??!

  • Lots of long tailed tits around still and the chaffinches too!

    Must get out at work this week and see what is lurking in the esturary!


  • A Magpie was lurking near the ""restaurant"" this morning but so was the cat so it didnt have a nibble-I reckon a magpie would see off a cat.

  • 3 long-tailed tits paid a short visit today,its the first time I ,ve seen some for about 5 years!

  • Got bags of them here!

    Love them, they are like feathery lollypops!

  • Youve not been eating them again Kate???

  • Meow???

  • Is it your version of a ""bush tucker"" trial ??

  • LOL,

    No, the feathers get stuck between my teeth.

    Mum is waiting for her redwings & fieldfares to return as she has a cotoneaster bush with some lovely red berries... but alas not cold enough yet.

  • Our local parkies hve hacked all our nearby bushes down to the ground except a rather spiky leaved evergreen with little bright yellow flowers-only seems to flower in Winter -and the Bluetits are always nibbling the yellow flowers.

  • Have a Green Woodpecker, at this moment, in the garden pecking at the lawn. They do search for ant hills in winter in this manner

  • Our solitary red squirrel is getting brave,it was right up to the back of our flats rummaging among the remnants of the bushes this morning-will red squirrels take nuts left out for them or are they too wary??

  • Yes, red squirrels will take nuts!

  • kate (or anyone else knowledgable)

    Where do said red squirrels live!?

    I only ever see the mean grey ones tho they are very cute still!!

    Just wondered what wildlife was about near me in south yorkshire. Thankyou kat Xxxx

  • Red squirrels - are native and endangered and have been pushed out by the grotty grey invaders.

    Red squirrels are found in Scotland, Lake district, Northumberland, a small bit of forest nr Liverpool, Thetford forest in Norfolk, Isle of Wight and Brownsea Island in Dorset (?)

    Wildlife in South Yorks. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust web site


  • Mumbai muddle

    At the height of the recent Mumbai incident,the dyslexic SAS were parachuted into the area and successfully released all the ostriches !

  • After about 3 days of visits,the ""feathered lollipops"" seem to have disappeared but our red squirrel is paying more visits to the bushes right outside my patio windows so Ive left some nuts for him/her.

  • Red Squirrel update: there are now TWO of them and they are even scuttling around on the patio itself-trouble is ,they wont keep still long enough to get a picture !!

  • thought id share the fact that there are 2 (possibly more though im not sure) badgers that live in a set in the greenland on my culdesac! They're beautiful creatures but they aint half grumpy!! Also get lots of foxes and hedgehogs too as im up near the countryside! Ive not seen any robins this year tho anyone else seen any of santas little spies this year? Xxx

  • We have a ""regular"" Robin which is with us year round:I can tell its the same one as it has a white ""stripe"" on its wing-hes a bit of a bully though !!

  • Yesterday, I popped around to a neighbours and on our communal path found a hedgehog eating regurated cat food. Knowing that hedgehogs are nocturnal, was very concerned. Unfortunately was unable to get in contact with any local hedgehog groups so talked my husband into driving me and hedgehog down the motorway to our nearest wildlife hospital. Hedgehog who was quite cold also was made comfortable on a cardboard box with shredded paper, one of the dogs fleecy blankets and a hot water bottle. By the time we reached our destination hedgehog was looking alot better and had become quite lively. Hedgehog had slightly dicky tummy and is now receiving a course of antibiotics, and hopefully now has a fighting chance. I have been given a reference number and shall be able to check on its progress over the coming days. I am a bit of a softy, and this is the second hedgehog, I have tried to help in the past 3 months. Some people might think it is just a hedgehog, there are plenty about and so don't bother. I am no expert on these creatures but I read an article recently in a local magazine about these little guys having a tough time and need our help. I couldn't have left this little chap/lass, my conscious wouldn't let me. And I am glad that my lovely hubby is daft enough to give into my nutty ways to help yet another creature in need.

  • Made some lovely blue peter fairy bird cakes yesterday!

    Melted a block of beef dripping (Lard works as well but smells worse!) added stale crushed oat cakes, large handfull or currants, liquidised peanuts (bird ones) and enough scoops of bird seed to make it fairly solid. Scooped into cake paper cases, alowed to cool.

    Popped ome om the bird table and one in the fat ball feeder.

    Blue tits are lovin' it!!



    PS Katina, how is the hedgehog? I used to traips dowt to the local vets on a regular basis with poorly hedgehogs etc years ago!

  • Hello Kate

    Sadly little hedgehog, had to be put to sleep, sad yes but at least its passing was a peaceful one, as opposed to a drawn out dehydrated one.

    Over the years I have been involved with animal rescue, and whilst I am still a softly, understand that you can't save every creature. I just have a much more balanced view of everything now.

    My favourite wild creature has to be the badger, and have been lucky enough to have since them around their setts. It looks like at present many of our Herefordshire ones have been saved from culling, thank heavens. Where do you stand on this issue Kate M?

  • Hi Katina,

    poor hog.

    Regarding Badgers and bTB, I don't aprove of any culling of badgers. There has been no proven link of badgers passing bTB to cows. There was a scientific project that provided suplements to both badgers & cows and the TB went down.

    Anyway, Badgers were there before the cows and the cows probably passed the TB to the badgers.

    PS do you do voluntary work for Hereford WT???


  • I used to work in reception for them, and because of my office background have done some paid work collating data and putting it onto Subscriber for them a few years ago. At present I just deliver their newsletters several times a year. I gave up doing alot of voluntary work for them because I was also studying in higher education at the time, I over did it, and GP said that one of them had to go.

    Confess that these days would rather be out and about with Lottie Dog in the countryside that couped up in doors.

    Recommend the following book on badgers, ""Cold Moon"" by Aeron Clements. Its a sort of Watership Down of the badger world. There was to be a sequel but sadly Aeron Clements died before he could write it, the illustrations were done by his wife and they are beautiful. It might be out of print, but I seen copies in my local charity shops quite often if you are interested Kate M.

  • KAtina, hape PMed you!

    For some living spaces YouTube fun... Click here!!

  • A bit of fun Kate, but with a serious message!

  • Dried mealworm: my assortment of feathered friends dont seem keen at all ?-pourqoi ??

  • Found the same, not too keen on dried mealworms. Trying to defeat the squirrels is a constant battle, they are resorceful buggers. I have hung feeders on the washing line, and have had to resort to putting netting on the post and line, and greasing the line to stop the blighters.

  • Dried mealworms, try soaking them in warm water to reconstitute them!

    Squirrels.... greasy washing lines do work but try not to do it 40 ft up! LOL

    very sad squirrel!!

  • Just put carcase of Partridge out on this bitter morn, still only 2c at midday.

    It is being devoured by starlings.

  • Your starlings eating in style then Gorn Fishing.

  • Happy Starlings!

    Anyone seen any Waxwings? they are about gobbling up berries.

    Seen a fieldfare and a Redwing.

    Oh and Mums feaders this PM had a few long tailed tits on them!



  • Kate: tried re-hydrating the meal worms and they seem to be disappearing but I am still not seeing the birds gulping them down -is it possible something else is scoffing them????

  • sneeky robin???

  • Yup,have spotted both Robins and Blackbirds eating them !

  • Anyone seen 'Ducks on Ice'? Very funny!

  • Only on the telly, feel sorry for them.

  • In the last week i have seen loads of Long Tailed Tits, a gold finch, 2 dead shrews (bit frozen & stiff!) and sparrow central in the Garden.

    Oh and Mum has seen a seal in the river Blackwater nr the estuary! It is a young one and looks cute so most likely a common seal!

  • Havent seen our squirrels for a fortnight,hope the cold snap hasnt ""claimed"" them-weve had visits from a pied wagtail (so I was told) and a magpie ,they dont usually venture this close -I have also seen one or two at work-dont remember ever seeing magpies when I was young (ahem).

  • RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch


    The Big Garden Birdwatch is happening this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

    All you need to do is watch the birds in your garden for one hour on either day and note each species seen and the most seen at any one time (Not the total of each species because the same bird may pop in a few times)

    This survey has been going for 30 years!

    Entice the feathered friends in with a feeder or two!

    It can be all done from the comfort of your home - all you need to do is get a survey form from the webby site and you can submit the data on line!

    Happy birding!



    PS BJ, your squirrels are probably tucked up somewhere cosy and warm if they have any sence!!

  • Saw two grey squirrels today in our local park, I know not everyone likes them, I find them quite cute. Lottie Dog had fun chasing them up trees, though not a chance in hell of catching them.

  • RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch

    got a total of 38 birds from 14 different species

  • My garden watch was going much better than last year when hardly any birds ""appeared"" but was then spoiled by the local moggy camping under the bird feeder-but I did get to see a Jay for the first time for 20 years or so !

  • Blackbird 2

    Bluetit 1

    Collared dove 2

    Dunnock 1

    Great tit 1

    House sparrows 6

    Robin 1

    starlings 6

    BJ couldn't you have moved the moggy?

    Jays are very pretty, I see lots but not in the garden.

  • Probably a bit of a ""cheat"" on the Jay front,but as my patio windows overlook the park,I class that as my garden and,after all,isnt the whole of nature our garden ???

    (adopts David Attenborough hushed tones........)

    the cat simply does a lap around the flats and takes up position again so its easier to let it get bored than to continually move it on.-oh,alright i,m lazy !!

  • BJ, do you want to borrow my air rifle?

  • No thanks GF,cant say I hate cats -not my fave pet though.

  • Three Long Tailed tits on the Fat Balls today!

    Plus squabbling starings scoffing the meal worms, Blackbirds, blue tits and sparrows galore in the garden.... Fieldfares in the field just down the path.... and two snow penguins!!!

  • Snow penguins ????

    -D,oh !-just remembered the weather !!!

    no chance of any snow penguins on the Cumbrian coast,we dont have a drop of snow !-at least not at ground level!

  • I've got through 4 kilos of bird food in a week. The most I've seen feeding at one time is 37 from eight different species.

  • Wow! That is impressive!

    Do you have shares in a bird food company?

    Keep up the good work!


  • No sign of any Daffodils in the park yet-they arent buried under snow since we have had virtually none !

  • Nature Watch

    Foxes arguing outside my front door. Magpies shrieking in the hedges.

    Sounded like an episode of Midsomer Murders. LOL

  • My daffodils are around 15cm high in the front garden and there are signs of buds...

    Granny Mo! LOL! animals do like to howl at night.

    Birds tweeting their beaks off at 6 am today............

    Not seen the long tailed tits today...........

  • Saw a very pretty yellow bird yesterday, looked very like a wagtail, but yellow. College seems to be popular with birds - while walking to Asda for lunch on Friday I spotted starlings, seagulls, pigeons, ring-necked doves, wagtails, sparrows and a robin!

  • Yellow Wagtail!!!

  • I have a pair of long tailed tits being very interested in on of my nest boxes.

  • Nature Watch

    I can remember watching long tailed tits in my parent's garden.

    One winter, they had snow buntings. Sometimes a deer.

    Today, I watched a blackbird on our fence. Yellow beak aglow. Hedge sparrows and one solitary seagull.

    The birds perch on our back fence and wonder what happened to the school where they used to nest. Demolished over the last few weeks to make way for new health centre. This new building will have an eco-friendly roof of sedum. A green undisturbed habitat for birds and insects.

  • I watched lots of little starlings gather in IKEA's carpark. Enchanting to see their feathers sparkle like sequins in the sunshine through the rain.

    Saw a beautiful double rainbow on way home. Very strong colours.

  • Anyone know a friendly way to rid my house of pidgeons. They had taken over a nearby derelict loft, but now it's roof has been fixed they have taken over my windowledges and eaves, I'm sick of clearing up their droppings from my car, my ledges, my drive etc. Any ideas?

  • Stop that pigeon!

    This might help.

    I particularly like the last line of question 15.

  • jay

    when i hospital visiting my nan a jay flew and landed right outside her window. My grandad says they're rare.

  • A bit late, but in the sunshine on Sunday afternoon I watched 4 Comma Butterflies chasing each other around my mother in law's garden. And on the same day my husband spotted a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in Breinton Woods. Sadly I didn't get the same opportunity Asthma deprived me of this sighting, but at least hubby told me all about it.

  • I see a Jay in my garden at least twice a week. They are not that rare, just a beautiful, but reclusive woodland bird. 18 Starlings all at one time in the garden this morning. I've got three suet feeders, four fat balls, three seed feeders, a bird table and seeds scattered on shed hard stand, plus two evil scum ultasonic (cat) scarer's

  • Little grey squirrel running up the drive today. Pair of Wood Pigeons billing and cooing on the rooftop. Cawing of rooks in the trees. Many golden daffodils by the roadside. Spring is here.

  • Spider galloping along a shelf at eye level towards us. Turned tail and ran away as I reached for something to catch it in.

  • Bumper feed day today,a rare visit from some long tailed lollipops (thanks Kate),one Robin actually feeding another one instead of trying to knock its head off!,the return of Chaffinches,and blackbirds a plenty scoffing the apple I chucked out -Spring is here!

  • Noisy Oystercatchers returned to ""work"" at the weekend and I collided with this seasons first bumblebee !

  • My day started very badly, and so to improve things my husband and I decided to take a 3 hour drive to Tenby, Pembrokeshire!

    The visit to beach usually is just seeing the many empty shells, but today, we saw an abundance of live starfish, one small sea snail and one large sea snail!

    This evening was spent trying to coax Harry Hedgehog that he couldn't go his usual direction because we have erected a closed board fence! In the end Harry Hedgehog was scooped up and put on slight detour so that he could get back onto his usual route. Have some lovely photos now of Harry Hedgehog and tomorrow some alterations shall have to be made for Harry Hedgehog's needs!

  • We used, for a couple of years, meat trays from the supermarket as trays for water for birds etc in the garden. All the birds and other visiting animals seemed to appreciate the service – particularly the blackbirds and robins, for whom they were precisely the right size for a fabulous wash and scrub up every day. This invariably made so much mess and was so energetic that the “bath” had to be refilled often 3 times a day. We had to replace them every so often when they cracked and they blew around in the wind when empty or nearly empty, but it was good recycling. The birds had fun splashing about and we got pleasure watching them all.

    Well, we thought we would give them a fantastic treat and went out and bought a brand new, all sparkling, shiny, big, purpose-made, ceramic bird bath. It was wider than the previous models and had sloping sides so that all different size birds could use it, not just those who already used the facility. We put this out in the garden for about 6 weeks and, lo and behold, they all shunned it. We did not see one bird use it. Not even next doors cat stopped by for a lick of water. Not a drop moved. Rejected. Totally shunned.

    So, about 3 weeks ago, away to the garage went the purpose-made, shiny, new, ceramic one and out came another plastic meat tray form the supermarket. You know what has happened now, don’t you? Yes – they are all back, the tray has to be refilled at least 3 times a day. The blackbirds and the robins are all clean again. The other birds are all using it again because they can actually grip the rim and get their beaks in the water or are big enough to reach over the rim.

    So much for making a special effort. We thought we were doing them a favour buying the new permanent bird bath, one that would not blow away in the wind when empty, one that would not crack, but it seems not. I do hope the supermarket doesn’t stop using them.


  • There suddenly seem to be a lot of pheasants in the fields or ambling across the road. Where have they all been up till now? I see them in autumn and early spring. Where do they go in-between times is a mystery.

  • Pheasants.... tis spring and the boys are after the girls! LOL!

    Alan, Mum had a bird bath for Christmas and similar happened - not a tweet in there! She at first enticed them in with some food, no water and then popped a bowl in there. I think they like it now.

    Not seem much wildlife but all the trees and plants have grown soooo much since I was last outside properly! Spring has definately sprung!!!


  • Out for a walk with granddaughter, she pointed out some ducks had green faces. Three years old come Aug,, she found this incredibly funny and gigglesome. Seemed to think they'd been at the face paints.

    Ducks in question by the way were Mallards.

  • I was out for a trundle in the electric wheelchair the other day when I saw a couple of people taking two ferrets for a walk!

  • Alterations to garden fence haven't been done, but no matter as Harry Hedgehog still seems to be trundling in and out of garden no probs. Been a lovely few days for nature experiences, last Friday got to handle a couple of grass snakes and 2 female Common Lizards and 1 Male Common Lizard. Saturday was spent walking Lottie Bott, Jazzie and Tilly Dogs and admiring a beautiful crop of White and Snakehead Fritterilaries on the Lugg Flats, Herefordshire.

  • Wow Lizzards! Tis the weather for basking lizzrds - nice & warm.

    I had orange tips, Red admiral and large white butterflies in the garden yesterday and the leaf cutter bees and mining Bees are busy buzzing round my bee box. I was going to replace it as it it ltterally falling apart but the bees are busy exploring it allready.

    Oh and the frog is still lurking under the shed waiting for the pond to be dug! LOL


  • Very small yellow slug. He was so cute.

    BeckyG, We took our rabbits out for walks on small cat harness and lead.

    I do miss having rabbits.

  • It is the cute small yellowy ones that do the most damage to your lettuces! LOL

    Lots of starlings in garden though I think one of them flew into the lounge in the back door - a bird dropped it's payload in the middle of the floor! Yuck!

    Have now put the bead curtain back up!

    lots of blue tits & great tits around too!


  • Jackdaws strutting their stuff.

  • Sparrows, starlings, blue tits , great tits, All in the garden .... looking at an almost empty seed feeder. Nut feeders still half full though and I think there must have been bugs disturbed by mowing this AM (Someone else did it!) as lots of activity on the lawn.

    Not seen frog recently............

  • Little woodlouse on the bathroom window. Kept sliding back down the frame.

    I helped him gain freedom by placing outside on the sill.

  • The return of one of the red squirrels the other day,darted up the trees like it was magnetized to them !

  • Yay! Red squirrels!

    Had a pair of goldfinches in the garden yesterday. The last week or so have had baby starlings beging for food from Mum. They look very cute in the daisies on lawn.

    Had some hoverflies in the house, a specific species that is expanding its range due to warmer weather.



    Meant to post this yesterday!

    Springwatch on BBC 1 is back again for another season fo fun and frolicks from the natural world!

    One special feature is the Essex Badgers. I have visited this Sett and the badgers there are fab! They are wild but used to Humans. Don is a great character too!

    Pitty there was only one badger on the live broadcast..... I have photos with 5 badgers in the frame! I amsure Gordon will get some good live footage of more badgers by the end of the series!

    Keep your eyes peeled!

    It is great to have Chris Packham on board too! A refreshing change from Bill Oddie!

    Happy wildlife watching - I have to contend with sparrows, baby starlings, dasies and a sparrowhawk at the mo.


  • Sorry to disagree Kate ,but all that oily flirting with the Humble was a bit much,and as for that excuse to put his hand on her leg ???!!!

    (not at all jealous Bluejam )

  • Lazy young Blackbirds with heaps of mealworms right in front of them still expecting mummy and daddy to shove them down their beaks !

  • Hundreds of little woodlouses all scuttling away as the garden was strimmed.

    PS I know the plural is woodlice but that sounds so scratchy and horrible.

  • Rather perturbed yesterday afternoon to see a young blackbird clatter into my window three times in quick succession-I can only assume the reflections were confusing it so I thought it was better for it if I actually chased it away before it did itself some harm.

  • A Wood Pigeon spent 10 minutes trying to negotiate the bird feeder but only managed to keep falling off !!

  • You should have seen on trying to perch on my nut feeder - much flapping of wings!

  • I read in the metro this morning, that they're attatching a camera to an eagle to see what a bird sees as it flies. It looks quite cool. They're going to show it on BBC apparently

  • Little dolphin happily swimming to and fro, just off the shore at Scourie. Watched for ages until he headed back out towards the sea. Ahh..

  • Oooh, little dolphins! Wow! We get a few porpoises in Essex.

    Eagles with cameras.... has been done before - but fantastic views though.

    Saw a heron fly over the other day and there was a Sparrowhawk above the garden earlier.

    Bit wet out there today.


  • Bit wet our way too, today. Even the jackdaws sound huffy.

  • Just googled to identify small animal seen on holiday.

    Apparently we have been very lucky to see a pine martin in the daytime.

  • I managed to step on a rabbit last night at work as I was doing an outside job-dont know who was more scared (yes I do)-it was ok I think,well it shot off ""at pace

  • LOL! Done a similar thing with a frog ... and I had bare feet!

  • I totally agree with taking time out to watch nature, it is so calming and I think it is very good for the soul! Last month, my dad and I went to a local lake and spent a couple of hours watching dragonflies and damselflies. They came so close up to us that we even managed to get very close-up photos of them. I really recommend getting outside with nature if you are able. You won`t regret it!!

  • Are wasps nocturnal ?-I have had a few occassions this week where a wasp has dragged its buzzing carcass through the small gap in the window at nighttime when I have switched on the bedroom light-almost moth-like in behaviour ??!!

  • I had another nocturnal wasp visit last night-it went straight for the light and ""sat"" there so I was easily able to catch it in a jar and release it- but again,I am a bit puzzled as to the ""moth-like"" behaviour-is it one of these insects that isnt actually a wasp but has a mimic appearance?????

  • May be a volucella sp of hoverfly! Does it look more fly shaped that wasp shaped?

  • No,it does look more ""elongated"" than a fly shape but slightly smaller than ""usual"" wasps (this may be a subjective judgement though)

  • Ladybirds, ladybirds, ladybirds....


    Anyone experiencing the ladybird explosion?

    If so, which county?

    I have seen a few extras around but not loads yet in Essex!

    Happy ladybird spotting.

    BJ - not sure what your critter is now! Small wasp?

  • No ladybirds but loads of little hoverflies (look like tiny wasps without the waist) on the forget-me-nots and hairy bitter cress.

  • Meteor shower?

    Stood outside last night. Saw two meteors. Rushed in to tell husband. He came out and.....nothing.....

    There were a few microscopically thin tracks but too quickly vanishing to be certain.

  • The return of the bats-2 paid us a visit at work on Friday night-they probably think its some kind of cave-no doubt we will ""see"" them again this Autumn !

  • I’ve had a bit of time out just lately to watch the garden. This morning at six am saw the largest, most fat (and most juicy looking it has to be said) wood pigeon ever preparing for a bath in the newly filled fountain. He – I think, no I’m sure it was a he, re the amount of time he spent preening himself, missed the obviously multi-tasking blackbird – female, brown - beak full of wriggling worms,( went first to the nest over our back door,) then cheekily jumped the queue within seconds to spare to engage in a short female mild splashing about then back to work. The whole scenario seemed so familiar!

  • Mia, I like your bird analogies! I have a Fat pigeon too who cleans up under the bird table.

    Bluejam, glad the bats are back!

  • Further to my post on disappointing meteor shower. Following night, daughter drove us to road over the hills. Parked up, opened sunroof, we settled back comfortably to survey the heavens.

    Good viewing. Several very clear meteors, worthy of a Hollywood film. Plus lots of little sparkly falling stars almost like fireflies.

  • Snails

    Out in garden between showers today. Granddaughter wanted me to catch and insect in our collecting jar. This is something I bought years ago when her mummy was three, from the Early Learning Centre. Its a clear plastic tub with a push-on magnifying plastic lid.

    We found a beautiful yellow and black snail. All watched fascinated as the snail slowly emerged. Little bit of toe coming out first and then the feelers. Eventually the whole foot could be seen as the snail walked along the side of the pot. I think Grannie and her mum were the more fascinated as, by this time, the wee one was away playing at jumping.

    As we went to take off the lid to release the snail, noticed a baby snail on the edge - about the size of two pin heads with the beginnings of a soft shell. Beautiful already.

  • kate - i have hardly seen any lady birds this year (i no we in same area) so i dont reckon we have this outburst of them

    yesterday morning i woke up to a rather loud buzzing, i gathered i was just the bee that passes my window at seven every morning but it got louder and louder, i got scared incase it had come in my room so i shot out of bed (v.v.v. bad idea) to find it on the inside of my window , took a photo to show my bee mad friend and carefull tried to help it out . took a while but ended up ok .

  • Brave you, lil tinx.

    My younger daughter would not only have jumped out of bed, she'd have jumped into her car. She is so scared of bees and wasps, we can't even mention them by their initials.

  • Nice to see people looking at the minibeasts!

    Snails are nice, bees are very nice.

    Slugs, I think my neighbours are using slug pellets! There is a large black very dead slug in the garden. Poor thing has left a slime trail from the fence!

    Leaf cutting bees have found the new bee box at last!


  • Visiting garden centre in the depths of Ayrshire today, found they were having a wildlife weekend with various organisations in attendance. Including the Ayr & District Beekeepers Association who were giving advice on keeping bees. A lot of folk showing an interest.

  • Very tiny snail

    Very little snail - about two millimeters long and with feelers standing tall. Discovered crawling around in the bag of apples from my friend's garden. Those apples are size of a Granny Smith. How he didn't get squashed on the journey home when all the apples fell out the bag and rolled back and forth across the boot floor, I will never know.

  • A tiny wee Wren has started following the blue tits around at the feeder picking up the scraps,the blackbirds,which only a few weeks ago were gobbling everything in sight,seem to have disappeared.

  • I went out to enjoy the lovely weather yesterday, and took some photos of the moment between summer and autumn:

  • Got really brave last night and ventured out to the bottom of my garden to fill the bird feeders - and met a badger doing his/her rounds. It wasn't afraid, stopped about a metre away to give me the once over, then waddled off slowly on its way. I know that the sett is in a neighbours garden and I've heard badgers before - I do hope that we meet again! :oD

  • Felix's Wonderful Photos...

    I've just spent the best half hour of my time in ages looking at Felix's gallery, , an experience definitely not to be missed!

    Beautiful photographs!

  • spider

    Spider in the bath,didn't go near it,was tempted turn the taps on but felt cruel to do that,so left it,hoping it will be gone later.


  • Re: spider

    Lift the poor little thing out of the bath, it can't climb the sides itself. If your frightened to touch it, catch it in the plastic top off a spray can.

    Remember that that spider helps you by eating the mites which trigger asthma, and they make nice pets - I've got two very tame ones, they regularly get stuck in the bath and now run onto my hand when I go to help them out. :o)

  • Just been distracted by one of those huge house spiders hurtling across the carpet-never kill em these days (old softie)

  • Hello Spider lovers! There are quite an abundance of them this year!

    Thanks for being nice to them!

    I went badger watching last night - we saw 10 plus all at once , noisily scoffing peanuts!

    Fantastic evening, but a bit chilly getting back to the cars!


  • Lucky you, Kate. I've never ever seen a badger. Spiders, I love them. Fascinating creatures.

    I've been spending time searching for the slug that leaves a silver trail on our kitchen carpet. We've pulled out and lifted cupboards/washing machine/dishwasher and...nothing. Completely clean underneath and completely dry on the floor too. Beginning to wonder if its not slug trails but ectoplasm and we should be calling in Ghostbusters.

  • Try a light srprinkling of salt on the carpet one night.... It may finish him off or you may see where he stops and then trace the slime back to his hidehole.

    (I use 'him' as in him / her hermaphrodite!)

  • Second hand Nature Report

    Hubby last night thought he could hear someone removing stickers off my newly supplied wheelie bin, turning the outside light on thinking who ever was messing about would do a runner. Noise continued so hubby being brave, as me preferring the comfort of our warm bed (it's just after midnight by the way) decides to go out and investigate, so protected from the cold in his fluffy dressing gown but no slippers and just bare feet he steps out into the cold night and finds Mr or maybe Miss Hedgehog removing a tea bag (yes I know I should compost) from a bin bag we had recently put out, hubby still feeling brave gets down at Mr/Miss Hedgehog's level and says hello, hedgehog looks up realising he/she has been rumbled and disappears at top speed across our front garden under the hedge. For years we had been blaming the late Jazz our neighbour's cat who was very fond of bin bags for the damaged bin bags when he also had an a partner in crime. So to the late Jazz a big SORRY!

  • Granny Mo, you must find out if you can go somewhere local on an arranged Badger Watch, okay you can see rhinos on safari in Africa but a Badger Watch is just magical. Beats watching a soap opera any day.

  • PS

    There is also a frog in the garden, rain bathing this evening and I have also left out some apple & raisins to entice the hedgehog who is leaving very large poos on the lawn!

    'Show yourself hog! I know you are out there! LOL'

  • We,ve had a reappearance of moles (or rather,their molehills)on our patio walkway this week-dont know how they survive ,we have regular patrols from about 4 cats and the park outside has at least 2 owls knocking about at this time of year (very noisily I might add !!)

  • Slug watch

    No badger watches in vicinity. Will look up web next time going south.

    Meanwhile, on slug-watch -

    Slug Web-pages suggest we spray the area with dettox to discourage slugs and reckon coming up side of our pipes around which there is a sizeable hole in the floor - for ventilation so cannot fill in, worse luck.

    Removed kick boards from cupboards for clearer view, put light off in kitchen, cats out the way, and just kept nipping back and forth with torch. 11pm - rewarded with sight of leopard spotted slug on edge of carpet - very like the first and only one, we had a few weeks ago and which I'd removed to the front garden.

    Taking no chances on a quick return this time, slid him onto lifter for cat litter - shaped like small tennis raquet - carried outside and around the back of the house and thus out of sight of any watching neighbours, gave a wave of the 'raquet' that Wimbledon would've been proud of. Slug easily detached from the lifter and sailed off into the air and way over a couple of gardens.

    NB Should similar slug appear again, will drip vegetable dye onto his back to see if it is indeed same slug with a homing instinct for my kitchen.

  • Sad occasion

    Interring friend's pet mouse tonight. Quieter part of garden where we have quite a pets cemetery from over the years. 5 rabbits - Tricxsie, Tango, Kookie, Perky, Thumper; our first cat - Ginnie; 8 goldfish - Goldie and Splashy, Goldie II and Splashy II, Goldie III and Splashy III, Swimmy, Mercutio. Over the years we've become quite adept at altering boxes to fit and know how deep a hole. Always buried with opening underneath and always buried deep. Vets advice.

    Grave marked with a scallop shell and cranesbill geraniums allowed to grow back over.

  • RIP mousie!

  • We seem to have got a friendly squirrel that enjoys playing in the pebbles in our garden. It is so cute to watch but can be annoying when i have to go out and sweep pebbles back to where they belong and also get rid of any droppings. Still is nice to see the squirrel. Also saw a robin sat on washing line the other day.

    Noticed that the garden is getting ready for its annual tidy ready for winter. (job for next week weather permitting)

  • Snail migration

    Having to step ever so carefully these dark nights, as all the snails from the back garden appear to have migrated to the path at the front.

  • Driving last night. Amused to see a young fox using zebra crossing to cross the road.

  • Before the deluge hit us the other week,I was quite surprised to see bumblebees still ""hanging around"" on the bushes outside-in mid -November??

  • Yes, I did see bumbles around in November too! Mainly queens looking for a place to hibernate.

    I assume they are all tucked up in their hibernaculums now.

  • Rare Woodpecker visit to the ""restaurant"" yesterday;there always used to one or two knocking about ,but they seem to have been ""replaced"" by magpies-any coincidence??

  • Fox barking late at night. Scary sound. Think I've watched too many Midsomer Murders.

  • Little fox running quickly as the snow began to send down great big flakes.

  • Beautiful clear rainbow. A perfect narrow arch.

  • a red admiral butterfly (i think!!) indoors at our guitar tutors house last week!

  • Must be in hibernation, though if house v warm they will wake up and flap around for a bit!

    I had three male blackbirds arguing in my front garden over a lone female blackbird! Spring is in the air!

    Found female blackbird lurking in a bush later on...... hiding!

  • A beautiful Barn Owl flew across the road on the way to work today.

    50 or so Chaffinches around the feeder at work

    Fantastic brilliant pink sunset on the drive home....

  • RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch!

    Don't forget this weekend to top up the feeders and count those birds for the RSPB.

    Can be done from the comfort of your own home too!

    Go to the website for instructions, a recording card and submit your results too!

    Have fun!


  • Found a slimy slug trail on our kitchen carpet. Almost perfect 5-inch circle. No sign of a slug trail leading off to show where the beastie came from or where it is now. Puzzling.

  • That slug is still elusive.

    Meanwhile, I watched a mummy blackbird sitting on the fence.

  • Found an Ant on the floor and my cat sat following it with its eyes then pounced.

    will put powder down if find any more. x

  • sasha my little jack russell, despite previously trying to catch wasps and bees and getting stung, still does it while out in the garden yesterday.

  • Pesky Slug

    Caught its trail in torchlight the other night.Waited and yes, it came slithering back a wee while later at edge of kitchen. Usually we'd simply fire from cat litter scoop into the garden but I've just learned slugs have a homing instinct and follow their previous trail and since its come back into the kitchen twice before, this time we had a plan B.

    Plan B - placed it in a very small plastic container (for which I lost the lid simply years ago but never quite got around to throwing out).

    Into the car, where I held container while DH zoomed to somewhere quiet about two miles away and where long ago we buried two dead goldfish in a tiny hole (took a trowel) cos no garden to bury them in at the time. Every so often when I saw his feelers appear, I tapped the side of the container to make him retract and stop thinking of climbing out.

    Reaching our destination, I put the container down on its side on the grass to let him/her slither out. Then it was home again to block up what turned out to be the entry site. Sorted!

  • Seen few ants outside my window so if I see any

    getting inside as they sometimes do ,will get out the ant powder or boiled water.

    sorry ants but your a pest x

  • How do you tell a Weasel from a Stoat????

    -One is weasilly recognised while the other is Stoatally different!!

  • Ha ha. Glad to have you back bluejam.

  • a Woodpecker paid several visits to the cafe this afternoon-dont usually see any in our lower section of the park-one of my neighbours has installed a state of the art feeding station which makes mine look like a greasy spoon cafe to their Marco Pierre White michelin star restaurant-this means war !!

  • Hello BJ again!

    Stoats have a black tip to their tails, Remember by 'StoaT..Tail'

    Weasles not black tip....

    Have lots of starlings & sparrows in my garden, blackbirds, blue tits, robins.... not seen the frog yet, and I installed a pond for it! Birds using it as a bird bath!


  • Time to plant pennyroyal and tansy. Ant activity on garden wall. Its strange, we used to only see ants and magpies on holiday in North of England.

  • Magpies are a lot more common in West Cumbria these days-cant ever recall seeing any when I were ""a lad"" (peers into Time Machine......)

  • went for a walk early this morning, wonderful through the woods, saw the blue bells mixed with ferns just little bit higher not open yet, and 6 deer casually grazing and a couple of squirrels in the trees.

    Bluejam, think you may have my magpies, Phew. damn things are not wanted and end up being terminated.

  • Will birds be feeding young uns at the moment ?as my food block is disappearing quickly this week-mainly blackbirds,but a good smattering of robins,chaffinches and blue tits with the woodpecker still making some visits.

  • Yup! Tis baby bird season out there! Keep feeding the birds please! I helps the adults especially as they can get access to good food, gives them more energy to find wiggly things for the babies.

    Seeds OK - Use proper seed feeders

    Nuts, OK as long as they are in metal mesh feeders (don't use the cheap red nets, they either burst or birds can get feet stuck.

    Fat balls & blocks OK too! (Please remove the silly green meshes on them too and place in a round cage thing.

    ... and if you are not squeamish, get some live meal worms! Yummm!


    Been watching baby geese on a tern raft this PM.

  • Dr Who - should consider a Scottish midge as the next monster..

    For some inexplicable reason, we have an attack of midges. Having to sit here in my living room with midge repellant applied. Wee beggars keep landing on my laptop screen.

    Its really strange cos midges swarm after rain and its been really dry for most of this year. Going to have to log off soon as this is almost impossible to sit up with. Thank goodness, the bedroom door is closed in the evening and windows are never open in there.

    Cats going mad trying to follow the midges flight. Like a game of 360 degree tennis.

  • House martins have returned to the nest under our eaves.

  • A great hospital twitch!

    When in hospital over w/e, ward was on 1st Floor by trees!

    Gazed out window to see very close, perched on a small branch a Male Kestrel! Fab yellow claws etc!

    Now that is one for the 'Bed tick list'!

  • When you're not expecting it, the screech of a fox is a terrifying sound. The occasional bark of a night is fine but this!

  • the upside to asthma waking me up in the night

    In the last month, when I have been awake in the middle of the night, I have twice seen a fox trotting past my front gate (between 2.45 am and 3.15am) and last night at 5.30am I saw a young hedgehog looking for food in my front garden :)

    I have told one of my neighbours about the fox, as she has cats that she sometimes lets out at night-time.

  • we have foxes on a field close to home and at night it sounds like mini dogs barking. it doesnt bother me but some neighbours complain.

    re-the watch nature- i stood for ages yesterday watching a beautiful robin on the tree in my back garden. it was so sweet

  • The other night I was awake because my asthma was causing me problems and I saw a hedgehog in my garden eating when it finished it went to my stream and had a drink.

    I spent ages watching the hedgehog, I was thrilled to see such a lovely animal in my garden, I now put out hedgehog food for it, over the next few night I saw five hedgehogs come into my garden.

  • jay, I feed the birds in my back garden and spend ages watching them feed and like

    you I love it when the robins come to feed :)

    I don`t know how close to me the foxes den is but I can`t say that I have heard them.

    asthmagirl, aw - now I want a stream too lol

    I have put a planter saucer down for them and the voles to drink out of

    yes hedgehogs are so sweet to watch :)

  • Please remember to feed the birds during the snow if you can!

    Nuts, fat balls, seed etc also, dried hard cheese, bacon rind, cooled fat from cooking your roast, cold spuds, raisins. But nothing with salt in or anything that could swell when wet.

    Bread - OK ish but not the best, empty calories!

    Water too!

    Seen quite abit of bird activity the last couple of days.

    Had a woodcock ( bit like a big snipe!) in the road when driving to work yesterday.

    Buzzard, Waxwings! (woo hoo at last!) gold finches, chaffinches, bluetits, starlings and sparrows..........

    Oh and put out hedgehog food but not bread & milk as it gives them the squits!



  • just had a lovely clear backed bird feeder that sticks to the window. its lovely once the birds get used to movement behind it- i put nuts, seed, apple and fat balls out. try it if you like blue tits and robins x

  • Squeaky thing

    What's the animal or bird that makes a noise like a squeaky dog toy through the night? Like a busy Sauchiehall Street out there some nights. Owls and foxes and goodness knows what else.

  • Yesterday I saw a Damselfly flying around my pond, it was lovely to see it

  • Recently been watching a thrush tugging away (in a most determined manner) at dry grass in the garden - presumably building material for its nest.

  • Resident ladybirds have returned once again from behind the bathroom window to keep us entertained for the Summer. Have been with us for years and have 19 and 21 spots, does this actually mean how old they are? Can a lady bird live that long?

    When gardening with my class last year we found a spotless ladybird, very exciting when you are seven and more so when you are twentyseven!

  • Aw. Love ladybirds.

    4am Blackbird almost directly outside my window started off the dawn chorus. Beautiful.

  • sparrows having a wash and brush up in our bird bath this morning...they really seem to enjoy starting their sundays in this way.

  • Ladybirds


    My favourite beetles! Spots do not determine their age, they determine what species of ladybird they are. I don't think they live that long!

    e.g. Seven-spot ladybirs , two-spot ladybird (three different forms) there are 10 spot, 11, 14 (Yellow & Black), 16 (Black & white), 22 spot (yellow & black), 24 spot, 5 spot, 13 spot!

    There are also other spotted ones too!

    Then there is the Harlequin ladybird ............... introduced job, eats aphids etc, then when it has run out of aphids, it eats our ladybirds! This one is polymorphic - has lots of different colour patterns. Orange & Black, black with red blobs..... all sorts! Often people have 100's of these hibernating in their window frames....... they can become a bit of a pest in the house.

    See this website for Harlequin ladybird info

    Also, Try this site for info on Harlequin ladybirds


    UK Ladybirds........


  • The best time of day for me is just before I go out for my swim, shortly after 6:00 a.m. I look out of the window and see loads of blackbirds and thrushes feeding in the front garden. We occasionally get a woodpecker, too, which is a real treat.

  • Didn't seem possible for a ladybird to live so long but i never say never when it comes to Mother Nature! What it does suggest is that I can't count!

  • Went walkies along a former railway line that bordered the River Wye, saw two stunning electric blue dragon flies ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. There are no words to truly describe how beautiful they were, and how privileged I feel to see them.

  • This afternoon I enjoyed watching a Starling feed its two chicks in my garden

  • Saw something really unusual. We sometimes see a woodpecker on one of our trees and digging in the lawn - but this afternoon I saw one on the patio fence creeping towards the hanging bird feeder (peanuts) and then flying onto the bird feeder. It was very nervous and kept looking all around before it had a few quick pecks and then flew off. Has anyone else ever seen this? The area we live in is full of trees so not surprising to have woodpeckers around, but thought they were too shy to venture near houses.

  • So funny watching our cat inside the window indignantly squeaking at the birds on the bushes outside

  • Woodpeckers are often atracted to gardens

    Green ones grub around in lawns for... grubs

    Spotty ones often frequent nut feeders.

    Nice to have them!


  • Kate - I thought you would know! It came back about an hour later, and stayed pecking at peanuts for several minutes. Enough time for me to get my husband to have a look - he hadnt believed me earlier.

    Checking my bird book it looks like it was a Greater Spotted woodpecker, as you said. We've been feeding birds for years now, and never seen one so close before - really thrilled.

  • Seem to have a fair few mag pies around here at the moment hmmm not a fan as one has taken to edging closer to the guinea pig cage each time it lands time for little pigs to go inside there shed out if harms sight otherwise little one will be distraught if they where to harm them mind u I never thought I'd get so attached to two tiny fury animals I love sitting watching them ! Any one else got magpies ?? X

  • I love to listen to the Dawn Chorus. There is a Blackbird who sings on the roof opposite our flat evey morning. He stays for about 10-15 minutes then flies off to be replaced a few minutes later by a couple of Wood Pigeons who coo away for ages. This happens every day without fail.

    My family and I are cat lovers which is handy as where we live seems to be the cat capital of the South East. There at least a dozen different felines who roam around our estate and they are all very friendly and approachable and no trouble at all apart from the odd fight during the night.

    I find watching animals to be very theraputic and relaxing.


  • Had ladybird land on me yesterday it was so tiny.

    My mother in law said they are lucky and put it on her.

    Made sure it was put back in a safe place on grass xxx

  • The woodpecker still comes to our bird feeder - if that wasnt exciting enough husband and I got another big surprise last night. We went for a walk about 8pm and walking through the local grave yard we were amazed to see a badger run past us (about 5 yards away) at full pelt. It disappeared into undergrowth. Neither of us have ever seen a badger in the flesh before let alone running. We had no idea they could move so fast or that they came out during the evening.

  • pigeons and dove taking a bath in the puddle that has collected at the bottom of my drive! They are loving it...wonder if they are using radox or badedas? :)

  • I used to live in the country and saw relatively little wildlife but after a move into the town I found slow worms in the garden, foxes (of course), hedgehogs and stoats. I suppose it's because there is less space for them in town so you're more likely to spot them.

    Honey, my granddaughter refers to pigeons as 'Ratbirds' because my son HATES them. He is a baker and the shop he used to work in was in the middle of St. Albans where lots of pigeons used to congregate. It wasn't unusual in the summer for pigeons to fly in through the door of the shop and do what pigeons do all over the bread and cakes. There was a well rehearsed routine whereby the shop staff would cover everything with clean tea towels while shouting for my son, who would emerge from the bakery with a (dirty) tea towel and stalk said pigeon all round the shop until he could corner it, drop the tea towel over it so he could pick it up, and evict it. It cost them a fortune in tea towels because every one that was used to evict a pigeon was then thrown away.

    I also dislike them because I used to run the property help desk for a chain of ladies fashion shops and pigeons used to cause no end of mess where they used to roost above the doors and poo all over the pavement making it slippery and dangerous and costing a fortune to clean up.

  • nasty pigeons!

    I don't really like birds at all...just a bit flappy for my liking.

    Today the wildlife near me has taken cover...pouring with rain.

  • It's not the pigeons fault! We created the ideal environment and they are opportunists!

  • Was listening to the dawn chorus at about 3.30 this morning. Second time in two weeks - last time was on way out of OOH GP at 4am on bank holiday Monday. We have a lot of enthusiastic birds outside our house!

  • Was listening to the dawn chorus at about 3.30 this morning. Second time in two weeks - last time was on way out of OOH GP at 4am on bank holiday Monday. We have a lot of enthusiastic birds outside our house!

  • I love this thread!!

    My little side hobby is to look out for bees and ladybirds. Today I counted 7 bees in my back garden but I have to admit, I haven't seen a ladybird this year.

    The tits, finches and blackbirds have snaffled my strawberries, the slugs have obliterated the sweet peas but fortunately, the ants are harvesting the aphids so my apple and cherry trees are ok. The only thing left to eat is the rhubarb!!

    I've had visits from Mrs. Fox and her family, lots of hedgehogs and dozens of frogs on their trek to streams and ponds. One of the most amazing sights was when I witnessed a flock of blackbirds, as they fought off two magpies trying to steal their young and/or eggs.

    There is always something going on in the back garden!

  • Felt something tickling my hand today at Ayr beach. Looked down and it was wee ladybird. Let it crawl off my hand onto the promenade wall.

    Lots of foxes around our way. Some of them are terribly thin. Your heart goes out to them.

  • Edit: Posted twice. New laptop.

  • Spider in my bath waiting for a laugh! Huby can move it or going down the plug hole!

  • Had a jay on our bird feeder today! Am worried the bird feeder will break!

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