A welcome return

Spring has certainly made a start this past week (I just hope I don’t regret saying that!)

We have a large amount of bird activity in the garden; from birds performing courting demonstrations for members of the opposite sex or collecting nesting material; we have frog spawn in the pond (very much down on previous years due, I’m sure, to the building work on the back; over the past three or four nights the hedgehog has been feeding on the peanuts put out for the fox. The fox itself has been absent with no sightings for almost a week. We have only been putting out the trail camera every other night- but things may change!

On TV last night was a programme about wild life in Yorkshire. Among the creatures featured were a family of badgers. I had also been looking back in my written garden log (nine years old last month!) when I noticed we had not seen a badger since September 2015. This must have been on my mind during the night as I had a dream about badgers. When I brought the camera in this morning I only had chance to look at a few clips. There was a hedgehog and a number of cats. Breakfast called and it was Michele who scanned through more clips and… she saw the badger was back! Despite the builders having been working only a few few feet from our beech hedge wild life will not be deterred!

The reason I was reviewing the garden log was to find the last sighting of a black cap, as a female bird had been eating on the side feeder earlier. We have at least two gold crests in the trees about us- never still enough to be photographed (although I do have a good shot of one bird’s bottom!)

 

A little bit of spring.. and motorway madness!

Michele held the first frog of the year on Saturday (while I was watching history being made at Turf Moor!) There have been other sightings since. If other years are anything to go by we will have frog spawn followed by another cold snap- it has been known for Michele to put the spawn in buckets and bring them into the house until the worst of the weather is over!

We have lots of birds depending on our feeders at this time with me topping them up every two days. This morning we had ten-plus gold finches, male and female chaffinch, male bullfinch and the usual mix of sparrows, dunnocks, starlings and blackbirds. We are getting the occasional visit from robins, although very territorial there has been at least three visiting the feeders. Yesterday we had long tail tits, only the two when we have been getting six or more in the raiding parties.

The bulbs are on the way up with the snowdrops flowering.

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We have had regular visits from one of the foxes, I think it is the more nervous, unsure one of the two. Speaking of foxes I’ve written to Lancashire County Council highways department about the barrier on the nearby M65. The central reservation now has a continuous concrete barrier that has no gaps at all. On either side of this are the remains of two foxes presumably trapped when trying to cross the motorway. I have heard nothing back as yet but will continue to push for some gaps that will allow any wildlife a chance to get through.

Hello 2017!

A new year and a new resolve- to keep up the blogging! I know it has been a good while since my last blog but from now on in there will be more posts (sorry!) It isn’t that there has been nothing happening in our little patch of England; the fox has been coming almost nightly, we have bird feeders that have been emptying every other day (all ten of them!) Retirement isn’t the life of leisure that I expected!

One thing I have been meaning to do is do a photo audit of the garden, detailing all the growing things as well as the flying and peanut eating things.

So a little detail.

On the bird front we have the usual flock of goldfinches, what we believe to be the two blue tits that fledged last year, not one but two gold crests and the perennial blackbirds, starlings and robins.

The great and coal tits are here less than they were a few months ago. Of great concern was the absence of greenfinch- until today when a single bird turned up for its lunch.

As I say the fox has been here every night, almost without fail. As you can see in the first video we had a nice surprise on the 5th of December- well have a look! I still have to investigate just how many foxes have been coming, not only this past year but over the years before. I am pleased that the fox continues to visit as the builders are on the back and almost to the back of our hedge. We are going to push for wildlife corridors around our neighbourhood with both builders and new residents. The fact that we have had badgers, foxes and hedgehogs show that mammals are getting about, possibly from the valley below where we live where there are many habitats such animals can thrive.

More to follow!

Cat and Jumper?

Garden up date; lots of young goldfinch continue to feed. Some are getting their scarlet markings. We are only getting the odd young bullfinch, the parents are feeding elswhere!

The fox is coming frequently and is getting more confident.

No badger for a while now.

A single hedgehog is arriving some nights; I thought with the absence of badger more would be coming more often!

Last nights video has neither badger, fox or hedgehog- just a a cat and… well see for yourself!

 

For the benefit of the grammar police- sorry about the lack of apostrophe in the opening title!

ps No sign of any deceased amphibians on the lawn this morning!

 

September 2016- Goldfinch Invasion

Apologies for the long absence but there has been a lot going on which has taken me away from the garden!

Mammal wise we have had no fox or badger for  a while. This must be due to the building work that has started directly behind out beech hedge. We are still getting the hedgehogs, although these we only see one at a time!

The greenfinch and bullfinch appear to be giving us a wide berth (building work again?) But we are getting a host, or rather ‘charm’, of goldfinch! Yesterday, and today, we had upwards of fourteen birds, at least eight of them were juvenile birds. The are easy to spot with the lack of the scarlet head patch.

I know from my written garden log that we had a badger at this time last year so I will keep putting the camera out and fingers crossed…!

Life goes on… Monday 20th June 2016

We were heartened these past two days by the sight of our blu tit mum and two young blue tits! She has been bringing them out of the tree to feed on the fat ball and fat blocks in the garden. Today one of them was flapping its wings until mum came and fed it.

When they fledge the young will stay concealed in nearby trees until they are big enough to feed themselves and also avoid other birds and animals that may take them for food.

So when we thought all was lost and that, despite all her efforts, it looks very much like from the original nine chicks two have made it!

We probably will continue next year after we have been rewarded with such a wonderful sight!

 

 

Two nights ago we had a list from one of our badgers. This is always a pleasure and privilege to see. They are building on the back of us now and so we need to value these visits as next year we may not see them!