Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Lone Hornet

Well, here he is, sunbathing on the fence. I thought I was very brave to get so close (about two feet with the little digital camera on full zoom). I must read the manual for my digital SLR as I'm sure that would have taken a better photo.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Mrs Robin and the Lone Hornet

My partner saw Mrs Robin all on her own, feeding a single chick at the bottom of the garden. Wonder if this is the sole survivor, or if they only had one anyway?

The Lone Hornet is back! It drinks from the pond then sits and sunbathes on the fence. I bravely tiptoed close with the camera, but it suddenly took off, whereupon I screamed and rushed indoors, coward that I am! As my partner says, "It's a big lad!" (This pic isn't one of mine. I wouldn't be brave enough to get THAT close!)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Who killed Cock Robin?

I know exactly who. Flad, the cat. I shouted at him and he blinked blankly and dropped the limp bird on the floor. It looked untouched. No marks. Just dead. And now poor Mrs Robin will be sitting on her nest wondering what's happened to her mate and the food. It's heartbreaking.

When I was a kid, our mother trained Cloudy, our huge silver tabby, to kill mice but not birds. He would sit on the lawn with sparrows hopping round him and not make a move. I think it's too late to train Flad, at the age of 12. I wonder what is the biggest threat to birds, cats or lack of a suitable breeding and feeding environment? Probably a combination of both.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Butterfly on my toe

As I was sitting drinking juice and reading a book on the garden bench, a beautiful peacock butterfly chose my bare toe as its perch. I felt its little spiky feet clutch my toe and looked down at its furry body and magnificent wings. If only I'd had the camera with me.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Peacock on lawn

Saw this newly emerged Peacock butterfly drying its wings on the lawn yesterday. Its perfect wings and bright colours made such a contrast to the older, more battered butterflies which were emerging having overwintered in hedges and sheds.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Black swans in Uxbridge

Walking along the towpath beside the Grand Union canal yesterday, I was surprised when a pair of black swans flew over. I had only seen them in Dorset before. Later. they were joined by a second pair. They were obviously nest-building, as they would fly in one direction, then come back with twigs in their beaks. Wonder where their nests might be?