Saturday, 23 July 2011

Big-mouth fox!

The vixen appears to have elastic jaws. No matter how much food is in her bowl, she manages to scoop up the lot in one go and carry it off to her cubs.

All four cubs are doing well. They are just over half her size now and soon she will be chucking them out of the den and forcing them to fend for themselves. I wonder if any of them will fight her for the very well supplied territory of our garden? It's been hers for the last year, so I should think she'd win.

Hungry hedgehog

Spying a vague shadow in the darkness, I picked up my camera from the kitchen table, swiftly switched it on and into zoom and flash mode, and this is what it was. A hedgehog raiding the fox's bowl. A very well fed-looking hedgehog, too. In fact, one could truly call it a hedgepig!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Comma butterfly

I snapped this beauty just as it settled on the garden bench. What a wonderful colour and shape. You can clearly see how it got its name.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Stag at bay

Hearing a commotion in the kitchen, much banging and crashing, I rushed in to find next door's cat had caught a huge male stag beetle and dragged it in through the cat flap. She was busy batting it about the floor with her paw when I rescued it in the dust pan, took a photo, then released it outside in the shrubbery where, after a few dazed 'where am I?' moments, it took flight and soared off presumably in search of a mate.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cool Cat and the Cubs

The cubs fought, squabbled and played all around Flad yesterday. One of them galloped right up to him, frisked around, ran away and came back, trying to entice him into a game of chase. But Flad is so used to them now that he didn't so much as twitch a whisker.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A troublesome flock

There is a large flock of starlings in the area. I have seen them on the school playing fields in their dozens and I assume they roost in the trees that line the fields. Once every day, though, a group of 40 or more decide to visit our garden. They descend like feathery locusts and strip everything they can see, from fruit trees to feeders. The smaller, less bolshy birds don't stand a chance in the face of such an invasion. Though this morning, a group of sparrows actually mobbed a lone starling trying to cling to one of the fat ball feeders.

In small groups they are an amusing spectacle, like a troupe of squabblesome, strutting clowns. The pake coloured, gawky adolescents still flutter their wings and hope mum will save them the trouble of looking for their own food. Here is a shot of just one small section of the invading horde, taken three or four days ago. They say starlings are in decline in Britain. Not round here!