Saturday, 27 August 2011

Gatekeeper butterfly

I found this newly hatched beauty warming its wings on the patio doors.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Strange bird?

I got quite a surprise when I saw what I thought was a most unusual bird on the suet ball feeder. It was pale grey with black and white spots and I just couldn't work out what it was so I looked it up in the bird book and found out it was a juvenikle starling. Apparently their heads are the last bit of them to go dark.

Hummingbird robin!

The robin finds it difficult to hang onto the suet ball feeder, so instead he flaps his wings fast enough to keep him stationary in mid-air while he snatches a lump of suet. His wings were positively whirring. If I see him doing it again, I'll try to get a shot that's in focus!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Second brood

The blackbirds have had another family. This afternoon I was down the garden with the rake, knocking some lovely red apples down from the top of the tree, when suddenly I heard piercing squeaks and something brown was writhing about under some ivy at the foot of the tree. It looked like a small brown rat... till I saw that familiar yellow triangle of an open beak. It was a baby blackbird and I'd hit it with a falling apple!

It was making a hell of a din and I could see Chi Mimi, next door's Bengal cat, trotting down the garden to see that the commotion was. The female blackbird was making her alarm calls from a tree, so I scooped up the cat and shut her indoors and consulted my parter about what to do. I didn't know if the bird was injured or not. He went down, looked at it and said it was best to leave it and 'let nature take its course'. Either its mother would get it to safety somehow, as it was still unable to fly, or... Well, there are cats and foxes galore in our garden, not to mention the sparrowhawk.

I watched through the window as the mother blackbird was down in the leaves with the baby. Later, I went down there and there was no sign of adult or youngster. I hope this time the young bird had a lucky escape.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The crow that thinks it's a woodpecker

This juvenile crow keeps jabbing its beak into the ground just like a woodpecker pecking for ants. I wonder if it could be copying the green woodpecker that is often on the lawn? Anyone else seen a crow behave like this before?

Dragonfly rescue

I was standing in the doorway talking to my partner who was out in the garden, when I suddenly heard a weird whirring sound. I looked around the kitchen but couldn't see where it was coming from. Then Mr G saw it. A big green dragonfly which had somehow got down between the back of the cardboard housing the cat bed that Chimi Mimi from next door sleeps in, and the patio doors. It really didn't know which way was up - or out!

We moved the box and it whizzed out of the door. I have scanned the Dragonfly Identification charts but can't decide which species it is. Any ideas?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Hedgehog chat-up

"Now, excuse me, I couldn't help noticing your blue hair. Very attractive, if I may say so. Do you come here often? Mind if I stroke your bristles? Ooh, very soft. Now that we've introduced ourselves, I wonder if you fancy a bit of prickly action?"