Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Juvenile Cuckoo

I still find it amazing that this bird, that has been raised by Reed Warblers will soon depart, if it hasn't done so already, for sub-Saharan Africa on a migration that it has never been on before. It knows, somehow that it's a Cuckoo and will go to where the best food and habitat is for Cuckoo's in tropical Africa and then hopefully return in Spring next year in order to start the cycle all over again.

Nature is marvellous, if only we realised it!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Glossy Ibis at Frampton Marsh RSPB

This Glossy Ibis has been present at Frampton for what seems an absolute age now, but I hadn't got around to visiting for one reason and another. The other weekend there was a report of a Lesser Yellowlegs at the site which gave me some impetus to go. The Yellowlegs gave us the run around for a bit, but was duly seen and then I decided to try and photograph the obliging Glossy Ibis. I am afraid that I went a bit mad, taking far too many photos, but digital photography is a marvellous thing enabling me to delete two-thirds of the rubbish, leaving not quite as bad rubbish!

And last, but not least, an obliging juvenile Swallow,

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Hedgehogs in the garden

Just a small selection of the hundreds of photos that I have taken over the past couple of weeks of our visiting Hedgehogs. We regularly have at least 6 individuals coming to our little back garden in Peterborough, I know that there at least 6 because I have seen this number at one time, a great achievement considering the crash in numbers that this little mammal has had over the past ten years, over 300,000 have been lost. Reasons for this are not fully understood, but our fondness for slug pellets have caused a devastating effect as the Hedgehog will eat a poisoned slug or snail and consequently be poisoned itself, leading to an agonising and slow death for the poor creature. Also, as the name suggests, they like hedges, these have been grubbed up all over the place and replaced with fences or walls, leading to impenetrable barriers and stopping the Hedgehog on its nightly forays around the neighbourhood. If you have a fence, make a gap under it for the hog to get under.

Just a small reminder, despite what our parents and grandparents did, don't put out bread and milk for a Hedgehog, they are lactose intolerant, just put out some cat food or make up your own Hedgehog mix like I do with mealworms, sultanas and chopped-up peanuts and put out a tray or shallow container of fresh water for them to drink. They will thank you for it and repay you by keeping your slugs and snails at bay.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Stonechat with lunch

A bird that was pretty common on my recent trip to Ashdown Forest was the Stonechat. Mike and I saw a number of these birds, male (as in the above photo), female and plenty of juveniles. This is a bird that I used to see regularly in the Peterborough area, but their numbers seem to have fallen somewhat and it has been a couple of years since I have seen one locally. It was pleasing to see such good numbers, maybe this year I will be able to add one to my PBC year list, fingers crossed!