Wednesday, 30 March 2011

the garden recently in the sunshine

Once again the garden has been buzzing with life, as it always is in spring. First on the list would be the linnets that returned for morning. we have not seen them since but it is likely they will be back, as they keep spending increasing ammounts of time here ever year and last year they stuck around for about a month. Next it would have to be the frogs. Not only have we got frogs by the bucket-load we now also have frogspawn to go with them. The frogs this year have been significantly lessshowy this year than last year, open a door and they go straight away, so you have to really sneak up on them and even then you only have a few minuets to get the shots before they scarper.

And finally we have had a reed bunting return to the garden which is always a nice sight. This is only the second time we have ever had this type of bird. he stuck around longer than last time, that being about 10 mins rather than 30 seconds. Unfortunatly he decided to stick to the bottom of the garden so I couldnt get a decent picture.

so there has been plenty going on since I last posted, and hopefully it will stay that way!

Sunday, 27 March 2011


heard my first chiffchaff this year whilst playing football before church today. Its the first migrant I have had this year, still no swallows. I had a look for it but it conveniently moved once we had decided which tree it was actually in, so there you go; heard but not seen!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


Yesterday I built a bird hide (to my own design) so that I would be able to get close to the birds in the garden. Today my dad provided a green cover and so I decided to give it a try. The only birds I saw were the local collard doves, who also landed on it after their original visit. The whole frame creaked, and seeing as though its not very well built, I though it might collapses, but it held out. Hopefully, it will be really useful in the future


saw my first butterfly of the year today whilst walking home. It was a peacock, and I don't blame him for being out. Its only march and its about 15 degrees out there.

Was also talking to somebody who reckons that an ostrich is a mammal on the grounds that it cant fly. There are no words!!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

frog update

Last time I posted we had one frog. Now we have about 10 in the bottom pond with 1 in the top pond as well as frogspawn in the latter. Unfortunately they are all really shy and so I have not been able to get any photos. Every time I get close enough to see over the pond lip They all dive for cover.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

we have frogs again

our frogs have returned to the pond this year! or rather frog, because we only have one at the moment. He (or she) has been doing some singing but so far, it remains the only one. Hopefully, more will arrive shortly!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Garden Again-with some special visitors

Got a text from my mum at lunch today, saying that we had two long-tailed tits on the birdfeeder. How annoying, me being trapped at school and there are long tailed tits on the birdfeeder at home. Still Not to worry, I got home and they quickly returned with the same number and I got a few shots, although they were rubbish because of the reflection caused by the sunshine.

They kept coming but the reflection kept getting worse, so I made a decision! At B.O.G a photographer had come in to give a talk and he had explained how every photograph is created, not really natural anymore. So I got a twig and wedged it into the birdfeeder holder, between the bush and the feeder so that the birds would land on it. I then burried myself amongst a rhodedendren and a prickly conifer with a clematis in front of me and waited. It worked pretty well, as they were the first bird to return after they had all been scared away.

They kept fliting about in the bushes, which was annoying becuase I could see them so close but I couldnt do anything about it. Eventually a bird came across and I took a photo. The only problem is that my camera is really loud and it left straight away. Eventually I decided to take lots of photos of bushes so that the birds would not be afraid of the sound. Rather annoyingly though, the birds ignored the stick I had placed and went straight to the feeder.

Still, its great to have these photos in the bag and I can try again next time. Whats great is that by the end there were about 5 birds and they were all around me and I could hear them cheeping from all angles. It was a great experience, despite the uncomfortable conditions. This is a record for the garden, as the only other long tailed tit occurance was a single individual that stuck around for about 5 seconds last year.

its been worth the wait

I have not been posting much this year, and its annoying me. So what better way to than to say that after two years, I have got my fossils back from the Yorkshire Museum in York. There were two of them, and we sent them there for identification, which has taken a while because of refurbishment of the museum, but over half term I got them back. So here are the two specimens:

Fossil A

I am not really sure where I found this one, it just turned up on the shelf one day. I have taken it many places, and the geologist at Oxford casually passed it off a fish tooth, But Stuart, the geologist at york has compared it to the collections there and he has identified it as a small, or juvenile, plesiosaur which is a type of marine reptile that had a long neck and would have swept through shoals of fish picking off individuals.
Fossil B

This on the other hand was found on the isle of wight, after somebody at the dinosaur farm museum told us to look out for these. Everyone we have taken it to had the same idea, and there was no change this time, although Stuart said that it was a piece of pterosaur wing, rather than tooth, as we first believed. We had identified it as pterosaur as soon as we found it, but to have it confirmed was nice.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

woycolle cp again

A beautiful morning, greeted us and so we decided to go to Wycolle country park again, because its very beautiful and decent for wildlife. As soon as we arrived My dad spotted a distant feildfare, only noticable because it was perched on the crest of a hill. However, One feildfare soon became several, with starlings there too, and they were foraging in the grass for bugs. However as I tried to get closer, I spooked them, which is so often the case but at least this can give you an idea of the number of birds that there were. As one group took off other groups joined them unil there was quite a big flock circling above.

Down at the cafe we were joined by a number of blue tits on the feeder that was positioned in the tree next to our table. It allowed me to get some decent shots, which is what I had been wanting.

Then the blue tits were joined by a long tailed tit, which gave me my best photos of this species to date. there was also a goldfinch but it staye on the none visible side of the feeder, giving me only views of its tail feathers.

A wander round the ponds gave us our best surprise of the day. It seemed to get better at every pool. At pool one we spotted a frog, in pool two that became several frogs, and then several frogs and frogspawn. This was our first this year, and really early too, so it was a really nice surprise.

After that there were even more frogs, and much bolder than the others. I managed to get some decent shots, my first this year.

At the last pool we got an even bigger surprise. Not only was there a small clump of frogspawn in one pond, but in the last pond there was absolutely loads. The most I have ever seen at one time, no exageration!

I returned to the frog inhabited pools to get some more photos of rediculasly early frogs in stunning sunshine.

As we wandered past the last pool on the way back to the car, I noticed that the masses of spawn had been joined by a frog (although I somehow doubt that this one frog layed all that spawn!). I took a photo to show the proud dad, with all his offspring!

besides all that we diddnt really see anything, but still a great day.