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Herman

Nature watch.

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A thread for any interested in the natural world, that has seemed to have thrived during the pandemic.

A few things I have watched.

Our and the neighbour's beech hedges have been decimated by a caterpillar* that I can't find out about. Our hedge was lucky in that it got a visit by starlings who then wiped them out so green shoots are now appearing. (*It was black, hairy with a very dark red/crimson back.)

A male sparrow sits on our drain chirping away all day. It is really annoying and only stops when the Red Kite has a flyover.

Flying ants have just started to emerge. They are in the kitchen which is centrally placed so we can't figure out where they are coming from.

Birds have absolutely thrived at work. I had 4 different nest, 2 robins, 1 wren and a dunnock, in the small greenhouse. Thrushes, blackbirds and partridges have also had a free for all. A pair of albino pigeons have stayed in the sheds making multiple nests. Unfortunately their chick got caught up in the large roller door.😩

 

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Red Kites seem to be really thriving in Norfolk now. I had a spectacular view last week near Fakenham as one dived down fifty yards in front of the car to grab some road kill. 

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7 minutes ago, ricardo said:

Red Kites seem to be really thriving in Norfolk now. I had a spectacular view last week near Fakenham as one dived down fifty yards in front of the car to grab some road kill. 

you'll need to be a bit quicker next time 😝

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Aye, Red Kites are having a good old time. Not getting rid of pigeons though and they are a pain in the neck.

Have the green parrots reached Norfolk?

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Wow. Kites sound cool. All I get round my way are seagulls and pigeons. For a while the world's noisiest owl took up residence in the tree over the road for about 20 minutes each evening but I've not heard it for a while

Quite a few deer and foxes as I'm driving to work tho. More than I used to see for sure. There were two deer wandering down the middle of bracondale the other morning. Scared the life out of them when I wandered out. I doubt they expected to see anyone else at 4.30!

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For the first time in years I've seen Cuckoos (and not the kind who post on here 🤪), on three seperate occasions during the Spring.

Apples

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1 hour ago, ricardo said:

Red Kites seem to be really thriving in Norfolk now. I had a spectacular view last week near Fakenham as one dived down fifty yards in front of the car to grab some road kill. 

There are a pair living at Blickling. You see them soaring as you walk down from the tower towards the small pond. I have spent a lot of time watching them, beautiful way to pass the time, have been amazed by the way the crows chase them off. I guess there is some safety in numbers.

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20 minutes ago, Mr Apples said:

For the first time in years I've seen Cuckoos (and not the kind who post on here 🤪), on three seperate occasions during the Spring.

Apples

I have heard a few more this year but have never ever seen a cuckoo.

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2 hours ago, Herman said:

I have heard a few more this year but have never ever seen a cuckoo.

if you are patient, and sit quietly you will see one

 

 

just wait until the clock strikes the hour

Edited by Bill
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4 hours ago, Herman said:

Aye, Red Kites are having a good old time. Not getting rid of pigeons though and they are a pain in the neck.

Have the green parrots reached Norfolk?

There is a small colony on the western edge of the city.

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2 hours ago, Herman said:

I have heard a few more this year but have never ever seen a cuckoo.

Too late now, they leave at the end of June. If you go to the BTO website there is a Cuckoo tracking project that has been running for several years. They are in France and southern Europe at the moment and usually cross the Sahara in August/Sept. They spend winter in the Congo rainforest.

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3 hours ago, The Raptor said:

Wow. Kites sound cool. All I get round my way are seagulls and pigeons. For a while the world's noisiest owl took up residence in the tree over the road for about 20 minutes each evening but I've not heard it for a while

Quite a few deer and foxes as I'm driving to work tho. More than I used to see for sure. There were two deer wandering down the middle of bracondale the other morning. Scared the life out of them when I wandered out. I doubt they expected to see anyone else at 4.30!

Yes, deer seem to be increasing to plague proportions. We even have some in the Cemetery  on Earlham Road.

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31 minutes ago, ricardo said:

Yes, deer seem to be increasing to plague proportions. We even have some in the Cemetery  on Earlham Road.

they are old dears

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Have had Jackdaws nesting in the bathroom chimney (its a Cornish thing) ever since we moved into the place, 40 years ago.

Sparrow Hawks, various ****, Blackbirds, Robins, Sparrows, Thrushes, Magpies, Wood Pigeons visit back garden virtually every day. Plenty of Buzzards as well. And lots of Tip Chickens seeing as they don't go to sea anymore.

Mammals include Fox, Hedgehog and unfortunately Badgers who make a bleddy mess. And Geckos and Stick Insects.

Up the stables where Mrs KG keeps her horse Eclipse, there are Rabbits, Fox, Deer and House Martins. And there was an Emu once!

Great place for Blackberries as well.

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Took me a while to figure out what tip chickens were.

Got starlings in my roof. I don't want to poison or destroy them but they are a nuisance first thing in the morning.

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I moved to a new place at the end of summer last year, and in the spring I heard a bird call I'd never heard in 25 years in the countryside. I've since managed to catch them on video but nobody I know has any idea what they could be. 

Video is too big to post at the moment so I'm working on cutting it down. They sound similar to the gimmicky 'lolly whistles' that were about when I was younger but more rapid-sounding.   

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18 hours ago, ricardo said:

Yes, deer seem to be increasing to plague proportions. We even have some in the Cemetery  on Earlham Road.

I get daily visits from Muntjac deer in my garden which backs onto a woods. I planted a cherry tree last year and they have rubbed off all.the bark. Had to fence off all the salad vegetables otherwise they would have had them too

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Forgot the Stick Insects. Cornwall is about the only place where they can survive a winter and they love privet hedges. Whether they are related to ones we released into the garden several years ago when our grandchildren became more interested in drinking than nature I don't know but it would be nice if they were.

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On 11/07/2020 at 11:45, Mason 47 said:

I moved to a new place at the end of summer last year, and in the spring I heard a bird call I'd never heard in 25 years in the countryside. I've since managed to catch them on video but nobody I know has any idea what they could be. 

Video is too big to post at the moment so I'm working on cutting it down. They sound similar to the gimmicky 'lolly whistles' that were about when I was younger but more rapid-sounding.   

It'll be interesting to see what they are.

These are the basic bird songs.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-songs/what-bird-is-that/

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22 minutes ago, Rock The Boat said:

Can the bird of one species understand the birdsong of another species?

some are 'multilingual'

though it's more to do with the individual bird than the species

Edited by Bill

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They must be able to understand. The Blackbirds in our garden give out constant warning cheeps for an hour at a time when Mrs Blackbird is feeding the chicks.

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On 10/07/2020 at 15:16, Herman said:

I have heard a few more this year but have never ever seen a cuckoo.

They're quite nice looking birds, on each occasion they flew overhead giving it the full Cuckoo.

We regularly get Ospreys passing by as they nest locally. Fantastic birds!

Apples

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I saw the ospreys on Springwatch, somewhere up in the Scottish Highlands and they were beautiful. They also had some enormous Eagle that is thriving up there. Magnificent. 

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That's the White-Tailed Eagle which was reintroduced a while back (the wingspan can be up to 2.5 metres). Never seen one yet, but have seen a few Golden Eagles out in the hills.

Apples

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On 11/07/2020 at 12:26, Rock The Boat said:

I get daily visits from Muntjac deer in my garden which backs onto a woods. I planted a cherry tree last year and they have rubbed off all.the bark. Had to fence off all the salad vegetables otherwise they would have had them too

It’s not so much the deer but the predators you need to worry about, I was down Suffolk way over the weekend and could hear lions roar when we walked near Kessingland.😉

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14 hours ago, Van wink said:

It’s not so much the deer but the predators you need to worry about, I was down Suffolk way over the weekend and could hear lions roar when we walked near Kessingland.😉

The old Suffolk Savannas have become a reserve. Or League One as its known as.

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Amazing how many birds feast on these ant swarms, I have even seen gulls doing it.

The Swifts are having a good go tonight as well. Will be off to Africa in another 2 or 3 weeks.

Edited by ricardo

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