A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Thursday, 27 March 2014
Marsh Lane NR, Garden Moths and another plea for help for Badgers
B was on holiday last Monday so I finally persuaded him to take advantage of the joint membership and visit Marsh Lane. The weather was dry but cold with a biting wind.
We walked to the most distant hide - Railway Hide initially. The next three photos show 3 views from the hide of Railway Pool - the last photo has Sidden Hill Wood in the distance.
Green Woodpecker, Shelduck, Redshank, Snipe and a pair of Dabchick were among the highlights of the visit. It was fascinating to watch pairs of Shovelers in courtship display with the male and female circling each other round and round.
I got a slightly better, though still very brief glimpse of the mystery mammals seen on the last trip by Oak Hide. In fact I saw two disappearing rapidly down holes under some tree roots next to the feeding station. Feeders are probably the best clue to their identity and I am 99.9% sure having seen the head of one that they are in fact rats.
It was nice to see dandelions starting to flower.
Brian caught a glimpse of an unidentified butterfly by Oak Hide missed by me as I was too busy looking to see if the rats would re-emerge. Although I did spot one Buff-tailed Bumble Bee.
Three new species were seen for the reserve list
Pied Wagtail (record shot!)
Great Spotted Woodpecker and Stock Dove.
Another record shot this time of Lapwing
I'm fast coming even more to the conclusion that the 70-300mm lens is a waste of time at this reserve - the birds are just too far away. I'm still trying to think of a way of justifying the purchase of a bridge camera because I suspect the bird shots would be better.
Anyway, B enjoyed the reserve even though he's not really that interested in ducks, geese and waders so I suspect when we next go together we'll be visiting Sidden Hill Wood as he finds woodland birds far more interesting!!!!
I've only trapped a few times since the last post on moths mainly because of the colder temperatures and overnight rain. The sessions failed to produce any new species for the year.
Monday 17th March Min temp 5.9
Early Grey x 1
Clouded Drab x1
Wednesday, 19th March Min temp 7.3
Common Quaker x 4
Sunday 23rd March (GMS week 4) Min temp -1.9
Early Grey x 1
Hebrew Character x 1
Clouded Drab x 2
Common Quaker x 1
We are still waiting for DEFRA to publish the IEP report into last year's pilot slaughters and for Paterson to make a decision on whether he is going to roll-out the cull. Although according to one of the Sunday newspapers it appears the slaughters will continue in Somerset and Gloucestershire and may also commence in Dorset which is very sad news.
I know many of you are strongly opposed to the unnecessary, cruel and unscientific slaughters and the Wildlife Trusts have started a campaign where you can send a ready prepared email to David Cameron asking him to drop the cull. It only takes a minute to add a few of your personal details and send. Here's the link - sorry still can't get them to work so please just cut and paste
The Humane Society International also has a ready prepared email to send this time to George Eustice and DEFRA telling him that humaneness matters to you. Not sure how this link will turn out as I have had to copy and paste myself! -its too long to remember!!!
The more emails DC and DEFRA receive about this the more they will realise how unpopular their actions are.
Many thanks :)
Also I was sent a link last weekend to a badger video on you-tube of footage shot by Steve Hawkes of the Warwickshire Badger Group. The video has some lovely footage of cubs and is set to a song written and performed by Shirley Higton - be warned though the music is very moving and heartwrenching and you might need a box of tissues! The badgers are filmed at the sett I was privileged to visit last year.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.