Sunday Safari

I’m a bit late; but I’ve been taking advantage of the actually quite nice day and spent as much time as I could outside. Saturday was also surprisingly nice too, after having been promised a weekend of none-stop rain! I’ve been sat waiting for flutters to arrive, the privet is in bloom and last year attracted various species including Green-veined whites and Skippers.
This year all it’s attracting are Hoverflies. i Haven’t even really seen any Bees on it either. Not a single flutter either, but I have had a Cinnabar hanging around over the past few days and I’m hopeful to see some of its caterpillars on the Ragwort later in the year.

Today I was thrilled to see a flock of juvenile Long-Tailed tits pass through the garden, and then later I noticed a call I didn’t recognise and sure enough it turned out to be juvenile Coal Tits. We used to get the adults in all the time but for the past couple of years we rarely get the adults but I have seen fledglings; it’s a shame I cannot have both!

Over the weekend I was also shocked, and thrilled to see how many baby Ladybirds I have! On the Veronicastrum alone, each head had at least two on it, and then I also saw numerous larvae on the roses and such! I look forward to having loads next year :)
I also found this one, emerging from its chrysalis!

After the LTT visit, I decided to put some fat balls out again (I stopped for a month or so when the Magpies constantly broke them and collected the pieces for their babies) and I’ve just seen quite a flock of Starlings on them! Grrrrrr, I’ll have to get a globe feeder now. Normally the Starlings never come to my garden – never really understood why – and I know from previous experience that I don’t really want them to start because they do bully the smaller birds. Of course I realise they are red list birds but our lot obviously survive just fine gathering their own food and I cannot afford to also feed the starlings when I know those fat balls won’t even last a day with them around.

I also had a Moth sat on the window one day last week… It was quite pretty too, although hardly very disguised!

This Collared Dove also attempted to make friends with me… A bit spooky tbh to have it staring at me as I turned around… Odd, as normally the Collared Doves are the first to fly away if I open the door.

I moved a piece of wood and noticed this Woodlouse… Sadly the mother is probably dead, but amazing to see that they protect their young under their bodies!

And what’s this flying in the sky??

Is it a bird…

Is it a Plane??

It’s a Dalmatian!!!! :)

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

15 thoughts on “Sunday Safari

  1. Happy Sunday Safari,
    You are very busy in your garden even with all the rain!
    I love seeing your birds and bugs….
    Stay dry…send rain….
    Sherry, who dances with butterflies

  2. Hi Liz,

    Some great images…..I love the woodlice image and the beautiful cinnabar moth.

    I have more Starlings this year and to be honest I am so pleased. I havn’t seen any for ages, and it was a relief to see them with the juveniles. They are the bully boys of the bird family….they are noisy….messy but I would not be without them.

    LTT …I have them in the garden at last. They are in the copse. It is great to see them perform acrobats amongst the trees.

    Great safari with some interesting photographs, although the last images freaked me out, until I realised what it was…….I am a bit slow sometimes :)

    • Hi Cheryl,

      The bird shots are record shots only – I’m not close enough to the feeders to get good shots and in general I leave the back of the garden for them to feed in peace.
      I had heard the LTTs near the bus stop, across the road in the wood, so wasn’t surprised to hear them making their way towards my garden. Only, normally they don’t tend to come in unless I have food out for them – not a fan of taking peanuts or sunflower hearts. They do love cake and sponge though, if you have any spare ;)

      Haha, yes it was a balloon… I hope you didn’t actually think it was a flying Dalmatian????1 ;)

    • Hi Donna,

      Only a little bit of sun! Haha, Sat and Sun were OK considering we’d been forecast constant rain and I managed to spend a few hours sat outside on Sunday mainly avoiding the tennis and Tour de France but also to hunt the Butterflies and read a book. Today we’re back to rain again. Great. Might as well be the middle of January.

  3. LTT come for sunflower hearts here and the starlings come and hoover up the mealworms I put out for the blackbirds and robins, they are a pest! Also eating the mealworms now are the great big fat wood pigeons. Coal tits come too, along with nuthatches and Great spotted woodpeckers, they with all their offspring are eating me out of house and home! Thank goodness the dalmation was a balloon, took me a while to realise that there was a string attached!

    • Hi Pauline,

      The LTTs did go for the sunflowers but didn’t hang around for long at all and I find they always seem to prefer the fat balls or especially cake/sponge. But I can definitely empathise with them costing so much! I refuse to go too far because I know it can easily spiral out of control – I’ve seen photos of people with countless feeders, all of them are those huge ones that can seat 20 birds on them… That’s simply mental! As much as I like the birds, catering for 100 Sparrows is tiring me and is verging on the point of being a major problem… After all, how naturally are they surviving? Without me, would these birds die? And I’m concerned about that; I should be feeding to help them in hard times, not being their only source of food…

      Haha, if only I had actually discovered a flying dog…. Now, that’d be a story!

  4. LTT love fat balls. I put a protected feeder out to attract them last autumn, and it was visited all winter, by house sparrows. When the LLT eventually found the feeder, they were chased off by the sparrows.
    Like your photo of the emerging ladybird.
    Glad to hear the dalmation was a balloon. I thought the string was its lead.

    • Hi Crystal,

      Yep, I find the LTTs love Fat balls too – they also like to take sponge/cake too and this is especially handy in winter when they need the fat/sugar to keep them going.
      I don’t really find the Sparrows here chase birds off.. At least I’ve never felt they do. Although I do notice that some don’t like it when too many Sparrows arrive and they do tend to move on. So I’ve been considering getting a niger feeder instead which the finches will enjoy but the sparrows, hopefully won’t. I also have a ‘clinger’s only feeder that mainly the tits use, but the sparrows will if they’re desperate – i.e. the sunflowers have all gone.

    • Hi Ronnie,

      Thankfully Seagulls are one thing we pretty much don’t ever see in Sheffield and they certainly don’t come into gardens. I rarely ever see them flying over the city – we don’t have landfil and clearly we’re not near the sea (being pretty much slap in the centre of the country). Magpies we do have, but they also don’t often come into the garden and I generally see them hopping from house to house and on chimneys. They nest in a large Hawthorn a few gardens away and usually live in peace with the other birds – although obviously during breeding they will take smaller birds, chicks and eggs.

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