Thursday, April 24, 2014

At a Snail's Pace

After a nice meal at the Wagon and Horses, South Reston, it was a case of an unscheduled visit to the vet. Penny is having trouble with her gums and teeth yet again. After an examination we came away with a lighter wallet and a two week supply of anti-biotic tablets. Next was to get the grass cut as rain was forecast for the evening.

First thing this morning the short wet grass seemed to be covered in slugs and snails but by the time it was light enough for photography the slugs had all found a safe hide-away. Just a few snails were left slowly making their way across the grass.



Photos and video were taken with the Nikon Coolpix S9050

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bottoms Up

Mrs Great Tit's nest is so deep she has to stand on her head to turn the eggs:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dunnocks, Great Tits and Hedgehogs

Three videos today:

I though I had spotted the occasional bird inside the Hedgehog House and suspected it may have been a Dunnock as I have often noticed them investigate underneath my shed. I set the recorder to watch inside the house during daylight and there was the proof:

A Dunnock helping itself to the left over crushed peanuts put in the Hedgehog House for any visiting Hedgehog.

The female Great Tit continues to spend long periods incubating her eggs with the male bringing occasional tasty morsels:

Yesterday evening I was taken by surprise when I noticed two Hedgehogs in the Hedgehog House:

One was only interested in eating. I'm not sure whether the other was feeling amorous or just wanted to get out.

Monday, April 21, 2014


A couple of nights ago there was a nice red Sunset:


What caught my eye was the way much of the cloud looked as though it was moving in different directions. At one stage some seemed to be curling back on itself:

Cirrus uncinus?

In another direction part seemed to be moving in opposite directions.
The streaky parts seemed to be moving West to East but the whole cloud formation was actually moving from North to South:



Typical high altitude Cirrus cloud formations.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Early Bird Gathers the Peanuts

Two mornings running one of the earliest bird visitors has been a Magpie arriving before 6 a.m. to gather any left over peanuts which were put out the previous night for the Hedgehog:

Mrs Great Tit is spending long periods on her nest looking after the eight eggs:


As well as the pair of Stock Doves there are several others which are daily visitors to the garden. For the first time I have a pair of Robins making several visits along with a pair of Greenfinches and a pair of Dunnocks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stock Doves

Every morning this week a pair of Stock Doves have visited the garden. They spend most of their time under the seed feeders feeding on any seeds scattered by the smaller birds:

Stock Doves IMG_0771

Unfortunately I wasn't able to video the pair together but did manage a short clip of one:

Even without direct sunlight the metallic like neck feathers can be seen clearly and are an easy way to identify which type of dove it is.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stretch Spider and a Dandelion Clock

Frost on the ground first thing this morning but fortunately it soon melted when the Sun got up.

There are lots of these Stretch Spiders which build their webs between the vertical leaves of my pond plants. I tried to get in close while this one was in the middle of its web but every time it made a dash for its hiding spot where it stretched out along the underneath of a leaf but still kept one leg attached to the web, just in case there was food about:

Stretch Spider IMG_7721

As children we used to blow on the seed heads of dandelions, the game was to tell the time by how many goes it took to blow all the seeds away:

Dandelion Clock IMG_7754

Both photos are hand held macro shots.

Great Tit;
The egg count has finished at eight and Mama is spending long periods on the nest with Papa bring a tasty grub to feed her every now and then.
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