Worm Welcome

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Here are our first new arrivals – fifteen relocated Slow Worm of varying ages and sexes. These have now been released into the log piles and we might expect more to be brought across every day for quite a while. Slow Worms give birth in July and the ecologist hopes to get most of them to us by then so that the young can be born here. Although they are reptiles and you might therefore expect them to lay eggs, the eggs are incubated inside the female. They then hatch still within her and so she appears to give birth to live young.

At last we have had a Yellowhammer feeding on the strip:

 

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At first I thought that this must be the male that we heard singing in the hedgerow a few days ago but now, having looked in my bird books, I actually think that this is a female bird. This would be very good news should that male still be around (Yellowhammer match making).

Still a mixed group of Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove and Collared Dove coming down to feed on the strip. If I was an exhausted and hungry Turtle Dove, just having arrived from Africa and see this lot pecking around, I would certainly go and join them to see what all the fuss was about.

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In fact, I might even come in like this Stock Dove did:

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This thirsty and hungry bird did arrive on the hide roof this afternoon:

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It is a homing pigeon and I am supposing that it is returning from the Continent. I hope that it continues on its onward journey safely.

The long lens for my camera is off being repaired at the moment and so this is the best photo that I have got of this Whitethroat that is singing his little heart out at the top of a Holm Oak every day. We think that Whitethroats would like to nest in the dense Bramble that grows near the tree. His song is a lovely little warble but one that sounds like it is being played on a scratchy old record player.

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This ringed female Blackbird below was building her nest when I wrote the last post. Well, she has finished all that now and is probably sitting on eggs because these days she is rarely seen:

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Now it is the turn of the Dunnocks to build a nest. Here is a ringed female Dunnock at work:

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Here she is with her mate, who, I see, is also ringed:

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The female alone builds the nest and incubates the eggs although both sexes feed the young birds. The nest will be being built in the dense, prickly undergrowth that there is near this gate and this is an internet photo of what the nest will look like:

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Look at the gorgeous colour of those eggs!

There are also Starlings building a nest around here as well. They are cavity nesters and so may have found a hollow tree or something similar to use because they are not using the boxes we put up for them.

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We have seen the first Dragonfly of the year – a Broad Bodied Chaser.  I have scrutinised both ponds and cannot see evidence that it emerged from here, so it must have flown in.

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On sunny days, there are now Butterflies fluttering along the hedgerows and amongst the flowers and grasses. Here are two Holly Blues on Hawthorn:

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And a Speckled Wood on some Ivy:

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The meadows in May are magnificent with their Buttercups.

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This is an intriguing photo of a Fox carrying something along the cliff track:

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Is it a Baguette or something?

We had a bit more rain and the gathering of wet Foxes at the peanuts was looking a bit like a pack of Wolves:

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There is only one photo from the wood today and I will finish with that. It is great to see that the Tawny is still returning to worm in the same spot:

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