Late May Magic

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We have been away for a few days. Whilst we were gone, the bird ringer, who was a professional wildlife photographer for many years, came up to take some photos of the particularly lovely Stock Doves that have been visiting the strip this spring.

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Wonderful colours on this Stock Dove
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Whitethroat

While he was here, he noticed that there were at least three different Yellowhammers coming down to feed:

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He took some fantastic photos that I couldn’t possibly hope to emulate and so I am pleased that he has given me permission to use them here.

He also came up with his nets and caught and ringed a Yellowhammer along with eleven Linnets and three Whitethroats:

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I am not very familiar with Yellowhammer and I am surprised at how large they are.

Returning to the meadows today, we find that two additional species of butterfly had arrived before us. There were several Small Blues fluttering around the wild pond (we only saw a total of two individuals last year). The Small Blue is the UK’s smallest resident butterfly, the wingspan being about 20mm. Here is a male with a hint of blue on the upper side of his wings:

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And here is a female who is dark brown with no suggestion of blue. Both sexes have pale blue wing undersides.

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Also seen this afternoon was a Wall Butterfly:

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Another butterfly in terrible trouble and so lovely to see.

We were pleased that there were no sign of dragonfly emergences from the wild pond yet and so we haven’t missed that. But on the subject of dragonflies, there was this lovely blue male Broad Bodied Chaser awaiting a passing female at the hide pond:

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I am not very fond of Magpies and here is some evidence I put forward to support this view:

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Baby bird number 1
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Bird Egg

 

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Baby Bird number 2
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Eeeek – one of the new recently arrived Slow Worms. Update on the total Slow Worms now transferred is 70. The number being caught recently has dropped because the warm weather has meant that they are not needing to warm up under the squares.

I like this photo below. I don’t think the fox was expecting to see the badger who is having a wash before bed outside the sett entrance at 4am:

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In the wood, there was a new visitor to the pond:

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Female Sparrowhawk

As the nights get shorter, the chances increase of seeing a badger out before it gets dark:

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Returning to the meadow I finish this evening with the twins:

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Still bundles of fluffy playfulness.

 

 

 

 

 

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