Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Pellet producer solved!!

Elizabeth disturbed him last night by flashing her camera in the tree and managed this shot. He flew off and she could not make out what it was but we suspected an owl with long ears...

Today after finishing cutting the grass I noticed he was back... Quick grab the camera,,,

What a big boy he is...

We did not disturb him so he will be out feeding tonight...

One thought is that the bird food I have been putting on the ground under the bird table may well be attracting his prey... Tonight the wildlife camera will be out focused on that area...

Well done Tim a correct ID again!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Whose Pellet is it Anyway?

Found on the lawn under our largest willow...

There were four or five of these pellets in an area about a metre square and having found them, I downed tools and took up tweezers and a magnifier along with a bowl of water and this is what came out of one pellet...

And on even closer inspection...

There were also these smaller particles..

And now for the question... Whose pellet is this anyway?

We've seen the buzzard in this particular willow in the past...???

Any ideas. (I.Ds) please?

Thank you to Tim and Susan for help with IDs. 

Tim asks for close ups of the jaws, so, working from left to right off photo 3, row 2  (above), here goes:

And the skulls: Row 4, second from left:

Row 4, third left:

We have found 2 fresh pellets this morning under the next willow along in the garden

Friday, 27 March 2015

Braslou Circular Walk Photo Log

A photo log of a circular walk which we have done before but today, when Susan and Simon came to collect some strawberry plants, we went again and saw some unusual sights en route..

Evidence of badgers..

The caterpillars of Lady Granville Fritillary Butterfly.  This was a welcome sight as in recent years they have been in decline. To read more about them see here.  

The second photo clearly shows their protective nest from which they have emerged...

The beautifully scented flowers of Winter Sweet...

These holes, the size of a one pence piece, in the side of a sand quarry, are probably the homes of Solitary Bees... 

Here this fantastically delicate lichen has the first shoots of sorrel growing through it...

The verges are full of cowslips now. We think this oddity to be a hybrid..

And the grand finale was a look round a road side still with work in progress! Photos (sadly) were strictly forbidden!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Fritillaria meleagris - Snakeshead Fritillary

We have Susan to thank for an opportunity grabbed with both hands this afternoon.

Her post on Snakeshead Fritillaries in flower prompted us to head for the Veron, the area in a triangle west of Chinon and between the rivers Loire and Vienne, to view them for ourselves.

This has become an annual event for us. In 2013 we went on 3rd April. Last year it was a good deal earlier - 14th March - and we were only just in time to see them as they had already begun to drop their petals. This year, with the cooler weather, we were leaving it a little while longer, until we read of Susan's sighting - and that decided us.

And we were not disappointed! We'll let the photos speak for themselves

Snakeshead Fritillary, the most elegant of wild flowers, were there in abundance, and what a fabulous sight to see in the glorious sunshine!

And then what did it do on our way home??

It hailed and sleeted!!