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Any cuckoos out there? ... and other BirdWatch news

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27 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

 

Foxes may kill but not eat, when they get disturbed. If left to their own devices, they will cache most of the kills for leaner times, away from the kill site within their territory. So it looks awful, but has a logic in terms of a survival strategy.

A good point, but It's not clear what would disturb them.  The neighbours go to bed, sleep through the fox's visit, and wake in the morning to find all their chickens dead, mostly beheaded. It would have to be done at dusk or just after dawn because the chickens take (took) themselves to bed just before it gets dark and the automatic door system shuts them in for the night and lets them out again as it becomes light in the morning.  Would a cat disturb a fox?  In fact the fox would have to haul the chickens over several fences and walls to a cache site so it's not the most convenient location.

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maybe a cat - or another fox. And perhaps after making the kills, they couldn't get their victims out of the pen (over/under/through the fences) in time, before people started moving about. Its definitely not pleasant, but the fox isn't being deliberately malicious as people would be. As I say, there is a method in their apparent madness - which is difficult to comes to terms with if they are your chickens!!

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I have taken my camera on a few walks recently and barely seen a bird.  Today when I left it at home for a 6 mile loop round the roadbeds at Dunwich beach, we saw four avocets, lots of herons, three large deer, what was possibly a female marsh harrier and got within feet of a reed bunting. Sod's law!

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3 hours ago, Quintus said:

I have taken my camera on a few walks recently and barely seen a bird.  Today when I left it at home for a 6 mile loop round the roadbeds at Dunwich beach, we saw four avocets, lots of herons, three large deer, what was possibly a female marsh harrier and got within feet of a reed bunting. Sod's law!

 

Story of my life too!

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First walk back on the fells since lockdown on a fabulous Spring day. Cuckoos in the woods, skylarks above, and stonechats on the fells.

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I sympathise Quintus! 

Have been trying to record the birds in my garden but it is Sod's law that just as you get camera and set to video they all fly off 😩

Today I was trying to record all the baby starlings in the garden ....SO NOISY! 

If I do get a reasonable recording that's short enough will try to post here!! 

 

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Oh well, more mundanely, here's the wren who lives right outside our bedroom window.  No excuse for not being able to reach the camera!

 

UYxc72Z.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Oh well, more mundanely, here's the wren who lives right outside our bedroom window.  No excuse for not being able to reach the camera!

 

UYxc72Z.jpg

Nothing mundane about that, Quintus!

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Aaaaah gorgeous little bird and no mean feat to catch them in a picture as they are like quicksilver moving around. 

Ive often thought oh there's a little mouse in the I he and it turns out to be a little wren. 

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Another fabulous day on the fells. Many more cuckoos than open car parks in Buttermere this morning - just the National Park main car park in the village and the parking area at Lanthwaite Green, with all the National Trust car parks closed. I found myself above a double rainbow on Hobcarton End and then I'm pretty sure I saw a couple of ring ouzles near the top of Grisedale Pike. I’d been disappointed not to see any red squirrels yesterday or at Buttermere in the morning but I saw one in Hobcarton Woods just before getting back to the car. The squirrel’s strategy seemed to be to keep very still so I did manage to get a good look whilst maintaining physical distancing. There are some special cairns and view points I try to visit in mid May and the easing of lockdown restrictions has come at just the right time for me, giving me two memorable days back on such familiar ground.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, JohnS said:

 I’d been disappointed not to see any red squirrels yesterday or at Buttermere in the morning but I saw one in Hobcarton Woods just before getting back to the car. The squirrel’s strategy seemed to be to keep very still so I did manage to get a good look whilst maintaining physical distancing. 

 

How lucky you are!  My childhood home backed on to Christchurch Park in Ipswich and red squirrels were a common sight.  Nowadays there are just a few clinging on in Thetford Forest, as I understand it, but otherwise there are none in East Anglia.  

Edited by AnneMarriott
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3 hours ago, AnneMarriott said:

 

How lucky you are!  My childhood home backed on to Christchurch Park in Ipswich and red squirrels were a common sight.  Nowadays there are just a few clinging on in Thetford Forest, as I understand it, but otherwise there are none in East Anglia.  

Small world - we lived for ten years in a house facing that park in Westerfield Road. Never saw a red squirrel there, though there was a resident tawny owl who lived in a very exposed tree hole by a main path and became quite a local celebrity. 

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45 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Small world - we lived for ten years in a house facing that park in Westerfield Road. Never saw a red squirrel there, though there was a resident tawny owl who lived in a very exposed tree hole by a main path and became quite a local celebrity. 

And a friend who takes her daily exercise in Christchurch posted a photo on her social media yesterday showing the owl was back in residence. 

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7 hours ago, Quintus said:

Small world - we lived for ten years in a house facing that park in Westerfield Road. Never saw a red squirrel there, though there was a resident tawny owl who lived in a very exposed tree hole by a main path and became quite a local celebrity. 

I lived at 1 Westerfield Road until I was 7, then moved to Jupiter Road, off Woodbridge Road East, near to Rushmere Heath.  I'm talking about the 40s and 50s here so probably before your time!

 

Incidentally I attended Ipswich High School for Girls which occupied three or four large converted houses in Westerfield Road and then moved to Woolverstone Hall on the Orwell after it closed as a boarding school for boys from London run by the London County Council.  I can't remember when that school closed or when the High School moved there.

Edited by AnneMarriott
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2 hours ago, AnneMarriott said:

I lived at 1 Westerfield Road until I was 7, then moved to Jupiter Road, off Woodbridge Road East, near to Rushmere Heath.  I'm talking about the 40s and 50s here so probably before your time!

 

Incidentally I attended Ipswich High School for Girls which occupied three or four large converted houses in Westerfield Road and then moved to Woolverstone Hall on the Orwell after it closed as a boarding school for boys from London run by the London County Council.  I can't remember when that school closed or when the High School moved there.

 

Yes, before my time, though by coincidence, one of my early girlfriends lived in Jupiter Road. I was at Ipswich School, which was then 99% boys - the girl's school was still across the park in the 70s and its occupants were the focus of most of our attention. It moved out to Woolverstone in the early 90s and the houses were converted back; we were a few doors up on the corner with Gainsborough Road.

 

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9 hours ago, Quintus said:

 

Yes, before my time, though by coincidence, one of my early girlfriends lived in Jupiter Road. I was at Ipswich School, which was then 99% boys - the girl's school was still across the park in the 70s and its occupants were the focus of most of our attention. It moved out to Woolverstone in the early 90s and the houses were converted back; we were a few doors up on the corner with Gainsborough Road.

 

Even smaller world - my brother has recently retired from Ipswich School where he taught modern languages and was also boarding house master.  The High School didn't have much by way of grounds and our breaks used to be taken across the road in the park.  There was no physical boundary as such, but we all knew where "out of bounds" was because of the location of certain trees.  Any chance of us coinciding with any of the Ipswich School boys was remote to say the least!

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On ‎20‎/‎05‎/‎2020 at 22:52, LinMM said:

I sympathise Quintus! 

Have been trying to record the birds in my garden but it is Sod's law that just as you get camera and set to video they all fly off 😩

Today I was trying to record all the baby starlings in the garden ....SO NOISY! 

If I do get a reasonable recording that's short enough will try to post here!! 

 

 

I've had so many starlings feeding their babies in my garden this morning, about 50 birds at least, that I'm trying to keep a low profile in case the noise irritates my neighbours, don't think they share my enthusiasm.  At the moment they have gone and the sparrows are back!

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We’ve noticed we haven’t had any starlings this year. Last few years there have been loads. 

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I popped back to see the avocets this morning; couldn't get close as some birders had beaten us to the good spots, but we were able to watch their wonderful courtship ritual.

 

hPbmwIT.jpg

 

lqBM18L.jpg

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On 21/05/2020 at 20:52, JohnS said:

Another fabulous day on the fells. Many more cuckoos than open car parks in Buttermere this morning - just the National Park main car park in the village and the parking area at Lanthwaite Green, with all the National Trust car parks closed. I found myself above a double rainbow on Hobcarton End and then I'm pretty sure I saw a couple of ring ouzles near the top of Grisedale Pike. I’d been disappointed not to see any red squirrels yesterday or at Buttermere in the morning but I saw one in Hobcarton Woods just before getting back to the car. The squirrel’s strategy seemed to be to keep very still so I did manage to get a good look whilst maintaining physical distancing. There are some special cairns and view points I try to visit in mid May and the easing of lockdown restrictions has come at just the right time for me, giving me two memorable days back on such familiar ground.

You are lucky. I haven't got out on the fells since early February (since the weather was dreadful for most of February). I don't have a car, and don't feel justified in taking the bus even though it would only be for a few miles, so even though I'm within spitting distance of the fells I can't quite reach them without making it a long day's walk once getting there and back home are factored in. I did walk as far as Low Lorton the other day - I could say that I set foot just on the edge of a fell.

 

I haven't heard a cuckoo at all where I live. I would usually hear them in the woods around Loweswater and in Borrowdale.

Edited by The_Red_Shoes
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Just went round the block for a twilight walk - and heard a Song Thrush competing with the Blackbirds. First time I've heard one in AGES! Quite made my evening, even if it is a relatively common bird

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