Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Watching me watching you.

9.30pm and I went out to watch for the bats and fox. Sure enough, the bats were on the wing, again flying a couple of feet above my head as they turned round to fly back up the alley.
Suddenly a dark shape came out of the gloom. It was the fox. As the fox came to the end of the alley it looked out to the road.
It was almost parallel with me now when it noticed me standing behind the wall. It stared at me for about a minute and then sat down and we watched each other across the track.

We watched each other for several minutes before the fox got up and walked back up the track a short way and then sat down on a clump of grass in the middle of the track.
It seemed to think I could not see it. After a couple of minutes the fox crossed to the nearside of the track, past the garages and the other side of the wall where I stood back a short way.
I resisted the temptation to lean over the wall until it had gone past and I photographed it as it past our car.

Monday, 24 May 2010

More Fox

9.50 came and I realised I had not checked on the bats. I decided to check out of our bed room window, as the small side window looks straight up the track.

As I pulled back the curtains I came face to face with the fox. Crouched on our flint wall, about 3 feet away the fox stared at me for about 10 seconds before causally turning around and walking back along the flint wall to the back of the house. His large bushy tail being the last I saw of him. A beautiful creature.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bats and foxes

Friday evening, 9.30pm and the bat was hunting in the track, again flying as far as our house and turning around and then flying past the house, only to return a few minutes later.
Bat marked by arrow (above) close up (below)

I went out again tonight to watch and sure enough the bat turned up. This time however, I saw 2 flying together. I suspected there might be more than one and this time I had the proff.

The previous days I had watched the bats until about 9.45pm when the activity appeared to stop. I decided to stay out a bit longer to see if they come back.

After about 10 minutes a bat flew back down the track. I watched it fly too and fro for a while.

I had also noticed a shape of a fox further down the track. It was using the track to travel in and out of selected back gardens. Unfortunately when it reached my end of the track, a group of teenagers went past noisily.
Disturbed it turned round and trotted back up the track and disappeared into the darkness

Thursday, 20 May 2010

More bats

I saw the bat again last night. This time I deliberately went out looking for it. At about 9.30pm I saw a bat flying across the alley way a couple of times.
About 2 minutes later it flew up the track towards me and out and across the road heading west. It may have been a pipistrelle bat. I tried to photograph is but it was moving too fast, hence the nice blurred picture below.
About 10 minutes later another bat (or the same one) flew up the track and over the roof of our bungalow. Another 5 minutes and I saw a bat fly up the track and across our back garden heading south. I then had to go back inside. I am keen to keep an eye out for them again.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


I was attracted by a goldfinch sitting at the top of the small evergreen on our rockery. I walked past it quite close as I went to the shed and it did not fly away which was unusual.
We get many goldfinches passing through our garden, but they are usually easily disturbed.

I noticed that every now and then it would look down at the ground. I carefully looked out of the utility room window and noticed another, scruffy looking goldfinch in the vegetation on the rockery.

It seemed to be sun bathing. After a while it awkwardly fluttered through the vegetation and started to eat the seeds from the old seed heads.
It then moved on to eating all the seeds from a dandelion head. The adult was behaving as if the one on the ground was a recently fledge chick. It was smaller and scruffier, but it also appeared to have coloured plumage on its face. Young birds develop the red face latter, this one had a reddish, black face markings.

View from the kitchen window. The adult is at the top of the evergreen the youngster is in the seed heads in the foreground.

Goldfinches do produce young by May, but this one seemed too far developed to be a youngster and the cold weather early in the year seems to have put most animals behind in their mating.

The adult bird flew away for a few minutes and I took a closer look at the possible chick. It did not fly away, even though I approached to about 3 feet away. It looked at me but did not move. The ungainly way it was moving earlier and the way it appeared now did suggest a youngster.

I kept an eye on them for several hours during the afternoon as many cats pass through our garden. I managed to keep our cat inside.

Late afternoon and they were both gone.  If anything had happened to the "chick" there would have still been a distraught parent looking for it – so I am assuming it all ended well.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Pair of great tits and a wren

I have been watching a pair of great tits in the garden for a few days now. They actively forage in the gutters, underneath the eaves, in the bushes, flowers pots and many other places. A selection of pics below taken on the same day. (Pictures not brilliant quality as I had to take them through the window and then change the contrast to remove the lift reflection). 
In the gutter
Nothing under here
Just check the gutter again
Foraging on the flint wall

Checking the strawberry plants

A tasty spider from underneath the window.

A wren foraged in the shrubs behind the pond before flying up onto the fence and singing.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Bees hatching

I looked out the window and saw a bee struggling in the grass. After a couple of minutes it flew away.
Then I noticed another coming out of the ground, a crack between the edge of the lawn and the paving. These bees were hatching from the ground, from eggs laid last year to hatch in the spring. Ther appeared to be solitary bees - possibly a species of mining bee.
After a few minuites I saw another bee comming out of the same crack. The best ID I have been able to make so far is Dasypoda hirtipes.

I counted 4 altogether, but there may have been others that hatched before I noticed them.