Time to give this another try. Inspired by Monty Don’s GW over a year ago I decided to give this a go. Didn’t really work out last year, but since then I’ve discovered/learned that you need to keep the growth down over winter/spring. Perhaps late winter and spring mowings. Anyway, there’s a lot of Yellow Rattle seed in there. Watch and wait.
I’m none the wiser. I watched the BTO guide, and apart from a distinctive call that would point to Willow Tit, I couldn’t say. You can here the call around 2:15 minutes into the video. It might be the willow tit. Or it might be something else entirely.
I’ve not managed to get any clear still photographs. These are the best so far.
For the avoidance of doubt, all cock pheasants are called Colin, and all female pheasants are called Clarissa. It’s just the way things are.
Lost more birdsong, and the appearance of a mirror that is destined for a Tip Run. In the meantime, Colin has issues. I won’t deny it, I feel a bit bad about that. But it’s outweighed by the amusement factor.
And there’s a new cat. An unknown unknown. There’s our three, then a few locals we recognise … and a new floof.
Another quiet couple of days. Good to see the wren and a thrush. A couple of female pheasants stirring up the leaves, and a magpie attacks an apple. And squirrels of course. There are always squirrels.
19 Nov 2020 to 01 Dec 2020
A new spot for the trailcam. I decided to see how much it would see on the bird feeders. It took a few attempts as it’s quite hard to find a decent mount point, that’s stable and doesn’t blow around in the wind. It’s been an interesting diversion but on the whole not as interesting as I thought. Focus is problematic as the camera often wants to focus on the distance as the birds are two small. Squirrels seem ok!
Another complication was noticeable if the camera was tilted up a little. I think condensation or water is more likely to cover the lens when it’s angled upwards and this messes up the picture quality.
That aside, not a lot of surprises. Nice if you like squirrels. Grey ones. The occasional magpie, woodpecker and sometimes a nice flurry of tree sparrows. But on the whole no drama.
I think I’ll move it tomorrow. Nothing much of interest in its current spot: Squirrel Corner. Squirrels, magpies, a brief glimpse of a wren, more squirrels, and Mr and Mrs Pheasant.
Finally, something has shown up next to the pond. Or puddle. I’m not expecting whales or dolphins or anything amazing, but I’d expected some insects to show up. It’s a nice little pool. Surrounded by nettles.
I think this is Helophilus pendulus, a hoverfly. According to Wikipedia the scientific name means “dangling marsh-lover” – which seems a pretty accurate description.
[Later … Perhaps it’s Myatropa florea (batman hoverfly) – I can’t tell]
The tree bumblebees in the nest box are an interesting photo challenge. Quite easy to film and photo on the iPhone, but trying to use a zoom lens on the SLR was a different sort of challenge. I’m not sure if the quality is any better, and both the me and the bees found the constant chatter of the lens as it autofocused quite distracting. Manual focus seems the way to go.