Tag Archives: Wildlife

Squirrel Acrobatics!

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Rumbled!!!

Yes you are rumbled caught in the act little fella!

We all know how flexible squirrels are when they want something and they can be really amazing to watch with their incredible acrobatics.

I know alot of you are not keen on our grey friends as they steal the bird food and destroy the feeders. After having many feeders vandalised I decided to pay out on quite an expensive feeder, not your £1.99 jobby but nearly £30…squirrel proof it said, no squirrel will get into this, its just for the smaller birds….yeah right!

But obviously no one had told this fella.

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His absolutely intent on getting these peanuts out, to the point his actually undone the wire from around the base. We’ve had to weave the wire back around to make sure it was safe for them as he’d opened the wire up to allow the peanuts to fall on the ground leaving sharp wires poking out. Clever devil…but he is a gorgeous little devil, how can anyone resist those big brown eyes.

I loved how he tried from every angle till he managed to undo the wiring from the base.

 

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My little furry friend is also quite happy in my little birdhouse feeder for the smaller birds too.

I know your thinking I’m mad and they are grey pests, but they are all trying to survive and there’s room for everyone. Plus I get to capture some cute squirrel shots at the same time. I cant resist these adorable creatures.

These images were taken on my little Panasonic Lumix, this little camera amazes me every time.

If you’ve any ideas to keep both squirrel and wild birds happy, Id love to hear them. I will be investing in some squirrel proof feeders with the cages round. It will be interesting to see what he can do with those 😉

So from now on I just have to try and be one step ahead of him so all the birds get their fair share…the challenge is on!

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Blue tits and Butterflies

Well as you can see I do like my butterflies, but it wasnt planned to have butterflies on almost every post on Natural Ramblings; its just what Ive been able to capture over the last week or more.

All my 6 Buddleia bushes are almost in full bloom and thank goodness they are all staggered; meaning my beloved bugs get to have food and supplies for a bit longer.

Well as I mentioned weve had some gorgeous hot weather over the past few weeks up until the last few days when weve had some heavy storms and sadly some of the butterflies are looking a bit worse for wear.

These delicate insects struggle enough to get from catapillar to butterfly especially in my garden with approximately 8 great tit and blue tit fledgelings, Ive been watching the poor parents run ragged with mouthfuls of caterpillas…eeep, I cant even find these caterpillas to phptograph….I need to follow those parents with my camera 🙂

A few photos I managed to capture of my Bluetit fledglings, I had to smile at how chubby he is compared to Mum and Dad and his 2 siblings seen either side. Is it just me or does he remind you of Orville..”I wish I could fly”

(Please click for larger images)

So with loads of chicks to feed my sudden butterfly explosion is dwindling as I type, but how can I choose who I would rather live, I adore my birds and insects, it has to be a balance with nature and you can never choose. But I still have a sad fleeting moment when I see a mouthful of wriggling caterpillars being stuffed into that gaping mouth. But then an immediate aww his gonna be a chubby one when you see his cute yellow fluffy face.

(Please click for larger more detailed images)

Back to our bad storms we had a few days ago I was photographing the butterflies and found this poor ragged Tortoishell buttefly feeding…yes you guessed it…on my Buddliea… 🙂

The fascinating thing was about this injured Tortie was that as I watched him I started to notice the many Comma butterflies bombard the poor thing knocking him clean off the flower sprigs. They were either being territorial or they sensed a weaker butterfly. I had to flap so hard to get back up onto another flower but within seconds to be knocked off agaon. It took all my will power not to protect him. I had to watch painfully as he struggled to fly to his next flower…Sadly I feel he wont be with us much longer.

The Tortoishell Butterfly Nymphalis urticae is another popular UK butterfly with its distinct mosaic effect colouration and beautiful blue spots around the edging of its wings. If you want to attract this gorgeous bug to your garden, you should not only grow Buddleia and Sedum spectibile but let the nettles grow nearby as they larvae need their food too. Dont clear away all your nettles its a the larval foodplant of many butteflies and insects.

Comma Butterfly on Buddleia

Comma Butterfly on Buddleia

This is one of the evil culprits as beautiful as they are!

Take some time out in your day…to just watch…its great theraputic value for you to lose yourself and you get to see some fascinating things; you are always learning with wildlife however large or small.

Coming soon on Natural Ramblings more Bees, hatching ladybirds and Swallow fledglings….maybe a few more butterflies.

Thanks for coming by

XxX

Sizzling hot Summer of wonderful wildlife

Hi and welcome this is my first post and its been such a fantastic week of hot weather, the UK are finally getting the dream Summer we’ve been waiting for for years. Who needs to go abroad when you can get your tan in your back garden, on the beach or just enjoy the countryside.

I am no stranger to writing and have been published many times both with my writing and photography. But I now have the time to write my own blog about the wildlife I adore and hopefully capture too with my photography.

I have a fascination for macro and spent way too much money on macro photo gear as I love being able to show the beauty of the macro world.

I have had a wonderful few weeks of photography this month, the wildlife have been extremely obliging and happy to be on camera and I have managed to capture some gorgeous birds, plants and insects.

We are lucky enough to live deep in the countryside so Im able to watch the comings and goings of the local wild birds.

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Back in May we had a lovely family of pheasants venture into our garden and happily stayed most the day, they’ve been here for two months…where we gradually got used to their individual characters.

I have really enjoyed studying their behaviour and have learnt alot about them and how they go about their lives. Im looking forward to writing a full post on pheasants and their behavior very soon as they really are fascinating birds to study. Plus I have managed to have the opportunity to capture some gorgeous photos of them along the way.

Sadly we lost a few females to illness and a few bird of prey attacks.  One poor female who had actually become quite tame and would often just wander in the kitchen, literally had a Sparrow-hawk  sit on her and start to eat her alive, it was disturbed and we found her severely injured by our back-door; where she had obviously tried to come in for safety. She was just so poorly she simply let me pick her up where she laid in my arms not stressed and allowed me to gently clean her up and she passed quietly a few hours later.  It was quite special as she was in complete trust of us.

I do want to point out I have my wildlife ruling that I live and let live and rarely intervene; but when something is injured especially fatally I try to make them as quiet and comfortable as possible so they pass without anymore unnecessary stress or pain.

We have several birds of prey that live in the surrounding fields next to us which I will introduce to you later, a Barn and Tawny owl, Marsh harrier, Red kite, but suspect number one was the Sparrow-hawk as I’d seen him around that morning.

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I also love my plants and my Aliums have made it through the hot weather and are just bursting out of their cases.

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I love how the last of the seed case is still wrapped round the new buds.

Arachnophobes Beware

 Anyone who knows me will tell you I will photograph any nature, I will even photograph spiders; and I even enjoy watching the numerous Daddy-long legs spiders we have in every room in the cottage. I adore their jiggy, spinny thing they do when they feel threatened, but I dont find their gangly looks that scary. We have even bought a spider catcher gadget (which Ill show you later) so I can get them out the house without hurting them; when there are just too many or they are above the bed, then they have to go. I cannot sleep thinking they may jiggy their way down on me in the nigh!

But I draw the line when its on me!!!

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I was actually photographing some swallows and not really concentrating on what was in front of me; when I casually noticed something crawl over and under the peak of my baseball cap inches from my eyes. Always worrying about nature I still managed to curb my increasing panic being face to face with this bright green body and enormous legs waving at me inches from my eyes; and still take my hat off carefully without hurting him.

Im not one to normally panic with an eight legged fiend, I’m the one who get them out of the house carefully and would certainly NEVER kill them.

BUT this little guy was quite a force to be reckoned with, after waving his legs at me and actually lunging for me when I put the hat on the ground. Most people…ok…alot of girls would have run off screaming…no not me..I..was mad enough to go and grab my camera, that amazing green body was fluorescent in the sun and I had to share him with you all.

So sorry if you are haven’t seen my site before and I hope this hasn’t put you off coming back, I promise I will add an arachnophobia warning if I do this again, but believe me I dont want to see this little guy that close ever again. I made the mistake of looking close up on my PC…eeww!

Big mistake! Super scary, but magnificent at the same time!

green-spider2Let me introduce the Green orb weaver spider Araniella cucurbitina

So after finally extracting him off my hat and thoroughly checking there wasn’t anymore behind him and shaking myself like a mad thing, he just sat and glared at me from a bracken leaf…nice…do him a favour and that’s what you get huh!

blueberries

I also love plants and my other half kindly bought me a poorly blueberry plant last year, yes I nurse plants back to health too  😉

So after alot of nurturing in my green house I have managed to get it back to life and we over 30 blueberries almost ready to scrum. They may last a day if I’m lucky as when my Other half finds out I’m sure Ill be catching him in the greenhouse. Maybe I need that green spider to guard the bush lol.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my wildlife snippets, I have alot more coming soon.

Thanks for reading and hope to see you soon.

XxX