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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Garden bird feeders are still popular with the birds!

Despite the increase in the amount of natural food for the birds, especially insects, since the weather has warmed up, the garden bird feeders are still attracting plenty of birds.
My feeders have seen Bullfinches, Greenfinches  Blue  Great and Coal tits, as well as the not so welcome Jackdaws and Rooks.
Male Bullfinch

Male Bullfinch

Greenfinches





















So, do keep feeding the birds, many of which will now be either feeding partners or young, so they need all the help you can give. Remember though, remove the nets on fat balls as small claws can easily get caught and cause much distress.
Apologies that the pictures are not very good as the closest I could get was a view through the kitchen window as these shy birds, especially Bullfinches, have been persecuted for many years for taking buds from fruit trees and are therefore easily spooked.

Evening strolls are a good time for mammal watching around Combe

Last night, at around 8.30pm, I set off to deliver a Chard Museum  newsletter to someone in Whiteway and  as I passed the footpath entrance on the right, adjacent to Whiteway Cottage I glanced down the path and saw a young badger walking towards me. It made its way behind the cottage and I went up to the gateway to see if I could get  a better view. Whether it heard me or something else spooked it , it suddenly dashed back across the path and through the hedge.
As I returned from my delivery I paused at the gateway to the field into which the badger had disappeared and saw it scuttling along the hedge line right under the noses of the Shetland pony and horse which live there! 

Tonight, on another evening stroll, a friend and I went along Greenway, where we saw a fleeting view of at least one Whitethroat and heard a snatch of its scratchy song.We then went down to Clayhanger and saw a couple of deer in the Woolhayes fields, calmly eating grass, though obviously aware of our presence.

Plenty of rabbits were also out foraging in the grass and if I go out again in the evening I must remember to take my camera!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Swifts arriving for summer

The warmer weather has turned the brown hedgerows to green in the space of a week and the countryside looks really fresh and bright at last.

Cowslips are in full bloom in SSW this week and very lovely they look too!

Even more exciting though was the first Swift of the summer which flew over our house on Tuesday evening as I sat in our conservatory. Let's hope they locate their previous nests under the eaves in some of the village houses and have a successful year.

These birds have been in decline and the RSPB are encouraging people to enter their sightings online as well as recording nest sites to find out about their lives to try and help them survive. So if you think you have them nesting under your eaves or in a box you have erected, please let them know by going here