Thrid post in October!

I thought that I’d surprise you with a third October post!
Please click the pics to see ’em bigger.

Friday 12th

Heron walking in the rugby field

This is our local heron: the one with the short upper bill.


The canal bank has been cleared

Once a year (?) the environment department come and check that the pond is draining correctly and that the bank is sound. Apparently they have to see every lake or reservoir over a certain size. There’s two drains on the pond, one that works all the time and another, higher, one that’s there in case the first one blocks. There’s a noticeable difference in water levels in winter and summer, up to a couple of feet, I’d say.

Saturday 13th

The end of September and the beginning of October are the best times for spider watchers. The two here are nursery web spiders which often have, as the first one, both pairs of front legs together. The second one seems to have lost its front right pair of legs.

This is the male swan, he spent a lot of time alone at the eastern end of the pond but has now disappeared altogether. Rumour has it that she chased him off!
The small bird is a warbler, whether it’s a chiffchaff or a willow warbler I know not.
This mallard has been on the canal for over a fortnight now with the fishing line round his beak. It can open it sufficiently to eat but it’s rather unsettling to see.
Ivy flowers and seeds feed lots of insects, birds and small mammals throughout winter and early spring.

Sunday 14th

The three mallard crosses are still here, often with one or two mallard drakes; one of which is probably their father.
Just caught the heron flying away.

 Fungus season is upon us, there’s quite a few clumps of ‘shrooms about.
Leaves fall into the canal and gather at lock entrances.
Raindrops glint in the sunlight on newly bare hawthorn twigs.

 Now that the leaves are falling small birds are more visible. Robins are often heard before they’re seen.
I rarely see a magpie close enough to get a decent picture and have to make do with snapping them as they fly away or past.
Our heron on one of its favourite hunting grounds.

 Kestrels and buzzards are the most often seen raptors; here’s a kestrel perching on a power pylon and a rugby post.

 I often take ‘panoramas’ (sets of pictures massaged together using Hugin). Don’t forget to click the pics to see ’em bigger. A phone screen isn’t really big enough.

Gimpy the differently able tufted duck. He’s the one with the damaged wing and leg – he seems to get along quite well though – he’s been here four or five years to my knowledge.


Monday 15th

Another nursery web spider – it’s holding its front legs together, and a pano of that hedge again showing the Autumn colours.
Molly in a rather soggy state.
There’s a new fence just up the canal from Morse lock, at first I thought this squirrel was a pigeon – it was a good distance away.
Coots are very territorial and chase each other quite violently.
These two mallard drakes were biting each other’s necks as they spun round in circles for quite a few minutes.
The lakeside willows were cut back earlier this year and the chopped up branches were dumped on the grass. These black fungi sprouted from the debris.

Back soon

3 thoughts on “Thrid post in October!

  1. The birds that I see on a daily basis in my front and back gardens are wood pigeons and magpies. A flock of eight wood pigeons waddle about pecking grubs out of the lawns and gobbling beech nuts. The magpies – again up to eight or more in number – strut about. Both magpies and wood pigeons are a huge size at the moment. They have been gorging themselves on the beech nuts which are so abundant this year. Occasionally there is a slight skirmish between a magpie and a grey squirrel. The grey squirrel population has increased greatly in the time that we have been here. At the same time we see far fewer small birds – blue tits, sparrows etc than we used to.

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  2. I’m another who’s never really looked at the ivy as being a flowering and fruiting plant. I certainly never realised how useful it is for wildlife in the winter. I’ll stop cutting it back so vigorously in the Autumn now.

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