Wildlife & Gardens

Discussion in 'Taylor's Tittle-Tattle - General Banter' started by Sting, May 7, 2019.

  1. Filbert

    Filbert Leicester supporting bloke

    Nutty, with added texture from the tennis ball.
  2. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    Whilst out calling Ford Dante Perikles Coleridge in for his breakfast at 7.10am this morning I saw a lesser spotted woodpecker arrive on the feeders.
    What a thrill as I hadn't seen one before!
  3. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Are you sure? Lesser Spotted are quite rare, but great if true.
  4. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    Well no I'm not sure but it was about the size of a starling/blackbird.
  5. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Great spotted are much more common, but still nice to see close up.
  6. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    I've just had a check and RSPB says lesser is the size of a sparrow and great the size of a Daphne so probably a great on reflection!
    As I hadn't seen either I'm happy!
    Lots of green in Letty Green,oddly enough.
    Smudger likes this.
  7. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Patrolling this corner of SW Hertfordshire on a regular basis the decline in the Lesser Spotted has been precipitous. Green and Greater Spotted are still relatively abundant and easy to locate with their drumming and calls especially the laugh of the Green. Wrynecks remain an extremely rare passage migrant.

    What caught my eye last week were the news articles of the Chinese once again wiping out as much of the ocean biomass they can once again in international waters while leaving their waste behind. The case this time being the Galapagos Islands which was visited by them last year as well.

    The islands which are unfortunately as has been pointed out by Clive with other islands being overdeveloped and ruined by increasing populations and tourists have a marine park designation. This has allowed marine life to flourish although there are worries about the Humboldt current and the various cyclical changes in ocean SST affecting them. Ecuador of course has it's territorial waters. The Chinese fleet lies in wait between the two for many migrating species killing indiscriminately at one of the few places in the marine environment that are thriving while many ocean areas are dying. What is particularly abhorrent is the slaughter of sharks of many species for this disgusting practice of producing shark fin soup. The marine park is one of the few areas in the seas where shark populations have not been decimated as yet.

    The Chinese are a law unto themselves invading other nations territorial waters to pillage as with Argentina the other year before being driven off building facilities in Africa to hoover up fish stocks leaving the local fisherman and people who depend on the sea to provide food struggling to catch anything. The UN needs to act decisively and extend Ecuadors EEZ out to the Galapagos and for other nations to help provide naval vessels to nations who are being bullied by China to defend their marine environment.

    It's not just on sea but on land that the Chinese apparatchiks are at work. Building facilities in countries with big cat populations to manufacture lion and tiger cake. Trying to wrest control of places like Bhutan and Sikkim with their still healthy wildlife populations and getting their grubby claws into Myanmar to harvest all sorts of creatures for their so called barbaric medicine.
    Goldenwols and I Blame Bassett like this.
  8. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    Hideous, hideous goings on.
    Utterly deplorable the way they treat the planet and all its inhabitants, their own included.
    Joyous sight driving to the club on Saturday.
    The house martins who have a colony in a lovely house on the green at Letty Green were out in force at 8am.
    This was excellent but what made it special was they were swooping in time to the William Tell Overture being played on Classic FM!
    Smudger likes this.
  9. I think what you have there is a Norwegian Blue. Beautiful plumage.
  10. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

  11. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    One small success story. The Large Blue. Huge declines in Europe and many local extinctions due to the loss of multi niche grasslands and the ant species it uses in it's life cycle. With some of the acidic grasslands in the Chilterns there is hope it can be introduced there too.
    I Blame Bassett and Sahorn like this.
  12. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    I have most of the genre on vhs. The plumage is indeed excellent.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  13. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    Our neighbour used to feed the foxes. We complained to her because they became so dependent they used our garden as a chill out area, destroying planted areas while they waited their supper. Other neighbours have dogs that keep the foxes out but provide them with play value as they look down on the mutts from our shed.

    She started hand feeding the cubs and seemed excited when they would invite themselves into her house when the french windows were open. Even when one was disturbed upstairs, she did not murmur.

    When her cctv caught them beheading her cat, I think that’s when things went sour. Anyway persuading foxes that they are successful hunters and best at keeping the local vermin population down in the suburbs, rather than dining out on high protein convenience food is proving harder than I thought. They now have taken to climbing onto a flat roof and eating grapes from a vine. Might have to consider the dog option at this rate.

    Wasps on the other hand I am prepared to give a bit of leeway too. Have a nest under the roof tiles near a Velux window. Our neighbour is very worried about it and wants me to get it destroyed. Is she overreacting. Are they likely to swoop down to kill her new cat?
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  14. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

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  15. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Explain to her what wasps do. It is still very disappointing to see that many people treat wasps as a pest. The irony. Anyway if you are interested in the fauna of Hertfordshire these are invaluable publications from the Hertfordshire Natural History Society:


    I have several in my library and they are an illuminating read and at times rather sad illustration of the decline of the natural world in this county.
  16. I'm the opposite. We feed our foxes and have about 4 different individuals visiting the garden. Cats and foxes are well known to happily co-exist and indeed walk past each other at a distance in our garden. They don't come close to the house, and run away if they do see me in our garden which is for the best. Whilst a fox could probably kill a cat, the chances of injury would be high which in the wild could cause death so it seems they are too large to take the risk. Perhaps for your neighbour the fox cubs were getting too close to her, the cat got jealous and went for the cubs whose parents then stepped in to protect them ?

    Wasps - a real nuisance. Been stung many times and never by a wasp I've seen before it stung me. Every summer we have at least one nest in the garden which I take pleasure in eliminating. Its not possible to eat in the garden from August onwards.
  17. Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett First Year Pro

    Bees do not bother me at all and I am quite happy to stand around and watch them doing their stuff
    around the wild flowers in my garden . Wasps OTOH !

    BTW I have only just taken to gardening in the last few years and I am still at the plant and hope
    stage !!. However the sweetcorn has been a massive success this year !!
  18. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    To be honest i quite likeD watching the vixen and cubs in the garden. It is only my gardeners intolerance to the plants ruined by their digging and the ones squashed that they sleep on. Even the fox crap is a manageable nuisance.

    We once had a few rats running through the garden as she feeds the birds too. I put out traps, caught a few and felt quite guilty about it. The traps caught a couple of birds and mice. That was when i took the traps away. As long as i cant see them or evidence of them near the house thats fine.

    If the foxes could just sleep on the grass that would help!
  19. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    You might want to protect the sweet corn. On our allotment they quickly get eaten by squirrels as they ripen up
    Davy Crockett likes this.
  20. HappyHornet24

    HappyHornet24 Crapster Staff Member

    Personally, I’d rather have foxes in the garden than wasps.
    La_tempesta_cielo_68 likes this.
  21. Maninblack

    Maninblack Reservist

    Viz got it right.

    HappyHornet24 likes this.
  22. absolutely !
  23. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    This. Bastards got every single one of mine last year.
  24. Came down this morning to find a munjac asleep in the top part of the garden about 30 yards from the house. It woke up and just watched us though the window for 30 mins without getting up. I got worried that maybe it was hurt by a dog and couldn't move so went out. I had a bit of a chat with it and got maybe 40 feet from it before it got to its feet and wandered off. Got some great head shots with my large canon camera.
  25. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    Seems a bit excessive. I’d imagine an air rifle would have been sufficient, and made less mess.
  26. Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett First Year Pro

    For the record I am the most amateurish of gardeners however every morning
    I inspect the garden and it is one of life's pleasures.
    Slugs get removed not killed and black fly etc I let nature take its course .
    I do wish however that I got the garden bug a bit earlier.
    The Recluse likes this.
  27. The Recluse

    The Recluse Reservist

    Wasps eat aphids so they're welcome here.
  28. I'll happily put up with the aphids.....which the flocks of 30+ mixed fit flock would happily demolish.
  29. Wasps also eat bees, they're not welcome here
  30. The Recluse

    The Recluse Reservist

    30+ mixed *** flock? We have plenty too and they eat their fair share but the wasps are ravenous towards aphids so I'm okay with them.

    We have plenty of bees too. Solitary ones nest in the house and I plant plenty for them away from where the wasps seem to congregate, the hedge behind the back garden which isn't ours. It all seems to work without too much interference.
  31. Yes, it's a great spectacle. I have some 20 port sunflower heart feeders plus 2 suet feeders and nuts but they can't all fit at the same time so the others wait in the alder and buddleia and swoop in when a slot comes free. A mix of the 4 common t1ts but we get marsh t1ts too in the winter. At the moment there are a couple of chiffchaffs associating with the flock but being insect eaters, they don't quite get what the fuss is about. An hour later there'll be another huge flock and I don't know if it's the same one or if there are several that size.
    Also get flocks of 20+ goldfinches. It's carnage when they arrive at the same time as the t1t flock !
    The Recluse likes this.
  32. The Recluse

    The Recluse Reservist

    That sounds fantastic!

    I used to have a similar amount of sunflower feeders but the goldfinches dropped so much food it started attracting too many pigeons. We'd have over 30 feral ones waiting on the roof of our house and both neighbours too, it became a bit of a problem mess wise.

    These days I've only 4 tray feeders in cages for the ****, dunnocks, nuthatches, robins and the occasional wren and just a single 4 port feeder for the finches. The pigeons have all but disappeared thankfully. I've managed to lure a pair of wagtails too and have a ground feeder cage with dried mealworms near the back door just for them. They don't come until the temperature drops so in summer it's unused but come the chilly days in autumn, winter and spring they're happy to sit and watch the other birds while sitting on their little perches and nip under the feeders for bits & pieces before digging into their worms.

    I've also fitted a CCTV camera onto the gate post and fixed it up to the kitchen TV so I can watch the action all day if I'm here. It's the most used channel now!
  33. K9 Hornet

    K9 Hornet Border Collie Dog

  34. Most of our feeders are caged so pigeons can only get the spilt seeds. Also we regularly get sparrowhawk regularly so the whole feeding station is under an arch netted off with chicken wire which protects the birds and increases their numbers. Have wildlife cameras for the foxes, deer and badgers.
  35. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    SDA on tonight at 2000 on BBC1. We are in one of the worst extinction periods in the history of the planet. And no sign of it changing either. Not just apex or appealing species but zooplankton , fungi and insects. A sad indictment on the rapacity of one supposedly intelligent species. More houses, hotels, consumer goods, cafes and restaurants and airports. For what. Not much use drinking, eating or breathing money.

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