Thursday, 16 May 2019

May In The Land































There's a good deal of life going on here at the moment. Two nests of great tit babies have fledged into the trees around the garden and are being vocally bossy to their parents about food all day long. Mr Sparrow is being kept busy from dawn till dusk supplying the nest in the wall of the house with food- I see him flying in and out, in and out. Earlier he had a twist of grass in his beak, possibly sent out with an instruction to do some flying repairs. He dropped it near the feeder so hopefully he won't get into trouble. Mr Robin is feeding Mrs Robin whenever she comes off the nest- I love watching them do this, it's about energy saving so she doesn't use up valuable time incubating the eggs looking for food, but it's very endearing to watch.

The blue tit nest in sparrow terrace (a row of three nest boxes which the sparrows have never used) is squeaking as is the one on the wall. This year, so far, no woodpecker assaults on either (both now have plates on the front). The blue tit nest in the roof of the house where one of the tiles has slipped is also producing offspring. Added to that, there are large red damselflies and blue-tailed damselflies laying eggs on the duckweed in the pond, and either common or azure damsels also flitting about (I'm awaiting Tensey at Tense Towers to explain the difference to me, which I know he did last year but I've forgotten). I am a little worried that I keep finding dead dragonfly nymphs floating in the pond- six in the last couple of weeks. Any thoughts, anyone?

I'm very pleased to report there are two crab spiders in the garden, one on an oxeye daisy which only opened yesterday so that was fast work, and another on the ceonothus which is festooned with honey bees from the hive in the chimney pot. I found a grey-haired mining bee on it yesterday too- a first for the garden.

I'd been mulling over putting the moth box out, because I miss them, but I worry so about collateral damage. Then a pair of muslin moths appeared on the wall and an orange footman flew down onto a daisy at my feet so perhaps for now I will be content with them.

I saw a small copper and two small torts out in the fields this week- all poised to get a picture when Pop came over to see what I was looking at and set the flutters off into the air. Hmm. There have been lots of orange-tips around and we have two Brians on the cuckoo flower (caterpillars- you may remember they are always called Brian), but I haven't seen so many holly blues this year.

The Hares have had some lovely runs through the land recently, with added dogs, and also took part in the Broadlands Relay Marathon last weekend, where a team of ten compete to run 26.2 miles as fast as possible (each member does 2.6 miles). We were 65/ 161 teams which I was thrilled with. All the money raised goes to charity and it's a lovely day out for the town with lots of friends and familiar faces there. We took picnics and a gazebo and chairs and were there in the sun all day. A jolly day out.

Race-wise, I also did WSR Ox Frolic on Saturday morning- 5:30am get up for an 8am start. Yikes! It was a fab race- lots of hills through gorgeous countryside and woods thick with wild garlic. The medal is the most amazing one I've yet had and I couldn't resist one of their fabulously designed tees. Unfortunately, I've come down with a hideous sore throat and cough as of yesterday, so currently off running and missing it very much- Pop and I had got into a great routine of running an hour every morning through the land which she's been loving- lots of opportunities for her to swim in rivers, brooks and streams which seems to be a thing with her this year. Teddy has even come on a few with us too which has been lovely. All this has meant that my regular weekly mileage has been close to 50, so not being able to even do one at the moment is making me feel slightly stir-crazy. Hopefully a few more days and I'll be back to it.

How are you all? A Levels start here on Monday.....

CT :o)

28 comments:

  1. Very nice CT. We're having the coldest May for 28 years and also it's raining too often. Mostly it feels like February. I'll be glad when we get back to normal. I'm fed up with having to run in a waterproof jacket or layers. Will try to watch some Sri Chinmoy ultra runners at the weekend. They are doing a 6 hour race in the Prater. Runners suffering happily doing 2 km laps on Tarmac. And paying 60 or 70 euro to do it. Imagine that. About 6 hours is a whole week of running for me.

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    1. Blimey! Not sure my brain would cope with 2km laps for 6 hours! Wishing some warmer weather your way. Glad to hear you are back at it.

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  2. Goodness me I'm warn out with all your activity and feel I need a lie down to restore my energy levels on your behalf:-) I do admire your stamina. I love listening to the birds in our hedge the sparrows always seem to be having some sort of domestic and then there is the occasional dust up between two males on the track. We've had two sets of Robins in the garden who are obviously nesting near by but don't think they are in sparrow towers judging by the numbers of sparrows in and out of the hedge. The swallows are back and have been very busy nesting in the roof space and dive bomb around the courtyard at tea time. Its just magical.

    Mx

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    1. It sounds wonderful round your way. The one thing we don’t have here is swallows nesting and I miss them. They hunt midges over the lake but don’t nest with us so I can well imagine how you love seeing them

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  3. You've cut Teddy's ears off! Beautiful photos and lovely to hear about all the new life in your garden. We have sparrows in our sparrow terrace, but no bees this year - they normally cohabit quite nicely. Sadly, our final duckling (named Archie after a certain Royal baby) seems to have disappeared - I said that duck was a poor mother. Just netted my cavolo nero in the hope that the 'Brians' don't eat it all like last year. Enjoy your running/swimming! xx

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    1. Isn’t he funny? He often loses his ears like that. He uses them for talking. Ah yes, the Brian of the white family! Not great for cabbages. I wonder where your bees have gone. Sad about the duckling but like you I’m not surprised x.

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  4. Your post makes me want to go out in the garden right now and watch life happen. There is a lot of sparrow bickering in the hedges around our house, it is funny to listen to. Not many butterflies or moths yet, still a little early but I did spot a few orange tips down at the river. I hope your throat is better soon and that you can get back to running. xx

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    1. I love listening to sparrows chat. The only time they’re ever silent here is when the sparrowhawk flies over and even then they only manage a few seconds! Xx

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  5. It's all go in your garden, it sounds deafening with all that tweeting going on! What a splendid t-shirt and medal. All the best for the A'Levels. x

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  6. That is a superb medal! Odo advice plonked on my reply to your comment, but re the dead nymphs, are they just the empty larval skins cast off either at a moult or at emergence? If actual larvae, then I really don't know what might be causing it, unless there's something gone wrong with the switch from water-breathing to air-breathing?

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    1. I think it was the “u” on the tail that clinched it as azure last summer but I will photograph and study. You’ve given me hope re the larval skins. They are empty I think, but they seem full size? Do they have a final moult this close to emerging? If I find another I’ll retrieve it and have a closer look. Not noticed it happening before.

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    2. And defo not from emergence- those they leave holding onto vegetation and they crisp up. These are floating in the pond. I think (though can’t swear to it) that these are hawkers.

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    3. The ones from emergence can be washed off by heavy rain and end up back in the water, but as you say, maybe a previous late moult. Technically it is possible to ID the species from a reasonably preserved shed skin.

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  7. I love hearing about all the birds. My parents have got a sparrow terrace on their house, and got one fixed to a local church through the RSPB to try and encourage them. But all they have seen are blue tits feeding in another box (and hearing the chick call out). I saw a fledgling robin in my garden the other day- it was very jittery compared to the adult, but hopefully that means it will stay out of harms way.

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    1. Great about the church nesting box, what a brilliant idea. I love baby robins. Haven’t seen one here yet this spring.

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  8. Hi I've just started blogging and found your wonderful blog. So much activity, I love this time of year..

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    1. Hey Julie. Welcome to blogging and C Tales. I’ll pop over to see you

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    2. Thank you and thanks for being the first person to visit my blog!

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  9. Well it is all go with the activity in your garden and of course your family I really do not know how you have all that energy but then you are a LOT younger than me!

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    1. Haha Margaret! I don’t like sitting still for long!

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  10. Hope you have recovered your running vigour by now. A lovely post reflecting all that is good about this time of year. Green finches arrived on our feeder this morning fighting over perches with the goldfinches. Much nesting and bird song and the holly blues are back in force. Have a lovely weekend. B x

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    1. Fab to hear about the greenfinches. I usually hear rather than see them. Still under the weather here 😢

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  11. Sorry you're not well, I hope you're back to full strength very soon. Lovely photos, that first moth is gorgeous. But where are Ted's ears (photo 11)? Blue tits have fledged here and a crab spider is lurking in the roses. It's all happening. Hope you have a lovely weekend. Ox t-shirt and medal are FAB. CJ xx

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    1. Teddy’s ears are very vocal parts of him. They often disappear. Great re your crab spider. Ours don’t use the roses here x

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  12. Hey there beautiful. Just about catching up with all my hopefully not forgot who I am bloggy chums! Great photos. I.m flush with bluetits and goldfinches and starlings much to the delight of Bluebell. Great photos x

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    1. Hello lovely girl! So glad to hear you’re still alive! I’ll pop over to see you xx

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  13. It's a beautiful time of year and I love to read about the wildlife activity down your way. Beautiful photographs. X

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them. CT.