Saturday, April 25, 2015

Super Poop

Maybe best not read while eating.

Glorious day Friday. Lots of Sun. Temp up to 20C
Got the grass cut nearly a week early as rain is forecast to arrive Sunday and the whole of next week threatens to be cool and wet. Before cutting the grass I spotted a pile of poop:

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By far the largest I had ever seen in the garden. What sort of creature could have produced it? From the size thoughts tend to go towards a mammal of some sort but you would be wrong. Twas a bird. Not a vulture or eagle (which we don't have here). No - believe or or not it came from a Wood Pigeon. The main time you are likely to find this size of pigeon poop is when they are nesting. According to one site I read, pigeons have what they called a built in cesspit where they can store waste products until they find a suitable time and place. So the birds can incubate eggs for long periods without having to leave the nest. The result being the sort of poop I found in my garden.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday at the Flicks - Hungry Hedgehog

Yesterday I got round tuit and zoomed in HoggyCam to give a closer look at any Hedgehogs outside the Hedgehog House:



After I had captured this video the Hedgehog was back less than 10 minutes later to scoff more crushed unsalted peanuts, have a quick drink from the bowl of water, then disappeared into the house to guzzle the peanuts in there. At the same time a mouse kept rushing up and gathering any scraps left behind. When it had eaten most of the available food Hedgie had a long drink and went on its way.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Easy Come, Easy Go

For quite a few years I had a small clump of Snake's Head Fritillary growing in the rockery. Suddenly last year they failed to appear and seem to have vanished without trace. About the same time a white Fritillary appeared out of nowhere in the front garden:

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Now it has been joined by some Snake's Head variety:

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Neither of which have I planted.  It is possible mice have been burrowing under the rockery and eaten the bulbs or they may have been eaten by Scarlet Lily Beetles which I have seen in the garden in the past. As for the new ones in the front garden - I can only think that birds have self sown them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Wolf in the Grass

A wolf spider that is.  In fact dozens if not scores of them. I doesn't matter where I look around the gravel or long grass around the edge of the lawn I can guarantee to see lots of these small brown spiders making for cover:

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To give an idea of size, the wood is about 3/4 inch (20mm) wide.

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This group of spiders are unusual in that they can tolerate others close by unlike most which are solitary. With the vast number of wolf spiders around there must be a wealth of insect life to feed them all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I am Oliver

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I have had a standard version of this for about three years. Can't say it has come to much. In spite of the label saying they are tolerant to -30C new growth on mine had died back each Winter so I've moved it to a spot where it gets the Sun for longer each day and should be a bit better sheltered from any cold winds.

At the moment it has catkins which looked interesting enough for a bit of focus stacking. First I tried taking some hand held photos but they were pretty useless so in the end I set up the 50D with 70-200 zoom lens plus Raynox macro lens with LED ring light on a tripod:

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The results made using Zerene Stacker:

2015-04-20-11.44.34 ZS PMax 2

These two with a bit of added colour emphasis in Serif Affinity Photo Beta:

2015-04-20-11.06.07 ZS PMax 2

2015-04-20-12.37.13 ZS PMax 2

Not fully in focus but still quite nice.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Macro on Monday - Guess What

MoM3

STAR03

No one managed a correct identification for last week's mystery photo but Ragged Robin deserved a virtual Midmarsh Silver Star for the suggestion that it might be a tube for a bee 'hotel'. It was a close photo of some bamboo edging and these short tubes are often used to make artificial insect homes.

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Here's hoping that this week's close shot of an object is not quite so difficult to identify.
Guess What:
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Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.

No prizes. Just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Song Thrush

Thursday a Song Thrush was singing from before 6.30 in the morning until at least 7.30 p.m. with a few breaks. Often it was in the top of a tree near my back door which was when I managed to photo and video it.

IMG_2350 Song Thrush

IMG_2349 Song Thrush



It stopped singing for a short period while three House Sparrows were having a noisy argument.
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