Sunday, 17 May 2009

Look out for Garden Creatures + New Visitor

When I am gardening I always try to keep an eye open for wildlife. This is especially important when I let the grass get longer than usual before cutting it. I always keep an eye out for frogs hiding in the longer clumps of grass but they always end up taking me by surprise when they leap out in front of the mower. This morning was no exception when this magnificent creature suddenly leapt into view and thoughtfully rested on a short wooden peg while I fetched the camera and took its portrait.



Of course the other one to watch out for here is the Hedgehog or I should say Hedgehogs. I haven't found out where they are nesting but I will be taking care when I get round to using the compost from the compost bins at the back of the garden.

As usual Hoggy showed up on Hoggy-Cam last night. For the first time I had to tell Bobby off for trying to play with it but he did find out that licking a Hedgehog was not a good idea!

A short video of the larger Hedgehog having a drink and a meal last night.

The juvenile Blackbird continues to visit and joins in with the others finding the seed I scatter on the lawn.

Juvenile Blackbird

They need to keep a good lookout as I saw a Sparrowhawk fly over earlier this morning.

This afternoon I spotted what at first I thought was a strangely coloured collared dove but on closer investigation proved to be a Turtle Dove. Not seen one ever before and delighted it visited my garden.

Turtle Dove

A rough piece of video as the darned dove would not stay still.


  1. Oooh you are lucky John, as far as I can remember I have never seen a Turtle Dove before, well definitely not in my garden anyway, a nice capture of it as well.

    I loved the frog photos, they sometimes leap out of my flower tubs when I water them and give me quite a surprise!

  2. Hi Jan: It was indeed pure luck as it had started raining and I was going to shut the shed door when I spotted it. At first I though it was a cross between a pheasant and a collared dove with those markings. I had to look it up in my trusty Collins Complete Guide to British Birds.
    I've just added a short piece of video. Luckily both camera were to hand.

    Yes, the frogs always manage to leap out when you least expect it.

  3. I really envy you having a turtle dove in the garden - I've only ever seen one in my lifetime, and then it was some distance away. What a beautiful bird.

  4. It's amazing how frogs have the capability of making you jump - especially when they leap out of the shrubbery an inch from your nose when you're on your hands and knees weeding!

    Lovely to have a Stock Dove visiting - a bird I've yet to see.

    Great video footing once again (and thanks for the explanation of my "stalling" viewing!)

  5. Hi Greenfingers. It will probably be the only time I see a Turtle Dove so I was really lucky to be in the right place at the right time and with cameras within easy reach. It looks to me like two different birds joined together with such varied markings.

    Thanks Tricia. It's the sheer speed that frogs move - one second nothing, next second frog at close quarters.
    Turtle Dove, Tricia - I checked with the RSPB site in case I'd made a mistake.
    My broadband speed slows down many evenings, some far worse than others.

  6. My apologies John - It's definitely as you say - a Turtle Dove and of that, there's no question. I was trying to post in too much of a rush (and do too many things at the same time) and didn't check what I'd said. Oooops - sorry.

  7. No problem Tricia. It takes me ages to post even a short comment, mainly checking for typing errors which seem to be increasing lately.

  8. I really like the idea of a garden where interesting things pop out ahead of you. The only things to do that in my garden are poisonous 'nasties'! Toads and the occasional poisonous snake. So I let Misty (the dog) go ahead of me and warn me if we both need to take extra care. She's a blue cattle dog and they are excellent for their knowledge of and ability to take care of snakes.

  9. I just had to go and find some information about blue cattle dogs as I had never heard of them. They seem quite an animal and useful around the garden by the sounds of it. I was surprised that such a bulky looking dog weighs less than my skinny Lurcher - must be that double coat making them look heftier than they are.

    Fortunately there is little which is deadly here. Our only poisonous snake is the Adder and I don't think there are any near me.

  10. Lovely shot of the Turtle Dove John, never seen one myself.

  11. Turtle Dove! What a great visitor to have John. Never seen one before, and an excellent picture.
    And really good to see the Blackbird doing so well.

  12. Hi again, John. I should have been a bit more precise as the dog I have is a Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog not just a cattle dog. There is a good description of how they came to be bred here
    and the photo on that page is very like mine. I owned and bred Rottweilers for nearly 20 years and loved the temperament but they were a real problem in the bush - didn't understand what was dangerous at all and I spent most of my time protecting them! Now when I walk in the bush Misty my dog goes ahead and warns me! Even around my yard she does the same. She's a great dog and very smart. Maybe I should do another post about her!

  13. I've never seen a turtle dove either John. Great frog photos. I've also been enjoying your juvenile blackbird, and as for the ingenious rook - amazing.

  14. Thanks Paul. It was certainly a heart stopper when I saw it and hoped it would stay long enough for a portrait or two.

    Thanks Keith. It would appear to have been quite an honour to have it visit the garden. I see from the RSPB site it is mainly confined to the south and east of England.

  15. Mick: Thanks for the reference. Apart from the stumpy tail it looks very similar to the blue cattle dog photos I found. As they nip the heels of cattle to get them to move I hope Misty doesn't use the same tactic on you. A very useful dog to have in your area.

  16. Thanks Mark. It's been great to watch the progress of the young Blackbird from shy, uncertain fledgeling to a fairly confident young bird.
    At least frogs stay still for a while so I don't have to go chasing all over the garden trying to catch up with them.
    I will have to tie that feeder on and see how the Rooks react to that!

  17. What a lovely variety of garden visitors! How exciting to see your own resident frog ~I also had a 'frog experience' yesterday. Your birds seem to share the seeds quite amiably ~ an abundance for all :) I'd like to add you to my blog roll, and please come by and visit!

  18. Hi Glo. Thank you for visiting and commenting. I would be honoured to be added to your blog roll and will visit when I find out what your blog is called. At the moment when I go to your profile it says - not available.

  19. your little Hoggy-cam! Being from the U.S., I've never seen one in person, only in photos and drawings (starting with Mrs. Tiggywinkle from Beatrix Potter) -- I'm totally mesmerized by the little creatures. Your little frogs are cute too. I know that feeling that comes from being startled by a frog. When the little frogs make that little scream as they dive in the water to escape, it gets me more. Thank you for dropping by my blog!

  20. Hi Kelly. Thanks for stopping by and leaving the nice comments. I am fascinated by being able to watch the Hedgehogs and love to see what they get up to. I enjoyed my visit to your blog and will visit again.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

Related Posts with Thumbnails