Monday, 29 June 2015

Pond Life...

Back in England we have a small wildlife pond which takes care of itself for most of the time but every now and then it needs a bit of a clear out. 

We are always careful to save every possible pond creature and there were some surprises today. 

There were three newts living happily among the pond plants...

Another surprise was the number of dragonfly nymphs. I counted over 30 of them!

The frog wouldn't keep still for a photo and the other creatures were too small to photograph underwater.
I love ponds!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Garden Safari and Isle of Man Visitors

Just scrolling through some photos from the past couple of days, we were surprised how many interesting creatures we see right here on our doorstep.

Especially for Tim, here are a couple of shots of the baby Hoopoe being fed (very carefully!)..

And, of course, the Western Whip Snake, which Colin wrote about here

We take none of this for granted and are always amazed at such a wealth of wildlife.

We had a visit from Liz and David on Wednesday. They come from the Isle of Man and were on holiday here. As we sat under the shade of the willows chatting, they listed the animals which we think of as "common" both in the UK and France, but which are not to be found on the Isle of Man. Among them, the fox, the badger, the mole (!!) and the squirrel.

However, they have one creature which we definitely don't - The Wallaby. Introduced some years ago, it escaped and is now thriving up there on the mountain!

And it's not just Wallabies the island produces...

Liz and David kindly brought us these island goodies, so a huge "thank you" to them for a taste of the Isle of Man!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Snake in the Hole...

No it's not a new dish!
We have a family of Western Whipsnakes living in out compost hole.

One of them had obviously shed its skin

We have had the wildlife camera out and managed to capture two adults intertwined. (Look at the bottom left of the film)

We have also seen a young one green in colour with not that much pattern. It was tooo quick to get a photo.

The wildlife camera is still looking in the hole so watch this space...

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Cute Little Birds..

When Colin wrote a post about the baby woodpeckers, he mentioned that I had some photos of some rather more "cute" baby birds..

Well here they are, at last...

The grey wagtails have three young to feed and it certainly takes them all their time to keep up with demand..

The first of the photos were taken on June 10th..

Hey! Come back!!

Well; what do you think of that, then?!

Is he one of us?

Ignore him; he'll go away...

 Now that's more like it!

What's happened to my share?

I think I'll go and hunt for myself. You coming?

Hide; pretend you can't hear him...

The following were taken two days later...

If I stand close enough to your door and look pathetic, will you give me a worm?


Humans, eh? Strange creatures really..

What comical little birds and so cute!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Storm chaser..

Thunder storms were predicted for our region today but the slight rumblings we heard were nothing compared to the wonderful light show during the early hours of Friday morning..

The day had started unnaturally warm. We recorded 25C at 9am

and the temperature kept on rising, peaking at around 32C

Bedtime came and went but at 1am we woke to some spectacular lightning flashes. Colin went back to sleep but a storm, for me, is too exciting to miss.

I was up and at the open window with my camera in time to catch the following..

This first shot was taken at 1:12am. You may just make out the lightning fork on the left..

Then at 1:18 came this bright flash, lighting up the whole of the garden. (The lights in the middle of the lawn are some solar lights)

It just got brighter and brighter. This shot was a minute later...

And in another couple of minutes, at 1:21, came the brightest of all...

After that, it was back to the less brightly lit, dramatic purple skies..

Then, as quickly as it had come, it was gone and we were back in darkness.

Now who could resist getting up to watch a show like that?!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Feeding time.

This rather wet morning the adult Green Woodpecker was making the most of the softened ground. The two chicks waiting patiently.

But after not too long one of them was getting very impatient and actually pecked the parent on the top of the head.

The adult was not amused.

"Just be patient you"

"and you too".

 Order was restored... Just.
In the bottom left above you can see the Grey Wagtail.

He/she has also been working hard keeping these cuties happy,

More about these another day... Elizabeth has some really cute pictures.