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Latest Diary Updates 11/03/2012


Definitely been some lovely Spring weather here in Buckinghamshire. Though I have been unable to photograph them I have seen several birds of prey circling very high. Unmistakable shapes of the red kite and buzzards plus what looked like a sparrow hawk stooping on what could possibly be the smaller male

While trying to take pictures of a buzzard my wife exclaims! “Wow Tom, the slow worms back”

Hiding amongst the sunshine warmed grass was indeed the resident slow worm

I could not believe it was out already but certainly looked like it has weathered our earlier cold winter spell
Today, Sunday 11 March I asked a friend of mine had they ever seen a slow worm. I found it hard to comprehend that a 47year old had never even seen a slow worm let know what it was.

After being the star of the show the slow worm must have been quite warm by now as it wiggled off at quite a high rate of knots.

I popped up the drive to have a look at the wall flowers and found a number of busy honey bees at work

The bee, oblivious to the ladybird below

Even the squirrel had the sun-factor on.

Have you ever noted the woodpigeon’s neck feathers. Reminds me of air-vents on each side of the neck.

I watched this pigeon landing on the lawn. On touchdown it was like it opened it’s belly feathers, lifted the landing gear and did a belly flop.
After a good 20 minutes it flew to one of two sycamore trees that overhang my back garden fence. Once alighting it started to preen

This must be the reason why the pigeon opened it’s breast feathers when it landed on the lawn. Must have been either getting rid of or picking up passengers that might help with the preening. I have seen the doves that visit my garden do similar.

All of this action by the woody and other diners has not gone unnoticed by unwanted garden visitors.The warning cry of a black bird fills the air and up from the other side of the fence up pops a hungry looking head

Even has the nerve to poke it’s tongue out at me.

A rather brave, foolish or hungry blue tit checks to see if the coast is clear

Once the black cat has departed and the blue tits have returned to feeding a lone Magpie lands and goes straight into hunting mode.

I noticed in the photograph that just before the magpie went catch it’s prey the bird’s nictitating membrane swept across the eye. Was this to protect the eye or just a quick wipe.

Into the soft lawn the magpie gets it’s reward

One of the many mealworms that I had scattered amongst the grass to be seen in the menacing looking beak

The mealworm was soon transferred to the rear of the bill.

That was tasty, I wonder how many mealworms to satisfy a bird that size?

Any more? a definite “Nope”

A sleek male black bird has a short water stop before making haste."

Another cat, this time Willow usually has a share of the birds water before heading off. I use to be worried about feeding the birds with so many cats about. I noticed though that all the birds and even the squirrels help each other out in warning about danger, be it a cat or hawk. Touch wood I have only seen two birds killed in my garden in 36 years. One was a poor nuthatch that flew into my front window and the other was a blackbird killed by a cat that was hiding in the thick hedge that borders the back garden. I thinned the hedge so the birds still have overhead cover but is thin enough to see any cats trying to hide for ambush.
Should hopefully be posting some more pictures in the near future….

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~Thanks Tommy, this is a brilliant blog. I really enjoyed reading it and looking at your fantastic photos. It just shows how alive our gardens are with wild life at this time of year.

12 Mar, 2012


Lovely interesting blog Tommy. All these things happening here too, but I am not clever enough to catch them on camera. You must have to sit very still to get them. Excellent.

12 Mar, 2012


Enjoyed your blog, Tom. Your attention to detail always makes them interesting. Love the chilled out squirrel!
Glad to see your slow worm is back. I've never seen one either and I am a lot older than 47!

12 Mar, 2012


Another excellent blog Tommy. Enjoyed your commentary as well - keep 'em coming! :o))

12 Mar, 2012


Great blog Tommy. Wonderful pictures

12 Mar, 2012


Thank you all for your nice comments. I must tell Cinder though, most of my photos are e taken through the back kitchen window. I keep one camera in the kitchen and one in the front room. If I happen to see anything of interest I just take a photo. I found that if you feed the birds the same time of day they appear in minutes of you putting their feed out. If I go in the garage to pot some plants on etc I always take a camera too.
I went in the garage to give my wife a hand to get the Flymo out. As we lifted the mower up something fell to the floor. It was a toad. Must have been in the garage hibernating or been after a few spiders for dinner. I placed the toad near my water feature and the toad soon crawled in readily consuming some lob worms that were dug up for it.

12 Mar, 2012

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