Flora and fauna – the gymnast
Jan29

Flora and fauna – the gymnast

The busy nuthatch looking for his favourite seed The real gymnast of the bird table in winter is the nuthatch. I always think of them as strong athletic birds, just as happy running up and down a treat stump or swinging from a bird feeder. Nuthatches readily come to the bird table, being particularly partial to peanuts and sunflower seeds which replace the hazelnuts, acorns and insects of their natural diet. You may notice them...

Read More
Flora and fauna – something in the air
Jan26

Flora and fauna – something in the air

Something in the air  You’ll have seen them hanging in the breeze above motorway verges, precisely adjusting wings, body and tail so as to keep the head dead still, like it was pinned to the background. The lovely old name for the kestrel is the ‘windhover’.  Our most abundant bird of prey, the bread and butter for kestrels is the vole, though they’ll also take earthworms, insects and fledgling birds. Now then, voles don’t...

Read More
Flora and fauna : Mistle thrush
Dec23

Flora and fauna : Mistle thrush

Flora and fauna : Mistles I’ve been trying to come up with some Christmassy flora and fauna facts: in the past I’ve done holly and covered ivy. Then the thought came to me that we don’t get much mistletoe growing round these parts. By coincidence we’ve currently got a couple of mistle thrushes which have been hanging about and presumably roosting in a large holly tree in the garden. A pair nested in there a few Springs ago and reared...

Read More
Flora and fauna : Jaywalking
Aug07

Flora and fauna : Jaywalking

Flora and fauna : Jaywalking We were visited by a pair of these beauties the other day, collecting peanuts (they can hold up to a dozen in their gullet at one time) to store in hidey holes. You’re most likely to see them in the autumn when they’re busy collecting their favourite food, acorns, and burying them for winter use…Jays are responsible for many of our oak trees because they miss collecting the odd one or...

Read More
Flora and fauna – four for a penny
Jun20

Flora and fauna – four for a penny

Familiar to everyone the wren is still a favourite of mine…(does anyone else remember them on farthings?) We’re lucky enough to have a pair nesting in a quiet corner of the garden again this year; they’ve spruced up a nest which was built two years ago, but was left unused last year. Normally the male wren builds six or seven nests, then the female checks them all out, chooses one and prepares it for her eggs. They lay half a dozen or...

Read More