Sunday, March 08, 2015

And yet more ...

And now a second batch of frogspawn has appeared.  Well I do have at three frogs in and around the pond at various times of the year.

There was even one lurking at the back of the pond when I took this.

The first batch may have suffered from the cold nights we've had recently but I'll leave it hatch out naturally.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frogspawn!

A second year of frogspawn in my small barrel pond.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2015


Another year of counting birds in the garden for the Big Garden Birdwatch.

Usually birds immediately head for the bushes and keep a low profile on this particular weekend - they definitely know when it's happening!  But this year it wasn't too bad and I actually had a good count.

Ready for viewing once I'd chased the local neighbourhood cats out of the garden.  At least most species obliged by turning up within the allotted hour.

The final count was 9 species:

Robin 1
Blue tit 2
Starling 1
Dunnock 1
House Sparrow 2
Woodpigeon 2
Collared Dove 2
Chaffinch 1
Great Tit 1

and Squirrel 1

I did miss the wren and goldfinches which are only occasional visitors but they did put in a late appearance.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Urbanbirder Talks

House Sparrow, a bird of urban areas which was...
The local RSPB group was lucky enough to arrange a talk from David Lindo the @Urbanbirder at their group meeting.

Birds are all around us and just because you live in a town or city doesn't mean you can't watch birds.

The popularity of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch shows the variety and different species of birds you can see in your own garden.

Birds see our green and brown spaces and abandoned buildings as habitat where they can rest and refuel while on migration, feed and even nest and breed.

David has travelled around the world and in all the urban areas he's visited he manages to find surprising birds in the most unusual places - anything from raptors to waders.

The majority of people, especially in urban areas, are totally oblivious to the wildlife right on their doorstep.

#Look Up
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Cat proofing the garden

Over the years I must have tried pretty much everything.  Pepper dust, sprays, gels, sonic deterrents - these work best but tend to break after a couple of years - so it gets expensive replacing them, as well as regularly replacing the batteries.

But I'm thoroughly fed up with the neighbourhood cats (between 5-7) using my garden as their toilet, often poised beneath the feeders and occasionally catching birds.

Every time I clear a patch of earth for new plants or vegetables, sure enough in a couple of days (if that) there'll be a stinking pile of poo.

Now that I have new fences on two sides it's even easier for them to get in as there are no plants covering the fences.  Although as the fence is a little higher, they have a little more trouble getting over it. 

So now I've run several horizontal lengths of wire through vine eyes at intervals to tie in plants.  Maybe this will make it difficult to scramble back up over the fences.  I've installed plastic spikes on the gate which is their favourite entry/exit point.  My last attempt with these had one particularly fluffy cat just sitting on them!

The new fence is capped along its length so they can walk along it - which is exactly what next door's cat does.  I've run a length of garden wire along the top at a height of 10cms, as suggested on the RSPB website.  I'm not hopeful but it might make it more difficult or uncomfortable to clamber over or under. 

Friday, February 07, 2014

Spring has sprung


The crocuses have just started to come up in the lawn despite the wet weather or perhaps because it's been so relatively mild.

Glad to see that the squirrel hasn't dug them all up.

Good for any bumblebees that might be out this early in the year.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Flooding at Pulborough Brooks

Another year of floods at Pulborough Brooks and the valley looks like a lake.  The river has disappeared completely as have the pools on the brooks themselves.