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buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3469
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 19 4:32 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

A pleasant walk round some flooded gravel pits today, despite the wind. Some parts were sheltered and warm in the sun.

We saw assorted birds - ducks of various types, and Black Headed and Common Gulls. A squawking Pheasant drew our attention to the far bank, where one of us soon spotted a Fox prowling about in the undergrowth. We later heard a Chiff Chaff and in the wildflower line we saw Coltsfoot, White Violets and Celandines ( as well as Daisies and Dandelions!).

Against a heap of earth was a notice describing how it had been placed there as a nesting site for solitary bees, and sitting (standing) on the side of the heap were one or two Bee Flies (Bombylius major) which lay their eggs in the nests of solitary bees.





They appeared to be standing upright, trying to get the most advantage of the sun's warmth, I presume. They seemed quite oblivious of photographers.


Henry

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6323
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 19 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's a furry looking fly. Good picture though.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34882
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 19 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

look after the zebras and wildebeests, the lions will look after themselves.

perhaps the " predator " is one of the best canaries in the mine as to how it's "prey" is doing.

for instance quite a few of us round here provide food, shelter etc to small birds.
the peregrines seem to approve our work during the hungry months.
hey ho that is an ecosystem and a ecosystem with a fairly rare class 4 predator presence .

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10396

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 19 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nice picture Henry. Sounds like a good walk.

Working in the coppice coup, we have now found a lot of primroses, some barren strawberry and the odd wood spurge in flower. Have found 2 celandines in flower in the woods, but more up the lane leading there. Glad to say plenty of bird life too, including a pair of tawny owls, which seem to have paired up.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3469
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 19 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Reading the Big Book of Bee Flies, I learn that this species doesn't like to fly when the temperature is below about 17 degrees C, and will happily stand like the one in my picture, vertically, sometimes remaining completely immobile for as long as a week!


Henry

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34882
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 19 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

any post that starts like that is ok by me

then it got better

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10396

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 19 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You would think with habits like that they would be predated by birds etc. and die out. Nature is very quirky.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3469
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 19 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
You would think with habits like that they would be predated by birds etc. and die out. Nature is very quirky.


I suppose many predators use movement to detect prey, and if the bee flies are immobile. they will be unnoticed by lots of hungry critters. At this site I think their biggest danger is being accidentally stepped on by loose dogs

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10396

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 19 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A danger for a lot of things. People who walk in our woods say they have never seen any deer; well they won't if their dog is ranging ahead of them, sometimes in the next wood, scaring them away.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34882
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 19 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

considering her background Ki was rather deferant to me re deer, a few times we got pretty close with her being very stealth and then we sneak away.
i know she could have so easily if she had been given permission.

full blood are ace but asking "well, is it ok? " and acting on the response is a bit delux .
independent is ok sometimes but thinking strategically and not causing a diplomatic incident when you really want to tactically chase it until it surrenders or you chase, bite,and kill has merit

many mutts will do their best without asking even if their person might or might not approve or whether or not they have any chance of bringing home the venison.

i don't do such things but if i did chompski as a pup would have been a good candidate for a deer hound.

a " peckish " fat lab or " oi you " rottie who is out for a walk cant really do turns at 40mph on interesting surfaces, nor are they good at sneaky or using their stamina repeatedly to drop the prey in an exhausted heap,
one should drop it close enough to home for chef to find it in a few mins. a nip at ankle or throat often helps etc etc ref .an old saluki's advice to the children

considering chompski can amble up to a bunny, say hello and amble off again i don't think deer would have a problem/chance depending how he was directed.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10396

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 19 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Very few dogs will actually bring down a deer, but we are getting to the time of year when the does will be having fawns. A dog chasing a heavily pregnant doe can result in a still or early birth, and once the doe has the fawn it will defend it. There was a case not far from us where a dog went for a fallow fawn and was killed by the doe. Owner couldn't do a thing about it as the dog was off the lead and ranging away from owner and out of control.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3469
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 19 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Went out last Monday to part of the Ouse Washes - flooded at the moment. Great variety of water birds, but the most interesting thing was watching a Great Crested Grebe trying to swallow a rather large fish.




After every attempt it swam around for a while, either thinking hard, or summoning up strength for a further bout of swallowing.





It was rather worrying at times, but eventually it managed to get it down and swam off for another bout of fishing! Must have been at least five minutes while we were watching.

Henry

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34882
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 19 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

nice observation, it was a bit ambitious with that one

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6323
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 19 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's horrible when you get food stuck in your throat. Poor bird.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10396

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 19 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That was a bit ambitious. Not sure that counts as getting 'stuck in the throat', more stuck getting to throat.

I am always amazed at how long they can stay under water. You think they will never come up again and then they finally bob up quite a way from where they went down.

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