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buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3505
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: 35098
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: 6370
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: 10535

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.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3505
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 19 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Today's walk was very enjoyable - it began rather misty and then he sun burnt through and it got rather warm. Heard Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Chiff Chaff and Cetti's Warbler amongst the songsters, and watched Red Kites, Buzzards and pair of courting Cranes, which was the highlight of the walk. Also watched a nest of Honey Bees busy carrying pollen into their nest in a hole in a tree. Remarkable variation in the colour of the pollen loads - mainly yellow but some distinctly red, which we guessed to have come from the nearby Aspen catkins. Also saw some Mining Bees whose identity is yet to be confirmed. Little to photograph, except these fish scales, found on a block near the edge of a dyke. Might be from a Pike, and perhaps the work of an Otter?




When I got home I heard Blackcap and Chiff Chaff in the garden!

Henry

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35098
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 19 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

upper right quadrant
centre top of that

looks rather like otter paw print to me

without a scale or mark one eyeball i would give it 70% based on shape.

it could be lighting and landscape but scraped of scales is an otter trick.

use your nose and seek the territory markers is a very good confirmatory tactic.

my otter spot involves a bit of a scramble but they are pretty cool about ignoring the silly man and his dogs and him cooking and fishing and stuff.
shy no, they are happy to share a space with polite folk.

my yellow hound was a bit surprised at swimming cats catching fish but before long they and he realised that sunbathing on the rocks was a common interest .

ps otters like fried bacon.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35098
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 19 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ps " my" ones live at the seaside quite a long way north and west of here.

fun critters, not trying to sneak up on them is a good start ( they will notice )
be where you think you can see where they might be ( a bit of tracking will find marking and eating spots ) and they can see you ( dont hide ), do something harmless and fairly quiet , moving about is ok , foraging or fishing and cooking is fine etc etc while you wait , say hello when they turn up and when they come back to see if you really are still there say hello again .

just move in politely, the hide and sneak stuff will never fool em or make them comfortable

curious as , clever as and utterly charming
they seem to respect humans that have similar manners

inland ones might have different behaviour to their scottish rellies but chances are they are just as nice if you get to know them even if they do smell of fish .

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3505
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 19 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
upper right quadrant
centre top of that

looks rather like otter paw print to me

without a scale or mark one eyeball i would give it 70% based on shape.

it could be lighting and landscape but scraped of scales is an otter trick.

use your nose and seek the territory markers is a very good confirmatory tactic.

my otter spot involves a bit of a scramble but they are pretty cool about ignoring the silly man and his dogs and him cooking and fishing and stuff.
shy no, they are happy to share a space with polite folk.

my yellow hound was a bit surprised at swimming cats catching fish but before long they and he realised that sunbathing on the rocks was a common interest .

ps otters like fried bacon.



Heavy footed Otter to leave a print in a slab of concrete! But I do see what you mean!

Henry

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35098
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 19 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

pps other things scrape scales as well.

tracking is ones friend to answer the otter or not question.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35098
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 19 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

concrete not compacted sand/clay riverbank oops

at that point i am back to quite a few things scrape fish and trail cam might be interesting in a suitable spot

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3505
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 19 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

An Otter was seen in another part of the site a couple of days ago, so Otter is a good shout for culprit.

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10535

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 19 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nice. The cranes must have been a real highlight.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3505
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 19 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
Nice. The cranes must have been a real highlight.


Oh yes! Definitely. Well chuffed! Not many of those about.

Henry

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3505
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 19 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Today's walk was at a site that most of us visited a couple of weeks ago (except me, who did not wake up to my alarm!)
Return visit was decided upon because at the first visit the Wild Garlic had not been in flower. Give it a couple of weeks and it will be fabulous, they said to each other, but they had reckoned without the weather going all wintry again, and it was still not showing much in the way of flowers! Give it a couple of weeks and it will be fabulous

But the Bluebells were quite good, and the Wood Anemones, and the Celandines and Primroses. The Toothwort was going over a bit. We had hoped to see this:




which our mycologists call Vinegar Cup (Helvella acetabulum) though the web seems to prefer Cabbage Leaf Helvella. Since it grows at ground level I did not bend down to sniff it to see if it did smell of vinegar, nor did I examine its underside to look for the ribs that are supposed to make it resemble a cabbage leaf! Sorry about that, but I'm no longer as flexible as I used to be

Also had excellent views of Red Kites, some of which were carrying twigs and bits of grass - presumably for nest building purposes.

Henry

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35098
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 19 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

nice shroom snap

just a thought but cabbage is a bit of a stretch from the look of the things.
i'm game to believe it smells of vinegar. fungi seem to manage everything from corpse to apricots as their signature perfume. coming across decent scientific descriptions that include " smells of fountain pen ink " or " smells like warm bread " is rather charming.

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