I haven’t posted in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been enjoying nature and the wildlife outdoors. I have now moved into a flat, so I no longer have visits from the many types of birds that visit my parents’ garden. Fortunately, there is a small communal garden with lots of trees surrounding it, so I still have plenty to talk about and nature to see from my window, which is great!
Some of the highlights I have seen over the last few months are detailed here. I apologise in advance for the terrible photography! Most of these were taken on my phone.
Magpie Egg Thief
As I walked into the block of flats, a startled magpie darted out of the next door garden, dropping a stolen egg on the floor in front of me. Sadly for the magpie, it smashed against a parked car, which then drove away a few minutes later, with egg oozing down the side! I watched from the window as the magpie came back to look for it but there was only a small amount left on the floor, along with smashed egg shell.
Pond Residents – Rat Family
I visited a local pond and saw a brown rat running down the embankment and into some reeds less than 5 metres away from me. I sat down on the bench to wait and watch what ratty would do next. To my surprise, out came a smaller baby rat which looked about 8 weeks old. Mummy and baby rat were sniffling the embankment and the pathway next to the pond, eating crumbs and seeds they found. Then out popped another baby rat from the reeds, and another! All while people were so close by. All four of them were snacking and even licking up melted ice cream from the path. I’m a bit of a rat fan, so I was so excited to watch them until they hid back in the reeds again when a passer-by unknowingly scared them away.
At the start of April I noticed the bluebells in the communal garden, growing around a tree. I couldn’t help but take a photo.
A large moth became resident on a door in the flats for a few days. I haven’t been able to identify it, as I don’t know much about moths, so if you can help please let me know. Here it is:
Magpie Nest Builders
A pair of magpies started to build a nest in the tree outside our window. I watched them gather twigs and start to build the nest. However, they abandoned it – perhaps when they realised it was overlooked by a human nest! (Video below – ignore the sound of the TV).
A tame fox was sniffing around a supermarket car park in search for snacks.
As I was driving along near the downs a kestrel flew right over my windscreen and onto a lamp post. I had seen it the day before (assuming it is the same one) hovering over some bushes. I’d love to get a good photo of it one day.
Long-Tailed Tits Keeping Warm
I heard some chirps coming from the trees in the garden as I walked past. I stopped to see if I could see any movement in the tree, and thought it must have been a nest of baby birds chirping for a nearby parent. But to my delight, I could see through to a branch which was only a metre above head-height, and there were seven or more long-tailed tits jumping around in the branches. One by one, they snuggled up together on one branch to keep warm. This has got to be one of the cutest acts of nature I have ever seen. I had seen on a nature programme that they do this to keep warm, but I had never seen it myself. So this was truly a magical moment.
30 Days Wild 2016
I have just signed up for The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild again for this year, to do a wild act every day in June. If you’d like to do the same, you can do so here. After doing it last year it really got me more connected with nature, and since then I’m much more aware of the wild things around me. It sounds cheesy, but it really is enlightening, and it is so simple to enjoy nature, and it’s free too!