Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Tawny chicks win cute contest

These were the tawny owl chicks from the Nests blog. Very cute and docile though they were snapping their beaks in a warning to us. Mum was not in the tree with them so she was probably roosting in the nearby wood. I like to think that the owlet is gazing up at me adoringly...or maybe remembering my face for when it can fly properly! Believe it or not, these fluffballs will very soon leave the nest and 'branch'. After getting their lovely BTO ring, they were both popped back into their nest and left to snooze the rest of the day till mum will feed them at dusk.


A few nests....

Two tawny owl chicks in an old tree stump
A goldfinch nest in a thorn hedge

Chiffchaff nest by the back door!
Not sure on this one - thorn hedge again
Goosander nest in this hollow tree
And a scrappy buzzard nest with two eggs in
Used the camera to discretely check this box to check for occupancy - bingo!
A fine pair of sleepy barn owls which we ringed and returned to their cosy box.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Ravens part 1

A fine construction of pine sticks

And a very warm lining too
And two fine healthy raven chicks that will soon be ready to fly!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Muckle feet

Check out the size of these feet - what's your guesses? 
She was  ringed, weighed and released by my pal Cat.
I just couldn't get over how powerful those feet are.

Cool minibeasts of the moor

Thanks John for putting a name to this very cool beetle, Caribus nitens. 
What a funky beastie it is! Here he is trying to hide, giving a great view of his ribbed back.

 Drinker moth caterpillar out on the moor. Spotted lots of Northern Egger caterpillars too.

 And this morning just before sunrise I spotted this beauty, a female Emperor moth

Monday, 13 April 2015

Old Stripes is battle-scarred

Old Stripes (3+ years old) is now looking a little worse for wear.
Has he had a run in with a cat maybe?

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Garden news

Bad news for the cushat pulli yesterday as although both parents were hanging about but both chicks were freshly dead. I'm guessing that the adult went off to feed and they just couldn't stand the cold. Such strange reptilian beasts they are too.

Good news on the sparrow nest-box front though - there is now a Mrs Sparrow - took a quick shot as I walked past and left them to it.

Woodpecker Diner

Spotted this the other day when I was out working. Huge pile of sitka cones at the foot of it, and lodged into crevices in the bark, several more cones. Looks like a great-spotted woodpecker has been having a feast!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Anyone home?

First visit to the owl boxes and baskets to see who is home. No owls so far...just a bit of jackdaw nest-building. Mind, this box has only been up since the end of the winter so I wasn't expecting too much. There is a box in this old shed but no-one has been visiting (we'd have seen pellets if they had).

This tawny-owl box I was sure would be occupied so goggles on, I climbed up. Inside the box were bits of yew and with no sign of anything in there so I removed them, reaching down deep inside and found THIS wee squeaker - something about its poise makes me think of the Pink Panther! I quickly put it back and the yew bits too.

The long-eared owl baskets (from Generation 1 - they are MUCH better now) were all empty too, although this one looks like someone has a well stocked larder!

Kestrel box, also empty. Possibly too low?

Finally, some occupation - the old nest in the holly tree.
Think these might be only a day old!

Better luck next time - watch this space.
And thanks to my happy helper.
(And SO sorry about the boot print!)