Fledglings and Bees

It’s a busy time of year for birds and I’ve started to see all sorts of fledglings.

The local Canada Goose nursery is looking busier than I’ve ever seen it this year. I estimate there’s around forty goslings within a few hundred metres of each other and they are lovely to see.

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The elder goslings are actually starting to look like canada geese now but there’s still a few much smaller goslings at the nursery:

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There’s also a few greylag geese with young amongst the many canada geese but they don’t seem to pool their parenting like the canada geese too. Whilst canada geese have been numerous in the area for some time it’s only over the last few years that greylag geese have been seen and there gradually seems to be more and more of them. It’s also interesting to note that the geese are sharing their nursery with the horses who usually live in it!

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We’ve had a few young birds in the back garden too. As well as the juvenile starlings there have been very young house sparrows and dunnocks, the latter being pictured below (poor quality though as it was taken on my phone through a window).

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Dunnock Chick and adult

In other bird sightings, I’ve been thrilled to see a kingfisher a couple of times by a stream near the fishing lake. I’ve seen kingfishers a few times in the past and usually you just get a blue blur but I’ve got a really clear look at this one for a split second both times. It looks a little dishevelled but it’s a stunning bird all the same. As I’ve seen it in the same place I suspect there is a nest nearby but I can’t quite work out where. My big challenge now is to try and get a photo of it to share with you.

Another bird I think is nesting nearby is a grey heron. I have seen it in the same field several times. Herons actually nest in trees despite their large size and as the field is surrounded by trees on two sides I assume it’s there somewhere but I can’t spot it. I sa what is probably the same heron flying overhead yesterday.

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I’ve been participating in the Great British Bee Count over the last few weeks. Via a fantastic app (see here) you can identify and send off your bee sightings to help monitor the British bee population. There are actually around 250 species of bee in the UK and identification is not always easy. In the garden we mostly seem to get early bumblebees (Bombus pratorum) like the one below (I think).

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And opposite the goose nursery there’s brambles which are full of tree bumblebees (Bombus hypnorum). Interestingly this species was only recorded in the UK for the first time in 2001 but has since become widespread over England and Wales.

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In proof you can find wildlife everywhere here’s a spider I found in my shower! Thanks to Twitter I can say this is a male cupboard spider (Steatoda grossa), also known as one of the false widow species.

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To end I have an interesting plant to share. Last week I visited the beautiful Holton Heath in East Dorset. It wasn’t a great day for wildlife thanks to the weather (I saw a few bramblings and little else) but I did spot loads of Common Sundews (Drosera rotundifolia).

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The sundew is a carnivorous plants and takes nutrition from insects which get stuck on it. I have seen them a few times before but it almost seems a plant which is too exotic to live in the UK. A carnivorous plant in Dorset, so cool!

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