Warm Wildlife

Summer has finally decided to put in an appearance this week. The temperature here yesterday was around 32° C and it’s been an uncomfortable few days and nights for us humans. The poor wildlife are stuck outdoors in it 24/7.

The Canada Geese haven’t been spending much time on the fields this week. With the majority of the goslings reaching near-adult size they are now spending most of their time on the lake, under the shade during the hotter parts of the day.

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Meanwhile, the mammals are seeking the shade of the trees where possible. I saw this roe deer near the lake on Monday- I think they come down into the wooded areas of the New Forest to avoid the heat of the open heathland.

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The oak trees near the lake are home to a fair few grey squirrels. They seem to be spending a lot of time on the ground at the moment, presumably avoiding the heat above. Being fairly rural squirrels these ones aren’t keen on people and hurtle up the trees as soon as you go near.

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Life for smaller birds goes on largely as normal-you always need to eat after all. This is one of the Collared doves which frequents the garden and has learnt how to access one of the bird feeders.

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It’s a precarious balancing act though and doesn’t always look so graceful:

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The warmer weather is good news for some with the local butterflies starting to appear in some numbers. I’ve seen some of the usual suspects…

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Meadow Brown
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Red Admiral

…and some less common species.

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Silver-Washed Fritllary 
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Holly Blue

I have been keeping an eye on a nest which is in a box on the side of a telephone pole. Sadly when I walked past this evening I noticed a chick had obviously fallen from the nest and was squawking away.

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I would have tried to put the chick back in the nest but given that it was some two metres above my head on a telephone pole it was impossible. The chick has no hope of surviving but I hope at least it will feed a hungry predator.

For me it was a reminder of the fragility of life in the wild. Rarely outside of TV do you get to follow individual animals, and even then you don’t see their demise. But in reality every thing you see is fighting for it’s very survival and often things go tragically wrong.

Well that was a melancholy ending wasn’t it? There’s good news though; I work in a school and have just finished for the summer holidays. That means I will have plenty more time over the next six weeks to get out into the wild so I hope to bring you lots of exciting things here in the coming weeks!

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