|Beautiful colours of the fresh allium|
|Volucella bombylans - a fairly large hoverfly that is a bumble bee mimic|
|Strawberry plant flower|
This is reiterated to me every time I go for a walk with the dog. Whitethroats on telephone wires, foxes skulking in the orchards, great spotted woodpeckers raising their chicks, calling to tem constantly. This GSW nest is the second we know of, the other is down in the woodland area in the other direction from my house (features later on in this post..). All of this a 10 minute walk from my house. How lucky am I :) Sometimes it is nice to just take in all these incredible moments without taking photos. But some events are just too good that I want a digital image as well as a picture in my head, because one day my memory may not be as clear as it is currently!
|Parent woodpecker by the nest hole|
|Chick popping its head out!|
|How happy does he look :)|
More sun meant more photo opportunities, because flowers just look so much more colourful and vibrant when they are highlighted by sunshine! The allium's flowers are gradually opening and the various insects are using the leaves as sun beds. The housemartins are keeping me entertained as they swoop over my head and talk to each other in their bubbly tones. I just LOVE watching them and it fills me with happiness when I hear the swifts screaming as they dart after each other. It is these things which I can't imagine summer without.
I have also been keeping a close eye on the nest box which the blue tits have been using and on Tuesday I predicted that the chicks would fledge soon. They proved me right and around lunch time I noticed a small fluffy grumpy looking blue tit chick perched on the flowering bush near the nest box. It was making lots of noise, obviously hungry and calling to mum or dad. The parent tried many different positions feeding it's bubba!!
|Alium - the individual flower heads (florets?) had started opening|
|Playing with log and toy at the same time - multitasking pup!|
|Housemartin pair adding to their nest. Why they don't use the box we put up I don't know!!|
|Blue tit fledgling|
|Parent and baby blue tits|
|How many different angles can this parent be in to feed its chick?!|
|Fluffed up, this chick looks bigger than its parent!|
The allium is a member of the onion family and is actually latin for garlic. The whole plant is a complex cluster of flowers which I think can be referred to as an inflorescence. The common point at the centre gives rise to a number of pedicels (the stalks of each floret) and the stem which supports the whole inflorescence is termed peduncle. I have never been very good at botany so if I have got any terms wrong I do apologise!
The last couple of walks down at the strawberry fields 5 minutes from my house, I have been surrounded by housemartins who go there to pick up muds to build or patch up their nests. They literally come within a couple of metres from me which is magical!! 5, 6, 7 of them all landed in the nearly dried up muddy puddle, but only for a brief moment. The wind made them flutter around and showed how spectacularly they utilise each of their feathers in order to fly in the direction they wanted to. A lone swallow passed through also.
|Correction: Large white (Thank you Marianne!)|
|Colourful meadow area|
|Happy Bracken amongst the buttercups|
|Correction: Azure damselfly (Thanks again to Marianne!)|
I didn't think this walk could get much better, only to walk past the wooded area and hear the great spotted woodpecker chicks calling loudly. They had fledged!! Through the leafy trees I spotted one which after a few minutes was joined by a parent. I stayed to watch and get a couple of photos then headed off so I didn't scare either parent away. Whilst I watched them, I also heard chiff chaffs, a cuckoo, the many reed warblers and when I glanced across the meadow shown above, I was please to see a wonderful marsh harrier.
|Parent and fledgling great spotted woodpeckers|
I was greeted by more housemartins when I reached the puddles on the way home and managed a couple more pleasing photos.
|Housemartin off to add to its fantastic nest!|
The last few days have really enforced how in awe of nature and birds I am. I love the area I live in!
Sorry for such a long post! Please do look back soon if I haven't bored you too much with my ramblings! :)