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Spring Watch: Live

1st of July 2013

It’s always nice when a plan comes together and I am so pleased that the birds use the pebble beach at the wildlife pond just as it was intended. They perch in a lilac bush to make sure the coast is clear, or wait their turn, and then have a good old splash in the shallow water before hopping onto a big pudding stone for a shake, then back into the bush for a good preen. Whilst Mum and I were enjoying the sunshine, and having a late lunch by the pond the other day, there was a steady stream of bathers. First a lovely song thrush, then a male chaffinch, then a goldfinch, followed by a green woodpecker. Suddenly a couple of swallows flashed across the pond, one skimming the water and grabbing a drink. They flew round and round in circles for a few minutes, taking a drink on the wing as they whizzed over the centre of the pond. With the late spring I had seen very few swallows so this was a welcome treat. Later that day I saw some swifts whizzing through the air as I walked Ted, my dog, past the Boot in Tower Hill. Their flight always looks so effortless as they twist and turn to catch insects; how perfectly shaped their wings are for cutting through the air.

The birds enjoy the sunshine, but dusk is a great time to see mammals. From Mum’s patio windows we get a great view down the ride to the ponds. After watching Spring Watch on TV we sit and watch the fox parade through the window. Magpies are messy feeders and are always knocking food from the bird table on to the ground and, as we watch, at least three different foxes come to look for scraps. One is large, one has a very small white tip to its tail, and one is fairly small but has a large white tip to its tail. Although tonight there were seven visits, it’s hard to tell if it is the same three going back and forth or seven individuals. One cheeky one came on to the patio and looked in at us!

Just before I drew the curtains a muntjak had a drink from the pond and the tiny pippistrel bats started fluttering about.

I often wonder why we bother with the TV when there is so much to see if one just sits still! Wendy Bathurst

 
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