A Busy Week, Sunshine and Garden Growth

This week has been a very busy one, with 3 days spent filming for a project that I cannot tell you much about I am afraid! All I can say is it will not air until next Spring and, as is the way of such projects, everything has to be kept under wraps until all is ‘in the bag’ and it is announced. You will be hearing all about it as soon as I am allowed to tell you though! Suffice to say it is a bit different to the filming I have done previously and was a great few days in the company of some fantastic people!

The week has steadily improved weather-wise, with the blustery winds dropping and the sun getting warmer and warmer, culminating in a weekend that has felt like mid-summer! 

My Great tit chicks are all growing fast and, in the week, as part of the filming, we ringed them. Thank you to Ben and Jim who came, carefully took them from the nest for a very short period before returning them safely. The parents were straight back in and the chicks have continued the thrive. Only the smallest of the nine chicks has died and the remaining 8 all seem to be doing really well. Ringing aims to understand what is happening to birds in the places they live and how this affects population increases and decreases, this knowledge is vital for conservation. It also gives information on the movements individual birds make and how long many live for. Ringed birds have given us vital information about individual birds, including the fact that the oldest Great tit lived for just over 13 years. The advantage of ringing them as chicks is we know exactly how old they are. The details of each ring is noted and submitted to the BTO. If any of my great tits are ever found, then Jim will be informed and he will tell me. For me, it will also tell me which of my great tits stay around. I will also tell my neighbours who feed to keep an eye out for them and we will be able to possibly monitor how far they travel to feed. Maybe the ringing will also show if Great tits that hatched in my garden, stay around and then choose to breed here subsequent years.

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They are growing incredibly fast and their feather are now coming through and they are starting to stretch their wings with newly emerged primaries and secondaries…

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My Jackdaw chicks are now growing fast. We did have three chicks hatch, but one was much smaller and that one died. The two remaining chicks are feeding well, but are very difficult to see in the rather rubbish-tip type nest. I am hoping that as they get bigger, we will be able to see them more clearly. I still have a pair of jackdaws in and out The Studio Box, bit no sign off an egg there yet.

It has been a glorious weekend and I have been able to spend a bit of time in the garden with my camera.  My Nectar-rich planting and Wild flower turf is looking simply wonderful! I have taken lots of photos and they can be viewed on my ‘Smug Mug’ WildlifeKate Patch website.  

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Perhaps the highlight of today was the discovery of a Cockchafer beetle in my garden. These wonderful beetles are often known as Maybugs as they are seen at this time of the year, often on warm evenings flying rather noisily and haphazardly around, crashing into things! This beauty stayed around for a few minutes, allowing me time to get some photos before it warmed up its wing muscles and disappeared up and ver my hedge. A delight to be able to photograph such a spectacular insect and the joy of macro photography is that you can then have a real close-up look at it afterwards and discover detail that you would never had been able to see with the naked eye!

All my images can be seen HERE on my Flickr account… 

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That’s all for tonight… another busy week ahead, let’s hope the weather holds!