It’s been a while since I focused my big lens on the Happy Eater tree, but now all the leaves are gone it’s easier to get some clearer shots of my little visitors. The branches still get in the way a bit, but I’m loathe to chop any off, can’t hurt a tree FFS, not even for photography 🙂
SO I spent an hour this morning watching the comings and goings of the usual suspects, blue tits, great tits and sparrows, hoping something different might turn up. There was a fleeting visit from a coal tit, but I didn’t get a decent shot of him sadly. So this was going to be my shot of the day
but just as I was about to get up and make a cuppa a big splodge landed in the tree, I wasn’t sure what it was at first as I was looking through the viewfinder when it landed, but I shot off a few rounds and then stopped and had a look. I couldn’t believe it as I am pretty sure this is the local sparrow hawk. You might remember (probably not 🤣) I got this shot of it back on day 218
so I am cockahoopy about it landing so close in my tree and getting a few shots of it. It didn’t catch any of my little birds, they skedadled toot sweet, but it didn’t look bothered, sitting there being all magnificent. Wish it had been facing me instead of the other way, but you can’t have it all I guess!
As I arrived at work this morning and parked the car, I saw a herd of wild geese flying from the north. I grabbed my camera from my bag and all but fell out of the car in a rush to try and get them as they were going at a fair lick. I flung the camera to my eye, pressed the shutter and hoped for the best with not having time to check my settings or any of the normal niceties when contemplating a photograph. A moment later they were out of sight.
Click on it to see the bigger version, they are amazing to see in such a big group. I’m not sure where they were going, but they were heading south, and I couldn’t tell what kind of geese they were as they were too high up. Apparently we get geese coming over here to winter and some bred here go to North Africa, so they could be coming or going. Either way it was a spectacle I’m glad I didn’t miss.
Birds flying in a V formation are taking advantage of aerodynamics. The lead bird works the hardest by breaking into undisturbed air. The next two birds fly into the “sweet spot” where wingtip vortices form, reducing drag and producing uplift. The birds use the uplift and expend about 20–30% less energy flying. The advantage of flying in this spot results in the bird’s heartbeat being reduced and it doesn’t have to flap its wings as much. As the lead bird tires, it drops back in the formation and the next bird takes its place. Drafting off one another requires close formation, about 3 feet apart.
Over the past couple of weeks the Hedgehog sightings have become fewer and fewer. Henrietta has been the longest term visitor, but we hadn’t seen her for about a week now. We thought she was possibly pregnant and birthing had happened, but no sightings of her with hoglets sadly. Harriet is long gone, Mr.Munchy was here for 4 nights last week but then no more, Archie & Slash both were two nighters. Then we’ve had 2 nights without any HH’s at all, but last night Miss Splotty turned up for a while, and later on I’m sure Henrietta came back, but looked smaller, so whether it’s a different HH with very similar markings, or she’s had her babies, I can’t really tell.
In the forums of Hedgehog street website this happens at this time of year, and loads of HH watchers are saying the same thing, as hibernation starts to kick in, though it seems a bit early to me.
We’ve got quite fond of Henrietta and bought a hedgehog house for her to have her babies in, tucked under the Leilandi at the back of the garden, camouflaged with branches over it, and dry leaves inside for them to make a nest. It’s quite roomy in there. Unfortunately Henrietta disappeared before it arrived 🙄. I am thinking that like the birdbox I put up on the fence 5 years ago, and the bug hotel I put up 2 years ago, nothing will ever use it! Still, early days! We live in hope! Anyways this is it .
We are still recording the nightly wildlife visitations to our garden on a trail camera. So far we have identified the hedgehogs Harriet, Henrietta, Rodger, Mr.Munch, Mr.Twoscoops, and Slash.
Harriet was our first and visited for a quite a few nights, but we haven’t seen her since our return from Italy. Rodger was a one visit only, he impregnated one of the ladies and that was the last we saw of him. What a cad! Henrietta has been our longest regular visitor but for the past 2 nights she hasn’t turned up and we are reasonably certain she was the pregnant one, so I guess she may be busy doing that. Mr. Munch visited for 3 nights but then no more, and both Slash and Twoscoops have been one nighters.
We have other occasional visitors, Sid the Snail, and Mini the Mouse, as well as the odd neighbourhood cat. We were, and still are, leaving hedgehog food- biscuits out in a dish on the patio which was fine while the weather was dry, but when it rains the biscuits go soggy, so I have devised a rather fetching shelter for it.
I’ve also ordered a Hedgeog House for the garden so they can snuggle up in that if they want.
In the menu of this blog you can click on Hedgehog Cam, and see some short videos from the cam, I only put them up when there’s a new hedgehog, or if something fun happens, so have alook if you want a cuteness shot in the arm.