Very nice, a Great Peacock Moth
another word of advice I’ve seen elsewhere… if you have waterbutts make sure they are closely covered, to avoid becoming breeding grounds for mozzies including the nasty Tigre one…
Nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary, but yesterday afternoon I split my 12 lengths into 2 and set the chair up by the top pond. Read my kindle for a bit in the shade and then with a loud beating of wings, and the welcome rush of air produced, 2 very large pigeons glided in and settled to walk around the pond before dipping their beaks in for a drink.
They totally ignored me as I didn’t move and I watched them for 20 minutes or so before they took off to pastures new.
In my garden yesterday, Saturday, the temperature was 40°C + and activity was high around the bird baths – all birds up to the size of a blackbird were gaping with wide open beaks to cool themselves down. Never seen that before.
Cameras 1 was activated 440 times and camera 2 activated 338 times, record numbers. Both cameras stopped working in the mid-afternoon, and shouldn’t have, so may have been affected by the excessive heat.
Larger birds like collared doves and wood pigeons didn’t seem to be affected.
On my video cams, I’ve watched blackbirds at the bird bath, where I have seen what may be mosquito larva wriggling around, which the blackbirds have cottoned onto, search for, and eat!
That’s great, so long as they eat the lot. With the Tigre mozzie warnings at the moment, folk are advised to remove stagnant water as much as possible.
I left the bare tarmac supermarket carpark a couple of years ago and all of a sudden there was one on the windowsill of my car, I noticed it on the bypass, it hopped into the car and hitched a lift home with me. Miles better chez moi than drying to a crisp on the horrible car park. God knows where it came from.
This one suddenly appeared on the car bonnet when we went shopping today. I stopped the car, got out and it jumped onto my jeans. Quite happy to get on my hand so I put it in the vines you see behind me.
At the moment feels like I’m in some sort of Hitchcock movie with all the cicadas flying around can’t remember this last year
Wolves, cougars/mountain lions, large birds of prey, etc, the predators that would normally hunt raccoons as part of their own foodchain supply, and which in Europe have been hunted to extinction, or only very small populations.
We’ve got over 900 grey wolves in France, which isn’t a big population by any means but it is a lot better than it was a couple of decades ago. I’m not sure how many bears and lynx there are. I really loathe the cretinous hunters who shoot them.
The situation is definitely getting better in France, I’d read somewhere that even bobcat populations are starting to spread west and north from the foothold they have in the Vosges, but with farmers and hunters still considering even smaller birds of prey (kestrels, sparrowhawks, harriers, buzzards and kites, etc) as pests, we’ve still got a long way to go. The local farmers still shoot them round here, catching them in the act is the difficult thing.
This made me think of our recent trips to Ireland - I was acutely aware that there seemed to be no birds of prey pretty much anywhere, even in the remotest of places out in County Mayo - probably saw one kestrel along the M6 on the way to Galway city, very sad.
Just to come back to this pair of buzzards, they have successfully reared and fledged 3 young this year, we encountered them hopping/gliding short flights from branch to branch as we turned the bend on the way out of the hamlet - they’re still a bit ungainly, a bit like a bunch of drunk rowdies, but they were a decent size already !
I live on top of a ridge with vineyards and mixed deciduous (mainly oak) woodland all around, and a fairly brackish-looking pond type waterhole at the bottom - I have lots of raptors of various sorts nesting nearby (mainly buzzards and kestrels, further down the valley there are red and black kites) and a lot of deer boar foxes and badgers as well as hares rabbits ragondins snakes lizards etc wander around or through my garden as well as countless voles shrews woodmice etc. The waterhole is evidently better quality than it looks as there are fish and frogs newts etc in it, as well as creatures using it to drink.
Not exactly wildlife in the garden, but domestic mites that live on our faces!
Not for the squeamish!
These two were wandering around at the back of the house - the little one cries out (turn sound on) and tries to suckle up to Mum, who seems decidedly not very concerned other than making sure the baby keeps up!