Nature Notes

Hello lovely peoples and happy Saturday. It appears to be glorious weather today...but that doesn't mean anything these days. There may well be a shower around the corner. I'll take the waterproofs out with me today just incase.

So today I have a few interesting tid-bits for you from around the place.

In April, the Wild Cattle start to shed their winter coats. They spend hours and hours just standing scratching on deadwood, fence posts, trees, vehicles, gate...basically anything solid that will stand still. You will observe great clouds of fur flying into the air and bald patches appearing on the cattle, giving them a distinctly dishevelled appearance. (If you don't know what I'm on about with regards to wild cattle, get with the programme and read this).

One of the most amusing things is watching all the little birdies swooping around and gathering the fur as nest-lining material. Wag-tails, swallows, starlings and many others will use this medium as a fantastic bum-warmer. And what I have to show you today, is this fantastic photo of a nest that I recently found with the fur actually incorporated into it. Don't worry, the occupants were long gone by the time I found it.

I have no idea what manner of bird built this nest, judging by the size, maybe a blackbird? If anyone can shed some light on the situation then by all means do!

What we have here folks is a giant red-wood. Or a Sequoia, Or a Wellingtonia. This tree needs several names because it is huge! To learn more about the history of this tree, click here. Basically it was brought to England as a novelty for land-owners to put in their great estates. Ahhh the victorians. A lot to answer for....rhododendron...grey squirrels...gah!

They are rather impressive trees with really soft bark that you can literally just strip away. And that is the feature that makes it a favourite tree of the tree-creeper! A tree creeper is a tiny bird that flits up and down trees poking around for invertebrates. The thing that I am pointing out specifically here is these golf-ball sized holes that can be found up and down the tree. The tree-creepers dig out these holes and hunker down in them out of the wind in the cold winters. It is a common sight on a lot of these giant red-woods. Do look out for them if you have any giant red-woods near you!

The Hedge-row is my favourite habitat. The english hedgerow is home to so many different plants and animals and sadly it is in decline due to modern farming practices. But that is a whole different blog post! One of the pretty things in the hedge-rows at the moment are these pretty purple flowers which I've been assured by FMIL are geraniums. Beautiful, beautiful flowers.

So I'll restrain myself for now. I could chatter on and on for hours about the wildlife in this place. I wish you all a good weekend!

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  1. I love the furry nest!!! So lovely your cattle are keeping the avian population in insulation! My Grandad had a sequoia in his garden which has a preservation order on it- it is vast!!!x

    1. Yes these red woods can reach epic proportions! X


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