Updated: May 18, 2021
Apologies for not being able to keep you up to date recently, I have been feeling a bit under the weather with a bad migraine and the after effects of my second jab, but I'm feeling fine now. You may have seen already we have now reached more than 100 species, which is a fantastic achievement and means we're a quarter of the way to our target! 123 in all, including several new moths, three new birds, several other insects and a few of my predictions from last month, with Brimstone our first butterfly, Common and Small Quaker Moth and the Dark-edged Beefly. At least I know my predictions were not unfounded. Isn't it great when the wildlife cooperates, definitely not always the case!
We also had a very special encounter with a female Sparrowhawk that sat on the Cotoneaster tree outside my window for over an hour! Probably one of the best views I've ever had! She just sat there occasionally preening herself. She did show some interest in the birds around though and looked like she might go for something, but never did in the end. Dad thought it could be a hunting strategy of keeping very still and letting the prey come to her. Eventually she just flew off and mum even delayed heading to the shed so as not to disturb her. You my have seen it on Facebook already, but below is the short video we managed to get of her.
Another thing we managed to do was install a new bird feeding station at the end of the garden so dad can see the birds while he's working in the shed. We've got a peanut feeder on one side and our usual seed on the other. It will be exciting to see what we attract. We also recently put up a Niger seed feeder in our apple tree, and it's been really successful. The Goldfinches are in the garden every day now, whereas before they seemed reluctant. We used to have a Niger feeder on our middle feeding station, but for some reason the Goldfinches stopped coming. We have a very large population of House Sparrows, which is really good especially as they've been in decline, but we think have got a bit dominant on our middle feeder. So moving the Niger seed feeder to the cover of the apple seems to have worked. It goes to show that it's not just about right food, but also right place. In general a good tip is to put out a variety of different types of bird-food if you want to attract the widest number of species.
Continuing with the bird theme I have now managed to see my first swallow of the year. Dad saw some Swallows and House Martins last week, but they were just out of view for me. There's plenty of time to see the House Martins so one out of two isn't bad. We also added Greylag Goose, so we only need one more bird to get to 50. The other additions I haven't mentioned include Peacock Butterfly, Early Bumblebee, Common Carder Bee, Common Wasp and Early Thorn moth.
Dad took this shot of the Peacock, it came out really well!
I hope you enjoyed reading what we've got up to in the last couple of weeks. Keep looking at the website, as I try and keep the species list updated regularly.