Tag Archives: RSPB

wiltshire wildlife june 2011

The local Sparrow and Starling youngsters are going through 5 or 6 fat balls a day at the moment. The Starlings are just starting to show signs of transition from juvenile feathers to the adult plumage and are feeding themselves, but the Sparrow young still, mostly, need to be fed.

Despite reports of a decline in Sparrows in recent years we have a good crop and can often have as many as 20 flitting around with their complex air traffic control stacking them for a turn on the feeder.

Fortunately we’ve had no sightings of the larger birds of prey that turned up towards the end of last year, but the Pigeons, Gulls and Crows still have spats amongst themselves, uniting against the Magpies and the Heron.

Samantha Squirrel was last seen in August and so we think that she has gone to that drey in the sky. She would have been at least 6 and had been through some hard times. A strange thing though; it was four summers ago that she moved herself and her two babies into our loft and we had to evict them in fear that they would chew up wiring with the attendant risks to them and us. Twice in the last few months an adult squirrel has come down our path, run unerringly up the cherry tree to the corner of the house where Samantha made an entry, looked around and then run back down the tree and left, ignoring the adjacent bird feeder. Could this have been one (or  both) of Samantha’s offspring, following some memory of a previous home? Maybe I’m just being wishful, but why would a squirrel just turn up, check that location and leave?

This is the fourth year that we have not had a fox take up temporary residence under our deck. Having been a regular maternity ward for several years we had enjoyed the spectacle of the youngsters play fighting in the afternoon sun, even if we did not like some of their, shall we say, personal habits.



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It’s a wet day in Swindon – Wildlife Report

The day started dull, but the sun came out for a while around 0900 for me to walk over to the newsagent and enquire where our paper had gone (school holidays – delivery tends to get a bit erratic).

Samantha Squirrell was round again for breakfast and is hopefully snug back in her drey now. The sparrows were fairly swarming. Whatever the decline may be we are certainly not seeing it in our garden. There are usually at least 9, and sometimes 12+ (it gets hard to be sure becuase by the time you’ve counted to 12 they’re all on the move again). The starlings have also be in with the juveniles starting to get their adult plumage.

All of the birds seem to be on their second broods of the season and this new batch are just about staring to feed themselves. The magpies are also doing well again and there were well into double figures around by the footbridge as I walked to the shop. Not being supersticious I don’t salute them (or count them too closely).

My efforts at thwarting the pigeons seem to have worked for now and they are spending a lot of time sat in the cherry tree trying to work out how to get at the bird food. They’ll have to make do, like Samantha does, with what falls on the floor. At least I’ve given the smaller birds a better chance at getting their fair share.

We’ve not had a fox in residence for the second year running after being on the Good Earth guide for about 5 years. In their absence it rather looks as though the bees have taken up residence under the deck, so maybe I can reclaim the compost bin. I’ll have to cut the honeysuckle back to find it, so that can go on the autumn job list.

Anyway, that’s it for now as the sky has got a bit lighter and I can see what I’m doing with the decorating again. Time to go back to work.

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