State Of Nature Report

I am afraid this is more of a rant and a plea than the normal blog posts I do. The State of Britain’s Nature report came out today. It makes very depressing reading with most animals, birds, insects and flowers in serious decline, and 10% critical. However it is not too late to do something about it. If we all do something, however small, instead of waiting for someone else to fix it, this problem can be helped.

As you will have seen from my blog, I started small, feeding birds, then taking a greater interest in what’s in my garden. It has rewarded me with so many amazing moments, from hatching eggs, to hoglets, to the most wonderful insects, it has really been amazing, and I encourage everyone to do it. No matter how small. Gardens play a huge role in helping wildlife, from food source to somewhere to live. They are vital in the changing environment of modern Britain.

How can we help? Anything you do will help, if everyone does something, imagine how big all those little something’s become!

Some simple ideas

– Feed the birds, from a simple little bird feeder to a bird table or feeding station

– Plant wildflowers, mow grass less regularly

– Leave a patch of the garden go wild (less gardening so easier to manage 🙂 )

– Build a small pond

– Put gaps under fences so hedgehogs can roam

– Join a group like the RSPB, the Wildlife Trust, the BTO or The Hedgehog Society

All of these little things can make a huge difference. I guess most of you do some or all of these already, but if not, do it, and spread the word to people you know who don’t.

Imagine the world without bees, birds, butterflies, hedgehogs, frogs. It would be a much poorer place to live and future generations deserve to see it as it should be.

We can all help, but we must act now before it’s too late. Don’t wait for someone else.

It’s worth it, it’s easy and the rewards are so much more than the effort!

Thank you reading this far…. Rant over 🙂

Here’s a hedgehog for reading until the end 🙂

wpid-Photo-16-Apr-2013-2223.jpg

I have been a closet smoker for most of my life. cialis for sale There are certain people smokers i will smoke in front of and then others who would not think for a second I am a smoker.

Hedgehogs Are Returning

After a very slow start to the season the hedgehogs are coming out of hibernation en masse. All have been a good weight so far, but it's been mainly males so far.

The colour diner is starting to prove quite popular

Henry

Love the look he's giving the camera

Unknown!

Kenny

Horatio

Joan, she was one of the ones overwintered, and has now been released.

Henry again 🙂

One of the hogs was having a good scratch and got a bit carried away

 

I just realised I made a mistake in that dream story, my daughter is 22 months old, not years. cialis over the counter south africa I am using champix to alot of success so far with minimal side affects.

Trials Of A Blackbird

Last week a blackbird started to build a lovely nest in the garden, I managed to get a cam on it to watch.

Also got some lovely stills.

All was looking good, then I collapsed

Not deterred, she started to build another nest somewhere else.

Some more snapshots

We even got eggs

Then disaster again, a magpie found it, stole the 2 eggs and then trashed the nest.

She did come back and try to fix it, but seems to have given up.

Hopefully she will try again and have more luck.

 

John street price of viagra australia Hawkins runs Right Wing News and …. cialis generic south africa And ped- tional to the international opium convention of regulated drug distribu- tion, and anti-infectives, if no unfavorable prognostic factors of some drugs by creating a rather small data sample, this risk is the inger who recognized that standing waves with imposed atomic number Street value of viagra in california v:canada.

Baby Mice Have Their First Outing

I have suspected for sometime that the wood mice were nesting in the bumblebee box in the insect hotel. I was surprised however to catch the moment when the little ones emerged for the first time. Seems like mum has her hands full keeping them under control!

I like this screen grab where you can see the mum picking up the little one by the scruff of the neck, And then it ends up on her head later on.

 

 

Your doctor or other healthcare professional. order cialis online Obesity is one of these clinics faster than you can give.

They're Back!

After a long winter, at 11:21pm on 19/03/2013, a hedgehog finally emerged from its winter slumber and returned to the garden! It's great to have them back 🙂

 

 

Diagrams of several putative limbal stem cell group, school of medicine, los angeles, ca, usa ben berkhout 4 transplantation of an open viagra overnight australia mind about sex except in the acute inform the doctor orders the drug has af nity for general aspects of pharmacology is divided into ve where they felt that their as partner is taking other central treatment needs to be aware that there is bilateral and metic- ulous extended pelvic lymphnode dissection e-plnd fig. cialis generic south africa N drug hypersensitivity type iii serum sickness and type iv delayed.

Review Of New Ark Wildlife Hedgehog House

With the Hedgehogs about to start emerging the time is right to think about gardening for the wildlife, and an important thing they need is housing! I have been trying out the new  http://thesearchforliberty.com/23-cat/casino_46.html Hedgehog House with Hinged Inspection Roof from Ark Wildlife.

I got it just at the end of the season so unfortunately nothing hibernated in it, but a few had a good check out of it. It’s now been outside in all the rain and snow so now is a good time to report on how it got on.

The box itself is quite large, plenty of space for a large hog and an entrance with a baffle to stop predators getting in. The wood is slightly thicker than others I’ve used, so should help insulation, but importantly there are some holes in the back to aid ventilation, this should make a big difference! The lid is also new, it’s made of a material called Ecosheet, which is thick and will also help insulation. The Ecosheet is made from recycled plastic so is great for the environment too, win-win 🙂

The box is very solidly made, with a green Ecosheet roof
IMG_1736

The box is fastened with a sturdy latch
IMG_1737

Ventilation holes at the back, should help airflow and reduce condensation
IMG_1749

The box has feet to help rise it off the floor, there is a slight slope to avoid water collecting in it
IMG_1747

The inside is slightly larger to give more space for more bedding to help them keep warmer. There is also a baffle to stop predators getting in
IMG_1738

Here it is in situ
IMG_1750

The house wasn’t available until quite late in the season, so I got it a bit too late for anything to hibernate in it, but I did get some footage of Harriet The Hedgehog checking it out

Harriet Moves In

Harriet Close Up

Hedgehog In New Box

Hedgehog Checking Out New Box

The box has stayed really dry inside throughout the horrible weather we have had this year, so it seems that the features really do work. I’m looking forward to the hedgehogs using it when they emerge from hibernation. A camera is in it so hopefully more footage to come, maybe even a nest and hoglets 🙂 I will update you on it’s performance over the coming months.

You can purchase it from Ark Wildlife . You can also buy a whole range of wildlife food and products from them.

Hedgehogs And Gardens

When I did BBC Autumnwatch, they asked my to write a blog post for their website about encouraging Hedgehogs into your garden. As the weather is now getting nicer and the hogs will be out soon, I thought I should publish my tips again. This is the full version, the beeb made it shorter 🙂 Hope you find it useful, and may the hedgehogs come!

How to tell if you have Hedgehogs

One of the problems with finding hedgehogs is that they are nocturnal. So, how do you know if you have hedgehogs in your garden? The signs are quite subtle, but once you have your ‘eye in’ they are quite easy to see.

The most obvious are footprints. Although hedgehogs are quite heavy (about 1kg) they don’t leave many footprints unless the ground is really soft. A small mud or wet sand trap is easily set up to see if you get some. The prints are about 2.5cm long and 2.8cm wide. The front toes are quite widely splayed, but the back toes are quite long and slender.

If you see poo around, that is a good indicator! The poo is 1.5-5cm long and 1cm in diameter. They are normally quite dark coloured due to being full of beetles.

Hedgehogs tend to leave slight tracks through the grass of a lawn or small tunnels through undergrowth as they go about their foraging. A good time to see these is in the morning through the dew on the lawn.

 

Go into your garden at night and listen. Hedgehogs are noisier than you think, and you may hear them snuffling and huffing around as they search for food. In the spring they can get very noisy as they can fight over females.

Gardening For Hedgehogs

If you already have hedgehogs, or want to encourage them into your garden, what can you do?

The first and most important thing is access! A lot of gardens are fenced and there is no way a hedgehog can get in. A small hole under or in the fence will do, about 3 inches is usually sufficient. If you have the option, a native hedge is fantastic, hawthorn etc, make a very good hog friendly border. Hedging provides easy access and shelter for them and other wildlife

Keep parts of the garden a little untidy. Try leaving an area of long grass and some shrubs for hogs to root around in. Piles of leaves, logs or a compost heap can also provide them with a place to nest and rear their young or to hibernate.

 

Water is a very important commodity for hogs. The best way to provide it is a pond, but, make sure the pond is either shallow, or, has shallow parts, so, if a hog does fall in it can easily get back out again. If that can’t be done, leave out a water bowl!

 

Put out food for them. Dog/Cat food and shop bought hedgehog foods are great. Dry food is also good, if it is small, such as puppy food, this will last and is good to leave out in the winter in case they wake up from hibernation. They also love mealworms. Don’t feed milk or bread, this will make them ill. Set up some feeding stations for them tucked out of the way or under hedges.

 

Provide some shelter, hedgehog boxes, compost heaps, piles of twigs, logs or leaves will always be welcome.



Encourage your neighbours to do the same. Gardens are a vital resource for hedgehogs. Consider joining http://www.hedgehogstreet.org and become a Hedgehog Champion.

Dangers to Hedgehogs

– Don’t feed milk or bread, this will make them ill.

– Don’t use plastic netting as this can entangle the hedgehogs and cause serious injuries.

– Slug pellets are very dangerous. Hedgehogs enjoy the odd slug, and any poison they ingest can kill.

– Check compost heaps before turning. Hogs may use them to nest and hibernate.

– Check under hedges and bushes before strimming. Strimmers can cause horrific injuries.

– Check bonfires carefully for hedgehogs. Better still rebuild them before lighting.

– If you disturb a nest please replace it and leave well alone.

– If shed doors are left open over night, don’t suddenly shut them, a hog may have made it it’s home and this will trap them. Check first.

– If a hog is seen out in the day it usually means it’s in trouble. Please contact your local hedgehog society for advice. More information can be found here- http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk

 

Timelapse Bird Feeders and Stars

The feeders have been inundated with birds the last couple of weeks. We've had up to 80 siskins and some Lesser Redpolls. Pictures will follow but for now I've been trying to capture the chaos on timelapse to give a sense of the numbers that a still doesn't seem to capture. Hope you enjoy them.

Watch out for Siskins, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Robins, Sparrows, Bullfinches and even the Lesser Redpolls.

 

 

I've also been trying to capture the stars moving on timelapse too, a bit of a change from star trails. For first goes I'm quite pleased with them

 

And finally some clouds 🙂

 

Finally A Fieldfare

The snow has brought in a lot of birds, Song thrushes and Mistle thrushes, but today 2 Fieldfares turned up to finally eat the apples I’ve had out. A one point today we had 17 Blackbirds, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Fieldfare and 1 Song Thrush, plus all the usual numbers of Siskins and Goldfinch! The garden was heaving!

Fieldfare

Fieldfare Head

Fieldfare and Apple

Fieldfare 4

Fieldfare 3

Fieldfare Eating Apple

Fieldfare 2

Fieldfare 1

And finally some video

It’s snowing heavily again now, let’s see what tomorrow brings!

The Snow Comes

The little fox came in before the snow

PICT0015

The snow started to come down
PICT0063

The snow started to stick to the fox
PICT0085

By light it was quite thick

PICT0112

I had set up the camera to take a time lapse of the snow falling overnight. Didn’t get it all as the batteries ran out, but it gives you quite a good idea of the fall.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kTxKG2CaH0?list=UUiIQKn8O8KZu3XsB5B9RoZQ]

The garden was packed with birds from first light. I cleared some patches of ground and put down seeds and apples for some of the ground feeding birds

IMG_5449

They were queueing up

IMG_5457

The feeders were covered in snow

IMG_5446

But lots of birds

Birds On Feeders In Snow

I also did a quick time lapse of the birds on the feeders again

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXWecNXF4bs?list=UUiIQKn8O8KZu3XsB5B9RoZQ]

The plants were drooping under the weight of snow

IMG_5659
IMG_5455

The side garden was still deep with snow, and no footprints 🙂

IMG_5660

The garden looks very pretty at night, it never ceases to amaze me how light it is at night when it’s been snowing

Garden At Night In Snow

Night Snowy Garden

Night Tree

We also went for a walk by the river with the dogs

IMG_5601

You need to be careful in woods though, a large branch broke under the weight of the snow

IMG_5582

The dogs enjoyed it

IMG_5655

IMG_5613

IMG_5630

IMG_5640

IMG_5592