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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Mad as a wasp...

Wings normally tight to the body 
Large Skipper, male

Scorpion fly

Scorpion fly, female

Scorpion fly, male (upturned tail)

Troglodytes troglodytes

Azure Blue damselfly

ischnura elegans blue f 

Ischnura elegans f rufescens

Ischnura elegans f violacea

10 May – before the bread chuckers

Now, deserted Mute Swan nest, Preston Docks

Regular visitors will know about my 'memory' problems, not just my own physical incapabilities but the use and size of imagery on a blog – so I have experimented and reduced the file size but I'm none too impressed by the image quality... more work in progress methinks alas.

Mad as a wasp because whichever way I turn this year... again I noticed the adult blue tits were not attending the nest box, and after two or three days I knew the young had not fledged so it was worth getting the step ladders out and sure enough five dead fledgings left in the nest – clearly no adults to feed them. Last year exactly the same thing happened only 14 dead fledgings were left. I am sure it is the local cats.

The blackbird nest under my bedroom window has failed with four eggs (completely empty) and I think that is probably magpie (seen thereabouts), the blackbird nest in the back hedge failed with three eggs, I fear cats again (possibly grey squirrel) and the blackbird nest in the Honeysuckle has failed, all I know is it is empty after the female had  been sat for at least 10 days... again I put those failures down to cats. The Long Tailed Tit nest never really got finished, cats seen climbing the tree. A Moorhen had been sat for ten days on six eggs and now there is an empty nest and no sign of any young or adults – probably mink. And to top it all, down at Preston Docks the Mute Swan nest has failed, I had seen three eggs but now it is deserted only one remains. Not a good year! Not a happie chappie.

I was once told, 'domestic' cats killing birds and bringing them home (let alone biting just the heads off my garden toads and frogs) 'it's only nature'... well that would be fine if domestic cats had predators too and were prey, I'll have to try that one on the RSPCA when the Rotweillers are set loose, 'its only nature'.... that's a joke, I don't have any dogs and I wouldn't dream of such a thing; if anything it's man's activities that affect 'the nature way',grey squirrel (introduced from North America), mink (released from captivity), cats (left feral), people chucking bread at nesting Swans... garrruummp!

Meanwhile a few images while out on my local patch. I know northink about insects etc, and am intrigued by the variations in damselflies*. The Large Skipper was a first of the year, despite apperance is a butterfly and the Scorpion flies 'interesting'. A small shoal of chub appeared on the surface on an unusually cold and overcast day, normally it is bright and sunny. And we appear to have wrens on territory every 50 yards or so, must be 6 pair at least in no distance at all... hear them but not often out in the open.

*Not much of a clue, so please feel free to correct me on mis-identification. Thanks.

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