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Author Topic: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald  (Read 103774 times)

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1080 on: February 16, 2022, 07:53:49 PM »
Following records for several days I went to the coast to see if I could find the reported King Eider. I spoke to a couple who told me where it was.



Also seen were a Long Tailed Duck and a Merganser.





Hooded Crows are used to being near humans.



A statue near the Harbour commemorates the Fisher Women.


ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1081 on: February 19, 2022, 04:22:28 PM »
Some scenes from todays walk. There is about 2" of snow in the village and about 4" past the golf course.










ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1082 on: February 19, 2022, 04:25:18 PM »










The course is un-playable.

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1083 on: February 19, 2022, 06:59:28 PM »
Ian,

I enjoyed all the snowy scenes!

Yea, I think one would need colored golf balls and a gigantic handicap to play with the snowy conditions.  :)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1084 on: March 01, 2022, 04:36:00 PM »
I read somewhere that you should not carry out any major disruption to a garden when you first move in.  This is to ensure that the plants put in by the previous owner are preserved instead of being thrown away. It was proposed that a year spent looking at the garden and its plants may be worth the wait. I moved in to my property (the retirement home?), four weeks ago. Apart from several small shrubs there was little of interest. I noticed some crocus pushing through the soil in the cold weather. Today was sunny and mild. Almost all of the bulbs are now in full flower, (C. tommasinianus?). They were visited by many small bees, making the most of the pollen. Although the species can become rampant and spread throughout the garden, who could deny the bees such a wealth of food this early in the season.




ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1085 on: March 07, 2022, 09:47:22 PM »
It was sunny and mild today. I went down to the river to see if the water had dropped. There is still snow on higher ground and the melt-water is causing the river level to be high, although it was not as high as I thought it would be. There are a number of Song Thrushes singing now, there seems to be more than in my previous home area. Lesser Celendine are just coming into flower. After clear skies at night there is a frost in the mornings. Still plenty of Snowdrops along the river, single and double flowered. In the afternoon a took a short ride down river to where Gagea lutea can be seen, although I have not seen it here yet. I knew I was about a month early but did not want to miss the flowers if it turns out to be an early season this year. No sign of the Gagea but I did see a bunch of Aconites just going over. I presume they have been planted here.










ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1086 on: March 07, 2022, 09:55:25 PM »




Various willow catkins are emerging.



Also the catkins of Alder.

Oyster Catchers are up-river now the weather is improving.



ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1087 on: March 13, 2022, 03:12:31 PM »
Still no sign of the Gagea but there are a lot of large flowered Snowdrops along the river bank. Some are single flowered others are double flowered. There is a slight difference in the patterns on the flowers. Snowdrop enthusiasts may recognise the species/cultivars.








ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1088 on: March 16, 2022, 10:50:55 PM »
Another cold and dull day today, which made photography poor. I went to look for a female Smew which had been seen yesterday. No luck today but I did see the three Snow Geese which have been here since late last year. They landed on the loch in front of me. A pair of Shoveler were on the water, the male circling the female. I wondered if this is a courtship display. Two female Goldeneye were diving in front of the hide. A great Crested Grebe was fishing. Curlews and Lapwing flew past. I heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming somewhere. Herons were making a noise in the trees. The site has had a Heronry for many years. Little Grebe was heard chattering. On my way back I called at a small Loch where Ring Necked Duck has been recorded for some time. Looking very similar to Tufted Duck I managed to pick it out due to its greyer side and prominent white patch on the bill.



Snow Geese.



Shoveler.



Goldeneye.





Ring Necked Duck.

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1089 on: March 19, 2022, 10:52:11 AM »
I met with a local botanist yesterday. She had seen the Gagea before and knew several sites for it. We could not find any at the site I had visited before and went to look at other sites she knew.   
We found a patch of Gagea leaves with just one plant in flower. Several had flower buds on. Another week or so should bring more into flower.


ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1090 on: March 21, 2022, 10:34:39 AM »
An update on the Gagea story. I went down to the river yesterday to see if any Sand Martins had arrived back yet. Still too soon for them. On my way back I walked along the area away from the river . and under trees. I saw a patch of leaves which looked like Gagea leaves. I found a patch of Gagea, about 150 plants. Nine flowers were out. A bit further on I found a single plant, see photo. which had seven flowers on its stem and another one which had broken off. It just shows that closer inspection at other times of the year can reveal something you have not seen before. I have walked this area many times before. The Botanist who collates plant records for the area told me it is a new record for the 10km. square.


ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1091 on: March 27, 2022, 09:57:59 PM »
I went on a Botany trip yesterday to view Gagea at another site. Several new patches were found. Someone found a fungus which he thought may have been Dead Mans Fingers. It turns out it is more likely to be Earthtongue. The name fits it. There has been a pair of Garganey seen at a local site so I went to see if I could find them. I sat in the hide a short while and then the male landed in front of me. Before I went to the site I stopped to photograph Danish Scurvey-grass and had not turned the camera control back to telephoto. When I tried to take a picture of the Garganey it was already dis-appearing into the reeds. Just visible in the image. Tufted Duck are common but I couldn,t resist a photo. when they swam in front of the hide.










ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1092 on: March 27, 2022, 10:11:39 PM »
The Snow Geese are still here. There were two Shelduck on the loch, one just visible on the right.



Today was sunny and warm so I went for a walk down river looking for more Gagea. I did not see any. I did find a few Barren Strawberry and a few Townhall Clock.





A single plant of Glory of the Snow was in flower. It must have escaped from a garden. I saw a good sized patch of it at another site yesterday.



In flower now is Slender Speedwell, Veronica filiformis.






ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1093 on: April 11, 2022, 08:29:55 PM »
On a trip to a small local loch I saw several pairs of Wigeon.

 

In front of the hide were a couple of Little Grebes.



Despite the bitter wind today some flowers were showing in sheltered areas, including Ground Ivy, Ladies Smock and Greater Periwinkle (an introduced species.)






ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1094 on: April 11, 2022, 08:36:08 PM »
Two fungi seen today were Yellow Brain Fungus and Coral Spot.



 

Also seen was the nest of a Solitary Wasp.


 


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