Flock or invaision!

Wood Pigeon invade my bird feeding station which I built at the start of lock down. I am not getting many birds visiting the station at the moment just pigeons. I set up my small underwater camera to catch some action

This bird can be an agricultural pest sometimes seen in large flocks and it is often shot. It is wary in rural areas, but can quite tame where it is not hunted such as towns and gardens. There are a lot of Wood Pigeon’s found in the UK some 5,400,000 pairs.

Take over!

Locally known in South east England as the Culver this name has given rise to several areas to be named after it, such as Culver Down on the Isle of Wight. They need water to drink and bathe in. Young wood pigeons swiftly become fat, as a result of the crop milk they are fed by their parents. This is an extremely rich fluid that is produced in the adult birds’ crops during the breeding season.

Nature all around.

A bright Sunday morning walk, with lots to see and record. Berry’s, acorns. Thistles and grasses have gone to seed.

Oaks are the host plants for more than 70 species of gall wasp.In its larval stage these insects that induce the plant to produce abnormal growths, known as galls, that enclose the developing larvae.

This Hornet is making short work of this Wasp for his lunch – hunting along the edge of a Bramble bush this Hornet had grabbed a Wasp feeding on the Blackberry’s. I was only able to get a picture of the hornet as he had stopped to feed. It does give you a good idea of the size of this insect.

The Hornet mimic hoverfly is the largest hoverfly species found in the UK. It is an excellent mimic of the Hornet, but is harmless to humans. It was a very rare visitor to the country up to the 1940s, it has become more common in Southern England in recent years, and spreading northwards. The adults are migratory and the larvae live inside wasps’ nests.

There were many different species of flies enjoying Blackberry’s and sunshine.

Summers end ?

A walk in familiar fields this afternoon to enjoy nature on my local patch for a few hours. There is a definite end of summer feel in the meadows with thistles grasses and flowers all going to seed.

Nearing the end of our walk next to the M27 Motorway was a mother Roe Deer with 2 fawns probably the family seen earlier in the early summer the 2 youngsters have now lost their spots.

Mum has a damaged left ear.
very short film.

Not many Butterflies about today just a few Large Whites.

A distant picture so not that sharp but a picture of a distant juvenile Cuckoo. This is the first Cuckoo I have seen for years.

Cause and effect.

This week COVID has affected my daily life and its far reaching restrictions have pushed my wellbeing to its limits. All through our full lockdown, I used local walks and enjoyment of watching nature to maintain my mental health. Maintaining social distancing as things have lifted we have continued to remain cautious in what we do everyday. Back in March dad had major heart attack he came home in just before lockdown sporting an implanted defibrillator. Over the weekend dad was unwell with all the restrictions still in place around hospitals and health care getting medical intervention is not a simple task at this time. Cutting a long story short via a top class GP intervention on Tuesday dad was rushed to Southampton General Hospital by ambulance.

This is were the COVID reality kicks in and the way our world has changed the “new normal” impacts on everyones humanity. I last saw dad propped up on a gurney in the back of the ambulance. He waved to me as they closed the doors. No family member can go with him, no one could meet the ambulance at Accident and Emergency Department, no one can be an advocate for the sick person at the hospital. They are on their own.


After many phone calls, we find out he is on a hospital ward critical but due to COVID you can not visit you can not sit with him you can not hold his had. I understand why I and understand the shielding of hospitals at this time, but is this right?
By Thursday dad had surprised us and medical staff although very poorly had rallied and was stable. I was able to have a few words with him over the phone where he told me he is “trying to fight this.” How lonely and frightening must it be fighting for your life alone with no family near you?

Over the phone when I can get through I have said to staff I know and trust that you are doing the best for the patients physical care but I can not see how you are supporting their welbeing in such isolation.Relatives can not see their loved ones or see how their loved ones are or being treated somehow we have lost direction and our values and humanity in my view.

If and when this Pandamic it over I will continue to be me and I am me because of how mum and dad treated us as kids. I have a love of nature, photography and history because of them. I consider myself strong mentally and the effects of COVID were not impacting how I feel. This week it has impacted on my wellbeing.

This Pandamic will damage us all in someway.

Red Sails in the Sunset.

Red sails in the sunset
Way out on the sea
Oh, carry my loved one
Home safely to me

The popular song published in 1935 lyrics by songwriter Jimmy Kennedy. I regularly see this sailboat in Southampton Water or the Solent and the song always comes into my head. A timeless view .

Experimental film.

Meon shore Tern close up.

Today was a chance to get on to the Beach and enjoy a low tide all be it at 06.00hrs!  I decided to put my little underwater camera a Olympus Tough trail camera on a rock to record the sea coming in. Having placed the camera  walked on to explore the beach watch the film to see a Common tern land in front of the camera. I was happy with the results.

Walk to Fort Gilkicker.

A walk to Fort Gilkicker Gosport. I last visited in Febuary this year. Link below.

https://a60716357.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/fort-gilkicker/

The fort now has 24hour security guards and is now fully fenced due to vandalism so it is harder than ever to record this Victorian Fort. I did try asking the guard to let me in to take some picture but sadly no joy there. On a positive note the fort will be protected from further damage.

How the garden grows.

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I do not know what this garden plant is called I have a number of large clumps around the garden, this is one of the small specimens. I originally bought a potted plant while on holiday in Norfolk from someone selling plants from the side of the road.  It likes to be damp and by mid-summer, the leaves get brown and will start to look tatty but the red flowers are a magnet for bees and insects. the flowers last right into early autumn.

I made the decision not to weed our small backyard garden this year my lockdown plan to see what grew and what would be attracted to the garden. A big clear up will be due at the end of the season!

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Bee’s flies & spiders more views of the garden visitors this morning working on recording these garden visitors and residents.

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Cricket.

Last month I took pictures of grasshoppers (picture below).

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I was hoping to find a cricket to photograph and I finally found one today while gardening. A Speckled Cricket.

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A species of bush-cricket which is  common  England & Wales, they are found in woodland margins, hedgerows and gardens.

Their eggs are laid, in late summer, into tree bark or plant stems where they remain over winter. The nymphs emerge in May and June and mature as adult speckled bush crickets by mid-August.

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Opiliones

Opiliones or Harvestmen are. a common group of long-legged invertebrates with about 25 species found in the UK but some 6,650 species of harvestmen have so far been discovered worldwide! They are arachnids, related to spiders. Many are predators, eating smaller invertebrates which they catch using hooks at the ends of their legs.

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