Butterfly

Posted: April 27, 2020 in Butterflies and Moths, Natural History
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What a fantastic butterfly

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Butterfly

Friendly nature.

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Garden update

Posted: April 22, 2020 in Natural History
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The birds in the garden are settling down to nesting and the bird song of a couple of weeks ago has diminished. I haven’t heard the Blackcap for a few days now so don’t know if that means he has found a mate and settled down or if he has moved onto pastures new.

A few pictures of the gardens on our estate. we consider our selves very fortunate to live in such a green space.

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Two new visitors

Posted: April 16, 2020 in Birds, Natural History
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Two new species singing in the garden this last week. Blackcap and Song Thrush typify two ends of the changing scene in the UK with regard to bird populations.

The Blackcap used to be a summer visitor but with the increasingly mild winters many are now increasingly being seen in the winter. It is unclear, as far as I know, whether these are UK breeding birds that have not migrated or breeding birds from further north which have just not migrated further south.

Blackcap
Photo by Pete Beard (https://www.flickr.com/photos/postmanpetecoluk/)

The Song Thrush was once a common bird but had sadly declined over the past years. It is now a rare visitor to the garden. when I started bird watching back in the 70’s it would be on almost every day’s bird list, but now to see, or hear one, is rare.

Song Thrush
Photo by Pete Beard (https://www.flickr.com/photos/postmanpetecoluk/)

First Butterflies of the year in the garden last week. Holly Blue, Small/Green-veined White and a Brimstone. No Orange Tips around Tarn this year which is usually the first butterfly we see – second year running they have had a bad year.

The walking Madonna by Elisabeth Frink was initially installed as a temporary exhibit in October 1981 on the lawns just outside Salisbury cathedral but remains there nearly 40 years later.

She is shown walking purposefully away from the cathedral ‘moving out from the worship to where human needs are to be met, not just in Salisbury, but in the whole world’ as the then Dean of Salisbury commented.

At the end of the 12th century, relations between the military and the clergy, whose cathedral church was sited within the castle defences, at Sarum, just north of the city were bad. So early in the 13th century the clergy decided to move to a new site in the river valley a few miles to the south. The foundation stone was laid in April 1220 and the cathedral buildings were finished by 1260. The iconic tower and spire were added in the 14th century – when the spire at Lincoln cathedral collapsed in 1549, it became the tallest spire in the country. However, it has taken a lot of rebuilding work over the centuries to prevent it from going the way of many of its contemporaries and collapsing.

Salisbury Museum

Posted: April 2, 2020 in History, UK, Wiltshire
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On my last trip to Salisbury, I had the opportunity to visit the museum, which is situated in The King’s House, which is on Cathedral Green, opposite the entrance to Salisbury Cathedral.

It focuses on the history of Salisbury and also a collection of works of art

A small but interesting museum, I found the galleries on the city’s history very interesting.

I am lucky to have the Tarn next to where we live and so it has become my daily exercise route. I visited this morning hoping to find some spring migrants.

There were good numbers of geese present and a sign that spring has arrived was evident by the noise and the ‘fights’ breaking out between pairs as they seek to establish their own plot within the Tarn. Our Canada / Greylag pair is back, which makes the 4 years at least that this hybrid pair have bred together. The pair of Egyptian Geese, always early breeders, already have young – 3 as best I could see without getting too close.

As I reached the far side of the tarn I saw a small bird on one of the nesting rafts. It was a Grey Wagtail, often a winter visitor on the Tarn, although I haven’t seen one here this winter, so maybe a passage migrant. It flew from the raft over to the weir which is often a good place to see them during the winter.

Grey Wagtail

As I climbed up to the road, I saw a Nuthatch trying to get into a nest box. This is the second time I have seen this behaviour. I don’t think they can be after anything inside as their diet consists of insects, nuts and seeds, so maybe they are trying to make the hole big enough for them to get inside to use the box (the holes are usually too small).

Keeping going

Posted: March 27, 2020 in Announcements
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Migrant Hawker

We are pretty much on lockdown now except for trips to the shop, to get food, and walks in the park next door. I have a few trips I haven’t written up yet so I will continue with those for the time being and then see where we are, material wise.

Looking forward to emergence of local butterflies and Dragonflies