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Have you noticed anything unusual this spring?

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Tim Scoones Tim Scoones | 19:15 UK time, Tuesday, 26 May 2009

This year we had a fairly hard winter. Remember all the snow? Then spring seemed to happen all at once.

So what we'd like to know is have you noticed anything you think is unusual about this spring? Has the wildlife been behaving differently?

If you have, we'd like to hear about it. So please post a message below.

Comments

  • 1. At 7:34pm on 26 May 2009, Princessbonzai wrote:

    Despite the hard winter, the flowers in my garden have been more advanced, with the peonies in flower 3 weeks early. We have also noticed Painted Ladies, which don't usually get into our garden until late summer. We live in Warwickshire.

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  • 2. At 7:46pm on 26 May 2009, perplexingskeltons wrote:

    hello gang, think we've seen a puss moth; beautiful big hawk moth. we live in Bristol and have seen privet hawk moths in the past and the other day we saw a lime hawk moth. is this common?

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  • 3. At 8:16pm on 26 May 2009, MARNDAVE wrote:

    We went to our boat last week & found a clutch of moorhen eggs in the engine well at the back of the boat.

    Fortunately the nesting bird returned to incubate the eggs.

    How long before I can use the boat & can I charge them whilst they are in residence

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  • 4. At 8:20pm on 26 May 2009, petereeles wrote:

    This year is proving to be a spectacular year for the Painted Lady butterfly - one of our regular migrants. This is definitely worthy of a mention on the show! More info on the UK Butterflies website at:

    http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3080

    and observers can register their sightings on the Butterfly Conservation website at:

    http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/sightings_home/1095/migrant_watch.html

    Regards,

    - Pete Eeles
    www.ukbutterflies.co.uk

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  • 5. At 8:30pm on 26 May 2009, CatCat78 wrote:

    Observed 2 stag beetles in flight circa 9:30pm last Saturday May 23, in my garden in Clapham, London. Is this early for stag beetles? They were rising in the air above a woodpile, and seemed attracted by the candle I had burning.

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  • 6. At 8:31pm on 26 May 2009, Jerusha24 wrote:

    Last year i put a bumble bee box at the bottom of my garden which they have snubbed in favour of a better nest site, my shed. While cleaning out the shed in early April i discovered a pile of grass & leaves and thought a mouse had used it for the winter as i got closer i could hear the buzzing. Over the past few weeks there has been a hive of activity (sorry) and they seem to be doing really well. I've been trying to identify them and i think after watching them go to and fro at the weekend that these are the early bumblebee (bombus pratorum). Its only small and loves the Jasmine in my garden. I have been trying to find out how many are usually in a colony and the only infomation i could find said between 50 & 200, will have to wait and see.

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  • 7. At 8:35pm on 26 May 2009, sgjune wrote:

    Im not sure if its their normal time of year but i was walkin in my local woods in Redditch and the pool thats nestled there was covered in tadpoles. The thing im not sure bout was the size of them, they had just started gettin their back legs. This time last year they were still very small and there wasnt as many as there are this year.

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  • 8. At 8:37pm on 26 May 2009, sthans wrote:

    Springwatch very rarely mention starlings; my garden is inundated with them, far worse this year than any previous. I can't put any food out for the smaller birds, or indeed any birds because the the starlings take the lot. In Springwatch gardens starlings dont seem to exist; why is this?

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  • 9. At 8:38pm on 26 May 2009, tregoyne wrote:

    Living in Cornwall where the weather was much much colder than usual, I have noticed much fewer bees of any sort this spring. Birds seem to be much as usual with possibly more greenfinches than I have seen for some years. Butterflies are somewhat later than usual too, and I think the numbers are smaller.

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  • 10. At 8:42pm on 26 May 2009, boston1944 wrote:

    Yesterday, Bank holiday Monday, my wife and I saw hundreds of painted Lady butterflies flying in the same direction across our garden. when we went for a walk later on nearby we saw hundreds, possibly thousands of them, all flying north west. I have never seen this before and have lived in the same area since I was born, 46 years now.
    Can anyone enlighten me about this?

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  • 11. At 8:43pm on 26 May 2009, pickle2008 wrote:

    Last year I only had a couple of tadpoles survive in my garden pond. This year I have hundreds and hundreds and they are doing really well and all look like they have the potential to develop into frogs !!!

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  • 12. At 8:44pm on 26 May 2009, nickymccarthy wrote:

    I have noticed a big increase in butterfly's this year. I was recently in a Tesco car park and there was at least 30 on one shrub alone. In our local park they seem to be everywhere. Some looked like red admirals but there was also a large abundance of lighter brown butterfly's

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  • 13. At 8:44pm on 26 May 2009, watherston wrote:

    Where are all the Swallows ?
    I have seen none in Edinburgh this Spring.

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  • 14. At 8:46pm on 26 May 2009, purplefish345 wrote:

    whiles walking my dog i past an old drain pipe that has been used as a fence post standing upwards as i was walking past i heard some baby birds and the sound was coming from deep inside will these babys be able to get out i stood back and watched and a parent blue tit went inside to feed just thought this was strange the pipe is about 4 foot long.

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  • 15. At 8:47pm on 26 May 2009, pearcecroft wrote:

    Hi Springwatch team......For the 1st time in 25 years we have had no frogs visiting our ponds or garden this year, the grass snakes are still around........... but no frogs. There was a late cold spell in Feb. when they normally start arriving, could this be a reason for this strange occurence ???? we live in Eversley in Hampshire.
    Chris

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  • 16. At 9:13pm on 26 May 2009, melpamski wrote:

    We have at least a dozen Painted Lady butterflies visiting our garden in Hampshire. We have never seen so many before.

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  • 17. At 9:14pm on 26 May 2009, PKCWarwickshire wrote:

    MISTLE THRUSH - We have seen our first pair of these for a few years and, guess what, they have started nesting in the cherry tree in our garden - the female started sitting last week. I have never seen Thrushes on springwatch, have you ever featured them at all? they are after all magnificent beirds that are not only very tuneful but also brave in protecting their eggs and young.

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  • 18. At 9:22pm on 26 May 2009, woodthomaspeake wrote:

    During the last 18 month we have been watching 2 Little owls. Last year they produced 2 Little little owls. Eventually,the 2 young disappeared. At present only 1 owl is showing. We believe the 2nd owl is sitting on another nest. The site of this nest is in a dry stone wall, which this year we have managed to locate. Bearing in mind we live in the heart of Weardale County Durham, its amazing to watch these little fellows survive such a hard winter. Here's hoping for a further 2 Little owls!!!!

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  • 19. At 9:22pm on 26 May 2009, Whiskersbird wrote:

    Hi
    At the moment I am observing a female blackbird fishing for tadpoles in my newly established pond. There is "beach" area where birds can go to get a drink and she has taken to patrolling up and down waiting for a tadpole to surface. She then plucks it out of the water, pops it on the beach, turns it around to her satisfaction and then eats it. I've not seen her take any away to a nest but always seems to eat them herself. She's very efficient - I've seen her take four in less than two minutes. I'm hoping she's going to leave some to grow up. I suspect that she learnt this behaviour as a few weeks ago I observed a female trying to get mud from the roots of a water forget me not - she succeeded in setting the plant adrift but I suspect that she may have found her first tadpole in the mud - if this is the same blackbird of course. Has anyone else observed this sort of behaviour by garden birds?

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  • 20. At 9:29pm on 26 May 2009, 1Wagtail wrote:


    I have seen lots of Painted Ladies in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, which have very faded wings.

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  • 21. At 9:30pm on 26 May 2009, Derektvs wrote:

    A respected Butterfly Artist colleague and her husband counted over 420 Painted Lady sightings within a 45 minute period yesterday. Location Charing, Kent.

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  • 22. At 9:31pm on 26 May 2009, famousgoldfinch wrote:

    this year even more so than last there has been less birds nesting in my garden, also when i wake there is no longer a dawn chorus!!!!!!
    i sit in my garden all day/conservatory, and note the lack of singing in the air.
    my garden is a modest acre and natural yet all i see is sparrowhawks swooping through yet no sparrows? and carcasses of robins, blackbirds,
    thrushes and coal tits, oh n me gold finches scattering the lawn.
    anyone know why.?

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  • 23. At 9:31pm on 26 May 2009, paulinethompson wrote:

    This evening I noticed the blue tits were flying frantically around their nest box (This box is made from a section of silver birch tree and has been used by the blue tits for many years). I noticed a woodpecker on the trunk of the tree above the box. Then the woodpecker went to the box, popped its head in and out of the entrance then started to peel away the bark from the front around the entrance hole. My husband went out and clapped from a distance; it flew away. We watched with binoculars for a long time before we saw any sign of the blue tits. Eventually they did come back but were extremely nervous about entering the box. They have started to feed again thank goodness. I have never know woodpeckers to behave in this way. Does anyone have any ideas?

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  • 24. At 9:33pm on 26 May 2009, ciderman69 wrote:

    Hi,
    I'm actually after a bit of advice off you!
    To our suprise we found a few weeks back that a blackbird had nested in the bush at the bottom of our garden. As you can imagine i was well happy, as an avid birdwatcher i've been watching them intently and 3 little blackbirds are doing well.
    My problem and querie is: The nest is in a siloniam climbing bush that is attached to our garage wall. Every year, several times it tends to get caught in winds (as it is at the moment) and falls off. I am very worried about the little blackbirds should this happen and i dont know what i should do if it does. Can anyone offer advice? I would be happy to take care of the chicks should the need arise but nothing would please me more than to see the parents do there job and for me just to be a watchman for them!
    I'm so worried for them so please, if anyone can help please do :)
    All the best
    Glen

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  • 25. At 9:38pm on 26 May 2009, spidermantis wrote:

    We where watching the birds in our garden today and noticed a young blackbird badgering a starling which had one of its own fledglings in the garden also. Can you guess what happened next? The starling fed the young blackbird. Following its success the blackbird tried again and it worked.

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  • 26. At 9:47pm on 26 May 2009, BadBillo wrote:

    Hi
    I have several nest boxes in my garden which are currently occupied by the usual blue tit, tree sparrow and great tit, however the great tit box has an unusual regular visitor in the form of a dunnock which is assisting the great tit parents by feeding the chicks. The dunnock is returning to the box as often of the true parents and sits and waits its turn with its bill full of insects near to the box if the great tit parents are present. The great tits due not seem to mind this 'additional' parent arrangement. Am I right in thinking the dunnock is an adolescent unpaired bird who is simply reacting to the young birds calls and is this type of behaviour common place?

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  • 27. At 9:49pm on 26 May 2009, Deb wrote:

    Just got back from Morfa Bychan near Porthamdog - saw a painted lady butterfly there - thought this was a bit early but obviously they are out and about everywhere!

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  • 28. At 9:50pm on 26 May 2009, coleathopesay wrote:

    The frogs mated very early, and by the thousands, but the house martins arrived a month late. The swallows arrived on time. In addition our birds at the bird table have been attacked by a (I think a sparrow and definate not our buzzards?)hawk over a period of several days. He/she sits in the bush adjoining the table and strikes as soon as bird alights. Both male and female woodpeckers are collecting food from the feeder at the same time rather than alternating and our kingfisher hasn't been seen for the last two months.
    P.S. Polecat last seen 2 years ago in the Corvedale in Shropshire.

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  • 29. At 9:50pm on 26 May 2009, robertbeale wrote:

    I totally agree with the commment about Painted Lady butterflies. Springwatch needs to do a feature on them. Having just returned from a few days in south Devon I have seen hundreds of them. They were flying north in their thousands over the South Hams area.

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  • 30. At 9:53pm on 26 May 2009, winsome losesome wrote:

    Here in Cardiff, I hadn't seen a House Martin this year till this weekend.

    At my local shops where they have nested for years,they have only just arrived and started building nests (most of the old ones having been deliberately or otherwise knocked down. Amazingly, they choose exactly the same points to build even when there are several identical buildings nearby. I think there is a smell they can detect.

    In previous years, they have always had their first brood by now, and often feeding young in the first week of May.

    The same story at a site near my workplace.

    Of course, I shall send all such nesting records to my local bird club and biodiversity records centre (and thence to BTO).

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  • 31. At 10:00pm on 26 May 2009, hawkmothmad wrote:

    In Sawbridgeworth, near where I live, I have seen perennial poppies in flower. Like one of your previous observers, I have seen Painted Lady butterflies at work and in London. The honeysuckle is really early into flower this year. I just wonder whether anyone has seen a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly yet, since this species has dramatically dropped in numbers over the last 2 years.

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  • 32. At 10:04pm on 26 May 2009, tiesea wrote:

    there might be lots of painted ladies about because schools and nurseries can buy butterfly hatching kits (which are painted ladies) for the children to see the life cycle. my mums nursery brought a pop up butterfly house and a tub with 5 caterpillars in, and some food at the bottom .When they formed cocoons the paper they hang from is placed inside the house. unfortunately the children didn't get to see it as they hatched and were released on sunday and its half term.

    from Tiegan aged 10

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  • 33. At 10:10pm on 26 May 2009, suesmithbroadstairs wrote:

    I agree with comments regarding a feature on butterflies especially Painted Lady on Springwatch. I have never seen so many in my garden as this year. I admit we are very close to the coast, but counted over 25 this afternoon, hungrily feeding and mating dancing

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  • 34. At 10:13pm on 26 May 2009, merlynllwyd wrote:

    This Spring, the ash trees are later coming into leaf than I have ever noticed before.

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  • 35. At 10:13pm on 26 May 2009, KazaG6 wrote:

    I have found some 25 or so stag beetle lavea and some 30 - 40 stag beetles in my garden this spring. We have contacted the Stag Beetle association who inform me that these are very rare creatures and we are very lucky to have so many. It would appear that I have two kinds in my garden, one type is a mat black colour, whilst the other is black but with a reddish tinge to its back.

    I was wondering if anyone knows anything about stag beetles and more to the point, do they eat live wood, or is it only dead wood that they eat as I do have a couple of fruit trees in the garden and I am a little concerned they may damage them.

    from Karen

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  • 36. At 10:13pm on 26 May 2009, theonlyonedude wrote:

    lovely program iv'e been following for years but one important question wheres bill and how is he?if u can not publish the ans please pass on all our bests many thanks for a exerlent program and best wishe's for the exerlent stand in

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  • 37. At 10:30pm on 26 May 2009, allendalewatch wrote:

    The bad winter has caused a dramatic drop in wren and stonechat numbers in Allendale Northumberland, compared to last year. Pied flycathcer numbers are also down (?adverse weather delaying migration; changes in the Sahel) There are however a lot of adders about!

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  • 38. At 10:36pm on 26 May 2009, BabaOtt wrote:

    I am on holiday at the moment in Dorset and in the past we have seen lots of rabbits on our travels. However, this year so far we have only seen 3!!

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  • 39. At 10:47pm on 26 May 2009, ABrigginshaw wrote:

    Usually too many slugs in the garden-this spring-absolutely none (and no anti-slug measures taken).One successful thrushs' nest but surely they can't be eating the whole slug population.Snails as usual.

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  • 40. At 11:34pm on 26 May 2009, rainbowlizzibee wrote:

    Could you please tell us more about the different noises that badgers make and when they make these noises? I was awoken the other night by loud badger noises that I think may be called ' chittering'. A sound file would be great to listen to.

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  • 41. At 00:27am on 27 May 2009, essexfreecycler wrote:

    our swallows have not returned. they have nested for the past 5 years some years two broods... we had a robin nest in the same garage but lower down but this has left its nest with two eggs and two babies... there was no spawn in our pond this year... there have been no aphids, not really bothered about this as i now have beautiful lupins!!! the local fox is driving my dogs crazy... have not seen any hares for the past 6 weeks... we live near brentwood, essex...

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  • 42. At 00:39am on 27 May 2009, theSteB wrote:

    I live in Lancashire. There have been good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, which is a relief after very poor numbers last year, although Peacock numbers have been a bit lower. I've not seen any of this influx of Painted Ladies yet. Bumble Bee numbers are good, although there are far fewer Honeybees around than last year. Quite a few of the wildflowers are behind where they normally are at this time of the year, but there is a lot of variation between species as to how late this is. Whereas the Bilberry flowering period was earlier this year than last. No cuckoos in the areas of moorland where I normally see them. I have seen very few Sand Martins compared to last year although there are good numbers of Swallows and moderate levels of House Martins.

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  • 43. At 00:45am on 27 May 2009, DannyNineham wrote:

    Hi Team, i have found this spring three indiviual fallow deer that belong to different herds in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, and guess what? they all have three slots or (toes)on each front leg!!! is this a first???

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  • 44. At 08:15am on 27 May 2009, stevesviews wrote:

    16:00hrs 25th May, Just returned from a short holiday and noticed the
    grass needed cutting. Whilst I was cutting around my rockery I noticed a few bees atracted to the centre bush which was glowing like the sun (covering of yellow blossom)I then looked into the bush and saw what looked like a bag hanging down which was moving, I went to get my camcorder to record this activity and using the zoom in facility fully I could safely see the bag was just one mass of busy bees.
    Any of your bee keeping viewers needing a few bees please feel to come and collect. Steve.

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  • 45. At 09:29am on 27 May 2009, Tathead wrote:

    We live in Wales and have always had an abundance of little birds that we feed all year thru - predominantly bluetits. This year the numbers are down significantly with only ONE bluetit sighted as opposed to at least 20. Great tits and chaffinches are also reduced
    but we have more robins than ever before. Last year we were very unusually invaded by sparrows who with their offspring totalled about 15.

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  • 46. At 10:07am on 27 May 2009, Desdemorna wrote:

    We live in NE Scotland and have noticed over the last couple of summers that the Swifts have reduced in number. We have one who annually nests in our eaves and thankfully she, or her offspring, have been returning. Has anyone heard of any problems with Swift migrations?

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  • 47. At 10:18am on 27 May 2009, armybloke wrote:

    I am lucky to be a volunteer site warden at Swanwick Lakes in Hampshire and last weekend whilst walking the lakes I stumbled across a Roe Deer and she gave birth, to just a single fawn, just 30 metres away at the lakeside. I have been to check on 'Bambi' and is doing just fine - as is mum. Whilst walking back I noticed a big pair of eyes keeping watch on me from a nest box - A Tawny Owl was sitting in her nest! What a fabulous day! Canada geese,Mallards and Coots with their young all come to see me in the mornings when I shake a tub of seed for them. Very fortunate to be so close to nature....

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  • 48. At 10:19am on 27 May 2009, bloggerbabs wrote:

    there are less slugs and snails around maybe because of the cold winter. my gardener friends have also noticed this.

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  • 49. At 10:22am on 27 May 2009, dwcooper wrote:

    This year, the Bee's are huge and much bigger than normal, is this because of the winter, there a bit more robust?

    Why??

    Many others have said this also

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  • 50. At 10:34am on 27 May 2009, rathmullen wrote:


    I think I have had a Hornet in my back garden. It was huge!! At least 2 inches long with a brilliant yellow and black body. It was hovering around and testing the ground with its rear. I thought Hornets nest and lay their eggs in old tree stumps. Anyway my cat was stalking it so I quickly picked her up and put her in doors until the creature flew off. Does anyone know anything about Hornets?

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  • 51. At 10:35am on 27 May 2009, closequarters wrote:

    I am concerned about the behaviour of the crows in our garden this spring. Normally we see the usual raiding of nests for the young to feed to their own offspring but this spring we have witnessed them attacking, killing and eating baby wood pigeons, full sized wood pigeons, rabbits and worse of all a young fox cub !!

    The scene is horrendous as is the mess we are having to clear up on a virtual daily basis. Is this because there is a lack of nests or is something sinister happening. I am keeping my small dog indoors just in case.


    Whats going on?

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  • 52. At 10:39am on 27 May 2009, Chrizzeath wrote:

    It's a strange spring indeed - usually we have lots of swallows in this area (Radnorshire)with 2 or 3 pairs nesting on the house - I've seen one pair close by but none on the house. Also we usually have 2 or 3 pairs of house martins nesting here - I haven't seen one yet. The swifts have arrived and are flying in the nearby town but none here - as far as I can make out, physical circumstances have not changed and can only conclude that many birds were lost in their journey to the UK. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this dearth of birds. On the other hand, we have many siskins and goldfinches here (and eat us out of house and home!)

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  • 53. At 10:49am on 27 May 2009, dozirozi wrote:

    on 8th April this year I came across two WEASELS in close contact in a hedgerow, rolling over and over and screeching a lot. They were so engrossed they repeatedly fell out of the hedge and down the sloping bank. They didn't appear to notice me and twice fell onto my feet!! This went on for some time, so I could observe them, but they moved so fast it was difficult to get a good photo. I could see no blood - were they fighting or is it a mating ritual?If fighting for territory, is it to the death? They were pretty evenly matched, like twins. I was fascinated, I have never seen wild weasels before.

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  • 54. At 11:36am on 27 May 2009, Sussexbloke wrote:

    Hi everyone, Just thought you might be interested in this. Walking along the local canal on Sunday evening i was very suprised to see a brood of ducklings with one of them completely albino. Not really white, more of a light cream including beak. Having lived in the country all my life this is the only time i have ever seen anything like it.
    Anyone know if this is faily common and i`ve just not come across it or is it really rare in ducks.

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  • 55. At 11:49am on 27 May 2009, Old-Frog wrote:

    Buzzards: Yesterday (Tuesday 26th May) we saw a field full (and I do mean FULL ) of buzzards. As we drove past they looked like a field of tree-stumps - I turned the car around for another look and we saw a recently rough-ploughed field, sloping south aspect with about 45-50 buzzards - all separated by about 5-10m, all facing the same direction and none engaged in eating - all sitting on top of the plough-ridge. After a few seconds observation about 2/3rd of them flew off in various directions - we counted the remainder and about 15-16 were left ( plus a very sheepish looking pheasant ). We'd not seen this many raptors in one place apart from Gigrin Farm in Rhyader for Kite feeding. Any thoughts ?

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  • 56. At 12:23pm on 27 May 2009, Honey63 wrote:

    Hi everyone, enjoying Springwatch! Was I imagining it or did I see a fish with a mouth like a duck on last nights show? Thanx

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  • 57. At 12:36pm on 27 May 2009, nikket wrote:

    We have a nesting box at the back of our house that was occupied by blue tits. However after a few weeks of lots of activity, with the adults constantly feeding the chicks,( which we were able to hear and see,) 2 days ago it all stopped! The adults were sitting on a near by fence looking bewildered. We found 5 dead baby blue tits in the box! What happened to our blue tit family?

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  • 58. At 12:40pm on 27 May 2009, fleetwoodflyers wrote:

    SINCE MOVING TO THE COAST 5yrs. AGO &GETTING A DIGITAL CAMERA WE HAVE TAKEN AN INTEREST IN WILDLIFE.WE GO ON WALKS ON THE BEACH ,CANALS AND LOCAL WILDLIFE BEAUTY SPOTS,OF WHICH THERE ARE MANY IN THE FLEETWOOD AREA,CREATED OUT OF WASTELAND.THE MOST INTERESTING EVENT TO HAPPEN THIS SPRING WAS THE ARRIVAL OF A YOUNG BLACK SWAN ON FLEETWOOD BOATING LAKE IN APRIL,STAYING A FEW WEEKS. WE HAVE POSTED PICTURES N THE FLICKR SITE OF THE SWAN,DUCKS ON THE LANCASTER CANAL,SPARROWS FEEDING FLEDGED YOUNG AND NESTING HERONS IN STANLEY PARK BLACKPOOL.

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  • 59. At 12:43pm on 27 May 2009, kinghounddog wrote:

    We had 2 blackbird fledgelings in the garden, here in north wales back in april, the parents still feeding them for a couple of days after leaving the nest. Never seen them this early here.

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  • 60. At 12:52pm on 27 May 2009, jackieandken wrote:

    I saw a Blackbird take a Blue Tit that had only just fledged, is this normal?

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  • 61. At 1:00pm on 27 May 2009, blackcap1000 wrote:

    a Canada goose was attacking a mallard duckling for know reason. first it dive bombed on a family of mallards than started too attack the ducklings that's when the duckling got separated. then the goose made its move it picked up the chick in its beak and broke the chicks wing the duckling fell out of its beak and tried to get away then a crow got it. then ate it. why would a goose do that for know reason ? the mallard family was know were near it

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  • 62. At 1:03pm on 27 May 2009, fernbaby wrote:

    We have a male chaffinch who visits our garden and he only has one foot,which is deformed, the other leg is just a stump. He seems to manage well enough and takes off to fly ok.Could his condition be the 'warts' that you mentioned.He never hangs about for very long so haven't been able to get a photo.We also have a crow with white stripes in his wings who brings bread to our birdbath,he soaks the bread to soften it bfore he eats it.

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  • 63. At 1:17pm on 27 May 2009, sotongirl59 wrote:

    I live in Cornwall and whilst walking our dog on Goss Moor in the early mornings it seems as though the world has erupted with sound, smell (most likely the cow dung and the deer droppings)and colour. I hear a cuckoo at the beginning of May which is still going strong, the finches are in mas abundance, the bulrushes are thriving, the mallow is beautiful, the flax plants are thriving in several places but there are no newts and tadpoles visible in the ponds. But can someone please tell me which came into leaf first - was it the ash or the oak. My gran was a Devonshire lady who used to tell me a rhyme:-
    If the oak be out before the ash then summer will be but a splash but if the ash be out before the oak then summer will be but a soak! So please which way was it?????

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  • 64. At 1:53pm on 27 May 2009, cornishnaturelovers wrote:

    We were walking on the beach at Portwinkle, Cornwall on Saturday afternoon the 23rd May 2009 and we saw hundreds of little blue things all along the shoreline, we looked in our guidebook and found them to be, By the Wind Sailors. We have never seen anything like this before.

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  • 65. At 2:03pm on 27 May 2009, sunallergic wrote:

    I have seen very few kestrels this spring.
    We normally have kestrels hunting over the open ground behind our house and nesting nearby, but I have not seen any for a few months now. I have also only seen two while travelling locally recently. On motorways I only see buzzards now instead of kestrels.
    Has the kestrel population taken a large hit with the cold winter and also over the last few years?

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  • 66. At 2:47pm on 27 May 2009, bobsuthren wrote:

    We admired the tenacity displayed by a pair of Robins several weeks ago when they built a nest in a clay pot in our garden, but only after they/she had removed about a dozen pine cones to create space for the nest!

    Bob Suthren, Shropshire

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  • 67. At 2:57pm on 27 May 2009, stedee64 wrote:

    Where are all the the House Martins,plenty of swifts,they came back to the nest but have dissappeared not seen them again.

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  • 68. At 3:09pm on 27 May 2009, clemo29 wrote:

    this spring i have noticed the drop of birds visiting my garden i got feeders and bird tables full of food but no takers what is going on

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  • 69. At 3:26pm on 27 May 2009, joanholloway wrote:

    I've had lots of painted lady butterflies in the garden in the last couple of days-far more than before

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  • 70. At 3:33pm on 27 May 2009, 49erwriter wrote:

    We have a birdox in our garden that was occupied by Blue tits. Nothing unusual there until a Robin started flying close to the box and landing on the hole opening. The blue tits didn't seem to be too bothered. Then the Robin started to bring food to the bird box and presumably drop it into the box from the opening. The blue tits have now fledged and the Robin looks a little confused. Is this a common thing for a Robin to do?

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  • 71. At 5:03pm on 27 May 2009, lairdofredwing wrote:

    We have some new birds to our norfolk garden this spring and we are not sure what they are! There is about 12 of them and we are told they may be fieldfair. can i email photos to anyone at spring watch so we know for certain?

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  • 72. At 5:36pm on 27 May 2009, bricabraclady wrote:

    Have just joined and read a few comments, my observations. The painted lady butterfly has arrived from Europe in great numbers over the past few days. The lady with the bumble bees may want to get hold of a book by that title by John Feltwell isbn 0-907970-03-6 (can I say this on BBC site?!(nothing to do with me, I have the book)Re the Badger Cull PLEASE comment on air, there is so much inaccurate reporting and the science is for the Badger but the press only want to print the emotive rubbish. Frogs... all gone from my end of a village but OK up the other, disease was to blame.. presenters, please tell people not to try to re-stock into a diseased area. It is merely condemning to death spawn that could have survived if left alone. Also please mention hygiene around bird feeders to help avoid trichamoniasis breaking out again.Thanks

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  • 73. At 5:58pm on 27 May 2009, Lady_Lane wrote:

    We used to have Humming Bird Hawk Moth's visit our honeysuckle - they were amazing to watch, sadly the honeysuckle became diseased and we've had to chop (oops, sorry I mean prune!) it back. We haven't seen any HBHM for a couple of years. Shame. We used to have Elephant Hawk Moth's too on our fuschia bushes, but they have disappeared too... I feel moth deprived...

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  • 74. At 6:00pm on 27 May 2009, honeysucklehouse wrote:

    Two weeks ago I saw a pair of red kites flying over Romsey in Hampshire Is this usual?
    I didn't think there were any in our area

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  • 75. At 6:04pm on 27 May 2009, testube wrote:

    Hi Kate Chris and team
    We live in a village called Hessle East Yorkshire, and we have a lovely wildlife garden pond which is visited each year by frogs, toads and newts, we noticed an unusual occurence this year, a male backbird taking newts out of the pond, is this unusual?, we have had the pond for 20 years and have never seen anything like this before. We have had to put a net over to deter him as he seems to have taken most of the newts (from hat we can see).
    John & Debbie Roebuck

    PS We love watching your programm it's fantastic, and makes people aware of what's going on in nature

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  • 76. At 6:19pm on 27 May 2009, auntstoneage wrote:

    Over the Bank Holiday weekend there has been a huge migration of Painted Lady butterflies crossing over from the continent to Essex. Some observers have counted thousands, moving north & west in a rapid stream. Several dozen have been using our garden as a motorway service station, feeding up on their way. We hope some will stick around to breed (plenty of thistles & nettles bordering local farmland) so we can have the pleasure of hundreds of fresh insects later in the summer.

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  • 77. At 6:26pm on 27 May 2009, Eco-Martian wrote:

    I have a strange story. I live near Horsell Common and have been watching a pair of Canada Geese. Their goslings hatched around the 20th of May. I also noticed a female Mallard and her 6 ducklings on the same pond. The Mallard disapeared but one duckling remained. The chick is still OK after several weeks of being on its own. I think this may be because the geese are acting as parents to the lone duckling and also scaring other predators away.

    Stuart Cossey

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  • 78. At 6:31pm on 27 May 2009, karenrob1 wrote:

    Two weeks ago a North American Wood Duck emerged from a hole in a cider apple tree (in an old cider orchard)opposite our house with 6 baby ducklings

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  • 79. At 6:46pm on 27 May 2009, Clickbeetle wrote:

    I have noticed a large drop in the number of starlings in my garden over the winter, and a huge increase in the house sparrow population. The baby sparrows have been around for several weeks now, with the first fledging starling only appearing this morning.

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  • 80. At 7:19pm on 27 May 2009, WeardaleRocks wrote:

    Hi Team,

    I've just been out for a walk along my local river, the Wear, here in the northern Pennines. After watching a single female Goosander for 10 minutes not doing anything apart from looking elegant standing on a rock in the middle of the water, I carried on to see coming down the river another female with her young...all 15 of them! I've never seen a brood that big, is it uncommon to have so many? It was a glorious sight, I followed them downstream, and when the breeding female encountered the standing bird, she chased it off on numerous occasions as it kept trying to get close to the whole party. Is that unusual? And do the young have a special name?

    Hope you find this of interest, and that someone might be able to answer my questions,

    Thanks

    Donna

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  • 81. At 8:31pm on 27 May 2009, royalBIRDFLUE wrote:

    well just tuned in,to prog.....................where is he then, BILL ODDIE..................missing him allready, rgds

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  • 82. At 8:54pm on 27 May 2009, fenel_10 wrote:

    It is strange that we had such a hard winter howerver my garden seems untuched by the beeting and the wild life dose not seemed to have minded much ither

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  • 83. At 9:33pm on 27 May 2009, delhispearman wrote:

    Re headless birds as discussed tonight(wednesday) I have cleared up two decapitated wood pigeons in the past month. I lie in a village in a rural area but my small garden is enclosed and birds of pray rarely come into the village.
    Can I use this as an excuse to blame the cat loving fraternity as I can see no other predator?.
    Actually I am no fan of the multitudinous swarms of wood pigeons either but why decapitate?
    Thanks

    Delhi spearman

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  • 84. At 9:44pm on 27 May 2009, creature-carer wrote:

    I'm very lucky to have hedgehogs wandering thru my garden and one resident - can anyoe tell me why that they tolerate each other in close proximity for ages before one of the Hogs butting the other - the first time (i think my hog - smaller and browner) charged and the bigger old silver one mooched off after staying still for about 20 mins - last night one was feeding about a metre from the other for ages before being butted and rolled in to ball on its back and stayed then there - my bully wnet back to feeding !!

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  • 85. At 9:47pm on 27 May 2009, CatgirlLesley wrote:

    what has happened to the housemartins? They usually arrive at the
    beginning of april, followed two weeks later by the swifts, but for the last two years we don't seem to have any at all. The swifts
    arrived two weeks late this year, at the beginning of may.

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  • 86. At 9:48pm on 27 May 2009, wagtailusk wrote:

    Two weeks ago my wife came to me very excited as she had seen a large exotic bird on the bird table. I saw it when it returned later and it turned out to be a Jay. In 12 years of living here we hear jays regularly in an adjacent conifer wood but rarely get more than a quick glimpse as they cross the garden. This sighting made sense as they had been extremely noisy for several days with a considerable amount of juvenile squawking. Young were obviously being fed!

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  • 87. At 9:52pm on 27 May 2009, malnmarg wrote:

    We posted a message on the message board, re a big reduction in Sand Martin numbers, on the sand banks on the river Tyne this year, in comparison with previous years.
    We had a few replies with other people saying the same thing in their areas.Also some replies added that they had noticed a decrease in House Martins which i hadn't thought about, but i have to agree,(with only one saying they had seen an increase).What do you think this could be down to?
    Also viewers may be interested to know that on Tues 20th May while on holiday in Cumbria we saw an Osprey circling above our heads on Loughrigg Tarn, it then flew towards Elterwater where we lost it, it is too far away from Bassenthwaite to be one of the breeding pair,so we don't know whether it was just passing through or a new summer visitor to the Lake District, (or posibly on of the breeding pairs's young from last year?)

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  • 88. At 9:52pm on 27 May 2009, creature-carer wrote:

    With ref to the tadpole eating black bird - the blackbirds have found my marginal/submerged pond plants, perfect feeders - I've now had to put replace half the soil and cover with pebbles cos they take beakfuls of mud with I'm guessing worms back and forth all day. Fortunately it's a wildlife pond so a perfect buffet bar

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  • 89. At 10:08pm on 27 May 2009, tjbenjamin wrote:

    we normally get lots of mallard ducks in a garden(backing on to a stream). 3 pairs nomally and normally two pairs stay with their ducklings. We also nomally have about three males on their own. However this year we've had 2 pairs with ducklings but both have gone since the ducklings hatched, we have a couple of male ducks still but thats it. Does any one have any ideas where the rest have gone?

    Tarra xxx

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  • 90. At 10:29pm on 27 May 2009, Desdemorna wrote:

    Re Swift Populations: We have usually a large population of Swifts in the NE of Scotland, however I feel there has been a reduction in numbers. Has anyone else noticed this and do they have any information to support the idea that they are decreasing.

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  • 91. At 10:55pm on 27 May 2009, bayswaterbasement wrote:

    More of a question than something unusual: we loved the video clip of the yawning bat in Episode 2, but - do all animals yawn? Cats and dogs certainly do, but we can't recall seeing sheep, cows or horses yawning, and we are arguing whether birds do. What do your film archives (or those of the viewers) have to say?

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  • 92. At 11:19pm on 27 May 2009, grandnaturelover wrote:

    Regarding your comments about birds feeding other species. On Sunday we watched a Coot feed a Moorhen chick on the pond at Parc Slip Nature Reserve, Tondu.

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  • 93. At 11:42pm on 27 May 2009, Tony_grin wrote:

    Last year, I went into my garden and saw a Sparrowhawk in my pond with it's wings spread across the surface. I thought it may have been in trouble, but as I approached it took off. It was carrying a (dead) Starling. I wondered if it had accidentely fallen into the pond following it's strike, or whether it was deliberately drowning the Starling, although I have never encountered such a thing.

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  • 94. At 07:33am on 28 May 2009, starStarwatch wrote:

    We live beside Wenhaston Heath and this year we have not heard the Nightingale, last year we had visits every day, it was wonderful. Is this due to the cold weather as we have had it suggested?
    Another odd happening, a female Chaffinch regularly tap at our Windows as if it wants to come in. Just gently tapping or fly slowly towards our window and tap on the glass in flight. It hops along the windowsill keep tapping. What does this mean please. We have seen the same bird in the garden, quite tame and appearing different than the other Chaffinches. What can you enlighten us with please?

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  • 95. At 07:50am on 28 May 2009, BofA_Times_RDB wrote:

    Goslings Galore! Greylag geese are now resident on a reservoir in the hills only 4 miles from the City of Stirling. I have a fantastic photo of one family with 18 goslings! How do I send this to Springwatch? There are at least a dozen families with 8 or 9 goslings. On a busy day there are 24 fishing boats on this loch, which is less than a mile long. These greylag families can be seen on or close to the shore not far from the car park. There are resident Canada geese too, but greylags resident? I always thought they migrated. But these have been resident here for about 4 years.Why bother to migrate when everything you want is here in Scotland. But pity the farmers if their fields are stripped bare!

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  • 96. At 08:18am on 28 May 2009, GardenMentor wrote:

    Morning all, I was woken by the sound of my first Cuckoo of Spring 2009 here in Nottingham...nice to hear it, as I've not heard one around these parts for years.

    Ironically, I turned on BBC Breakfast, to see them reporting the fact the Cuckoo has been placed on the 'Red' list.

    I've a good idea whereabouts it is, and intend to have a look to see if I can find it later on, if I'm successful, I'll try to grab a picture. :) Have you seen/heard your first Cuckoo of 2009?

    Kev J Nottingham :)

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  • 97. At 08:22am on 28 May 2009, IreneBoston wrote:

    I believe there is a massive Painted Lady migration taking place over Europe at the moment. The first wave of migrants arrived in the UK last weekend and it won't be long before the next wave arrives. Large numbers moved through Norfolk all last weekend - did the team's cameras at Pensthorpe catch any of it. Will Springwatch be featuring this? More info can be found here http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=142448&highlight=Painted+Lady+Migration

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  • 98. At 09:33am on 28 May 2009, grhopkins99 wrote:

    Painted Ladies
    We are in the middle of what is probably the biggest Painted Lady invasion of all time - and so far Springwatch has chosen to ignore it.
    This event is truly stop-press up-to-the-minute news and therefore must be included in the next edition of Springwatch.
    It's sunny again today, so get out with your cameras guys and show the Great British public what butterflies are about. The Painted Lady is one of our most attractive and spectacular butterflies, being probably the strongest and fastest flier we have and the numbers over the last few days have been truly awesome.

    Butterfly Conservation is organising a co-ordinated count on Saturday between 11:00 and 13:00. all accessible through their website. Please give them some publicity.

    Gordon R. Hopkins

    P.S. Keep chewing Kate.

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  • 99. At 09:40am on 28 May 2009, grymalkyn009 wrote:

    There was an orange-tip butterfly in the garden yesterday, first for 2 yrs. Hope they're coming back.

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  • 100. At 10:12am on 28 May 2009, Desdemorna wrote:

    Does anyone else think the Swift populations are decreasing? We live in the NE of Scotland and every year a Swift nests in our eaves, luckily we do have Swifts that return. However, it seems that the numbers over the last couple of years have noticeably dropped. I wondered if anyone had any similar thoughts or explanations for the decreasing numbers?

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  • 101. At 11:16am on 28 May 2009, mischievousDibble wrote:

    Hi, Please can you help me? I have dormouse boxes up in a quite wood. In the winter upon checking the boxes I discovered that a creature had made its home on top of an old blue tit nest. I did just see the snout of this tiny mammal and wondered if it could have been a Pygmy shrew. it saw very vertical in one of the holes at the back of the box what is strange is at the top of the nest and hitting the top of the box is the row of droppings so a very clean animal also there are two round holes in the back were the creature went for refuge. I do have a couple of pictures of the box and droppings nor have I cleared the box yet but the animal has definitely gone. Many thanks.

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  • 102. At 11:20am on 28 May 2009, prettyWoodpecker wrote:

    Dear Kate & Co
    Help!-we have a pair of green woodpeckers nesting in our apple tree about 10 yards from the house. We are delighted but anxious as our neighbour's two cats have registered this fact. We have put defences in place but we are worried when it comes to the fledglings leaving home. How can we help to protect them? Do they return to the nest hole after the first flight? We can find nothing about the family lives of woodpeckers even in the RSPB books.
    What with heron watch on our fishpond and cat watch for the woodies we are exhausted - launching our own children wasn't half as wearing.
    Any advice would be so welcome. The parent birds have worked so hard-please help us save them.
    prettyWoodpecker

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  • 103. At 12:52pm on 28 May 2009, essex-dawn wrote:

    I live in Essex and can't remember the last time I saw a painted lady, but this week as soon as the sun comes out so do they. I have probably seen more in one glance than I have seen my whole life. They seem to be particularly attracted to a particular plant in my garden - erysimum, Bowles Mauve. I had been wondering if there were so many because I had put in a plant they particularly liked, or because there was a major influx of them this year - judging by other peoples messages it looks like it must be the latter.

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  • 104. At 1:41pm on 28 May 2009, silverbutcher wrote:

    Last weekend I walked 7 miles in the Northamptonshire countryside,which was swaithed in wild flowers - but surrounded by silence. No bees nor a cuckoo's call. I was alarmed to see no butterflies and ponds devoid of tadpoles.
    Shades of "The Silent Spring" and puts a whole new meaning on the term "Springwatch". What is happening?

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  • 105. At 2:30pm on 28 May 2009, jennet9 wrote:

    Each morning I pass a swan who must have been sitting on the nest for seven - may be even eight weeks now. What is the average time for their eggs to hatch? I'm worried that something might be wrong.....

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  • 106. At 6:21pm on 28 May 2009, trewentotty wrote:

    Hello all.
    We were watching Unsprung Wed. and you were talking about hyberbation. Well one evening in January we were locking up outside when we noticed the dog looking excited about something. He had disturbed a doormouse eating corn from the ducks bowl, which is outside the garage. The doormouse made his way down the side of the house, where my son tried to rescue it, when it stoped behind a flower pot. The doormouse bit Sam and landed inside the flower pot were it climbed up a cane and sat at the top with his tail curled around it. As you can imagine we were very suprised and tried to take a photo but the batteries were too low. Nobody thought of using the cameras on the phones. Sam armed with a pair of gloves picked him up and put him back where we found him. He ran into the garage. We would not have touched him normally, but this was so unusual, it was very cold, and now the cat had taken an interest. We have found chewed up material in the garage and the feed is stored in there. We have not looked for him but just hope he made it. We live in rural Cornwall and are surrouned by hazel trees and have previously noticed a few tale tell signs of the round holes in hazel nuts. Sorry theres no photo, we were all so dissapointed we didn't get one as we thought who on earth is going to beleive this. Any comments very welcome.

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  • 107. At 6:25pm on 28 May 2009, kinggudgeon wrote:

    hello springwatchers,
    on the subject of unusual observations this spring is it me or are there very few swifts, swallows and house martins this year? Where have they all gone? I went fishing all day yesterday and only saw 3 swallows, no swifts and no house martins.

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  • 108. At 6:39pm on 28 May 2009, bevbroccoli wrote:

    Hi Springwatch viewers
    A squirrel in my garden this morning was apparently "hugging" an old deer antler we had left out. On closer inspection I think it was probably chewing on it. I assume the antler must contain some mineral that the squirrel needed. The antler has been in the garden for many years, but I've never seen a squirrel do this before. I did manage to get a picture of it before it ran off.

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  • 109. At 6:57pm on 28 May 2009, kinggudgeon wrote:

    maybe I should have read all the other coments before I made my comments about the lack of swfts, swallows and house martins it seems I'm not the only one to notice after all!

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  • 110. At 7:52pm on 28 May 2009, Petavius wrote:

    Saw a black headed cardinal beatle this afternoon - I am in South Shropshire, not sure how out of the ordinary this is but I have read that they are rarer than the red cardinal beatle.

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  • 111. At 8:00pm on 28 May 2009, Petavius wrote:

    Of course...it should be 'beetle' - silly spelling mistake!

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  • 112. At 8:27pm on 28 May 2009, Freckie0812 wrote:

    In response to jennet9's comment about the swans, I also noticed that two swans who return to nest every year at a river near my home seemed to have been nesting for a long time. Last year, the cygnets hatched on the first May bank holiday. This year, the cygnets hatched two weeks later. I can't be absolutely sure when they laid their eggs but it did seem that they were sitting for a longer period this year but nine cygnets did hatch eventually.
    I also have wondered about the school link with the influx of painted lady butterflies. I am a teacher and every year we get five caterpillars from one particular company used by schools nationwide. They turn into Painted Lady butterflies and we release them about now. I have released my last one today as unfortunately none of them 'hatched' before half term. We have been doing this for a number of years and if schools nationwide have been doing the same, could this be one of the reasons for the influx and/or the early sightings? It may be worth contacting the company involved to see if they can arrange to send a different variety of caterpillar each year.

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  • 113. At 8:43pm on 28 May 2009, Bernard_Woodley wrote:

    This morning my wife saw a big bumble bee, and two smaller bees (half the size) in a bundle on the ground - a woodland path, rollong around together. Is the 'spring friskiness' in the bee world? If not, what could they have been doing?
    Bernard

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  • 114. At 8:44pm on 28 May 2009, marrers wrote:

    Yesterday we were on our way between Charing and Faversham in Kent, in a deep grasshilled valley under tree cover, when out across the road flew - what we both thought looked like a bird as big at least as an buzzard!! but honestly it looked like the colouring of a golden eagle!! but I knew it couldnt be that!!! it had at least 4 foot wingspan!! do you think it could be an escaped bird of prey??? would love to know if anyone else had seen it in that area??? luckily as there was two of us, and we both saw it, we are not going mad!!!!!

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  • 115. At 8:47pm on 28 May 2009, copperMARCUS wrote:

    SATURDAY 16.00 16TH MAY SITTING IN GARDEN IN MALDEN RUSHETT SURREY COULD HEAR COCKOO OVER OXSHOTT WOODS

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  • 116. At 8:52pm on 28 May 2009, wessenden wrote:

    The Mountain Hare on the Black Hill area of the northern Peak District kept their winter white coats until about four weeks ago. Their numbers have held up well and we have seen up to five as we jog up the Chew valley and up to Black Hill.

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  • 117. At 8:53pm on 28 May 2009, annesallypaterson wrote:

    We heard the cuckoo first on the 21st of April at home here in Minard near Inveraray, Argyll. There are quite a few around our home.

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  • 118. At 8:55pm on 28 May 2009, christineanneking wrote:

    we heard our first cukoo this year on April 10th, in the woodland on Sewardstone Marsh - they're still calling every day...

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  • 119. At 9:31pm on 28 May 2009, maescoed wrote:

    MAY BUG - COCKCHAFER

    There's only 3-days left and the May Bugs haven't popped out yet!

    Maybe the sunny weather this coming weekend will help.

    Lower Maescoed - Herefordshire

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  • 120. At 11:10pm on 28 May 2009, angelgoldfinch wrote:

    Sorry folks but this is a bit of a horror story. Watching tonights Springwatch inspired me to tell about Zero. Our birdfeeders have recently attracted one of Britains most beautiful finches, yes the Goldfinch {particularly keen on Sunflower Hearts). A pair nesting in a tree in the neighbouring garden were acting very agitated one warm sunny evening. Curious as to what was troubling them I went to investigate and discovered a young (not fully fledged) chick on the ground and the neighbours cat was eyeing it up for supper. I took the bird to my garden, a safer place with no cats, and hoped the parents would come to its aid. It was quickly going dark so not wanting to leave it cold and vunerable I made it a nest in a small box and took him into the house. Next morning it was doing fine and I tried to feed it wiv some ground sunflower hearts and mealworms. Still too dark as I left for work for a 6am start I made sure it had feed in the hope it would be old enough to feed itself. When I got home I took it into the garden and after some time it's parents returned and started to feed it. Watching from an upstairs window I could see Zero (named because he was so naughty) sitting on top of my pussy willow tree when suddenly a grey squirrel appeared. My concern was that the squirel would scare Zero into the path of a cat. To my horror the squirrel grabbed Zero jumped onto the fence and brutally tore him/her apart.

    Perhaps this story gives us a clue as to why some of our native British birds are reducing in numbers.

    Dont feed the squirrels.

    Stretford, Manc.hester

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  • 121. At 11:22pm on 28 May 2009, lottiemoss wrote:

    on 27th of may my mum visited a garden centre in hailsham sussex where they had a delivery of potted scabious out on display, it was a lovely sunny afternoon and she saw well in excess of 200 painted lady butterflies all over the plants and in the roof canopy. fantastic!!

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  • 122. At 11:31pm on 28 May 2009, klpuddleduck9 wrote:

    I am not really sure this is something that should be on this particular part of your site, as I don't know whether it is something that happened because of the spring or just due to something else all together!..We were sitting last Sunday morning - it was earlyish..8.15am, we were in our sitting room, with the back door from the kitchen to the garden wide open, all of a sudden my husband jumped up and started to talking to the ceiling of the kitchen and closing the door from the sitting room to the kitchen, saying "oh no you silly thing, you don't want to go in there!" - so of course I had to know what it was..- it was a house martin flying around our kitchen ceiling - we were just frightened that itwould hurt itself, but it seemed to eventually get its bearings and go out of the back door and flew away, none the worse off for his experience. We were able to appreciate the magnificent colours of the bird whilst he was that close but I think the poor little thing would be far better not having had the close encounter with humankind! - Why did he do it though? I thought they had good senses? especially about where they fly into and for how long.

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  • 123. At 11:38pm on 28 May 2009, gillyphil wrote:

    We've been passing a tree in our small park (next to our doctors' surgery) on a daily basis and can hear a young bird making a racket inside the tree. We thought it was maybe a woodpecker, then today saw one alight on the back of the tree (we think there is a rear entrance to the nest) and assume it was a Lesser Spotted. There are a couple of round holes in the trunk, one perfectly round. We are watching, or rather listening, for any progress.

    Gillyphil

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  • 124. At 00:32am on 29 May 2009, MarianneAlice wrote:

    I live in deepest darkest Cardiff and have noticed that the city is absolutely teeming with sparrows this spring. I walk about a mile to get to university, and they are never out of earshot. As soon as I pass out of range of one, another takes over chirping. I don't know if this is new this year, or that I have only just noticed it. Either way, the sparrow is very much alive and kicking in Cardiff!

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  • 125. At 04:38am on 29 May 2009, NatureNath wrote:

    Incredibally high increase in small insects in the countryside near were i live, increase in pasrines, alot more wood pigions and a decrease in the sightings of kestrel were they once used to be quite common, Chelmsford, Essex,

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  • 126. At 08:07am on 29 May 2009, sandiian wrote:

    In Spring 2007 we had 8 families of starlings nesting in various places around the farm in Ryedale North Yorkshire. This was the norm over the previous years. Spring 2008 only 2 nests. Spring 2009 none at all. Never thought I would be saying this but where have all the starlings gone? Swallows have declined from 7 nesting pairs to 2 over the same period despite having the same number of barn and stable nesting opportunities.
    On the other hand we have large numbers of tree sparrows - and a cuckoo.
    Moorhens are doing very well but coots have disappeared.
    Barn Owls in residence (you should see the mess - but worth it) as well as Little Owl and Tawnies.

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  • 127. At 08:08am on 29 May 2009, jerandles wrote:

    The frogs normally arrive here (west coast of Scotland) at the beginning of February and this year they didn't start to arrive until the end of Feb. Plus - instead of arriving all at once (so it usually appears) they arrived much more gradually in dribs and drabs.

    This year however, in the same ditch as the tadpoles, I have seen far more newts than usual - is this noteworthy?

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  • 128. At 09:31am on 29 May 2009, brighttattygirl wrote:

    The House Martins have just arrived this week in Thorpe on the Hill, Lincolnshire, are they later than usual?

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  • 129. At 10:20am on 29 May 2009, Skittens wrote:

    Dear Springwatch Team , as a loyal viewer to the programme I would like to tell you about our little oasis in leafy Sunningdale.

    We have a frequently used bird table by almost all wild birds, including amongst the various tits/ and long tailed tits, plus 2/3 types of woodpecker, and nut hatches.

    This spring, being so warm and lovely I find my flowers are attracting many types of bumble bees and masses of butterflies. We have frequent visits to our front garden by deer (not too good for the shrubs and roses) and in the backdrop of our woodland, foxes and other animals. The jays like our habitat and the damp areas have attracted newts. We have a special place, but are not in the heart of the countryside. We are privileged. Not heard the cookoo yet, but they will be here very soon, probably flying over from Windsor Great Park.

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  • 130. At 10:33am on 29 May 2009, Tathead wrote:

    Call me a wimp but I didnt like seeing that poor little fledging being pounced on by the weasel last night and even worse the presenters laughing about it. I know it's the law of the jungle and it happens all the time but it aint funny.

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  • 131. At 11:18am on 29 May 2009, willowfiredragon wrote:

    Hi

    The most unusual thing I have seen this spring happened about a month ago (late April). Eating my breakfast, watching the birds as usual, I became aware of a strange chattering, croaking sound and looking into the oak tree behind my house found a lone parakeet, happily preening and talking to himself. He flew over the house on a few days after this sighting but I've heard nothing since.

    I live in North Oxfordshire, 5 minutes from the Oxford canal, about a mile from the Thames path and several miles from the M40.

    Kingfishers, water voles and so much more can be seen along the canal and Red kites are a familiar daily sight and sound now, but this was my first parakeet. Are they spreading?


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  • 132. At 11:41am on 29 May 2009, ReedRa wrote:

    I live in a rural area just outside King's Lynn, Norfolk. My garden backs on to a river and corn/rapeseed fields. I tend therefore to have a variety of birds in the garden but this year all through the winter I had Yellow Hammers and Reed Buntings more or less resident in the garden. This is the first time I have seen them in the garden and I have lived here for 9 years. What do you think may account for this? They have now gone off to nest but are still visiting the ground feeders maybe once or twice a day.

    I would be very interested to hear your comments.
    Thank you.
    ReedRa, King's Lynn

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  • 133. At 11:42am on 29 May 2009, miconwar wrote:

    Saw waves of Painted Lady butterflies crossing the field in front of my house in Shapwick Dorset on 25th May.Had a swarm of bees in the garden on 22nd of May as did many other places in the locality Check out the Bournemouth Echo.

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  • 134. At 11:54am on 29 May 2009, Duckling25 wrote:

    We have seen a reed bunting feeding from a plate of seeds (1 foot above the ground level)on our feeding station. This was newly installed earlier in the spring and is sited at the edge of our lawn some 20 feet away from the house. The reed bunting has made several appearences later in the afternoon. We live in March, Cambs. Our housing estate is about 200 yards from open fields and drainage ditches which is where you would normally expect to see the reed bunting.

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  • 135. At 1:38pm on 29 May 2009, Charthamhatcher wrote:

    Butterflies are seldom mentioned on the programme. Plenty of Painted Ladies, Speckled Woods and Wall Browns this year, but where are the Brimstones, Orange Tips and Small Tortoiseshells?

    But I have had my first-ever Whitethroat in the garden.

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  • 136. At 4:41pm on 29 May 2009, John Bennett wrote:

    Hi all.
    I don't if this is classed as unusual, but, my wife and myself have just started bird watching, mainly in out back garden where we have place out some feeders and a bird table, got to keep the dogs in though. Today at 3:45 PM I saw a Green Woodpecker on the roof of the house opposite. I have a very good book with all the info you need for spotting and identifying all the birds that visit our gardens, I checked and it definately was a Green Woodpecker and according the scale it is not that common, about half way up the scale. I live in Caldicot, South Wales not far from the Severn Estuary. I am over the moon with spotting this, and wow what a big bird at least a foot long.

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  • 137. At 4:44pm on 29 May 2009, Pictureworks wrote:

    We live in Shrewsbury and the swifts have arrived about 3 weeks ago, but there definitely aren't as many as usual. We have blackbirds, sparrows, wrens, robins, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, collared doves, wood pigeons, magpies, and starlings nesting in our eaves (they are roosting in the roof over our bathroom toilet, and they return every year!). Back in November for a couple of days we even saw a jay pecking worms out of the lawn. I do not put food out for the birds because I have 2 actively hunting moggies, and it would be like condemning the birds to certain death if I tried to feed them, much as I would like to. Our neighbour has a bird table however which is well protected from the cats, and he gets a grey squirrel coming to nick the food every morning. We also get the occasional pheasant in the garden, the cat tried to get one once, and I was worried as they don't fly that well, but it escaped.
    In the Harlescott area of Shrewsbury last year we saw the great flocks of starlings swirling around in their clouds, an incredible sight.

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  • 138. At 5:15pm on 29 May 2009, politetwojays wrote:

    I would just like to confirm your comments about the influx of painted lady butterflies, we sat in the garden this afternoon and hundreds, in a steady stream passewd over, and are still coming!
    Also my son hears the cuckoo regularly when he goes fishing at the Dinas Lake above Aberystwyth, just past the Red Kite feeding station at Nanty-yr-Arian.

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  • 139. At 5:36pm on 29 May 2009, Ashani wrote:

    The flower opening times seem to be all out of kilter, some opening earlier, some the opposite. I also saw a redstart on my willow at the front of the house which I have never seen here before.

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  • 140. At 7:35pm on 29 May 2009, littlemidwife wrote:

    I heard a cuckoo the beginning of last week in Canobie, Dumfries and Galloway

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  • 141. At 7:41pm on 29 May 2009, littlemidwife wrote:

    I live in the Scottish Borders and this year we have more swallows than usual, we have 11 active nests under our eves plus one new one being built. Also I have seen more gold finches than I have ever seen, there were 6 at one time on the peanut feeder yesterday mid-morning

    I have seen 26 species at our feeding station this year which is 3 species more than last year

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  • 142. At 7:57pm on 29 May 2009, rastasrat wrote:

    At first, just 1, then 2, 3, 4, and now there are 5 Red Squirrels in our garden. See them dozens of times a day. Have a peanut feeder just outside the lounge window , and the squirrels can be viewed through the glass from just 2 feet away. They don't run off when they're being watched and up to 3 of them are here at once. They even share the feeder with the local G S Woodpecker. JUST BRILL. I'm located near Newton Stewart in Galloway.

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  • 143. At 8:58pm on 29 May 2009, Borassus wrote:

    Seen lots of painted ladies at the garden centre where I work in Berkshire. Must be a good migration year. They particularly seem to like the flowers of Heliotrope.

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  • 144. At 10:39pm on 29 May 2009, honeybee81 wrote:

    Yes,i like to go for a drive on my weekends off in the country,I go to places such as chew vally lakes,chew magna,bishop sutton,cheddar,bath,just a few places that has lot's of country walks and wildlife,but i have noticed there are not many butterflys as norm this year,or lady birds?? i've seen one lady bird about 2 months ago. is it just me or has any one else noticed this?? :-/

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  • 145. At 00:57am on 30 May 2009, aaalab wrote:

    I live in South Yorkshire, but unfortunately the Painted Lady influx did not reach as far as here. However we had a lot of Speckled Woods in April plus quite a few Small Tortoiseshells which were eyeing up the large patch of nettles in the front of the garden. I'd intended to cut about half of them, but my husband was nursing a bad back and I just had an operation, so it never got done. Now I am a proud parent of hundreds of peacock and a few tortoiseshell caterpillars. They are about to pupate and now I have to leave them until July till they hatch. So if you are passing a front garden in South Yorkshire which is covered in nettles, now you know why I have not cut them!!
    I have also saw a common blue and an orange tip in April in the garden.
    I am now growing nasturtiums so that they will feed the white caterpillars. However if you plan to do this they don't seem to to like the ones with the variegated leaves.

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  • 146. At 07:25am on 30 May 2009, largenounou wrote:

    I noticed a very strange looking spider in my garden last week. Long stick like body (red and black markings)about 1/4 inch long and definitly 8 legs.
    It appeared to like my tomato plants, so left it well alone.

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  • 147. At 07:58am on 30 May 2009, pijinlane wrote:

    I live in a tiny village 1000feet up on a South Lanarkshire moor on the edge of the Pentland Hills next to a SSSI and I have lots of wonderful birds visiting my feeders such as Gold Crests and Siskins, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Blu Tits, Great Tits and Coal Tits as well as Sparrows, Dunnocks, Robins and Starlings, Ring Doves and this year a pair of Red Poll and on the odd occasion by a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Heron and Swans flying down the burn and Wheatears, Curlew and Lapwing nesting on the surrounding moorland and fields.
    It is an area that is kind of forgotten when surveys are carried out unfortunately which is sad as it is full of amazing flora and fawna.
    I love the programme .... keep up the good work!

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  • 148. At 08:04am on 30 May 2009, HENNEGANOL wrote:

    We have not seen as many Swallows this year, there appear to be just two flying around our property and there is no sign of them nest building.

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  • 149. At 08:49am on 30 May 2009, TheMckenzies wrote:

    We found a bumble bees nest in our greenhouse! My husband and daughter were having a clear out and found the nest under a cardboard box, which was placed on the raised bed we use for growing toms. We were going to move the nest as it is a bit in the way, but we decided to leave where it was and not disturb it any more.

    Great to see, but no toms this year!!

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  • 150. At 10:43am on 30 May 2009, jbTheCaretaker wrote:

    We have a Fox family living on our school grounds they seem very healthy as the rabbit population on the school grounds is very heathy too, We are surrounded by farm land on all sides with hedgerows and the area has quite a lot of woodland as well.

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  • 151. At 12:43pm on 30 May 2009, Gunbluemelanistic wrote:

    House Martins,Swallows and Butterflies were late this year in the high country of Co Tyrone.

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  • 152. At 01:20am on 31 May 2009, naturehoodwatcher wrote:

    I really am wondering were all the toads have gone this year, in fact I,m rather worried such is the dramatic number I have not seen so far, I live on the banks of a very large pound with a stream at the rear so seeing and dodging many toads was expected, I often counted them and could some times get 25 on my lawn alone. This year some thing is missing... the toads, where are they ? I have only seen the odd one or two and this is such change to the norm. What do you think

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  • 153. At 08:39am on 31 May 2009, MKDavid wrote:

    In this part of Buckinghamshire near Aylesbury, we seem to have a lot of House Sparrows, especially young ones. More so than I remember in previous years.

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  • 154. At 09:04am on 31 May 2009, ian4338 wrote:

    I haven't seen any ladybirds this year. I have noticed less and less over the past few years. Anyone else seen any?

    The blue tits in our box have fledged (2 didn't make it). This is a couple of weeks earlier than previous years.

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  • 155. At 09:16am on 31 May 2009, spursgirl46 wrote:

    North Norfolk

    Lots of Peacock butterflies on the North Norfolk coastal path between
    Stiffkey and Wells, plus 30th May masses of Painted Lady butterflies on the backtrack from Wells to Holkham

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  • 156. At 2:56pm on 31 May 2009, moelarthur wrote:

    We have noticed last spring and this year that woodpeckers are on the garden pecking the lawn as a normal bird. Is this because they have young and need more food?

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  • 157. At 3:38pm on 31 May 2009, Lancastrians wrote:

    It's been suggested by a warden at Loch Garten RSPB reserve that I contact Chris Packham for the answer to a question that has long puzzled me.
    How do cuckoo chicks know how to 'Cuckoo'? If they have been raised by an unwitting reed warbler or dunnock why do they not repeat their calls/songs as that is what they will have heard while in the egg and nest?
    P.S Can I suggest everyone visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/webcams/birdsofprey/lochgartenvideo
    Livestream video of EJ and Odin, 2 osprey and their 3 chicks. Superb.

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  • 158. At 3:58pm on 31 May 2009, Ali Harker wrote:

    I live near Poole in Dorset and we'd just got home from a walk this afternoon and looking out of the window I noticed a swarm coming down the street! We looked out and it appeared to be bees and was accompanied by a very load buzzing. We quickly closed all the windows and the swarm continued down the road and off into the distance. I have never seen anything like this. Has it been precipitated by the warm weather?

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  • 159. At 4:42pm on 31 May 2009, yorosie wrote:

    We have had blue tits nesting in a box in the garden for the last 2 years. This year, we heard a woodpecker in the woods about 100 metres behind our bungalow. About 2 weeks ago it appeared in the garden, feeding on peanuts. After a couple of days it was hammering on the blue tit box between 5 am and 8 am in the morning. It has increased the size of the blue tit hole by 50%. In spite of this the blue tit parents have continued to feed the young ones and, once we had removed the peanuts, the woodpecker left us. Can you tell us, please, why the woodpecker has behaved like this. Was it trying to get to the young ones or, perhaps, thinking of this box as a nesting place for itself?

    Thankyou

    Rosemary & Roy Williams
    Aberporth, Cardigan, West Wales.

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  • 160. At 4:54pm on 31 May 2009, debbiewin wrote:

    I think the cold winter we have had has inproved the flowers in my Forest of Dean garden this spring. The daffs were better than ive ever seen them and the blossom on all my apple trees and shrubs has been beautiful.
    Had lots of frog spawn and tadpoles but they now seem to have vanished does anyone know why this might be?
    debbiewin

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  • 161. At 8:24pm on 31 May 2009, Orcheton wrote:

    Red Kite - Forest of Dean, Woolaston, West Gloucestershire - excellent clear sighting this afternoon. This is the first one I have seen in this area. Previously, I have not seen any between M4 Membury Services area, Berkshire and the mid Wales area. A magnificent bird, lets hope they are here to stay.

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  • 162. At 8:49pm on 31 May 2009, strawberryfare wrote:

    Hen Harriers.
    What a thrill to see a pair of Hen Harriers flying just by the side of our car as we drove near Wandsford,Cambs. The male bird was flying above the female and it was just a magnificient sight. If it hadn't been for Springwatch I might have thought 'what are they?' and that would have perhaps been it. So a big thank you to you and I will keep a watch out for them next time we drive that way, which should be in a week or two.

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  • 163. At 9:55pm on 31 May 2009, calamity7 wrote:

    Can you please explain the antics of a magpie. I watched it chase and catch a live mouse in my headlights. I always thought that magpies would eat carrion but not actually chase prey. I was very suprised and would like you help.
    Thankyou,
    calamity7

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  • 164. At 9:59pm on 31 May 2009, darrenpallett wrote:

    noticing alot fewer swift, house martin and swallows in the area where i live in sheffield?

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  • 165. At 10:41pm on 31 May 2009, nixxitheduckfan wrote:

    About a month ago a mallard started spending a lot of time on the roof of a house I can see from my kitchen window. Over the next few weeks other mallards started joining him and we have even seen him have a girlfriend over a few times. There are now regularly 4 - 6 of them on the roof for most of the day, and well into the evening. We live across the road from a park and about 3 miles from a WWT centre so we don't understand why they would suddenly start spending so much time on the roof of a house in a busy street.

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  • 166. At 10:48pm on 31 May 2009, wagbunting wrote:

    Since the hard frost and snow this winter I have not seen or heard any Goldcrest in Suffolk (Minsmere or Haverhill). Also not seen or heard them in pine forest of Hale Parlieu, New forest, when this is normally only bird you hear. Is there any evidence of population crash after the hard winter?

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  • 167. At 07:33am on 01 Jun 2009, meonomous wrote:

    My garden had a 'small' fall of Painted Lady butterflies over the weekend following their migration. I counte up to 12 at any one time but there were more flitting around, chasing, rarely settling which has made it impossible up to know to get a picture of them. They are faded after their journey and some decidedly ragged around the edges. But they are active and busy. This is the firs time for a few years the garden has had so many.

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  • 168. At 08:01am on 01 Jun 2009, Tactillian wrote:

    1)There appears to be a proliferation of wild? daisies, with white flower heads at the sides of roads, alongside country tracks etc.

    2) Very few butterflies to date

    3) 3-4 weeks ago there were plenty of bees around, and some bumble bees, but to date they seem to have largely disappeared.

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  • 169. At 10:30am on 01 Jun 2009, Welshknitter wrote:

    There have been a large number of Painted Ladies about for the last week or so. I work in Prestatyn, live in Dyserth and was out walking in Abergwyngregyn on Saturday, and there were and have been lots in all three of those areas. I've not seen any before, and had to go and look in the books to be sure what they were. Beautiful big orange things, and very fast!!!

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  • 170. At 10:32am on 01 Jun 2009, bbsammy wrote:

    Yesterday Sunday may31st at Lamorna Cornwall south of Penzance

    Continual passage all afternoon, crossing garden, of Painted Lady butterflies all on a mission flying SW to NE at rate of 400 hour

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  • 171. At 11:04am on 01 Jun 2009, Ambertadpole wrote:

    Why do our goldfish 'disappear', regularly about this time of year. Every year we think they have been eaten by a Heron but then, suddenly, they return, as quickly as they disappeared. We have gone to great lengths to protect from Heron attack and I don't think it is possible but why do they go deep?

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  • 172. At 11:39am on 01 Jun 2009, PeakDistrictLiz wrote:

    Facinating to see the Leopard Slugs. I have seen them in my garden but thought that they were that colour because of what they were eating. I've not seen them mating but will look out for that amazing event. They will be more welcome after seeing that.

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  • 173. At 12:50pm on 01 Jun 2009, StoneybrookFarm wrote:

    The things we have noticed this spring is the number of Bumble Bees this year. Our flowering chives are covered as well as all the other flowers. We have never seen so many bees before.

    Also feel the bluebells gave a better showing this year and the blossom as well.

    Located Churt, Surrey near the Devil's Punch Bowl.

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  • 174. At 1:02pm on 01 Jun 2009, Ray wrote:

    We have been lucky to have a blackbird nest a few feet from our kitchen window, over the weeks the female has become quite tame even to the point of begging for food. Weof course offered meal worms which were gratefully received. We however never saw a amle blacky in attendance. Then one day we found an unfeathered young hatchling on a different part of our garden, we thought nothing of it other than disappointment that it had died. However and this is the strange part, we were sitting in the garden when we noticed a male blacky disappear into the bush where the nest was and then reappeared carrying a fledgling. and flew off with it. Later it was found abandoned on a neighbours drive (dead of course) any idea why it should have done this? it left only one in the nest which has since fledged abd is now making a racket wanting to be fed.

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  • 175. At 1:45pm on 01 Jun 2009, Redheaddame wrote:

    I'm in Surrey. We have bees that are living under our shed. There is a constant stream of bees going in and out from sunrise to sunset. They go in and out at exactly the same point and if the shed door is open they start flying around angrily as if they can't find their way in. Is this normal? Could they possibly have created a beehive under a shed?!

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  • 176. At 1:49pm on 01 Jun 2009, meonomous wrote:

    I have just been walking round the village and in the church graveyard next to my house I counted roughly 150'ish Painted Lady butterflies. They have a taste for Centranthus rubra (Red Valerian) which is growing all ove the tops of the mortared stone walls. A relief to see so many again after a few years with so few.

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  • 177. At 2:17pm on 01 Jun 2009, marymary43 wrote:

    I have noticed the spring flowers flowered a little late. They have been larger, more colourful and larger numbers than previous years, as well as seeming to last longer.

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  • 178. At 3:12pm on 01 Jun 2009, Dessie wrote:

    I work at an open farm and we found a wagtails nest in that back of the tractor that goes out several times a day doing tractor rides around the farm. It was tucked away behind the cab and we noticed the parents flying down to meet the tractor each time it returned. There were 5 or 6 healthy chicks in the nest when we found it and there they remained despite the tractor going off, leaving the parents to collect food in time for its return. The chicks fledged and I have seen them around the farm.

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  • 179. At 3:41pm on 01 Jun 2009, emilymeakin wrote:

    We have had a pair of collared doves in our garden for several years now and some years they do manage to produce live young. However, more often their nests are poorly built for and a small amount of wind knocks them out of trees along with the eggs. They chose a different tree this year and we hoped for live young. The female spent about 2 weeks sitting on the nest and then just stopped. We can see no eggs or chicks. Can anyone tell me why collared doves seem to build such scanty nests for birds of their size and why, at least in our case, they seem to so rarely care for the eggs through to chicks and beyond? We have a diverse habitat in the garden and other species, including blackbirds, tits and chaffinches all breed successfully in the garden. Thanks emily

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  • 180. At 4:11pm on 01 Jun 2009, pidley wrote:

    I SAW SOMETHING WEIRD THIS MORNING WHILE GARDENING IN PIDLEY CAMBS!!!
    There was a sudden burst of cheeping and I looked up to see a Moorhen attacking a blackbird fledgling. It had its beak round the baby's neck and was thrashing it about. The cock Blackbird came in to rescue its young, dive bombing the Moorhen to scare it off. Then one of our friendly Robins joined in the attack. Once the fledgling was dropped the Blackbird went up to inspect it, while the Robin continued to chase the Moorhen out of the garden! The fledgling seemed none the worst for its attack and has been hopping around in the undergrowth since.
    Did the Moorhen mistake the bird for a frog, which I imagine might be on its normal diet?
    We always have Moorhens nesting on our pond but have never seen this behaviour before.
    QUERY
    We have Great Tits who raise young in our camera box each year. Just wondered if the brood siblings have a means of identifying each other the following spring to prevent them mating with a bother/sister? Or doesn't it matter in the bird world?

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  • 181. At 5:21pm on 01 Jun 2009, penycrayon wrote:

    Usually I see hundreds of frogs (females carrying the males on their backs)crossing a little lane over a 3 day period during March..and later I see all the baby frogs doing the same in the opposite dircetion (going to/from a lake) however, I only saw approx a dozen this spring.
    Is this coz of the cold winter?
    Thanks

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  • 182. At 5:24pm on 01 Jun 2009, penycrayon wrote:

    sorry..I meant toads not frogs in above post!
    ps I have tried to get the little lane closed whilst the above takes place (as on a normal year hundreds are killed) ...I spoke to a councilor and the countrysude council for Wales but unfotunately they told me nothing can be done????any suggestions?

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  • 183. At 5:42pm on 01 Jun 2009, diapensia wrote:

    please see my message about busy blackbird on the message board

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  • 184. At 6:44pm on 01 Jun 2009, Valmcneil wrote:

    One species I have not had in my garden are long tailed tits. There have been less each year and none up to now. Anybody else noticed this.
    I am in Perthshire

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  • 185. At 6:52pm on 01 Jun 2009, TAKEUSTOO wrote:

    We've had what looks like a small bumble bee, at least it has a yellow stripe dancing around our bird house on the patio. One bee was there on its own for about a week dancing like frenzy around the box almost following the same path each time then another one or two appeared. Was it giving instruction to the other bees? finally a lot appeared and they are now nesting inside. They sit around the hole with their bottoms facing out sometimes six on the tiny hole and only move when one flies in. They continue to do the dance every time they come in. I can't stop watching them and its only feet from where we sit. My only worry is that the grandchildren would be at risk of being stung. I took a picture and put it on the spring pictures section as I am hoping someone will tell me what bees they are. Last year we had wood bees in a different box but didn't get any of the strange dancing. Haven't seen any snails or slugs yet, seem to be leaving the veggies alone at the moment.

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  • 186. At 7:25pm on 01 Jun 2009, russellhawkins wrote:

    Is it unusual to have 2 kestrels nesting within 10 feet of each other. They are both in the same tree - one in a purpose built nesting box and the other in the tree itself.
    Both females are sitting on clutches of 4 eggs.

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  • 187. At 7:31pm on 01 Jun 2009, eaglesmark wrote:

    Whilst on the Isle of Arran I thought I was looking at 3 Whimbrel but after looking in the RSPB handbook it didn't have them on the west coast of scotland at all. i'll put the photo's on the web site and if some one could give me some idea what I was looking at would be appreciated.

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  • 188. At 8:22pm on 01 Jun 2009, tamcro wrote:

    My Mum lives in Didcot, Oxfordhire and they have had 2 pairs of Kites feeding in their garden. Quite amazing as they live in a semi built up area.


    They aren't bothered if you are in the garden either, they will still swoop down if they see food

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  • 189. At 8:57pm on 01 Jun 2009, mazzystar wrote:

    I think Chris has been rumbled! He must have a bet on with the team to see how many Smiths/Morrissey song titles he can get in!!
    I am sure I have now heard 3 or 4 including "Frankly Mr Shankly" and tonight's great one that threw Kate completely " You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby!"

    Genius Mr Packham, someone out there appreciates your efforts!

    Maria

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  • 190. At 9:09pm on 01 Jun 2009, lu-labelle wrote:

    we're watching springwatch to see what happens between kate and chris, we love the way kate giggles when chris talks to her and its lovely the way chris stares into kates eyes (awww).
    Springwatch 2009 - feel the love!

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  • 191. At 9:10pm on 01 Jun 2009, Onthedoorstep wrote:

    On the 28th may about 8:30 in the evening I was drawn to a magpie and crow sitting on a roof opposite my house, thinking they were trying to get at the fledgling bird nesting there I stood to watch and noticed that they in turn were watching, a group of Five foxes all well grown and pulling a plastic bag around as if in a game, as they were a well grown I thought this rather comical.

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  • 192. At 9:22pm on 01 Jun 2009, Jeanniebabes wrote:

    I don't know if anyone is interested but to attract Gold finches to your garden invest in a Thistle feeder and Thistle seeds I bought one and 2 days later had 2 Gold finches eating them, they have been back everyday since and have eaten a whole feeder and a little bit more , it ids lovely to see them in my back garden I am also living in a house that is situated between a main road and a Railway line so I don't think it matters where you live just give it a go

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  • 193. At 9:22pm on 01 Jun 2009, richardpboon wrote:

    RE MIMICRY & TRIMPHONES

    You were talking tonight about bird mimicry apparently being passed down the generations. Only a couple of weeks ago I heard a suburban song thrush giving a very repectable impersonation of a trimphone. It's not I suppose impossible that someone still has one, but equally I'd've thought that the sound might be part of an inherited repertoire.

    And what's up with 'Come On Eileen'?

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  • 194. At 9:31pm on 01 Jun 2009, jessicat1211 wrote:

    I saw something I have never seen before yesterday, 2 bees that looked as though they were either mating or fighting on a leaf in my garden. They did look very different from each other so I really don't know if it was love or hate going on, does anyone in springwatch land know?
    P.S. I'm impressed by Chris Packham's punk collection, what does that make me?

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  • 195. At 9:31pm on 01 Jun 2009, Pikchick wrote:

    I know we all know about the influx of painted lady butterflies, but I hope we have enough of their feeding plants to go round?
    Being a photographer it has been wonderful for me to capture these gorgeous butterflies.
    My whole of my garden is deicated to wildlife particularly the insects.
    http://www.pbase.com/carole_s/image/113039328

    http://www.pbase.com/carole_s/image/112902554

    , so please please everyone grow the right flowers and give these insects plenty of food.
    That way we can all enjoy their beauty!

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  • 196. At 10:10pm on 01 Jun 2009, annescats wrote:

    Hi guy's
    We were taking my daughter back to her RAF base in Shawbury on Sunday evening about 9pm, and there were must have been what seemed like thousands of May flies. I remember seeing Bill talking about May flies on spring watch, last year I think, but I'd never seen them before. I didn't realise how big they were. We must have driven through them for about 3 miles. It was an amazing sight.

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  • 197. At 10:10pm on 01 Jun 2009, miraculousfionaruth wrote:

    Last week, I saw in my garden a strange spider, the likes of which I have never seen before. I have tried to identify it on websites and in my creatures book, but to no avail. It had red legs and a red fore-body, and an abdomen about the size and shape of a peanut - but pale beige. I didn't think to take a picture, but can anybody identify this spider? It was very distinctive. I could do a drawing if anybody thinks this is a very unusual creature.

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  • 198. At 11:00pm on 01 Jun 2009, Duncsvizor09 wrote:

    Sunday afternoon Myself and my son were on a bike ride in siddington gloucestershire riding down a dirt track enjoying the sun when in 12 yards infront of us were to oppiste gates entering onto two crop fields a beutifal healthy fox maybe female just crossed the road field to field in no particuly hurry, my son Reece who is only nine was messmerised as hed never seen a fox up close as that truly a greaticous site well impressed to see on a beutiful sunny day great job you are all doing cheers from Duncan Vizor Gloucestershire

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  • 199. At 11:05pm on 01 Jun 2009, spellbindingangiep wrote:

    please can you tell me if the Molly Hedge Sparrow has been seen nesting this year as I have not heard anything about her, thank you.

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  • 200. At 11:42pm on 01 Jun 2009, rockchickatheart wrote:

    I was at Flamborough Head yesterday. looking among the rock pools, to my amazment there were 7 newly hatched ducks swimming around in a large pool. No Adult duck in sight. However. there were hundreds of gulls, small children and adults chasing them around. I fear they couldn't possibly survive, there was no fresh water. What on earth where they doing there. Any ideas?

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  • 201. At 00:40am on 02 Jun 2009, swiftfan wrote:

    Here in Edinburgh I saw my first swift this year on 30th April.

    Saw three in the sky above my tenement on 16th May and many times since, but by this stage there are usually 6 or 8 in this local area. Worrying...

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  • 202. At 08:05am on 02 Jun 2009, erikawarner6773 wrote:

    Following on from the comments made last night about feeding young with seeds instead of insects, we have a pair of robins nesting in a copse next to our house that appear to be feeding thier young on sunflower hearts!
    When i first noticed the adults coming to the feeder i assumed that they were feeding themselves with theseeds. However due to the frequency of their visits i am sure they are taking them back to the nest.
    I then feared that they would choke the yongsters with them but they have been doing this now for about a week so i can only assume that all is well.

    Erika Warner

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  • 203. At 08:45am on 02 Jun 2009, LucyTort wrote:

    For the last 5 days I have had a crow coming to the back of my house around 5am and it 'caws' and throws itself at my patio doors flapping it's wings or walks the length of the back of the house pecking at the glass doors and my kitchen door (also glass) quite frantically as if it is trying to get into the house. It continues for 2 or 3 mins then flys off and seems to repeat this behaviour about every 20 mins.
    Very strange !!!! Any ideas why ???

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  • 204. At 09:37am on 02 Jun 2009, cosmicteresa-green wrote:

    Sorry, Martin, but I have a plentiful supply of slugs in my garden, just sadly not the leopard slug. Unusually I am noticing a lot of what appear to be small crane flies indoors but know it is too early in the year for the traditional daddy-long-legs - are they a relation?

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  • 205. At 09:41am on 02 Jun 2009, stevebreeze wrote:

    I have a black collared dove nesting within the pidgeon spikes on my satelite dish mounting. In one photo you can actually see a spike in the middle row of spikes going through the wing that is wrapped around it. It`s unbelievable how it manoevres around...but it does!

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  • 206. At 10:04am on 02 Jun 2009, coolqueencartimandua wrote:

    Whilst walking on Crosby Beach (Merseyside) last week we found literally hundreds of razer shells....all sizes and all of course empty...lying along the tide line like driftwood. Not sure if its linked to Spring or something more man-made but I've never seen so many before. Any ideas?

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  • 207. At 10:08am on 02 Jun 2009, joyncol wrote:

    when out walking yesterday we saw what looked like wool covering a hawthorn hedge about 8ft by 6ft area.On closer inspection we found it was dense webs containing small yellow eggs and tiny black caterpillars I took some pictures and as we have never seen the likes before we wondered if anyone could tell us what they are.

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  • 208. At 12:01pm on 02 Jun 2009, david5821 wrote:

    I was watching Springwatch last night (or this morning on iplayer to be precise ) and aren't those kites fanastic in Wales. I really must make the effort to drive over there and see them for myself. Yesterday I drove from Rochester in Kent to Liverpool, along the M1, M6, M62, etc and I saw no less than 10 buzzards soaring during the drive and one sitting on a post.So that makes 11 in a 200 odd mile drive. Another species of raptor on the up.

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  • 209. At 12:10pm on 02 Jun 2009, david5821 wrote:

    I saw two Harbour Porpoises feeding in the Thames of Lower Hope Point, seemingly oblivious to the heavy shipping plying up and down the river.

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  • 210. At 12:27pm on 02 Jun 2009, johnandmatt92 wrote:

    this year most of the flowers in my garden have flowered about a week later or more compared to last year. this continued until the end of april where everything caught up again. i live in bedfordshire

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  • 211. At 1:04pm on 02 Jun 2009, brighthombre wrote:

    have seen my first cheveral this year. also 40 years ago i watched a fox picking sheeps wool from barbed wire i waited and the dog fox went toa nearby stream lowered itself in the shallow water and to my amazment the wool turned black then i realised it was getting rid of fleas. amazed i was.

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  • 212. At 1:25pm on 02 Jun 2009, heyhomaggie wrote:

    My local cuckoo has a different call from time to time. It does cuck cuck cuck etc (It misses out the coo bit). I wondered if this had a reason, was unusual etc?

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  • 213. At 1:26pm on 02 Jun 2009, tiredofit wrote:

    On Sunday 31st May I saw a rook/crow and a seagull harassing a very large bird which was squawking like a parrot. The smaller birds were attacking the larger with violence I have rarely seen. They swept in with beaks and feet flailing, but unfortunately, it was too distant to determine if there was an attempt to steal food or just drive off a threat. I think the latter more likely as there was such an audible row from the victim that it would be difficult to to retain prey.
    The larger bird, which was Heron/Stork shaped with huge slow sweeping wings, eventually veered away until the attack ceased, then corrected it's direction again once clear. I've never seen these two particuler birds work together in such a manner and certainly not witnessed an attack on a Heron/Stork.
    What's going on folks?

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  • 214. At 2:20pm on 02 Jun 2009, libranan wrote:

    I visited my daughter bank holiday weekend and,while sat in the
    garden we saw a crow land on top of a chimney pot, which had smoke
    coming out of it,then it spread it's wings and lay across the top of the pot with it's head inside the pot.It did this three or four times. Do any of the springwatch team know why?

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  • 215. At 2:23pm on 02 Jun 2009, bizarreHeadteacher wrote:

    Several things we have noticed at school

    The tadpoles are taking an extremely long time to turn into frogs in the school pond.

    We have our own web cam and were hoping to show you our six baby Great Tits but unfortunately the camera went down and they had flown before we got it back on line. Perhaps next year.

    We have also got the largest Dragon fly you may ever see.
    It is on our pond. I will mail photo of it into you.

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  • 216. At 3:45pm on 02 Jun 2009, clwydfa wrote:

    Do birds have same sex relationships/friendships?. We have a pair of male blackbirds visiting our garden several times a day, never seen either of them with a mate, they just seem to be happy with each others company.
    There is no doubt they are the same birds as thet can be identified by their feathers and beaks.

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  • 217. At 4:31pm on 02 Jun 2009, thundermummles wrote:

    More of a question - I saw a very unusual moth this morning, sitting on my car. It had wings like dried and damaged silvery grey-brown leaves, probably about two inches across. The body was darker brown, hairy and quite fat. I have not seen a moth like this before - is it a local insect? (I live in Cornwall.)

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  • 218. At 4:32pm on 02 Jun 2009, Reverendheather wrote:

    I have a blackbird that has learned how to get snails out of shells. This weekend I watched as it upended a sanil it had found, 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter, pecked furiously at the soft tissue, got hold and shoock furiously, banging the snail on the lawn. It took several minutes and lots of pulling and shaking but it eventually got the snail body out, chopped in two and fed it fledgling that was waiting patiently in the border. THe shell remains intact. THis morning there was a another slightly larger intact empty snail shell on the front lawn.

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  • 219. At 5:01pm on 02 Jun 2009, vecmiec wrote:

    I've seen three huge hornets, having not seen any for years. Not very nice!

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  • 220. At 7:21pm on 02 Jun 2009, yorkie0604 wrote:

    Are Oystercatchers getting braver,dafter or both? I recall a time not too long ago when Oystercatchers could only be easily seen where you'd expect to see them - coasts, shingle beds etc. Now, they are a regular sight very close to human habitation.
    They are a fairly common sight and sound flying around the centre of the village where I live in North Yorkshire and appear to have found a kack of adapting to live closer to humans.
    I visted Scotland last week and saw one brooding two eggs in a flower urn in the Italian Garden at Glamis Castle, and another nesting in the middle of a very busy roundabout on the outskirts of Scone village. Not the most sensible nesting spots but they both illustrate my point.

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  • 221. At 7:35pm on 02 Jun 2009, windmoriagoblin wrote:

    Today at around 6pm i went ut with my camera and to my luck i heard some foxes. i found them in a field as i could see the crop rustleing they were making screaching noises.i ws filming it and i saw the mother run in and then i saw all three foxes run out in a line. tomorrow i want to see if i can film them in better quality. Will they come out at the same sort of time? please could you answer this in tonights spring watch unsprung - wind moriagoblin

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  • 222. At 7:47pm on 02 Jun 2009, chivalroushawkeye wrote:

    One for Simon, last weekend at Potteric Carr nature reserve (Doncaster),
    one heck of a commotion in the undergrowth, a Stoat then appeared running down the path in our direction, closely followed by a Grey Squirrel, whose intentions were all too clear, now I am no Mammal behaviour expert, but wasn't this the wrong way around, I have seen Stoats be the aggressor on many occasions, but this just seemed really
    strange, does this sort of thing happen often!?

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  • 223. At 7:52pm on 02 Jun 2009, unseenelephant wrote:

    my garden is usually inundated with blue tits and great tits, last year a pair of blue tits nested in an old water barrel just outside the window and the feeders are usually covered in the little critters... but this year both species disappeared about 2 months ago, ive had a couple reappear today and yesterday but its all very strange! They were here all through the hard winter though, and ive got lots of sparrows and goldfinches and starlings and greenfinches and all sorts so it cant be cos the food isnt to their liking... as i said, very strange...

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  • 224. At 8:21pm on 02 Jun 2009, BigBobG wrote:

    By now we usually have at least 2 Sparrows nests in next doors roof and fascia tiles. We cannot fill the bird feeders fast enough.
    This year not a single sparrow to be seen, anyone else noticed a serious lack of Sparrows?

    Location= South Coast of Dorset.

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  • 225. At 8:51pm on 02 Jun 2009, LouiseandDean wrote:

    As we have been watching Springwatch, it has made us a lot more aware of our surroundings, noticing things that we never even realised were there! When walking to work this morning the sunshine was blaring through the gaps in the trees and we noticed something which we have never seen before. We thought they were midges? or maybe greenfly? They were literally falling out of the trees - but looked like a little ball but then they seemed to open up and start to fly back up into the trees just before they hit the ground. It was the most amazing sight but we really don't know what we were looking at. Could anyone help us and explain what this was? There were hundreds of them.

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  • 226. At 8:55pm on 02 Jun 2009, humbuginthegarden wrote:

    Hi.
    I live in Lincolnshire. The Sparrowhawk has taken most of the blue tits and robins. We have more sparrows and finches than we normally have.Also a pair woodpeckers which have been feeding on the peanuts.Today we have had several painted ladies. We've noticed the cuckoo is absent. We have only heard it and seen it once this year.

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  • 227. At 9:03pm on 02 Jun 2009, theholties wrote:

    We have 1 or 2 bats that are flying around our front garden we didn't see much of them last year but they have come back again and seem to come every night again now. where are they likely to roost during the day is it near by?

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  • 228. At 9:06pm on 02 Jun 2009, odin-conan wrote:

    WE have seen a blackbird killing and take a baby mouse to it's nest This is the first time we have ever seen this is this normal

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  • 229. At 9:15pm on 02 Jun 2009, MrDarcyThe_pheasant wrote:

    my dad went outside the front garden to water the plants, he noiced there was a hedgehog right outside the door looking at him, we have never been so close to one!

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  • 230. At 9:17pm on 02 Jun 2009, timfishy wrote:

    I saw my aunts cat attack a fox right next to the back window, and in my own garden i saw a rabbit with a magpie sitting on its head pecking at its ears, why would it do this??

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  • 231. At 9:17pm on 02 Jun 2009, MrDarcyThe_pheasant wrote:

    on the weekend i was drawing in the garden and i kept on hearing flapping for 10 minutes i knew something wasnt right , so i went over to the formium i parted the leaves and inside was a great tit fledgling , it was trapped so i picked it up and it flew into the woods!

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  • 232. At 9:19pm on 02 Jun 2009, MrDarcyThe_pheasant wrote:

    i saw a red kite flying over our garden and swooping into our neighbours , in a big circle it was so close i could see its face !

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  • 233. At 9:21pm on 02 Jun 2009, lmow321 wrote:

    Have seen a pair of Fieldfare on 27th May in parkland in Northamptonshire never seen them before in this area

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  • 234. At 9:41pm on 02 Jun 2009, steelpurplelavender wrote:

    i have noticed several things this year, an increase in butterflys and a decrease in ladybirds young birds in general especially blue tits, i am wondering if the team think this is a general thing or could it be the amount of cats we have round here,

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  • 235. At 10:23pm on 02 Jun 2009, trojanwatch wrote:

    A pair of collared doves nested in our hanging basket - 3ft from our patio door, the chicks fledged this weekend - but the parents have chased them from the garden and a pair are now sitting on 2 new eggs - but we dont think it is the same pair as they appear more nervous than the first time. What do you think? Is it a different pair?

    trojanwatch

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  • 236. At 10:31pm on 02 Jun 2009, newroygbiv wrote:

    In our garden out-buildings in Dorset we have not had the usual three or four pairs of swallows nesting. We have hardly seen any at all. Usually there are plenty about, but not this year. We see some swifts, and mistle thrushes seem more plentiful. ???????!

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  • 237. At 10:34pm on 02 Jun 2009, Mungodan wrote:

    Just recently there has been a lot of strange noises in the garden at night. This morning at 0730 my kids woke me to tell me there was a Fox on the patio. I missed it, but I must admit I have been suspicious for a while (since both our rabbits disapeared about two months ago). Tonight at 2030hrs I looked into my neighbours garden at the base of her shed which is 2ft from the fence and suddenly a little head popped out saw me and went back in. We have a fox nesting under our neighbours shed. Can the BBC help in getting some footage as I don't own the kind of specialist equipment to capture its movements?

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  • 238. At 11:02pm on 02 Jun 2009, whimbrella wrote:

    What about the big beetles this year - fantastic! We have just watched a stag beetle zoom clumsily round the garden and have had a number wandering around. Last week cockchafers came into the house and clattered about before being ejected. We have also had two large irridescent green/gold beetles in the broad beans. Can we see some on springwatch please.

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  • 239. At 11:05pm on 02 Jun 2009, snakemoor wrote:

    can anyone help, i have noticed in a hedgerow a large patch covered in a cobweb like substance that is covered in literally hundreds of little black and white banded catterpillars. The patch is writhing with them some sre climbing up and down strands of the cobweb. I have taken photos and video of them but not sure how to upload them to this site. an anyone out there help me identify them?

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  • 240. At 11:42pm on 02 Jun 2009, wildbrightangel wrote:

    Loads more bumble bees this spring. They are crazy for my Grevillea which because of the cold winter flowered later than usual. Maybugs are around and plenty of white butterflies, peacock, orange tip, brimstone and even a red admiral. My pond has been full of mating great crested newts where we normally only see isolated females passing through.

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  • 241. At 11:46pm on 02 Jun 2009, U13792857 wrote:

    Saw Simon talking about Goosanders briefly on today's show. They are seen as upland birds, but over the last six months I have seen a group of them fairly regularly on the river Ystwyth at Tan-y-Bwlch, less than a mile from Aberystwyth harbour. Is this unusual?

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  • 242. At 00:09am on 03 Jun 2009, flower power wrote:

    Has anyone seen brown hares eating carion?

    In April this year, my parents were driving home at 11.30pm at night and saw a brown hare eating the carcass of a dead badger in the road.

    I have found some vague references to hares eating meat in hard seasons, but there is not much information, and contacts in the Kent Mammal Group were also unaware of this behaviour.

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  • 243. At 00:26am on 03 Jun 2009, etrinsic wrote:

    knowle locks SOLIHULL. 3 weeks ago....heron jumped into water in between locks(passing area) to catch a large fat fish ( 12 inches + )was deep water. watched it as it struggled to eat it. did not wade in but jumped in from concrete bank.....your fish are not safe!!!!
    I was on the other side.

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  • 244. At 07:48am on 03 Jun 2009, DizzyGrandma wrote:

    On bank holiday Monday I saw dozens of painted lady butterflies in my garden in Hampshire. Can you tell me how long these butterflies live and how long it takes them to get here? How do they have enough energy to fly all that way?

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  • 245. At 08:01am on 03 Jun 2009, joecrump9 wrote:

    Came home from work last night to find my daughter Alex (8) sat in the garden with a pair of binoculars counting the bird species in the garden. Springwatch has turned her into a 'twitcher'! now that is odd!! She will be desparately disappointed if Simon doesn't film this polecat...no pressure Simon!

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  • 246. At 08:20am on 03 Jun 2009, joysaphinejoyojy wrote:

    What I have noticed this year is the absolute profusion of flowers. As each flowers has come into its season - it seems to have gone nuts and the amount of the flowers is incredible.
    I take many many photos - keeping a record of what is in flower, when and where, as we wander all over the place for our one night camping trips in our van. Birds, animals, insects, flowers - as I see them I take pictures. I have 5 years worth of pictures now and so know when there are more than the normal of buttercups (masses this year turning field after field bright yellow) Oxalis and wood anemones - a complete profusion oif them this year.
    I thnk that it might be because the seasons themselves seemed to be right this year. We had winter - and a good one with snow and cold, we had spring at the right time with warmth and cold snaps, and summer - right on cue.
    So although the seasons are right - the flowers have responded en masse, and created an amazing display and riot of colour this year.

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  • 247. At 08:28am on 03 Jun 2009, cbr600rr wrote:

    Hi all your artical about the beaver release in Scotland as far as I am aware this was not the first release in the UK as I worked with the East Kent Trust for conservation to prepare an area of Fen land to make it ready for Beavers . Please see Link attached.

    Beavers
    In an exciting project with Kent Wildlife Trust, Wildwood has imported several families of European beaver since 2001, to manage a wetland nature reserve in Kent. Some of these beavers can be seen on display at Wildwood and others are now living on a 130-acre wetland at Ham Fen, harvesting the trees and plants, raising the water table with dams and enriching the wetland habitat for other endangered species, including the otter, water vole, great crested newt and wetland birds. Almost every other country in Europe apart from Britain has reintroduced the beaver, after hunting it to extinction to use the fur for hats. Beaver are being released in Knapdale, Scotland in 2009.

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  • 248. At 09:11am on 03 Jun 2009, KholRabbi wrote:

    Sitting on the Allotment last evening, cup of tea in hand, I peered up into the blue yonder to see my first sightings of Swifts this year, I'm not sure if this is early or not? Our village has a very good population of Swifts and as i type this blog they are screeching past my kitchen door in that delinquet style of theirs like mini football hooligans. I live about 25 miles from Pensthorpe in West Norfolk, and incidentally we usually have 2 or 3 pairs of Cuckoos in this village, but this year I have only heard one pair calling to each other (fleetingly)last Saturday 30th.May.... again on the Allotment.
    KholRabbi

    Love the show. Can I go on the 'Dirty Weekend' with Kate humble PLEASE!!!!!

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  • 249. At 09:18am on 03 Jun 2009, MizzJeannie wrote:

    No shortage of bees in our garden. We have a nest which a badger has tried very hard to destroy but was not successful. The bees work hard all day long and it is lovely to hear them. We leave them alone and they do not bother us. The young bees come out of the nest into daylight, fly around as though they are drunk then suddenly fly off to start collecting pollen from the flowers in the garden. It is quite fascinating to watch them.

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  • 250. At 09:38am on 03 Jun 2009, Robin Scagell wrote:

    I run the UK Glow Worm Survey and I've been receiving reports of glow worms very early this year. Normally people don't start seeing them in any numbers until the first week in June, but this year the first report came in on 15 May, and new reports are arriving daily. If anybody wants to report glow worms, please go to www.glowworms.org.uk and fill in the survey form.

    Robin

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  • 251. At 10:14am on 03 Jun 2009, fenfarmerswife wrote:

    On our Suffolk farm we have an owl nest box - which has been used by kestrels for the past 4 years, successfully rearing 4/5 young each year. This year, the kestrels had laid some eggs, but when my husband looked again he found 4 quite different eggs in the box. He was sure they were owl eggs - & we saw a barn owl leave the nest box. (He hasn't checked again, for fear of disturbing the birds.)
    I don't know if it is unusual for owls to evict kestrels from a nest box - but it certainly surprised us! We are still wondering what happened to the kestrel eggs - we found no broken eggs below the nest box site. Any comments or information, please!!

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  • 252. At 10:25am on 03 Jun 2009, cj-animalmad wrote:

    I live on the coast and each year at around this time the calls of hungry baby seagulls can be heard from most roofs. However this year I have not seen any young seagulls anywhere. Hardly any of the birds seem to be fighting for prime locations on roof tops or even mating, could this be because of the harsh winter? or because there just happens to be less food this year so they wont waste their energy bringing up young who could starve or contend with them for food?
    Despite being worried about the lack of chicks this year (because it could mean something's gone wrong in the sea) I can't honestly say that I miss having a pair of agressive seagulls on the roof as they attack the cat and yell at anyone who trys to put the washing out!
    But seriously is there something wrong with the fish around the Kent coast? Or do seagulls naturally have a break every few years or so?
    Could the Springwatch team address this on unsprung please?

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  • 253. At 10:46am on 03 Jun 2009, tiggerslovetobounce wrote:

    Squirrels!

    We have a trio of squirrels that live in the trees behind our garden, the other week we noticed one of them eating a big pink flower that he/she'd taken from the plant my neighbour has growing up the fence, is this unusual as we've not noticed a squirrel eating flowers before, since then it's happened again and last year one of them found a chocolate bourbon in the garden that one of the children had dropped and ran off with it, what exactly do squirrels eat!!

    By way when Chris' hair was blonde and spiky it rocked!!!

    :0) Tiggers and the troup x

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  • 254. At 10:47am on 03 Jun 2009, Shell66 wrote:

    Hi

    Something very strange happened in my dads garden a few days ago and I would really like to know if this has ever been seen before. My dad has a great garden and I visit him most days, it's full of so much wildlife. He has a major amount of slow worms this year and we are always picking them up and putting them out of harms way. The other evening he witnessed one of them attempting to eat another one. The head and a fair bit of the body was in the larger ones mouth. My dad felt sorry for it and pulled it out of the mouth of the one trying to eat it. I know he shouldn't of got involved but he found it upsetting. The rescued worm was lifeless for a few seconds, then came back round and made it's way back in to the bushes. I would love to know if this is normal behaviour? I know that they eat slugs but I didn't think they were agressive to each other. I just thought it was worth mentioning and I would be interested to know if anyone else has seen this behaviour before.

    Shelly, Dover, Kent

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  • 255. At 11:03am on 03 Jun 2009, tiggerslovetobounce wrote:

    Further to my post about our flower-eating squirrel I have posted a picture on Flickr (it comes under the name littleestherd)

    :0) Tiggers

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  • 256. At 11:08am on 03 Jun 2009, pewseyvaleandy wrote:

    Painted Lady butterflies: Mentioned last night on the show that we have had a larger than normal migration this year. I wonder, did they all cone through my garden near pewsey, Wilts?

    Saturday 23rd around 2pm we noticed them, all flying along the hedge (roughly NNW). Counted 50 per minute. carried on all afternoon at the same rate and still doing it every day until Wednesday at least, counted 48 a minute that day. That makes 60,000 even if they only did it 4 hours a day! do they all come through here, or are they this dense across the whole country?

    Have not seen many this week, and none seem to be staying here.

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  • 257. At 11:08am on 03 Jun 2009, John Winter wrote:

    I have noticed that this year there is an almost complete absence of ladybirds in my garden. No one near me uses pestacides and there are plenty of aphids but no ladybirds. Usually I have sevaral different varieties but this your nothing. Has anybody else noticed this?

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  • 258. At 11:13am on 03 Jun 2009, John Winter wrote:

    Further to the comment from the person who has heard his Blackbird singing 'Come on Eileen' We have one that sings 'Hooray for Holywood'

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  • 259. At 11:23am on 03 Jun 2009, oenanthe wrote:

    SWIFTS - There has been some posts here asking where are all the swifts and have they declined? I guess something must be happening to them as I've just seen the latest edition of Birds of Conservation Concern 3, and they've been listed as 'amber' which according to the criteria means a decline of up to 50% in recent years! Also, if you look on the RSPB website and click the Springwatch link they are asking people to help them help swifts.

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  • 260. At 12:00pm on 03 Jun 2009, annakane321 wrote:

    SadlyI have noticed lost of dead bumble bees. There have been alot of live ones though but why so many dead?

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  • 261. At 12:03pm on 03 Jun 2009, Annystasia wrote:

    Several years ago the blue tits pecked out pointing to nest, well-hidden, behind a facing board. This year we have a family of colourful greater spotted wood-peckers nearby. Yesterday one flew into a window below the tits' nest and was stunned. We watched it for more than an hour, until it recovered and flew off. We are sure that it must have heard/spotted the tits while it was recovering; almost immediately a wood-pecker raided the nest by putting its pointy beak under the facing board and pulling out the young. We have gone right off wood-peckers!

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  • 262. At 12:10pm on 03 Jun 2009, Annystasia wrote:

    I have just read a note about slow-worms. I recall that many years ago my brothers caught some and tried to keep them as pets. They were very quickly released back into the wild, especially when we realised that they were trying to consume each other.

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  • 263. At 12:20pm on 03 Jun 2009, Annystasia wrote:

    On a more cheery note than my previous posts today, I am delighted to report that the grass-snake colony is thriving again this year (they have been around for about five or six years). Swimming, and presumably fishing/frogging, in our and our neighbours' pond, and sun-bathing in the reeds. At least one is buried in the warm and cosy compost heap with just its head, and flicking tongue, poking out. I understand that they lay their egss in compost heaps at this time of year and stay around for a little while afterwards, so hopefully we shall have more of them next year.

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  • 264. At 1:41pm on 03 Jun 2009, birdcall wrote:

    I live with a stream at the bottom of my garden. This year for the first time I have heard a strange birdcall from the wood opposite. It sounds like"one-one-zero-zero-one"! What can this new birdcall be?

    Please let me know if you have any ideas.

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  • 265. At 1:55pm on 03 Jun 2009, hypertrashie wrote:

    This hot spell of weather has been noticeable by the silence as there have been no honey bees in the garden. There are three different types of bumblebees, tiny bees and mining bees but no honey bees.

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  • 266. At 1:58pm on 03 Jun 2009, hypertrashie wrote:

    Just read some comments about blackbird songs, we had one for years that did avery good impersonation of an alarm clock (we nicknamed him the 'alarm clock bird' - not very original, I know!) and this year there has been one that does a very good R2D2 impression!

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  • 267. At 2:03pm on 03 Jun 2009, jamojunior wrote:

    Hello there, I had been looking for an e-mail link but could only find this, so here goes! Last night you were talking about pike taking coot chicks, well I have seen that and waterhen chicks too but a long time ago, back in the 1950's. Also at that time there was an incident of a pike and a swan on a big pool named "copmere" at Eccleshall nr Stafford. It belonged to English Electric and my late father worked there, I remember well he telling me about a pike they found in the "margins by the segs" which was dead; along with a swan, also dead. These had been dead for a few days and they estimated the pike as being a possible 50lbs when alive. It had tried "eating" the swan and had the whole of the swans neck down it's throat. Unfortunat there were no photos but I remember it did get into one of the local papers back then. This I swear is the truth!!

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  • 268. At 2:13pm on 03 Jun 2009, chrisholywell wrote:

    Every year we are visited by lots of mallard ducks and a few mandarins. this year, among the mallards was a pure white duck. It appears to exactly like a mallard. Is itlikely to be a albino mallard? We have taken photos of it.

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  • 269. At 2:19pm on 03 Jun 2009, oxspringwalker wrote:

    around the Oxspring area I have seen more Lapwings than ever before

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  • 270. At 2:28pm on 03 Jun 2009, mechanicalRoger wrote:

    On a trip along Glen Fearder on Deeside, I heard cuckoos very clearly in a largely Birch forest and estimate possibly 3 or 4 pairs

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  • 271. At 2:30pm on 03 Jun 2009, mechanicalRoger wrote:

    The date on which the Glen Fearder cuckoos were heard was May 19 2009

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  • 272. At 2:30pm on 03 Jun 2009, buntybee wrote:

    I would like to ask Simon, how on earth does he explain, when filming the bats over the lake with the heat seeking camera - the fact that as the bats flew, they showed up as small light shapes, but there was a reflection of these small white shapes in the water????????????????

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  • 273. At 3:47pm on 03 Jun 2009, morganefa wrote:

    Abergavenny area. Last night as my family watched the closing credits of unsprung , we heard a strange electrical noise like somthing shorting out. It turned out to be a bat that our cat had brought into the sitting room. THe bat was unharmed and proceeded to fly around the room for at least 5 minutes before finding the open door to the garden. Both my children said that they could hear its echo location calls as it flew around the room but other than it's initail distress call i couldnt hear a thing, not even the sound of its wings as it flew inches above our heads around the room. It was very small as we could see when it landed on the sofa at one stage. Its body was no bigger than a 50 pence piece. Would this have been a baby or a very small particular bread?

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  • 274. At 8:04pm on 03 Jun 2009, carnnafeidh wrote:

    Painted Lady butterflies seen in Scottish Highlands: one on 30 May in garden 5 miles north of Lochcarron on west coast opposite Skye; one seen several times or maybe several butterflies on 31 May in meadow a mile or two from the first (both these in pristine condition); one seen in Inverness on 2 June, very tattered.

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  • 275. At 8:14pm on 03 Jun 2009, marineartist wrote:

    Hello.....
    For the past week there have been hundreds of 'PAINTED LADY' butterflies in my garden and swarms throughout West Cornwall, but today, 3rd June, they seem to have suddenly disappeared. Where have they gone ???
    from ....marineartist

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  • 276. At 8:15pm on 03 Jun 2009, redkitekellymorgan wrote:

    We have a pair of swans on our local golf course who have hatched 6 signets which is fantastic. At the weekend when I was playing I noticed one of the swans limping to the point it was wallking a few steps and sitting down, can anything be done about this as I know swans are protected by law but the signets are only very young (2 weeks at the most) If someone Interferes will this harm the relationship with the parents and signets. I did mention it to the owners in the golf house.

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  • 277. At 9:10pm on 03 Jun 2009, victoria955 wrote:

    We were gardening a couple of weekends ago, and discovered a wrens nest in the garden. we stopped gardening incase we had disturbed them, and for the next week or so monitered the chicks being fed. We went away for the weekend and all chicks fledged while we were gone! I am hoping for another brood.

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  • 278. At 9:11pm on 03 Jun 2009, lisabude wrote:

    I've noticed reasonable numbers of small tortoiseshell butterflies in Cornwall this year but have also noticed that they appear to be quite pale in colour. I haven't seen any painted lady's.

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  • 279. At 9:14pm on 03 Jun 2009, ColinEvans wrote:

    You did n ot know all the cuckoo 'rhymwe': it goes
    In May do sing all day
    InJune do change his tuen (sort of stutters over the cuck bit)
    In July away do fly (the adult parent birds)
    In ASugust, go he must (the young of this year)

    Hope Chris reads this - he'll be up to date with Dorset lore then

    CRE

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  • 280. At 9:18pm on 03 Jun 2009, PollyPullar wrote:

    We were so depressed about the lack of cuckoos in all the usual spots this spring so tonight went to Kenmore Hill, Perthshire close to home, which is usually fool proof- we were rewarded with not one but FIVE! And spent all evening watching and listening as the sun was slipping away to the western hills and light fading over Loch Tay. We also saw a redstart and some crossbills. The thought of no cuckoos in future is unthinkable.

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  • 281. At 9:51pm on 03 Jun 2009, ringedplovers wrote:

    Can someone tell me why a mob of starlings attack other birds when they come near the food post and veg patch?

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  • 282. At 10:12pm on 03 Jun 2009, lococlo wrote:

    I don't know if this is related to winter and the trees not turning green until late, or more likely the lack of nest sites but this year in my back garden in North Wales our blue tit box was due a family (for some reason our box is occupied one year but not the next. So we got quite excited about seeing the blue tits carrying the nest material back and forth, until a pair of Great tits appeared. We don't usually see them much and an almighty competition started, when the great tits were out gathering material the blue tits popped in and this frenzy contiuned until my dad was shocked to see the larger great tit tackle the blue tit and hold it against the ground!
    So the great tits claimed this box which is far too small for them, they spent a lot of time trying to widen the hole and it did not take long for the chicks to be soon reaching the hole.
    Although we can assume both blue tits and great tits were successful as 4 chicks came out of the box yesterday, and the garden today has been covered in blue tit chicks.

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  • 283. At 10:48pm on 03 Jun 2009, ruth7777 wrote:

    I live between caernarfon and porthmadoc and this is the first year I haven't seen any Red Admiral or Small Tortoiseshell butterflies and no Ladybirds either

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  • 284. At 2:03pm on 04 Jun 2009, Bel1975 wrote:

    I live at Oundle near Peterborough, I have had a Mistle Thrush coming to my Bird Table everyday for a good feed. But on the 4th June at 13:00 it wasn't just my regular visiter who came but it's mate as well. I was wondering if this means that if they have young are they bigger and closer to fledging?? and do you think they might bring them to the table aswell??

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  • 285. At 4:01pm on 04 Jun 2009, brighthombre wrote:

    can chris or simon tell me what a cheveral is saw one for the first time in 40years. thanks guys. brightombre.

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  • 286. At 5:12pm on 04 Jun 2009, Piggybaker wrote:

    We have lived in our house for 5 years and this is the first spring we have had a foxes and 2 hedgehogs in our garden (very cool am loving it)

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  • 287. At 6:30pm on 04 Jun 2009, dazzlingwaxwing wrote:

    I do not know if it has anything to do with the winters weather, but a fortnight ago we recorded seven species of Cetacean on the North Coast of Caithness in three days. Minke Whale, Pilot Whale, Killer Whale, White-beaked Dolphin, Rissos Dolphin, Common Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise. It could have just been due to the fact we had calm seas and could see things easier. It was a fantastic week anyway and I saw five out the seven species.

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  • 288. At 1:38pm on 05 Jun 2009, chrissie20071 wrote:

    i have recently had a hugh birth of newts in my pond which i am shocked about because the pond is only a year old, i pulled some weed out the other day (before i new the newts were there) and to my horror found about 14 baby newts entangled in it, lucky no casulties and all are well and happily swimming round getting bigger by the day

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  • 289. At 4:27pm on 05 Jun 2009, goldcrestregulus wrote:

    For the past 7 years we have had Goldcrests visiting us in West Wales and breeding successfully. This year we have not seen any. We also have not seen any Long Tailed Tits or Siskins this Spring. Is this because of the very cold winter?

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  • 290. At 4:46pm on 05 Jun 2009, spectabilis wrote:

    Whilst on a walkabout the other day we passed a tree completely covered with catapillars and their silk (see links below for pics)
    Anyone seen anything like this before?
    can you I.D the catapillars?
    http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq24/edoclaura/DSC_0712.jpg
    http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq24/edoclaura/DSC_0717.jpg
    http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq24/edoclaura/DSC_0718.jpg
    [URL=http://s430.photobucket.com/albums/qq24/edoclaura/?action=view&current=DSC_0712.jpg][IMG]http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq24/edoclaura/th_DSC_0712.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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  • 291. At 4:48pm on 05 Jun 2009, spectabilis wrote:

    Whilst on a walkabout the other day we passed a tree completely covered with catapillars and their silk (see links below for pics)
    Anyone seen anything like this before?
    can you I.D the catapillars?
    http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq24/edoclaura/DSC_0712.jpg
    http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq24/edoclaura/DSC_0717.jpg
    http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq24/edoclaura/DSC_0718.jpg

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  • 292. At 5:31pm on 05 Jun 2009, Battybev wrote:

    Has anyone seen or heard of this before...
    A young fledgling magpie was killed on the road on Tuesday during the day. At dawn 3.30 ish Wed morning I was woken by a raucous din which became louder and louder as I lay thinking 'it's only magpies!'
    Eventually I decided something had to be wrong and got up to see 16 magpies - many of which were walking around the by now flattened fledgling screeching and squawking. Every time a car came they flew onto the nearby roof and returned once it had passed. This must have continued for 20 minutes. At one point one went up to it and pecked although it didn't seem to want to eat it but pulled it and moved it around. Then they suddenly left. Could this have been a show of emotion for the lost fledgling? I couldn't think of any other reason for it, and why so long after it had been killed.

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  • 293. At 5:48pm on 05 Jun 2009, Battybev wrote:

    fantastic picture spectabilis - my parents have a similar one in their garden but on a much smaller scale in a wijelia bush. The caterpillars are amazing as they drop down to the ground on silk threads. - not sure which species mum and dad think they are called Procession moth caterpillars but cant find these in my books!

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  • 294. At 11:16pm on 05 Jun 2009, phil-cyclist wrote:

    My Mum saw Springwatch she thinks on Thursday 4 June and there was an item on bees. A book was mentioned and she can't remember the name. Can anyone help please?

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  • 295. At 10:49am on 06 Jun 2009, JJ wrote:

    There used to be lots of great tits in my garden now there are not a lot.

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  • 296. At 2:27pm on 06 Jun 2009, jayse31 wrote:

    I have a large amount of birds feeding in and around my garden which is great, i have all manner of adults and young birds feeding from the table and numerous feeders. Today i had a visitor which i have no idea what it was suffice to say it was a large bird of prey which for me is fantastice. My question is can anyone help me with what it was, it's back and wings were light grey in colour,light brown or tan legs and the chest from what i could see was pale, i'm not sure if it was an adult or a juvenile but it was a beautiful bird that sat watching for a few seconds before leaving.

    Please let me know if you know what it was ?

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  • 297. At 3:22pm on 06 Jun 2009, Jacks wrote:

    Was amazed when driving to work this morning... there was a woodpecker walking along the edge of the Wessex way just past LV roundabout just pecking at the grass.... really set me up for a Saturday at work!

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  • 298. At 6:53pm on 06 Jun 2009, harvey1299 wrote:

    I'm not sure how unusual this is but we think it is unusual and the man next door who has lived here for over 30 years has never known it: We have for the last 4-5 weeks had mallards in our gardens - we back onto allotments but front onto a main road. We have been getting 2 males and 1 female. However, today we have some tragic news, the female came onto the garden as normal, then showed some strange signs with her head and neck, becoming limp, my husband went to her to investigate and she died in his arms. He noticed that her throat was full of blood, but no signs of any objects in there. Any suggestions from anyone? Also, we now have the 2 males on the garden, in somewhat confusion, is there anything we can do to help them?
    any comments welcomed. thanks.

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  • 299. At 6:57pm on 06 Jun 2009, harvey1299 wrote:

    I'm not sure how unusual this is but we think it is unusual and the man next door who has lived here for over 30 years has never known it: We have for the last 4-5 weeks had mallards in our gardens - we back onto allotments but front onto a main road. We have been getting 2 males and 1 female. However, today we have some tragic news, the female came onto the garden as normal, then showed some strange signs with her head and neck, becoming limp, my husband went to her to investigate and she died in his arms. He noticed that her throat was full of blood, but no signs of any objects in there. Any suggestions from anyone? Also, we now have the 2 males on the garden, in somewhat confusion, is there anything we can do to help them?
    any comments welcomed. thanks.

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  • 300. At 10:05pm on 06 Jun 2009, shazzy1969 wrote:

    Hi, I've noticed this year since walking my new puppy how much wildlife is on your doorstep, but have been baffled by the strange shaped boxes I've seen in my local woods. They are dome shaped and have a 2" slit at the bottom and generally seem to be placed each side of a tree. I was wondering whether they are for birds or something else??

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  • 301. At 11:30am on 07 Jun 2009, gomummyduck wrote:

    We have noticed how late the swifts are this year and also how few of them we seem to have here - Suffolk/Norfolk border. Can anyone else comment.

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  • 302. At 11:53am on 07 Jun 2009, yeldham007 wrote:

    I've noticed an extraordinary amount of cuckoo spit this year. ecspecially on the lavender. has it been a good year for these bugs ordo they just like lavender?

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  • 303. At 4:05pm on 07 Jun 2009, bibijoy wrote:

    I know magpies are very bad when it's nesting time in your garden when they come and steal eggs and baby chicks.
    But how can you discourage them and are they bad for any other garden wildlife?

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  • 304. At 10:57pm on 07 Jun 2009, superlesley50 wrote:

    i have just spent 4 days at my caravan in wales in a beutiuful bay near abber. we was sitting watching the sea when before our eyes we saw dolpins playing in the sea it was a very hot day and we could see they were loving the warmth, we think there was 3 seperate groups and quite a large number, we actually followed them as far as we could as the travelled round the bay, what a privaledge, it was beautiful

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  • 305. At 11:36pm on 07 Jun 2009, bayswaterbasement wrote:

    We found proof of reincarnation today whilst watching the Skylark's nest! Compare the chicks with famous composers noted for incorporating birdsong into their music (links as follows) and you will see we're right...

    Antonin Dvorak:

    http://www.cadenza-productions.nl/photos/dvorak.jpg

    Olivier Messiaen:

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Music/Pix/pictures/2008/07/25/messiaen460.jpg

    And of course Ralph Vaughan Williams:

    http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/SCCWebsite/SCCWSImages.nsf/WebLookupImageByUNID/docid971BD3924F703F348025735C00330175/$FILE/rvw2websmall.jpg

    Thank you for a delightful programme - a highlight of our year, every year.

    Clive and Robyn, aka Bayswaterbasement



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  • 306. At 1:10pm on 08 Jun 2009, bramptonman wrote:

    Good afternoon, I have just had a parrot type bird,possibly a cockatiel, on my bird feeders. Grey body,yellow face with a red spot on each cheek,and headtufts. I assume it has escaped from someone. I have photo but not sure how to attach it or send it to you. Regards

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  • 307. At 2:14pm on 08 Jun 2009, shortstorywriter wrote:

    We have seen an unusual bird species this Spring, residing on a lake in Newport, Gwent. The bird looks like a large Mallard, but with a wider stance and chunkier neck, pale bluey-green legs and bill (which is slightly wider and chunkier than a Mallards'), and unusual colouring: the head is metallic blue-green - as it is all down the back of the neck, the front of the neck and chest are white, and the body feathers are a beige-brown. It also has a cute up-curl to its darker short tail feathers.
    The two birds in question reside alongside Mallards and are presumably a mixture of species?.. although with what, we're not certain.
    If anyone could please give us an idea of what these birds are, or if we're right to assume that they're a cross-bred species we'd love to know.
    Also, if anyone in Springwatch could give an email address - or mobile number - we would happily send across photos.
    (oh, and wonderful series, as usual! We look forward to Springwatch and Autumnwatch every year.)

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  • 308. At 9:14pm on 08 Jun 2009, poldfield wrote:

    I was very excited to see in the garden on one of my teasel leaves a small bumble bee mateing with a queen bee. I took some photo's of it and hope they turn out. I too have had lots of painted ladies on my flowers in Berkshire.

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  • 309. At 9:51pm on 08 Jun 2009, fishboy3626 wrote:

    Watched tonights show and the picture of the albino blackbird, i live in sunderland and have a blackbird which visits my bird bath and it has a white chest and a few white wing feathers. It is its 2nd year.

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  • 310. At 7:28pm on 09 Jun 2009, MrDarcyThe_pheasant wrote:

    dear springwatch
    this year i have noticed many unusual things,
    question for the team , one odd thing - quacking squirrels?
    on the weekend i heard a strange quacking followed by a cat screeching noise , i listened to it for along time in the woods at the back of my garden . i looked closely and i saw a squirrel making these noises - its about five quack like noises folowed by a long cat like screech. what was he doing? then in the afternoon i heard it again and saw not the squirrel making the noise but another squirrel shakig its tail vigerously probably aat the quacking squirrel.
    quacking squirrels whats it all about?

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  • 311. At 7:38pm on 09 Jun 2009, MrDarcyThe_pheasant wrote:

    Quacking Squirrel?
    Dear springwatch
    this year i have noticed many unusual things,
    question for the team , one odd thing - quacking squirrels?
    on the weekend i heard a strange quacking followed by a cat screeching noise , i listened to it for along time in the woods at the back of my garden . i looked closely and i saw a squirrel making these noises - its about five quack like noises folowed by a long cat like screech. what was he doing? then in the afternoon i heard it again and saw not the squirrel making the noise but another squirrel shakig its tail vigerously probably aat the quacking squirrel.
    quacking squirrels whats it all about?

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  • 312. At 9:36pm on 09 Jun 2009, cedarsue wrote:

    Hi Everybody,
    Standing in my kitchen earlier this week, I had the back door open and a lacewing landed on it, nothing unusual in that except that it was blue, sky blue, I have seen many green ones before, but never one this colour, is this at all unusual? any comments please, sadly by the time I got my camera it had flown off.

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  • 313. At 11:42am on 10 Jun 2009, gavinmayhew wrote:

    I had two pairs of swifts nesting at either side of our eves. one evening about a week ago I found a featherless chick on our hammock about 10ft from the wall and well to the left of one of the nests. It was still alive but I could not figure out how it survived the 20ft fall and how it managed to land there at all as it was so far from the nest. I tried to save it but it had died by the following morning and since then there has been no sign of either of the pairs of swifts. Can anyone enlighten me as to what may have happened. Thanks

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  • 314. At 9:26pm on 10 Jun 2009, BadBillo wrote:

    I posted this message some time ago and am eager to know if I was right?
    Hi
    I have several nest boxes in my garden which are currently occupied by the usual blue tit, tree sparrow and great tit, however the great tit box has an unusual regular visitor in the form of a dunnock which is assisting the great tit parents by feeding the chicks. The dunnock is returning to the box as often of the true parents and sits and waits its turn with its bill full of insects near to the box if the great tit parents are present. The great tits due not seem to mind this 'additional' parent arrangement. Am I right in thinking the dunnock is an adolescent unpaired bird who is simply reacting to the young birds calls and is this type of behaviour common place?

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  • 315. At 10:37pm on 10 Jun 2009, tadpaul wrote:

    10 june 2009 2230 HRS
    Our own Springwatch in garden .Just had a FOX in the garden. first time weve seen one up close .
    ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT !

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  • 316. At 11:00pm on 10 Jun 2009, felicidads wrote:

    Congratulations and many thanks for a brilliant Spring Watch series; we think the new team have got it just right.

    A few comments from my own recent experiences and would value any comments from others (especially from the team please?)

    We have had quite regular sightings of Choughs over the past few weeks at St Albans Head in Dorset and visiting bird watchers have been surprised to find them so far East.

    At home, just south of Wimborne,we are very concerned at the growing number of magpies in our garden over the past few years; sometimes 4 or 5 at a time recently. As lovely as it would be to see one or two occasionaly, we feel sure they are stealing from other nests as we also appear to have a decline in the numbers of other species. Any suggestions for correcting this trend? Would your laser torch help Simon?

    Visiting my sister who lives in "the undercliff" near Ventnor, IOW I have taken photos of badgers feeding in their garden including taking honey from a hand-held wooden spoon. Would love to send in some copies but not sure how to do so?

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  • 317. At 11:02pm on 10 Jun 2009, jollyfluffychick wrote:

    Where are all the flies this year? I back onto woodland and farmers fields and usually have to have those door nets up to stop big black flies coming into the house. This year there have hardly been any , only a few small flies that get trapped in the conservatory. I use a fishing net to scoop them out again - it really works.

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  • 318. At 01:15am on 11 Jun 2009, BR72046 wrote:

    Not perhaps that unusual but after seeing your skylarks in their nest on springwath I thought I'd report a sighting (and hearing) of a skylark at Heathrow airport. I also heard one last year.
    It was happily hovering and twittering quite high above the grass between the boundary fence and the north runway yesterday morning.

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  • 319. At 11:17am on 11 Jun 2009, goodygirl11 wrote:

    dug a wildlife pond last year and at the weekend we saw a male and female broad bodied chaser dragonfly mating and laying eggs.

    there used to be about a dozen swallows nesting in the barns of the farm next door to us, but we hadn't seen any for years, but today we discovered one nesting pair feeding young, so are hoping that this will be the start of their return.

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  • 320. At 2:16pm on 11 Jun 2009, newJeanette wrote:

    My husband and I found the clip about the rescued Honey Buzzard extremely interesting, especially as having stayed on holiday in Gozo and Malta many times in the autumn, only to find that these magnificent birds who are then migrating back to warmer climes, are stopping to rest in the parks there, only to find that the 'hunters' are waiting in readiness to shoot them!!!!
    Two years ago, one shot bird was rescued, and flown back to Germany by Lufthansa, to be treated again,(it had already been shot the previous year).
    Surely the time has come that something can be done to stop these 'hunters' from killing every migrating bird that flies over these lovely islands?

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  • 321. At 10:31am on 12 Jun 2009, foxyandy wrote:

    HI EARLY THIS YEAR, IN JANUARY-MARCH WE HAD 4 ROBINS VISITTING THE GARDEN. I NOW KNOW THEY ARE NOT AROUND DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON FOR THIS?

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  • 322. At 11:57am on 12 Jun 2009, humblybumblee wrote:

    Can anyone remind me of the name of the "new" bumble bee that was mentioned on springwatch, the one that has flown over from the continent, as I think that I have some in my garden. They look as if they have an orangey/yellow furry jacket on, some have a buff tail and some just have stripes.

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  • 323. At 12:23pm on 12 Jun 2009, DEFROVER wrote:

    LIVE IN STAFFORDSHIRE, NOT SEEN ANY LADYBIRDS THIS YEAR??

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  • 324. At 4:26pm on 16 Jun 2009, BartCartz wrote:

    Hello All, although not technically Spring, there is something that I would like an answer to. I have, in the last week, noticed large numbers of small bumble bees in our cherry tree. On closer investigation I could see that they were interested only in leaves at the end of branches, and these leaves were deformed (curled in upon themselves). The leaves seem to have been turned into nurseries by another insect. They are covered in what appear to be small black eggs; the insect responsible looks like a small nymph - black, and the size and shape of a ladybird nymph. The bee visits each affected leaf, and - looking as closely as I could - seems to be probing the eggs with its proboscis. Has anyone any idea what they are doing - and if I have completely misread their behavious?

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  • 325. At 11:09am on 17 Jun 2009, goodsammon wrote:

    We have a Bee colony that has set up home in one of our bird boxes. They arrived as only a few, i thought they moved around in swarms with a princes bee from another nest. The size has now increased to about a dozen plus and very active. Is this normal.

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  • 326. At 7:02pm on 17 Jun 2009, francedunning wrote:

    Help! we are currently in france and have found a new borne Kestrel chick. we cannot get to the nest to put it back. what should we feed it?

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  • 327. At 8:48pm on 17 Jun 2009, Jucaster wrote:

    Hi All

    I am no gardener however I researched some strange activity on my garage wall to find out that I have around a hundred ladybirds 'hatching'. I had no clue whatsoever what they were until looking at photographs on google images. The house is a new build and I thought it may be the new brick that attracted them however maybe a little naive as none of the other garages around have them. Do I just feel honoured that they have chosen our wall and should I be concerned that there are so many?? I read some of the comments and wanted so say whilst scarce in some areas, in abundance in my garden :o)

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  • 328. At 08:09am on 18 Jun 2009, simonschofield wrote:

    Hi

    We have noticed more hornets this year than previous!

    Is much known about what makes a 'good' year for them?

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  • 329. At 12:27pm on 28 Jun 2009, nanajudy wrote:

    In the TS27 area of England, we have noticed at least half a dozen honey bees in the wild roses in my back garden.

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  • 330. At 12:01pm on 12 Aug 2009, Leslie-phil wrote:

    Having moved two planters away from a wall, I saw a 2-3" long black caterpillar clutching a thick stalk of grass. It had a large round pale-coloured head with two eyes/eye-markings on it. The body was black and there were five pairs of legs holding the grass. Can anyone identify this? I haven't seen anything like this before.
    There has also been a young cuckoo on my bird table this week, being fed by a Dunnock. How common is this, please? We back onto countryside. Thanks, Leslie-phil

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  • 331. At 11:26am on 29 Jan 2010, Eleanor wrote:

    This year I set up a feeding station to which a group, possibly a family, of seven long tailed tits regulary visit at least once a day.
    They eat from all foods but in particular like to mob the fat balls. I have read that these are not common visitors to tables and stations

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  • 332. At 6:44pm on 03 Feb 2010, Rachel Thompson wrote:

    29th January, Cheshire, two blue tits are already building in a nesting box - does this herald the long await BBQ summer predicted for last year? Does anyone have another natural explanation for this very early activity?

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  • 333. At 11:33pm on 03 Feb 2010, wellybum wrote:

    Out walking recently after the long spell of snow I saw 4 Magpies trying their hardest to catch a mouse. I know they eat baby birds but have never seen them actually chase something along the floor. It was truly fascinating. I wondered if anyone knew if this was normal, or was it just because they were desperate after the snow was beginning to go away?

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  • 334. At 2:30pm on 05 Feb 2010, Julian Payne wrote:

    I have just spotted a mass of frog spawn in the pond in our fields at Bodmin Moor, Cornwall (5 February 2010). The pond is located at the spring of a tributary to the River Fowey. Location SX1327167466

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  • 335. At 7:17pm on 08 Feb 2010, Sally wrote:

    Several masses of frog spawn spotted on 7th February 2010 just north of Soar Mill Cove, in Devon (between Bolt Head and Bolt Tail. Seen in a small pond (not much bigger than a large puddle) above a boggy area.
    Location SX703377

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  • 336. At 9:28pm on 20 Feb 2010, Paula wrote:

    Today walking along Sataire Canal under the Saltaire bridge, at Saltaire Village in West Yorkshire, while looking at the Mallards and the Gray Lag Geese, we spotted a supicious looking bird swimming along side them, took some photos to be able to identify it. We found it, it is a Chenonetta jubata - Maned duck or a Australian wood duck it is a native to Austriala, and is a non-migrating duck, although it says it is a vagrant to New Zealand, well it is a vagrant here too!!! It has only been here a day or so, we think it is a rare find for our location, it might be worth investigating!!!!

    Thank you, Paula Hemmings & Neil Asquith
    Shipley, West Yorkshire BD17 7NB

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  • 337. At 09:16am on 21 Feb 2010, travellingran wrote:

    Has anyone else seen many more molehills than usual? I divide my time at the moment between Sussex and Gwynedd and at both locations the local fields are absolutely peppered with molehills, all quite recent. This morning on the radio I heard someone from Yorkshire remarking on the same thing. Is it that the hard winter kept them deep down longer than usual and now they're hunting madly?

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  • 338. At 11:18am on 21 Feb 2010, Rosemarie Law wrote:

    On Saturday 20th February A bright sunny morning in Norwich there was a lady bird spreading her wings and getting some warmth into them. Hope that she is ok. Is it too early for them?

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  • 339. At 3:25pm on 22 Feb 2010, The oz wrote:

    I live in Dartmouth. Spring comes early down here, well usually. I have got used to seeing frogspawn in the Avenue Gardens pond early to mid January for at least the last 10 years. This year I saw it for the first time on February 21st. I pass and look in there almost daily and this afternoon (22nd) there was another lump and I,m pretty sure I saw 4 frogs, and a tan brown toad in amongst them. Maybe a confused toad. Will watch out for strings. Also saw a BLACK RED START on my way back from work. I'm not much of a birder yet but it's a first for me.
    Re comment 337; moles very active here.

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  • 340. At 2:32pm on 25 Feb 2010, Arkle wrote:

    It has been a cold winter as we all know but it is the first winter I have observed (on several occasions)blackcaps overwintering in NE Wales - there are 2 in my garden as I write now(2pm 24-2-10). Is this an unusual observation?

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  • 341. At 6:51pm on 03 Mar 2010, Lesley wrote:

    I have seen three times now in and around my garden, a very healthy looking bright green parrot. First time on the bird feeder in my garden, second time it came down to feed in the garden-strangest thing was that I then saw it fly off with a pigeon. Today it was flying again with a pigeon. I am really pleased to see it has survived yet another cold snap in the weather in the North East. Local friends have also seen it in their garden.. Is there anything I can put out to maintain the life of this lovely bird and encourage it to my garden.
    Anymore sightings in this area?

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  • 342. At 5:42pm on 04 Mar 2010, Nicola wrote:

    My daughter has just found a huge clump of frogspawn in our pond. We only built the pond last year and put some frogspawn in from school, and they have come back already!!All very excited here!!

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  • 343. At 8:16pm on 04 Mar 2010, minnie wrote:

    Hi, we've a robin with a grey coat and white chest visiting us, which gets us running for the camera! How unusual is this colouring?

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  • 344. At 4:32pm on 07 Mar 2010, the wane family wrote:

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  • 345. At 4:36pm on 07 Mar 2010, the wane family wrote:

    Hi we had a green wood pecker on one of our small bird boxes so we have made a wood pecker box does anyone know if it has to face any direction like the small bird boxes have to. The wood pecker has been back many times and we are really hopeing it will nest but we don't know a lot about wood peckers any sugestions!!.

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  • 346. At 4:40pm on 07 Mar 2010, the wane family wrote:

    hi minnie cann't help but just wanted you to know that someone was here reading your excitment isn't the starting of spring wonderfull

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  • 347. At 7:40pm on 10 Mar 2010, Pete Rickett wrote:

    I know that sightings and "soundings" of Monk Jack Deers are becoming more frequen, but I wonder if our is surprising, we regularly hear Monkjack and our next door Neighbour has spotted one. The strange thing is that we live circ 2 miles away from the edge of the west midlands conurbation in built up area almost adjacent to the main Birmingham Wolverhampton dual carriage way. Our post code is WV14 9TA.

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  • 348. At 10:04am on 11 Mar 2010, james pratt wrote:

    on my way to work on monday i spotted 3 kestrels/kites all together never seen this before always looked out for wildlife were i used to live as there is plenty of places to go and see wildlife but never seen anything other than the normal garden birds rabbits foxes few owls and lots of cows and horses. i was just woundering if the spring watch team could do a quick visit to see what is out there to see the place i am interested in is keresley village in coventry as we have access to corley, corley moore, fillongly, anstly, there is acre after acre of fields marsh land hidden ponds so i imagin that there is lots of wildlife to be dicovered. i have a 20 month old son and a baby on the way and i really wanna involve them in as much to do with the out doors as i can as i find it interesting and my son is into animals now like kids are but never really seen anything more than the animals you get in an urban garden could you please mail me back or get in contact and is there anyone else in that area that can help me many thanks james

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  • 349. At 12:57pm on 11 Mar 2010, Christine King wrote:

    March 11th 2010 Bumble Bees feeding on winter flowering honeysuckle at 12.45pm Plymouth, Devon

    Frogspawn laid February 3rd 2010 in garden pond Plymouth, Devon

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  • 350. At 8:03pm on 11 Mar 2010, Theresa Gunn wrote:

    The Siskins arrived to my garden on the 16th.January, about 2 weeks later than the previous year, they finally left on the 7th March and I have not seen them since.( I had 23 then )

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  • 351. At 5:32pm on 12 Mar 2010, studentmom wrote:

    I've noticed new visitors to my garden this week. Never seen either in a suburban garden before.We have a pair of bullfinches and a blackcap. All becoming regulars much to my kids delight.

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  • 352. At 12:37pm on 14 Mar 2010, Debmor wrote:

    Have just taken the net off the pond and there are two large clumps of frogspawn !! is this early or what? i have had frogspawn in the pond at the end of March beginning of April but never as early as this -and it has been so cold?

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  • 353. At 1:06pm on 14 Mar 2010, Tyla56 wrote:

    Just noticed a ladybird in our garden - is this usual for the time of year? 13.03.10

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  • 354. At 4:05pm on 16 Mar 2010, The oz wrote:

    Oz from Dartmouth again. Toads have turned up in the Avenue gardens pond. I saw eight in there Monday 15/03/2010 though almost sure one was a frog still hanging around. So far just the one string of spawn.
    P.S. J ust been out again, there is a small (3-4'') teddy bear taken a header into the pond and two toads have latched onto it in what looks like amplexsis delictis miopia. As the males outnumber the females about 4 to 1 they shouldn't be missed.

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  • 355. At 7:19pm on 16 Mar 2010, Mike Richardson wrote:

    I live on the edge of the River Otter near Ottery St Mary, Devon.
    On Sunday I had a walk along a fairly inaccessable stretch of the river. I noticed that something had gnawed some really big branches off of some trees. The branches were up to 6" in diameter and gnawed down to a point to fell them. The trees were surrounded by piles of wood chips, so whatever it is, it isn't eating the wood. The branches were low ones and whatever is gnawing them is doing it from underneath which would rule out anything tall like a deer.

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  • 356. At 10:00am on 17 Mar 2010, aliemily wrote:

    OMG got dragged out of my bed this morning to come and have a look in my garden. 'What is it?' I exclaimed. 'I think it is a badger,' replied my husband. Well how exciting is that to see a badger rumaging around at the bottom of the garden in daylight as well. I grabbed the video had to plug in as battery dead typical but caught the little fello on camera. Best bit hubby went off to work and he then surprised me by running up the path into the border and under the fence. Went out to investigate he has made a hole under the concrete panel into next door not sure if he's under her shed will ask to have a look. How cool is that. Worry though he shouldnt be out in daylight it was about 8.45 am. My Mum recons he has come from the building site at the back of our houses. We do have a huge field at back. So he could of come from there.

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  • 357. At 2:53pm on 17 Mar 2010, Oldbiddy wrote:

    I had noticed that my bird feeders hadn't been visited for two days and yesterday saw a female sparrow-hawk sitting in the tree just by the feeders.
    I got some nice photos, this is one of them
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/59539258@N00/4437981310/

    What surprised me was that she let me get so close that I could almost have touched her. She didn't seem unwell but I was wondering if she had been tamed. Are sparrow-hawks normally so fearless?

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  • 358. At 7:56pm on 17 Mar 2010, Mike Richardson wrote:

    There is definately something doing a mighty good impression of a beaver in the River Otter in Devon.
    Have a look at some of the tree damage on the Flickr page (i've tagged the photos as "Beaver"

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  • 359. At 1:17pm on 18 Mar 2010, John Bushell wrote:

    Wednesday Evening 18th March 2010.
    Outside the diving centre here in Llanberis just as it went dark (19:00 hrs)the whole area on the bank outside and the roadway was covered in toads - some of which were croacking. I have looked at a book that I have : 'Complete British Wildlife' and as far as I can make out - there were two different breeds - the common toad and the natterjack toad. The female natterjack's back was very red between the warty bumps. Been here 7 years now - and only ever seem the odd one in the past.

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  • 360. At 3:16pm on 18 Mar 2010, Sam Unsprung Researcher wrote:

    Hi everyone

    Thanks for all your comments!

    Tyla - your ladybirds are probably just coming out of hibernation so you may find a few yes. People often find them indoors too, huddled around pipes or in the corners of spare rooms.

    Your poor teddy Oz! You're lucky to have so much going on though - any more spawn yet?

    Amazing photo Old Biddy! What a fluffy sparrowhawk - Please add him to the Flickr group!
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/bbcspringwatch/

    Mike can you add them to the Springwatch Flickr group? We can't find them otherwise!
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/bbcspringwatch/

    We've heard similar stories from Devon and the Avon area John - you are not alone! Spring has obviously sprung!

    Sam :)

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  • 361. At 5:05pm on 18 Mar 2010, John Mitchell wrote:

    HI All
    This might be a first. The first swallow was sighted on a farm in Ruan Minor on the Lizard Peninsula, SW Cornwall this morning 18th march!

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  • 362. At 01:10am on 19 Mar 2010, Edward Nurcombe wrote:

    Hi All,
    I was walking to work on Wednesday 17/03/10(Nottingham Canalside) at about 11.50am and I noticed a Comma Butterfly flitting around some brambles, this seems very early in the year for any Butterflies. I can only presume that it had temporarily come out of hibernation as it was quite warm that morning, nonetheless a very early siting for a Butterfly in the UK.
    Also nearly trod on a Newt walking home last night, it had just stopped raining, looked like a Smooth Newt, is this early in the year to be seeing Newts, it was on a pavement and the nearest water was a good 1/4 mile away.

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  • 363. At 12:10pm on 19 Mar 2010, Maureen French wrote:

    Looking out of my window I have just seen my first Swallow of the year, isn't this a bit too early?

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  • 364. At 10:50am on 20 Mar 2010, Nicky wrote:

    At 9am on the 20th of March 2010 . We observed 54 frogs present in our garden pond . Which is approx 64sq.ft. Also masses of frog spawn . Our previous record count was 32 and that was a few years ago . Can the team explain why there should be such a massive increase after such a harsh winter.?

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  • 365. At 11:14am on 20 Mar 2010, Allyson wrote:

    On Saturday 20th March 2010 i was sitting eating my breakfast when i noticed a bumble bee fly by, i was quite surprised as i thought it was too early for bummble bees.I would love to know if this is normal for this time of year, especially as we have had such a bad winter.

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  • 366. At 12:29pm on 20 Mar 2010, Graham Bateman wrote:

    Last year we noticed that something had been eating part of an old tree trunk in our front garden, where the base went into the earth. Whatever had been eating the tree had been literally tearing pieces off it, about 4cm long and up to 2cm thick, so it must have been something with big claws or strong jaws. We never found any paw/foot prints and never saw what did the damage.

    Over the past 2 weeks or so, the same thing has started to happen and more prolifically, even larger pieces ripped off and lots of them.

    Can anyone give advise on what could be causing this?

    As we live in the countryside, we've considered the possibility of Badgers, Otters and even Deer, but we have no evidence of these!

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  • 367. At 6:18pm on 21 Mar 2010, ian michael tighe wrote:

    Hi, I am a Hitchin resident in the Poets Estate. I have a crow (not a jackdaw); and I think it is the fairer sex; which whimpers like a dog. I have a next door neighbour who have a border collie & thought for years it was the dog. But the crow habitually perches on the highest point of a nearby tree to whimper like a dog; usually at first & last light. Is the normal? I am sure it may be a means of clearing it's throat as it does seem to be communicating with other crows at the time. Thanks again IAN

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  • 368. At 10:29am on 23 Mar 2010, Jean Wilkinson wrote:

    We have a small sheltered pond in the middle of a city. By this
    time of year the frogs have usually mated and the pond if full of
    frogspawn. This year, owing to the later arrival of Spring, the male
    frogs have turned up in the pond almost a month later than usual.
    Worryingly, no female frogs have arrived, and its looking like we
    won't get any frogspawn this year.

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  • 369. At 3:52pm on 23 Mar 2010, patricia sheldon wrote:

    here in Cornwall we have had a most wonderful display of snowdrops i have ever seen. usually only a few but this year snowdrops have been later and have lasted longer. i have also seen frog spawn today for the first time this year

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  • 370. At 5:02pm on 23 Mar 2010, Jane Morrison wrote:

    Hi, Spring must be here, at approx 3:45pm this afternoon I saw 2 House Martins circle over the river Witham and fly past my office window here in Lincoln. Fabulous.

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  • 371. At 5:59pm on 23 Mar 2010, shaun wrote:

    white lion park playing fields malmesbury wiltshire, my first sighting of a swallow. 23/3/2010.

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  • 372. At 11:46am on 24 Mar 2010, Essential Rabbit wrote:

    361. At 5:05pm on 18 Mar 2010, John Mitchell wrote:
    "HI All
    This might be a first. The first swallow was sighted on a farm in Ruan Minor on the Lizard Peninsula, SW Cornwall this morning 18th march!"

    I was amazed to see a pair flying around my home on the 22nd, here in south west Wales. This is more than two weeks earlier than I have ever recorded them here before. Hope they aren't too early to find enough food.


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  • 373. At 7:30pm on 25 Mar 2010, fireypumpkin wrote:

    Hi, first time on this site, but had to tell some one, saw a white deer (red) yesterday, in a small herd, was getting dark but managed to get a couple of pics if a little far away, was such a thrill to see one in the wild.

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  • 374. At 7:45pm on 25 Mar 2010, natureDeirdre wrote:

    I've a pair of Blue tits who haven't quite decided that my nest box suites them. Mr Blue tit enjoys flapping about it - even though it's empty. I thought they only did this when they had the moss in it to make the nest shape?! Thought it was soo cute! http://www.youtube.com/mrandmrsbird

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  • 375. At 10:37am on 26 Mar 2010, Jo Nicholson wrote:

    Hi - i dont know if this is unusual but i spent ten minutes watching and listening to three waxwings in the middle of bradford west yorkshire this morning - ive never seen or heard them before - they are lovely!

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  • 376. At 12:32pm on 26 Mar 2010, Janis wrote:

    Heard a cuckoo 2 days ago, I have never heard one before May for as long as I can remember. I live in Scottish Highlands.

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  • 377. At 07:58am on 27 Mar 2010, Sarajanie wrote:

    We have all been woken at 6am each morning by the sound of a pneumatic drill, which we eventually thought was a very vigorously vibrating mobile phone next door. We spoke to our neighbours and they said they weren't making the noise. This morning at six, after exploring our loft and discovering that the noise appeared to be coming down the chimney, we went outside and our neighbour (who had also been woken) pointed to the lesser spotted woodpecker on the TV aerial. He told us he had done some research and that our morning nuisance was caused by the amorous woodpecker, apparently looking for a mate by making a lot of noise drumming on our aerial. Hopefully he will find love soon so the noise stops. If we are lucky they will nest in our garden and we can watch them through the summer.

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  • 378. At 12:18pm on 27 Mar 2010, Chris wrote:

    Hi Have just found frogspawn in my garden pond and also seen a Peacock butterfly and bumble bee - spring definitely here. Looking forward to your programme.

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  • 379. At 7:33pm on 28 Mar 2010, anne wrote:

    today is sunday 28/03/2010 we were out driveing through churchdown when l saw my first swallow can you tell me if this is early.thank you.

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  • 380. At 10:03am on 29 Mar 2010, Sam Unsprung Researcher wrote:

    Hi everyone

    Great to hear about your signs of spring!

    Swallows usually start to arrive in March Anne so hopefully you'll spot more soon!

    Sam :)

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  • 381. At 11:47am on 29 Mar 2010, Sam Unsprung Researcher wrote:

    Mike Richardson - Have you found any more mysterious beaver signs? We've still not been able to spot your photos. Could you give us a link to try?

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  • 382. At 8:49pm on 29 Mar 2010, Tonia Flannagan wrote:

    We have a very small in Oldbury, West Midlands and over the last few years have put out various types of food for birds. 2 years ago we attracted Greenfinch and last year saw Bullfinch. This year we are delighted to say we have a male and female Goldfinch and a Dunnock. We do not know what we have done differently to attract these birds but we are delighted. We do have regular visits from a Sparrowhawk and although he is so handsome, I cannot bear to watch just in case ..............

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  • 383. At 3:37pm on 31 Mar 2010, fracsohalf wrote:

    I live inland in the North West. Yesterday a friend and I noted a Barnacle goose paired up very closely with a Canada goose. They swam round together perfectly synchronized and seemed inseparable. The larger Canada even defending the Barnacle from other Canada's squabbling nearby. Unfortunately our local lodge just seems to be a stop over place so the pair had moved on the following morning.
    How unusual is this sighting?

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  • 384. At 3:56pm on 31 Mar 2010, harliquin wrote:

    I am at my wits end with a Great Tit which is continually flying at and tapping on the kitchen window all day long. Sometimes it flys around the bungalow to the front living room window and does exactly the same, this has been happening every day for the last two weeks,is the bird quite mad or is their a rational reason for its behaviour.

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  • 385. At 09:57am on 01 Apr 2010, sam wrote:

    We live in Weymouth in a culdesac just off the main Dorchester road. We have a very, very small garden, quite away from a stream and we noticed a female and male duck visiting us. Today we saw her going onto our flower bed and didn't notice her come out so we had a sneaky look and there is a nestunderneath our pickly palm and our tree fern with 7 eggs already laid in it, we have managed to take a photo. we've never known this before, we just hope they will be safe.

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  • 386. At 4:22pm on 02 Apr 2010, natureDeirdre wrote:

    @harliquin - I had a Robin does this a while ago - I put some food out on the bird feeder and that seemed to silence him!

    @sam - can u post a link of ur photo for us?

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  • 387. At 4:36pm on 02 Apr 2010, jetpenny wrote:

    This year on my wildlife pond I have had about the same quantity of frog spawn, but at mating time there seemed to be less surplus males than usual, and the spawn itself has a large quantity of "blanks" in it, whereas there are usually hardly any.

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  • 388. At 08:35am on 03 Apr 2010, Christine wrote:

    We live near Colchester in Essex and have just seen our first swallow of the year, is this early does anyone know.

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  • 389. At 10:45am on 03 Apr 2010, Guy Wells wrote:

    I thought you might be interested in what we retrieved from our pond about 2 weeks ago. We discovered 2 dead, bloated, split, half formed frogs made up of a white jelly like substance, one having a head missing, which looked as if it had had it bitten off. They were at the bottom of the small pond. At the time of getting these out with a net a large frog, covered in thick mud, was seen which quickly hopped back to the pond. Would the dead frogs have been frozen as the pond had been frozen to the extent of bearing the weight of adults for quite a few weeks. We have had an extremely severe winter and we would like to hear your opinion of what was going on.
    Many thanks - Anne

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  • 390. At 12:40pm on 03 Apr 2010, tilliejoe wrote:

    We have a pair of Mistle Thrushes nest building in our Christmas tree just a few metres from the back door. It is an abosute joy to watch them bringing material in. Fabulous view through the binoculars shame we can't film it - Simon or Bill free to setup a Mistle cam!!!!

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  • 391. At 10:25pm on 03 Apr 2010, peter churches wrote:

    I have spotted a black and white Rook, the best way to describe it, is every other feather in her wings are white as it flies away.
    we're trying to get a photograph.

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  • 392. At 11:04pm on 03 Apr 2010, Jubsangell wrote:

    Today I was almost certain that I saw a Barnacle Goose in a field in rural West Sussex. Had it escaped from somewhere, or was it off course I wonder? I took a picture of it on my phone, and made comparisons with the images of geese I found on the internet, but the Barnacle was the one that fitted the bill! (No pun intended!)

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  • 393. At 00:45am on 05 Apr 2010, meganstomcat wrote:

    i have just visited my sisters house( on the border of south staffs and west midlands, "brewood" ) saw my first house martin, witch she told me she saw last week, the last week in march,! its all on its own i wonder if it has stayed here all winter, if it has its nice to know this countrys good for somthing.

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  • 394. At 4:41pm on 05 Apr 2010, maggie robertson wrote:

    We have a mallard sitting on a clutch of eggs in an old manger mounted about 8ft up on a stable wall. Two questions: how long is the incubation period, and when the eggs hatch, should we assist the ducklings down to ground level?

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  • 395. At 11:42pm on 05 Apr 2010, Suzanne wrote:

    I was on my way back from Alnwick this afternoon and spotted a Red Squirrel hopping slowly across the A1 - I guess on its way to the forest the otherside of the road. Is it usual for them to be acting in this way on such a busy road? I then spotted two fallow deer on the side of the M1 at Saddleworth Moor - are they usually so relaxed about being so close to traffic in the daylight too? I am a City Dweller and have felt honoured to see these sites but it is concerning?!

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  • 396. At 11:48pm on 05 Apr 2010, Suzanne wrote:

    Oh, in addition I noticed a wading bird (sure it was a Curlew) which was walking along the hard shoulder of the M62 Southbound just before Macclesfield - has Spring sprung and sent everything into the twilight zone?? this all happened in the space of a 4hr journey from Northumbria to Staffordshire this afternoon!

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  • 397. At 5:36pm on 06 Apr 2010, j_woodburn wrote:

    We are watching a pair of red kites making a nest in our garden.

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  • 398. At 11:51am on 07 Apr 2010, Amanda Drake wrote:

    On Saturday a female Pheasant appeared in our fairly small garden and after walking around it for half an hour, chose a nest site and deposited one egg. She flew off and didn't return until Monday when she laid another egg and again flew off. On Tuesday (yesterday) a third egg appeared. There are plenty of Pheasants in the fields around our village and a local shoot but this is new to us. I've looked on a few websites and gather that they can lay up to 20+ eggs. Can anyone tell me if it's normal to go off and leave them, what about incubation? The nest site is also right next to my pond which has both fish and frogs, there's spawn in there at the moment, what happens when they all hatch!!!! Will they fall in or maybe they don't like water?

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  • 399. At 6:56pm on 07 Apr 2010, Allan wrote:

    Saw my first pair of swallows today, 7th April, 2010 @ Gweek, Cornwall

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  • 400. At 00:15am on 08 Apr 2010, the-wineman wrote:

    SWALLOWS HERE ALREADY
    I am delighted to tell that on 4th April here at Campbell Cottage in north Leicestershire the first Swallows were seen and went straight into my garage where they have been nesting for the last 3 years.
    This is very early for us and wil almost certainly mean 2 broods will be reared again. Last year it was middle / late October before they left having reared 2 broods. Let us hope that the early arrival beckons a good summer. Mind you the mess in my garage will be terrible, but it is worth it as I watch them flying around and over the house on summer evenings. Andrew

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  • 401. At 08:20am on 08 Apr 2010, chris hancock wrote:

    Yesterday, I was surprised to see one of the summer visitors sitting on a telephone wire- I thought it was a swallow, as it seemed quite long compared with what I expected a martin to be, but I am not very good at differentiating yet! Unfortunately, I was driving(slowly1) but couldn't stop and did not have a camera, but it was clearly one of the migrating bird, unless he cheated and stayed over! The 7th of April seems quite early?
    Chris Hancock

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  • 402. At 08:27am on 08 Apr 2010, chris hancock wrote:

    Can anyone suggest an identification for four bird, one the size of a green woodpecker and three slightly smaller- they had green heads going into grey neck with red/brown wings- sitting in the orchard on the ground. I looked in my book and the nearest seemed to be a greyheaded woodpecker, but people who know about birds say that just would not be, as they never come this far north. It was the green head rather than red, and clearly brown wings which seemed very different from our usual green woodpecker. Any ideas, beyond a variation of the green? Thanks.
    Chris Hancock

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  • 403. At 4:40pm on 08 Apr 2010, Wendy wrote:

    Don't know if this is unusual or no but I thought only male greater spotted woodpeckers drummed trees but I have seen a female doing it - is this right?

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  • 404. At 4:49pm on 08 Apr 2010, Sunflowers159 wrote:

    I live in Winchester, in Hampshire, and this afternoon I took my camera for a walk because it was such a glorious warm day. I went down by the river and followed the footpath for about three miles or so. It's a good job I had my camera because, not that far into my walk, I encountered a Little Egret! I thought it was a Snowy Egret because it was pure white but, on googling for it discovered it's a Little Egret. I managed to get several photos of it before it flew off and if there is a way to post photos in here I will do so. It said in the RSPB article I read that they are mostly found along the coast. Winchester is about 15 miles inland from our nearest stretch of sea so I'm not sure what it was doing here.

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  • 405. At 10:49am on 09 Apr 2010, Cathy wrote:

    Hi Team,

    I have a blue tit that keeps flying into my windows. it does it to different windows both at the front and back of the house. i have tried putting up paper in the windows to stop it seeing a reflection in case that's causing it, but it just goes to a new window. i am so worried that it will hurt itself - can anyone help/explain what he is doing?

    looking forward to springwatch 2010

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  • 406. At 6:19pm on 09 Apr 2010, Sallycolbert wrote:

    hello springwatch,
    We have a pair of blue tits making a nest in our nestbox in our garden. All day today, the male (we think), has been continually flying up and down our French doors and windows and its beak is tapping the glass. We can't seem to persuade it to stop doing it. We can only think that its trying to see off another blue-tit (its reflection) ?? but we have never seen anything like it before !! poor little thing must be exhausted ! Can you throw any light on this strange behaviour ? From Sally Colbert, Woodbridge, suffolk

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  • 407. At 7:22pm on 11 Apr 2010, jetpenny wrote:

    This year ducks have eaten all my frogspawn up. Are they perhaps short of food? It's never happened before. My garden is too small to support ducks, so I have to chase them off if they come at breeding time, but this year they returned persistently until all the spawn was eaten, along with a lot of my early plant growth!

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  • 408. At 08:06am on 12 Apr 2010, Barb52 wrote:

    We have two bird boxes in our garden and they seem to be both occupied by blue tits. However one of the blue tits goes from box to box. I'm not sure therefore whether there are two breeding couples or three blue tits in total. Also on one of the bird boxes the blue tit that seems to travel between the two boxes seems to be trying to make the hole bigger and has taken a chunk of the wood off with his beak. Never seen this behaviour before is this normal?

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  • 409. At 6:21pm on 13 Apr 2010, PBloom wrote:

    Twice in six months we have had to rescue a bird dropped down the chimney. Last time it was a Jackdaw, this time a face with a bill appeared above the fire grate and was swiftly withdrawn, to be followed by a webbed foot! It was taken hold of firmly but with care. Since there appeared to be no sign of injury it was launched successfully in the general direction of Poole harbour (about 5 miles away). Last summer the chimney pot had been fitted with a 'T' piece in the hope this would discourage birds dropping in, but it seems to have provided an attractive resting place! This was a true 'Teal ordeal' with a happy ending. If I put up some chicken wire on the chimney top will this be tempting even larger visitors to our living room?!

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  • 410. At 7:25pm on 13 Apr 2010, jill wrote:

    i have a pair of robins nesting in my garage and they are very busy my husband went in the garage last night and low and behold they have 2 or 3 little babies AWWWW

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  • 411. At 8:11pm on 13 Apr 2010, rutland1 wrote:

    this evening i found 5 broken blue speckled eggs on the lawn within metres of a neatly clipped holly bush at the centre of which there is a nest. Can anybody explain why this has happend? there are no new eggs in the nest as I had considered that this may be down to a cuckoo is that possible?

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  • 412. At 10:52am on 15 Apr 2010, Denise wrote:

    Hiya, We live in south Leicester, we have a female gold cress bird outside of our window, we notice this bird every day and have noticed its very tame showing well and always bounces around on our window sill, never have we seen this behavior from this bird in over 30 years of living here. I do believe it would be ideal for filming for your spring watch show. My husband and i are wildlife enthusiasms and are very keen on birds especially.

    with thanks Denise

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  • 413. At 9:17pm on 16 Apr 2010, Bermat wrote:

    My family an I were quite surprised to see a family of ducks last weekend, we thought it was a little bit early in view of the hard winter. My wife and kids swear they counted 15 ducklings. I pulled out the camera but only caught 14 on film, still that seems a lot anyway.

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  • 414. At 2:55pm on 17 Apr 2010, Lankykaz wrote:

    This year I have noticed robins on our hanging garden feeder. Whilst I am pleased they are enjoying our garden fare, I always thought robins were groung feeders. Have they adapted to what is available or is this normal behaviour for them?

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  • 415. At 3:44pm on 17 Apr 2010, Ann Brown wrote:

    17 April. Has anyone else noticed the disruption to the migration pattern of pink footed geese due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland. I live in the north of Scotland and since the beginning of this week thousands of geese have been congregating in a field opposite our house. At intervals they all take to the air, but they are confused and fly around in different directions. They then fly off to the east in the direction of the Cromarty Firth only to congregate again in the early evening, by morning the field is full. I assume that they can detect the disturbance in the atmosphere due to the eruption. They are obviously desperate to get away but are being prevented from doing so. Would love to hear from anyone else who has noticed this. Ann Brown

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  • 416. At 3:55pm on 18 Apr 2010, mysteryletterboxs wrote:

    It's a beautiful day with wall to wall sunshine and very little wind. I was sat in my garden at about 2pm and I definately heard a cuckoo. Now I really think this is a bit early. The old rhyme goes; A cuckoo comes in April, he sings his song in May. In June he changes his tune and in July he flies away.

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  • 417. At 3:59pm on 18 Apr 2010, Graham Russell wrote:

    We live on the southern outskirts of Birmingham, for the last month we've noticed much increased numbers of Bumble Bees - and they all seem to be larger than normal -yet hardley any honey bees and wasps ?

    Any comments ?

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  • 418. At 5:51pm on 18 Apr 2010, berkshirenutkin wrote:

    Agree about the lovely big bumble bees, you can certainly hear them coming! One or two honey bees in the last week and I think I may have the county's supply of wasps! Am very surprised so many survived the hard winter. Definitely not so many tadpoles this year but the newts seem busy doing something...

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  • 419. At 5:57pm on 18 Apr 2010, berkshirenutkin wrote:

    Don't quite understand what's happened re the tadpoles because about 3-4 weeks ago I went outside and counted 26 frogs creating a veritable tidal wave and a lot of croaking. Not enough females perhaps?

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  • 420. At 7:05pm on 18 Apr 2010, my left foot wrote:

    i live in sunderland and often go walking in woods a mile or so from my home, their is a large pond in the middle and i have never seen so much frog spawn in years, looks like it could be a bumper year for frogs, toads and newts

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  • 421. At 7:32pm on 18 Apr 2010, claire wrote:

    On easter saturday 5 red kites were circling over our house. We live at Carlton Nr Goole, at first we thought some birds of prey had escaped from the game fair, but it was my neighbour who told me they were red kites after i described the white strips on the underside of their wings. I was amazed at the size of the birds as they looked huge, it was incredible to watch.
    Today my neighbour spotted what they thought was a pair nr our home again so we're going to keep an eye out to see if its a mating pair....exciting or what

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  • 422. At 5:19pm on 19 Apr 2010, wendy moore wrote:

    We have a nest box with a camera in,we have been watching 2 female sparrows building a nest they both have there own little space in the box,the box was only big enough for one family,when they lay eggs and they hatch it could be differnt times,there will be small chicks and bigger chicks and some might get squashed,we did'nt think it was a good idea so we made a bigger nest box for two families and swapped the nesting material over,we did'nt think they would come back to it,but they are still in and out of the box finishing the nest,we watch them daily,I will let you know when they lay eggs and how many.

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  • 423. At 9:07pm on 19 Apr 2010, Lyn7 wrote:

    Ive got a blue tit who keeps flying at my windows trying to get in the house. Sometimes he tries all day downstairs and the next day he will be pecking/flying at the upstairs window - anyone had this before?

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  • 424. At 11:16am on 20 Apr 2010, Debbiequeeny wrote:

    My colleague at work says that she has a robin which has been throwing itself at her 2nd floor window for 2 days now - pecking the glass and flapping its wings. I know robins are territorial so I assume it is attacking its reflection. I have told her to put white paper in the window to cut down the reflection, and she phoned the RSPCA who advised her to put black paper in the window. Neither suggestions have worked. The poor bird must be exhausted (not to mention my colleague) as it has been doing this all day since 4am for the last 3 days. Is it displaying territorial behaviour, and any ideas on how to stop it? There are apparantly now 2 cats sat watching the bird with keen interest...!

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  • 425. At 00:47am on 21 Apr 2010, brian lumley wrote:

    hi springwatch, I new to this so please make allowances. I have lots of toads, frogs and newts spawning in a makeshift 6x4x1ft pond. I have
    made a ramp at one end so they can get up to the pond. I have put rocks and bricks at the ramp end so they get out if they want to.
    I have also had quite a few painted ladies and peacock butterflies
    in the garden, they seem to like stinging nettles. I live in hornchurch,essex. lumpkin1

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  • 426. At 05:52am on 21 Apr 2010, sandra wrote:

    We have a Robins nest in the Garden the nest is tucked in the sun umbrella under cover I have managed to get a photo not sure how many are in the nest.

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  • 427. At 11:24am on 21 Apr 2010, Sam Unsprung Researcher wrote:

    Hi everyone

    Thanks for your comments. If you want to tell us about unusual behaviours you've noticed in spring 2010 please leave a comment on our Spring is here, but is the wildlife? blog.

    Thanks
    Sam

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  • 428. At 1:38pm on 21 Apr 2010, ann wrote:

    Hi this last month in our street,there as been two dead seagulls,one was dead on the roof of a flat and the other in a tree,i have never seen that before,can anyone tell me why .

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  • 429. At 8:02pm on 21 Apr 2010, Moonbeam wrote:

    I know that Crested Tits are not supposed to inhabit Norfolk, but I could swear I saw one on my bird table yesterday. Has anybody else seen one?

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  • 430. At 1:07pm on 22 Apr 2010, Jane Morrison wrote:

    On Teusday morning I found 3 unbroken Blackbird eggs in different places on my lawn, yesterday (Wednesday)evening I found another one, does anyone have any suggestions as to how and why this has happened, or has anyone else had the same thing?

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  • 431. At 1:39pm on 22 Apr 2010, vivtiv wrote:

    Having heard what I assumed was a bird imitating a buzzard's mewing for the past couple of days, whilst in my garden in Islington, London, N1, I have just seen the actual buzzard over my garden. Amazing! I didn't think that they had come within the M25. Don't expect it will stay long - not many rabbits in these parts.....

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  • 432. At 6:02pm on 22 Apr 2010, arista wrote:

    I still have got snowdrops in my garden in the middle of April.

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  • 433. At 08:19am on 23 Apr 2010, Captain Mayday wrote:

    Two interesting things for us to watch from our front window this spring; A Buzzard regularly sits in a tree across the road from us but Crows nest in this tree and so the Buzzard is often chased off as Crows do. Last evening however, 3 Herring Gulls joined in to assist the Crow with chasing the Buzzard away! It seemed like real assistance because the Gulls don't normally have anything to do with this tree!

    Later we saw two Hedgehogs in front of our neigbour's house, one was circling the other for over an hour grunting/sniffing the whole time no doubt a courting ritual! Then a third came along and decided to watch! Even Hedgehogs are Voyouers!

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  • 434. At 10:05am on 23 Apr 2010, robby wrote:

    From our garden in Heacham not far from Pensthorpe we have been watching a pair of kestrels mating and building a nest in the apex of an Owl box and in the bottom of the box are a pair of barn owls who also have a nest

    We watched them last year but it was too late for spring watch so started watching earlier this year and was pleased to find that they are preparing for young again this year.

    We know you are always looking for something different and this to us is very unusual or is it?

    Rob and Geraldine Topliss.

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  • 435. At 8:37pm on 24 Apr 2010, vicky Hart wrote:

    We have oak trees in our garden & one has a large hole at the base. I noticed in the autumn that something was active inside the trunk either knawing or pecking the inside as lots of 'dust' was appearing on the ground. Nothing happened all winter but since the weather got warmer much more of the dust has appeared & seems to be compacted as if an animal is walking over it. I cannot find any droppings & I haven't seen any animal or bird. Have you any suggestions as to what is living in our tree trunk?

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  • 436. At 11:30am on 25 Apr 2010, lagarta wrote:

    As I was restocking with seeds in the garden birds aisle of my pet shop, I suddenly recognized a pleasantly familiar sound: cickets. like crossing a summer meadow under a mid-day sun! But what sad fate for those cheery little insects squeezed alive in cling film and plastic punnets awaiting on shelves of wharehouse. I cannot accept that petowners who buy them as live food for their own pets will not consider the cruelty involved in the process. Would Chris mention it next time he speaks out about cruelty to insects as he did recently with I am A Celeb Get Me Out of Here?

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  • 437. At 6:56pm on 25 Apr 2010, Ann Roberts wrote:

    24th April 2010 in the village of Winteringham North Lincolnshire (on the banks of the Humber) we spotted 2 swallows :)

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  • 438. At 08:43am on 26 Apr 2010, Tressy wrote:

    This weekend I have witnessed a robin feeding two chicks in a nest that didn't belong to him/her! The following day the real mother (a blackbird) had resumed duties. Does this happen very often?

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  • 439. At 8:16pm on 26 Apr 2010, jennybucket wrote:

    On Sunday 27th April 2010 I had a lesser spotted woodpecker land on my bird feeder, (and also a crested tit), living in Winsford in Cheshire in a small residential close I just wanted to know how much of a rareity this is as I know they tend to stay in forests and not stray into gardens too much I do have a photograph, thanks.

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  • 440. At 8:23pm on 26 Apr 2010, jennybucket wrote:

    I also have 2 wren's making a nest in a box within the garden, they have been coming back and to for about 3 weeks now building the nest, never had anything nesting in the garden before, can't hear any noise coming from the nest though, can you help with any advice and how I can tell the male from the female? thanks


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  • 441. At 10:50am on 28 Apr 2010, Roger Lee wrote:

    Yesterday I saw a dead adder in Church Street, Long Bennington, Lincolnshire, I am sure this is a first for this Village. We do have some grass snakes but the markings on this one where very distinct, it was about 300 mm long

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  • 442. At 11:31am on 28 Apr 2010, brian lumley wrote:

    whilst visiting our doctors my wife and i noticed a sqirrel in a tree
    in a small garden next door, only a small tree and the sqirrel was up and down the branches we assumed looking for tasty morsels. Out of the blue a sparrowhawk dived, hit the unsuspecting sqirrel but luckily not connecting with its talons. I am 70yrs old and have seen kestrels catching voles, buzzards catching rabbits and perigrins
    catching pidgeons but never sparrowhawks hunting sqirrels. has anyone had a similar experience. by the way this all happened in a couple of seconds. brian lumley

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  • 443. At 11:41am on 29 Apr 2010, Sharon wrote:

    we have a blackbird repeatedly flying at the shed window up to 30 times per visit ending up on the shed roof. Is it hunting a mate





























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  • 444. At 8:58pm on 29 Apr 2010, Happy Gardener wrote:

    We have several nesting boxes in our garden in the New Forest, two with cameras in. Only one of these showed any signs of activity. I have some amazing video from 18th April of two pairs of blue tits fighting incredibly violently over ownership of this box. Since then, it appears both pairs have decided to build their nests elsewhere!

    Meanwhile, a pair of great tits have built their nest in a bat box high up in a pine tree. Needless to say they have had to use rather a lot of nesting material to plug the large slit in the bottom of this box. Hardly the most suitable accommodation surely!

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  • 445. At 9:07pm on 01 May 2010, DENISE wrote:

    WE'VE HAD 2 HEDGEHOGS FOR A YEAR NOW & SUPPLEMENTING THEIR DIET WITH CAT FOOD.( WE HAVE 7 CATS)THEY WERE STILL BEING FED EARLY JANUARY THIS YEAR & I WAS A LITTLE CONCERNED THEY WOULDN'T MAKE IT THRO' THE VERY HARD WINTER .HOWEVER...... THE ? FEMALE HAS NOW MOVED INTO THE CAT KENNEL ,IMMEDIATLEY NEXT TO OUR BACK DOOR.SHE IS AMUSING; HER LITTLE LEGS NEED HELP (A RAMP) TO MAKE HER WAY IN. OUR CATS ARE NONE TOO IMMPRESSED,BUT TOLERANT ,& WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THE EXTENSIONS TO THE FAMILY.

    I'D SNEAK A LOOK INTO THE KENNEL BUT DON'T WANT TO DISTURB WHAT I HOPE TO BE A NEW FAMILY; ANYONE HAVE AN ENDOCOPIC CAMERA & KIT TO LOAN? ..... BBC - YOUR SHOUT??

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  • 446. At 11:37am on 02 May 2010, Odseygarden wrote:

    We have had a pair of Mallard's visiting the garden for some time. The large amount of frog spawn on our very small pond disappeared shortly after they started coming, but they've still kept coming back. We have now found a nest with at least 9 eggs in it in a raised bed in a back courtyard like part of the garden. We are perplexed as to a. how they will get the babies out of the site and b. where they will take them. Our pond is far too small. The biggest area we know of is a large (at one time for carp) pond in the garden behind us - not easy to access from here due to solid fences around that garden. Other than that we are on raised ground on chalk close to downland (Therfield Heath, Royston). Puzzled and intrigued.

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  • 447. At 6:49pm on 03 May 2010, Elderberry wrote:

    I live in North London and while walking the dog in the local park I saw a Moorhen sitting beneath a tree. A dog came by and the moorhen run off into the river. However, when I looked where she had been sitting there was a live chick. We went on with our walk and when we returned the moorhen was back sitting on the chick. However, yesterday we were again walking by and the moorhen was climbing the tree to where she had a nest and I could definitely see the head of her chick in the nest. Sadly today, the chick was dead beneath the tree and mum had disappeared. Is this a usual thing - for a moorhen to set up a nest in a tree?

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  • 448. At 8:10pm on 03 May 2010, Alan Costello wrote:

    Until just a few days ago we had a wood pigeon on a nest which we assumed contained eggs but the pigeon moved out and there was no sign of
    egg shells. Now two collar doves have moved in and would appear to be sitting on eggs. Can you tell me if this normal or unusual.

    Thank You

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  • 449. At 09:53am on 05 May 2010, Tanglewatch wrote:

    NATURE's RECYCLING - We had a wasp nest in one of our sheds last year. It was abandoned of course by the wasps in the Autumn but now it has been exploited by an enterprising nesting bird. It has managed to remove the top section and pack it full of nesting material. I’ve never seen this happen before and the eggs must be wonderfully insulated from the cold.

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  • 450. At 1:24pm on 05 May 2010, Daisy Dunnock wrote:

    We have a Robin that is having to support 2 cuckoo chicks. They are almost as big as the Robin currently and quite a bit fatter. The Robin feeds regularly from our feeders and we call the 2 cuckoo's Tweedledum & Tweedledee. Is it unusual to have 2 cuckoo chicks being supported by one host - I thought they would have cleared out the nest of all other bodies thus leaving only one survivor? Has anyone seen this recently. (West Wiltshire)

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  • 451. At 4:01pm on 06 May 2010, Dawn wrote:

    I think I may have a bit of a Father and Son act going on in my garden. I have two adult robins, both with red breasts. They don't fight, one feeds the other. The one being fed occasionally demands food like a baby bird would, but largely they just follow each other round the garden and the older bird feeds the younger. My friend has told me that both male and female robins have red breasts - but I like to think that the younger one just hasn't quite left home yet.

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  • 452. At 11:12pm on 06 May 2010, Wendles wrote:

    We have a hedgehog box under a bush in our front garden. I opened the lid today and heard a buzzing sound. A small bee like a bumblebee emerged from the hay in the box. I assume there are many bees in the box. I understand they nest in tunnels made by other animals, which maybe why they have chosen this box. Should we just leave them alone and if so when will it be safe to clear the box?

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  • 453. At 11:43pm on 07 May 2010, natureDeirdre wrote:

    After hearing on the radio that Robins rarely use peanut feeders I went out and bought one - filled it - put it out - bang - within 2 hours I had a Robin feeding on it! pic: http://twitpic.com/1lvgkf

    Has anyone else got a Robin who knows how to use a Peanut Feeder?

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  • 454. At 4:06pm on 08 May 2010, woodsideliz wrote:

    loads of warblers in our little corner of the New Forest but hardly any Hirundines or Cuckoos - where are they?

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  • 455. At 4:20pm on 08 May 2010, woodsideliz wrote:

    Why do so many people post uncomplimentary comments about presenters? No one is perfect -why not just enjoy some excellent t.v.! I'd be very happy if all talent shows, reality t.v. and soaps were replaced with programmes of the quality of Spring/Autumn/Snowwatch, anything with David Attenborough, Rueben or Monty Hall in or any of the other wildlife progs the BBC does so well.

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  • 456. At 12:06pm on 09 May 2010, Toadflax wrote:

    Hi, does anyone know much about polecats? I saw a dead one on the side of the road in Hertfordshire near Kings Langley. No way of knowing if it was a pure one or a ferret or a mix, couldn't get a photo as it was on the side of a dual carriageway with no-where to stop. From what I have found out, they are spreading through Hertfordshire, but would love to know more. It's exciting to think we have another mammal we can look out for, even if they are unlikely to be spotted! Until I heard about the ones at Tring, I was still under the illusion that they were limited to mid-Wales. I remember seeing a dead one south of Aberystwyth in the early '70s.(I was virtually a baby!) I guess someone is doing some research into them somewhere.

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  • 457. At 12:09pm on 09 May 2010, Toadflax wrote:

    I'm an idiot! Just seen the whole thread on polecats from last year.
    Derrrrr!
    Sorry.

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  • 458. At 1:00pm on 09 May 2010, johnniescott wrote:

    since the begining of may i have been waiting for the return of the swifts .last year they returned on the 15th and this year they returned on the 9th may in stockport i always look forward to these little spitfires of the sky .hoping this year they will nest in my roof space again

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  • 459. At 8:16pm on 09 May 2010, Katie Mellers wrote:

    Whilst I have been out running, I have noticed many dead bumble bees. Most of these are at the edges of the road and grass verges, but they are intact and dont appear to have been hit by cars. One evening when I was out, I lost count of how many dead bees that I saw. What is the reason for this?

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  • 460. At 1:08pm on 10 May 2010, Vivienne wrote:

    In the Autumn a hedgehog mum brought in three small hogletts, I feed them up weighing them each week until they were 600gr the week before they hibinated. In the spring the three hogletts came back to the garden - two together and then one on its own and then the mum later. I then noticed that there was another larger one - distinquishable by some strange markings on its bottom. The single hoglett is much smaller than the two - so I am presuming that the two are males and the single one is a female. Lately there has been a lot of snorting and cuffufle in the garden as a larger hedgehog is circling the small hoglett, she is snorting and backing away. It also seems she is being kept from the food stations I have set out - three in total. What is going on and should I rescue the small hoglett and feed her up? I am reluctant to interven other than to feed up, but I am worried she is not doing well. There is also evidence of diahreha but I don't know which one. There was also a smear of blood on the feed bowl two weeks ago, so are they hurting her ? Is it the mother trying to chase her away before she has anymore hogletts? However I have also observed that the other two hogletts that are larger - are also circling this one. HELP from Nottingham......

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  • 461. At 7:14pm on 10 May 2010, Jan Greenly wrote:

    Today, Monday 10th May 2010, my husband & I saw two birds in our garden which we had never seen before, I looked in our bird books & identified them as Baltimore Oriole, unfortunately we were not fast enough with the camera.

    I wonder if anyone else has been as lucky as us to see these beautiful birds.

    From Jan Greenly.

    Manchester, UK

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  • 462. At 5:06pm on 11 May 2010, Liz Brown wrote:

    3pm Rutland countryside: I have just stopped for what I thought was a fox crossing the road and realised it wasn't. The animal was longer but slighter built than a fox, sandy coloured all over except for the tip of it's tail which was black. The head was small for it's body size and round like a cat rather than the dog-like face of a fox. The tail was long and thin with an up-turn at the end.
    Has anyone any ideas what I have just seen?

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  • 463. At 07:40am on 13 May 2010, birdingbarbara wrote:

    In mid to late April I had seen a lot more Bumble Bees (white/buff/red tailed) in my garden and on the golf course than in past years. Since then, in this cold snap, I have seen a lot of dead ones and virtually non flying around.

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  • 464. At 07:58am on 13 May 2010, 3to5eggs wrote:

    Hi paid a visit to the Redkite Centre at Gigrin Farm Wales and saw a white red kite

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  • 465. At 4:38pm on 14 May 2010, Jane Davidson wrote:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2069130/motion_detected_05-09-2010-13_54_47.wmv
    We have a birdbox with camera. Bluetits are nesting in it (chicks hatched 11th May). Anyhow one or both parents have extremely long beaks - is this becoming more common, as I'm sure it was mentioned either on birdwatch or some other nature programme?

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  • 466. At 08:02am on 15 May 2010, den wrote:

    We put up a sparrow terrace type nest box 4 years ago and over that time we have had varying numbers of house sparrow using the 3 compartment box to both nest and roost in. This year we noticed that a pair of great tits were checking the box out and carrying material to it.
    Upon recent inspection we were suprised to find the following: compartment one contained two great tit eggs, compartment two contained three great tit eggs, and compartment three contained a sitting great tit on.....who knows what's under her. We live in Durham.

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  • 467. At 4:25pm on 17 May 2010, johannalb wrote:

    I could not believe what I saw this afternoon - between 80 and 100 buzzards lazily catching the thermals together. At first I thought they were seagulls but over a space of about 15 minutes they came down to below the tree line so I could see them quite clearly. I have seen 12 - 20 a few times before but never this many. Did not think we even had that amount in the area. They eventually split off in smaller groups and drifted off. I so wish somebody else was with me or that I had my camera with me because I am sure nobody will believe me!!

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  • 468. At 5:04pm on 17 May 2010, Karen wrote:

    I spent some time in Ireland in January and was amazed to see in excess of 40 Wrens arriving to roost, just as it dropped dark, in the roof space of the house. Is this normal behaviour? This is the first year that the owner has been aware of this happening and believed that it could have been due to the unusually cold weather. How would so many small birds communicate this one location to each other and what size area would they have been drawn from. It was a wonderful sight to see these beautiful small birds arriving and taking turns to climb up the cable from the satellite to access the hole into the roof space. This area is used in the spring by a pair of Starlings to nest in. Has anyone else seen this kind of behaviour?

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  • 469. At 6:14pm on 17 May 2010, Kestrel_cam wrote:

    Dear SpringWatch team,

    We have 2 live video feeds (from different angles) from our kestrel nest box. Hatching is anticipated end of May/beginning of June and there are five eggs being incubated. We would love to give you free web access to it so you can show it on the SpringWatch programmes. Please get in touch if you are interested.

    Thanks
    Rachel

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  • 470. At 6:47pm on 17 May 2010, ChrisB1311 wrote:

    Hi all,

    I've seen something very disturbing today, it was a crow that had caught a grey squirrel and was pecking it to kill it. I never thought that crows would tackle something that big?

    Thanks

    Chris B

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  • 471. At 9:11pm on 17 May 2010, 27matt wrote:

    Hi,

    I'm am was very suprised and didn't believe it until i confirmed it but i have seen a red kite in Cambridgeshire around the Chatteris area. This is th first time i have seen them in the area and have now seen it on 3 different occations. I really love these birds and am so happy that they have come to the area but i have only seen one so i don't know if there is a pair breading.

    All the best
    Matt

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  • 472. At 9:22pm on 17 May 2010, AskMeAgain wrote:

    Am used to lots of wildlife in my warwickshire garden but was amazed to have my first pheasant picking what the other birds threw off the bird table to the ground was wonderful hope he comes back soon

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  • 473. At 9:23pm on 17 May 2010, jo pickford wrote:

    I normally have at least 20 breeding pairs of house martins - often more - as I post only 2 have come back almost a month late. My swallows - 1 breeding pair - are back as usual. Our house is well known for its community of martins. Now the redundant nests have been colonised by house sparrows who are well happy! What has happened?

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  • 474. At 9:23pm on 17 May 2010, Sandra Lemons wrote:

    We have a colony of Midwife Toads in our garden, and they have survived recent building work with the help of our lovely builders, who have rescued those in imminent danger,and even left useful rubble and bricks so that I can construct new hibernaculums for them and also for our newts.Access holes to regular hibernation sites have been left unblocked, allowing acces to our regulars! New tadpoles are already evident in the pond, as are last year's overwintered monsters. The adults started their courting calls as the clocks were altered, as always happens. Several adults are audible from the same holes that they have returned to for several years.
    In our pond, we also have Smooth and Palmate Newts, Alpine and Marbled - which has demonstrated our suitability to eventually host Crested Newts!
    Last year's hand - reared orphan sparrows have returned, with mates, and are quick to call in to the Utility Room if I am late with their mealworms, as are Ozzy and Sharon, our resident blackbirds.They are all quick to enlist the help of Ed The Wonder Dog to repel the cunning Magpies,a task to which, he rises most effectively but our 'No Football colours' bar seems to be working!
    All is well here in our little oasis,and even the foxes accept that this little garden is a veritable United Nations of an animal kingdom.

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  • 475. At 9:26pm on 17 May 2010, gstree wrote:

    I don't know if this is unusual, but for several years I have had a colony of slow worms in the garden that have been getting bigger over the years (numbers not size) OK not too unusual, but this year we have a female crested newt living with them !
    There is only one and it actually lays with the worms all the time.
    I know that slow worms are lizards and are similar to newts but has anyone ever seen this before ?
    Perhaps she just wants the company as she hasn't got a mate !

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  • 476. At 9:29pm on 17 May 2010, jo pickford wrote:

    Adding to this comment - having read an earlier post - I have no wrens at all nesting- whereas last year I had several pairs in our wisteria. So, very few martins, no wrens.....ummmm.

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  • 477. At 02:02am on 18 May 2010, Heulwen-anne wrote:

    This year, for the first time in years, we have ragwort. Also, we have forget-me-nots for the first time ever, and I have noticed that some of our neighbours have too.

    Quite a few spiders about (much to my horror!). Lots of butterflies that I have not seen before, sorry I cannot identify them.

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  • 478. At 08:40am on 18 May 2010, Susannah wrote:

    I'm not sure where to post this, but we got a Springwatch camera and set it up in a bird box this February. We were really excited when a pair of Great tits moved in and built a nest. They laid 5 eggs, which all hatched out and were growing well.

    Yesterday, they were all begging for food in the morning. They had little pegs for wing feathers and fuzz on their heads and were doing well. By yesterday afternoon, they were nearly all dead bar one which was too weak to open its mouth for food. The parents kept coming with food, and were obviously confused that the chicks weren't responding. The mother sat on them overnight as usual, but even the remaining weak one was dead by this morning.

    We just don't know what happened :-(

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  • 479. At 6:21pm on 18 May 2010, Allen1 wrote:

    My son has a bright yellow spider - quite small living in his garden. There are no signs of a web but the spider is a predator as today we have seen it eating a bee. Photographs on flikr. Does anyone know what it is?

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  • 480. At 6:30pm on 18 May 2010, Claire wrote:

    I saw a few weeks ago, the most unusual butterfly/day moth, one which I have never seen before. It was neon pink, with a black body. I couldn't see any markings on its wings, however it was flying and its wings were going very quickly. I really have never seen anything like it...such a fluorescent colour. Does anyone know what it could be? It was quite small, and sadly didn't land.

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  • 481. At 8:20pm on 18 May 2010, Sunflower wrote:

    We have had a number, about 2 dozen or so, of very small bees appear in our living room over the last few months. They have been sleepy & within a very short time they are dead. We have never had this in previous years. We tried giving them a drop of water & a few sugar grains, but this has not helped them to survive.

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  • 482. At 9:46pm on 18 May 2010, PEDRO wrote:

    I have seen two quite amazing things this spring:
    1)In Norfolk at my nans house we were on a walk when we saw a white iwl flying around the field in the Downham Market area
    2)In cornmall on the south coast path we saw a lizard a dead slow worm and an unidentified snake. We've done our research on it and we've found a species which mates succesflly in britain and spreading, called a dice snake which looks quite like it
    Thanks
    Pedro

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  • 483. At 09:04am on 19 May 2010, debz01 wrote:

    hi, i have found a weird thing inside my shed on the roof it looks wooden, its round about 3 inches wide with a small whole in the bottom? anyone any ideas? i do have a picture but i dont know how to upload?
    thanks
    debbie

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  • 484. At 11:54am on 19 May 2010, gull wrote:

    Some of you may have already seen this but I thought I'd post for those who don't subscribe to the Wales Nature blog, as it's pretty bizarre behaviour!

    Read: Swan tackles large eel

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  • 485. At 3:54pm on 19 May 2010, tjrogers wrote:

    We have been in the Scottish Borders for 3 years and have been inundated with house martins. However, in addition, this year we also have swallows. We also spotted a white deer at the weekend - beautiful

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  • 486. At 5:35pm on 19 May 2010, ylms wrote:

    We have a large area of decking in our rear garden and a female fox has reared 10 cubs which are all healthy and noisy is this a record

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  • 487. At 8:08pm on 19 May 2010, CADManScott wrote:

    Hi All Whilst out at the weekend in the Pennine's I spotted my first
    melanistic Pheasant, what an amazing looking bird, it was a male and his entire plumage including his wings and tail were a blackish/blueish colour. Does anyone know how rare/common these birds are.

    Regards

    CADmanScott

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  • 488. At 11:28am on 20 May 2010, Chris wrote:

    I have garden warblers nesting in my garden for the first time ever. What a beautiful little bird, even though it does not look particularly spectacular, it's song is wonderful. It was this that first drew my attention to it, and I had to do some checking on the web to identify it, as I had never seen one before.

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  • 489. At 9:22pm on 20 May 2010, Caren wrote:

    while out walking today in St Ives in Cambridgeshire I saw two families of pink footed geese but a canada goose seemed to have joined them looking as if it was helping to protect them. An agressieve swan came and seperated the parents from the young and went in towards the young goslings at whech the geese including the canada goose flew at the swan. Eventually though the geese and the canada goose walked across grassland onto another lake nearby. Is it normal for canada geese to do this?

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  • 490. At 7:03pm on 21 May 2010, Rosemary Mudd wrote:

    My husband and I both saw two hedge sparrows behaving oddly this afternoon. They were on our lawn and the one was flapping its wings and the other one was pecking at his botom. Have you encountered this behavious before? Regards

    Rosemary Mudd

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  • 491. At 7:25pm on 21 May 2010, pondweed wrote:

    My father who lives in Gillingham Dorset asked me to post that he has a dice snake (Natrix Tessellata)swimming in his garden pond at the moment. He saw it last Spring as well and assumes it visits to eat the tadpoles. As this isn't a native species, resumably it has escaped from somewhere - have just read comment 482 posted by Pedro on 18/5 which suggests it is successfully breeding in UK.

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  • 492. At 8:24pm on 21 May 2010, Lizzie wrote:

    I have watched with interest the bird box at the bottom of my garden, after two years of no birds at all it appears that I have not only great tits there but also blue tits. Both varieties can be seen regularly visiting the box with food for the young. I have never known this to occur is it usual?

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  • 493. At 08:49am on 22 May 2010, jackie wrote:

    Back at Easter a group of us spotted a Hoopoo Bird in the fields opposite our house, i live in Portland, Dorset. I had never seen or even heard of this bird,someone pointed it out to me. Its a magnificent bird and rare to see on Portland, I think it goes with the Buzzard I saw some time ago too. I'm still learning but very keen to learn about birds, any help would be appreciated.
    Jackie

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  • 494. At 3:49pm on 22 May 2010, Nick wrote:

    Hi,

    I was looking out into my garden when I noticed a dead sparrow, next a Jay came flying down and landing next to the sparrow, it looked and starred at me, it then picked up the dead bird and started to fly towards a tree where it was confronted by a blackbird, that chased the Jay with some aggression. Is this normal for Jays to eat other birds, and for a blackbird to chase after a larger bird.

    Thanks

    Nick Hill

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  • 495. At 5:06pm on 22 May 2010, 39tony wrote:

    This year I have had bumble bees nest in one part of the sparrow house. Normally great tits nest in this part but now the've nested 'next door' Can anyone advise me if I should do anything or nothing later on in the year when the tits have?

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  • 496. At 10:36am on 23 May 2010, David-Steel wrote:

    Climbing in North Scotland (Sutherland, Ben Klibreck) on 21 Apr 10 with a friend. Saw 2 ptarmigan-like birds, one male one female, approx 800m altitude. All behaviour exactly like ptarmigan; largely silent, walking away from us rather than flying, slightly nervous of our proximity but nonetheless much closer by than a red grouse would allow. But colouration exactly like willow grouse (ie red grouse top-half; ptarmigan lower half): yet have never heard of willow grouse in UK before and also would not expect willow grouse on bare, snowy mountain side, in between snow squalls. Have never seen ptarmigan like this before - deep russet top half especially. Is willow grouse possible? Do red grouse and patrmigan cross-breed, perhaps producing something that looks very like a willow grouse?

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  • 497. At 3:17pm on 23 May 2010, Ally and Matt wrote:

    Very exciting! At midday both myself and my hubby M@ heard our first Yardely Gobion Cuckoo!!!!
    Very happy!

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  • 498. At 4:05pm on 23 May 2010, allan martin wrote:

    Having dinner on the patio last evening my wife and I watched two bluetits feeding their young in their nesting box 20 feet away from us.Suddenly, a greater spotted woodpecker appeared at the box, put his head into the hole,pulled out a chick and flew off. Fascinating but horrible nature in the raw. The woodpecker came back in 5 minutes and was dive-bombed by one of the bluetits but it returned to the box and proceeded to pull bits of the nest out of the box. Eventually it flew away when it realised that the nest was now empty. He had obviously visited it several times before. I wonder why these nest box makers don't make the boxes a liitle deeper. This would prevent the woodpecker from reaching the chicks.

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  • 499. At 5:09pm on 23 May 2010, Michele wrote:

    I have lived in Holbury near the Newforest for 19years and have never had starlings in the garden, infact its like Hitcocks "BIRDS" we are also getting rooks, crows, feeding from the bird feeders!

    I have taken down one feeder which the starlings destroyed and put up a circular cage type which looks like "The Death Star " from Star Wars and the starlings are getting in there and emptying it in half a day.
    I now only have a handful of garden birds acceesing the feeders since this invasion!

    Can anyone explain why such a sudden change or are we just getting better at feeding and increasing populations.
    Will I loose the birds that have come to my garden for 19 years etc or will things settle?

    Michele

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  • 500. At 6:19pm on 23 May 2010, Jackie wrote:

    Hi there,
    I don't know if the following behaviour is unusual but I have never come across it before.

    We heard a knocking near to one of our bird boxes enhabitited by a family of blue tits. The chicks seem to be about 10 days old.
    When we looked it appeared to be a large bird but with binocculars, it was a male great spotted woodpecker. Would it have been trying to excavate the box for a nest or is it after the chicks? This has happened a few times including today at 4.50pm but each time the parents have attacked the woodpecker successfully.

    looking forward to hearing your assessment.
    Kind regards,
    Jackie

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