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Log for 2002
3 Feb 2002:
- The Moorhen were only occasionally seen since Christmas.
Today a bird has spent all yesterday and last
night on the main pond. The season is underway!
20 Feb 2002:
- A pair of moorhens have been about for a few days.
Today we saw them attempting to mate - not at all
successfully, but it takes several weeks of practice :-)
3 Mar 2002:
- A page of Cuckoo images and
09 Mar 2002:
- 2 Female pheasants together by Dragon pond. 3 different
male pheasants have been
turning up daily for picking under bird tables and grain
at pond edges.
11 Mar 2002:
- 3 clumps of fresh Frogspawn at NW edge of Round Pond.
Over a few days became about 10 clumps,
with a couple in The Duck Shape Pond.
14 Mar 2002:
- Heron spent all day alternating between Dragon
& Round ponds hunting frogs.
- Four Moorhens fighting on Dragon pond 2Hours after
21 Mar 2002 17:15:
- Skylark heard in SW corner of field. First for some
years. Two days later at 10:15 Skylark seen & Heard
over Track then South of field
28 Mar 2002 21:35:
- Little owl on Elm Stump
9 Apr 2002:
- Two Wrens in vicious fight on the patio.
21 Apr 2002:
- Two Moorhen chicks a day or so old seen on water at
Round pond (not the one by the house). One or
more eggs still on the nest in island edge ornamental
grass. (Messed up on getting an image). Next morning
the last egg had gone and at least some chicks are
- 5 moorhen chicks on the pond by the Kitchen Window being
fed by both parents in the North bank Lilies growth.
6 May 2002:
- 1 moorhen chick left (down to 3 then 1 in first few days)
starting to feed itself. Parents seen mating at 05:20.
12 May 2002:
- The Moorhen chick now seems independent, spending little time with the
parents and feeding itself. Assorted Moorhen platforms / half built nests
on both large ponds means the real one is probably well hidden!
Starlings feed young in their nest(s) on top of the eternally
unused house-martin nest 'boxes'.
Probably 3 mallard ducks and rather more Drakes constantly visiting.
We know they nest in grass tussocks but can't find them without risk
of treading on them (so we don't look).
Lots of Wren nesting activity but we only find the nests in winter.
Fantastic year for blossom - even an old Pear tree that has not
flowered in the 12 years we have been here erupted. The
Blackthorn has finished but was glorious - Hawthorn is currently
the chief mass of white. First Horse Chestnut candles for years
have appeared on the 3 most mature trees.
Rabbits section corrected and extended at
Peacock, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Orange Tip and some sort
of blue butterflies seen on warm days. A new link to a butterfly
web site added to the Links page.
4 June 2002:
- Mallard Nest with 10 eggs under buttercups on W side of round island.
Single Moorhen chick growing well
6 June 2002:
- Mallard Nest with 1 egg very exposed on Dragon pond island (since 4th).
Eggs taken every day by Jackdaws and after a few days abandoned.
9 June 2002:
- Mallard duck & 10 ducklings on Dragon pond @ 17:00
10 June 2002:
- 2 few days old moorhen chicks seen swimming/running for cover
at Round Pond island (3 seen next day, 4 seen 12th)
12 June 2002:
- 2 Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers seen on nut feeder on
post. No idea where they nested.
14 June 2002:
- 8 Moorhen chicks on Dragon Pond. 3 being fed by an adult + Juvenile.
25 June 2002:
- 6 Moorhen Chicks left - one with an injured leg 'disappeared'
along with another.
29 June 2002:
- At least 4 Moorhen chicks (probably more) spread over 3 ponds
& feeding themselves.
About a dozen Swallows regularly perch on overhead wires and
swooping low over the grass to catch insects. Includes juveniles
which are now feeding themselves.
4 July 2002:
- Juvenile Goldfinch seen (first Goldfinch not on Teazel heads
9 Jul 2002:
6 Moorhen young on Dragon pond 19:30 with an adult
24 Jul 2002:
4 Moorhen Eggs on a new nest at Round pond in a reed tuft but
only 2m from W edge. Well hidden on account of the birds having
bent the leaves across to form a 'roof'.
3 Aug 2002:
Moorhen now sitting on at least 5 eggs at Round pond.
Ponds are full again on account of heavy rain.
5 Aug 2002:
Moorhen chicks on the Round pond nest.
6 Aug 2002:
Juvenile moorhen caught in frayed pond matting at Round pond.
Foot already broken. Freed but escaped. Seen next day feeding.
11 Aug 2002:
5 Moorhen chicks & both parents on Main pond late afternoon.
20 Aug 2002:
Long tailed Tit youngster being fed by adult on willow branch.
Moorhen Chicks growing well.
The injured Juvenile still otherwise healthy.
Mallard ducks in eclipse still visiting. First time they did
not 'disappear' at the molt for a few months.
1 Sep 2002:
About 20 Swallows visiting - mixed adults & juveniles, a few still being fed.
2 Sep 2002:
Dead young moorhen found on path North of the main pond.
20 Sep 2002:
Two adults and two new juveniles on main pond -
seems they raised 2 of the final brood.
23 Sep 2002:
Woken at 01:05 by 4.7 Richter Earthquake further north. Shaken in
bed at about 2Hz for a few seconds. Unnerving first experience but
no material damage.
20 Oct 2002:
Autumn has finally arrived with leaves starting to drop.
Moorhens have finally given up building platforms - two adults
and a juvenile are resident on the main pond.
Wagtails had a good year and are all over the roofs, as did Blue
and Great Tits - dozens at once on the feeders.
Saw male pheasant facing off with local cat. Fortunately
cats can't fly.
Red Admiral butterfly seen feeding of Michaelmas Daisies yesterday.
16 Dec 2002:
A Jay Pair seen in the silver birch copse turning over the
leaf litter. First time we have seen more than a fleeting
glimpse of a Jay.
25 Dec 2002:
6 juvenile grey partridges seen in the field adjoining
to the East.
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