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Log for 2003


23 Jan 2003:
3 moorhen in territorial chases between the two largest ponds.

9 Feb 2003:
Pair of Mallard on the main pond for the first time this year. Decide to install a 'nest box' on the island and see what happens.

24 Feb 2003:
Heron (immature) spent all afternoon hunting at the duck shaped pond. Probably looking for frogs and newts (no fish) but we haven't spotted any yet. Over the next few days 2 different herons have spent hours hunting at this pond.

1 Mar 2003:
A Mallard Duck is filling the experimental Duck Box (see 9 Feb) with hay, dried reeds and prunings we left on the island. The Drake is 'lurking' elsewhere on the pond.
Long-tailed tit seen using a peanut feeder this week. Don't think we have seen this before.

14 Mar 2003:
A few clumps of frogspawn in reeds in North (sunny edge) of the main pond.

17 Mar 2003:
First Brimstone Butterfly seen

21 Mar 2003:
One clump of frogspawn in the Duck shaped Pond.

30 Mar 2003:
Duck starting sitting on nest in box on the island of the main pond.

03 Apr 2003:
2 ducks crammed into the nestbox but only one nest with some eggs in it. Sadly came to nothing - probably destroyed by magpies or jackdaws.

11 Apr 2003:
Moorhen nest abandoned & eggs gone.

21 Apr 2003:
First Swallow seen.

22 Apr 2003:
First orange tip butterfly seen. Roy's favourite butterfly.

24 Apr 2003:
Fledged Collared Dove seen perch at the main pond edge. Have not known them to breed here before.

5 May 2003:
First odonta - red danselflies at NE Corner hedge.

25 May 2003:
Male Bulfinch seen.

26 May 2003:
Blue Damselflies mating in Duck pond. Moorhen & Mallard nests on Main Pond well hidden.

13 June 2003:
Drowned Jackdaw in main pond attracting other jackdaws and disturbing the nesting birds until we removed it. Ugh.

14 June 2003:
First Moorhen chick seen on nest.

15 June 2003:
2 Moorhen chicks being fed on nest, later by the nest.

16 June 2003:
3 Moorhen chicks being fed by both parents.

17 June 2003:
4 Moorhen chicks being fed by 1 parent, the other on nest.

18 June 2003:
5 Moorhen chicks being fed by 1 parent, the other at nest. Several (4?) ducklings seen under Mallard duck on nest.

19 June 2003:
8 Ducklings on the water. Unexpectedly went back to the nest.

24 June 2003:
8 Moorhen chicks on Main pond & the banks being fed by 2 adults.

27 Jun 03:
Still 8 Moorhen chicks

1 July 03:
Now 7 Moorhen chicks, still an unusually good survival rate.

8 Sep 2003:
About a week ago we saw all 7 Juvenile Moorhens together - our best 'single brood survival' ever. Rather than trying for another brood the parents spent all their time raising this one. They are now starting to chase them off to find their own patch.
A month of drought has left the ground parched and with quite a lot of leaf drop and early seed setting. Bullfinches and other seed eaters seen unusually early.
The Sparrowhawk has been flashing fast as it enjoys the good supply of Great Tits and Tree Sparrows from this years broods.
Swallows are feeding up ready to return to Africa. Up to a week or two ago the youngsters were getting supplemental feeding from parents 'on the wing'. Here is a first attempt at photographing this activity.

13 Sep 2003:
Several Fox images taken overnight instead of a couple a month we usually get. All foxes this year have been taken between 2 & 4 a.m. This one is nibbling peanuts left as 'bait'.

23 Nov 2003:
A page full of Herons added to the birds section.
A number of broken links to other sites fixed or removed.
Links added for The Woodland Trust and its offshoot the UK Phenology Network which studies the relationships between climate and periodic biological phenomena (e.g. bird movements or tree flowering)

30 Oct 2003:
First Fieldfares seen.

13 Dec 2003:
At last enough rain to start re-filling the ponds.

Logs from Previous years