Return to moorhen home
31 Jan 2004:
- Muntjac deer calling at 11pm outside the bedroom
window. Intermittent shout every few seconds. Wandered off
unconcerned at the powerful torch used to see him.
1 Feb 2004:
- The Night photo kit took
this image of a Muntjac Doe and fawn. We are advised
that the fawn is
probably 2 or 3 weeks old. Click the thumbnail for a
9 Grey Partridges pecking at the gravel at back of
house near a bird feeder (presumably after the
A pair of Moorhen in evidence every day on the main
13-14 Feb 2004:
- Great Spotted Woodpecker Pair are
'converting' the Great-tit box on a dead elm stump into
box by chipping away the hole. Female did all the work,
and the male turned up to inspect (tried to get in
but couldn't first even though the female had). Next day
the female was seen clearing out the old nest
material (including a dud egg). Click the thumbnail to
go to the updated woodpecker page.
Mallard duck pairs suddenly seen on all the ponds -
well it is Valentines day!
22 Feb 2004:
- Mammals section now includes
Rodents to include Field Mice
- Amphibians section on Newts now
includes Heron eating Great Crested Newt.
- Robin Pair added to Birds at Night
- Added Links to a Swan enthusiast from the Swans section, and to the Digswell Lake
Society in the
23 Feb 2004:
- At 20:20 a Field Mouse seen by torchlight running
about on iced pond (looking for feed corn?).
5 Mar 2004:
- Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming on
the now 'traditional' open front nestbox this morning
(not the 'modified'
one). Robins HAD been looking at it! Click on the
thumbnail for more images and sounds.
Pair of Moorhen back on main pond after 2 weeks absence
during a freeze-up.
Mallard duck pairs spending most of the day on the
15 Mar 2004:
- Dead Rabbit being pecked over by
Carrion Crow. The same morning at 05:37 the night photo
kit took picture
of cat with rabbit in mouth. Click on the thumbnail for
the set of images.
4 clumps of Frogspawn in the West of the Round Pond -
right where we usually throw in corn.
16 Mar 2004:
- Frogs seen and more clumps at the same place.
Great spotted woodpeckers still drumming on the open
nestbox. No activity at the 'modified' nest box seen as
Dead Rabbit Gone - one less unpleasant cleanup job!
28 Mar 2004:
- Small Light Brown Bat flying over main pond 21:00
29 Mar 2004:
- Mallard duck in box on Dragon Island (Subsequently
abandoned about 7 eggs which then disappeared).
ever Hedgehog sighting at 3 a.m. by the night photo
kit. Added to Species list along
with a general
A lengthy 3 way moorhen fight took place at the distant
'round' pond. Can't find the nest without risk of
spoiling the camouflage.
A Jay also took its photo.
Click on the thumbnail for this and other Birds at
23 Apr 2004:
- First Swallow seen.
24 Apr 2004:
- First Orange Tip Butterfly seen.
29 Apr 2004:
- Moorhen rushing between pond looking for morsels - some
eggs must have hatched.
30 Apr 2004:
- Nest spotted in the reeds at the edge of the NE of
the Round Pond.Last year they nested on the same ponds
ornamental grasses. Number of chicks unknown.
5 May 2004:
moorhen chick seen outside the kitchen window with
parent. Same evening the night photo kit
captured this parent finding food for 2 chicks. There is
likely another parent looking after more
chicks. Click on the image for Moorhens.
So far this year:-
- Starlings are nesting in the Woodpecker Box.
- Tree Sparrows are nesting in the Great tit box the
- Jackdaws are nesting down the chimneys.
- Blue tits are nesting in the great tit box.
- Mallard are nesting on the islands.
- Pigeons are in the overgrown hedges.
Doesn't anybody teach these birds which box to use?
6 May 2004:
- 6 moorhen chicks, 2 with first parent off nest &
4 with other.
21 May 2004:
- First more than fleeting 'maybe' view
of Swifts over the plot. Click the image for
The whole moorhen family still seems to be with us.
The quantity of blossom this year is stunning. Air frost
in late spring normally damages buds and in
particular horse chestnuts, but not this year.
Yellow Flag Iris now rampant around the main pond.
6 May 2004:
6 moorhen chicks, 2 with first parent off nest & 4
with the other.
6 June 2004:
Another adult moorhen seen with scalp missing - an
injury not previously seen by us or researcher.
13 Jun 2004:
First cuckoo heard (in field to the West).
Injured moorhen still OK.
Great Spotted Woodpecker male has been feeding a 'chick'
at the peanut feeders for last few days.
20 Jun 2004:
being fed in the wires and tree tops. Click the image
21 Jun 2004:
2 Muntjac Deer seen drinking at main
pond 22:00. Exited at S boundary. Click the image for
27 Jun 2004:
Linnet singing in evergreen
Adult moorhen contact calls to chicks heard over CCTV at
round pond. At least 4 adolescent moorhen survived.
After a week of seeing only the female adult, the adult
pair & 3 chicks visited the main pond in the
after a grass cut. Click the image for Moorhen.
24 July 2004:
Moorhen parents have build a brood platform on main pond
and are looking after their 2 remaining chicks on it.
Occasional visits by Swallows.
Lots of Hawker Dragonflies over all the ponds.
Hundreds of Hedge Brown (Gatekeeper) butterflies on
bramble flowers in the hedge take off in a cloud as
you walk by. Some
Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Red Cardinal butterflies
seen on flowerheads. Brimstone butterflies seen here in
mid-summer for the first time.
6 Sep 2004:
The moorhen second brood raised 3 youngsters, two of
which are sharing the ponds with the adults.
Unfortunately this all took
place away from the main pond. The adults seemed to be
preparing for a third brood on the main pond, but it
came to nothing.
A nice item on moorhen parents protecting their chicks
during Hurricane Frances in the USA is Here
The swallows seem
to have left after one last appearance on 3rd Sep.
Surprised to see feeding of the
youngsters in flight this late in the year, and managed
this image. The previous 'best-so-far' is in the 2003
Click the image for the flycatchers page.
The original 1996 image of round pond is so different
from today's image that we have updated Bird's Eye
28 Nov 2004 & 5 Dec 2004:
ever sighting of Redwing - solitary bird in hawthorn
tree. 7 days later it took this poor photo of itself
our 'night' photo kit at first light picking up some
17 Dec 2004:
After hearing faint Mallard calls for a few days a
Female spotted in main pond mid-morning.
Moorhen pair seen mating a few days ago. Last juvenile
not seen for some days.
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