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Log for 2005


8 Jan 2005:
Pair of Mallard seen in Main Pond after dark (18:45).

21 Jan 2005:
Swift thumbnailOur image of swifts in flight is part of the BBC 'Springwatch' promotion in association with the Woodland Trust and it's Phenology site dedicated to recording natures events.
We have added another Swift image - you can view all the flycatcher images by clicking the thumbnail image at the right.
The Rodents Page has a new Fieldmouse Image
Image of the Day is a new section where we will be posting images we have recently taken or from our 40 year old archive of slides.
First Snowdrop flower spotted - isolated plant in rough grass.
Pair of Mallard duck seen in the Duck Shaped Pond.

22 Jan 2005:
First Primrose Flower found in rough grass - pretty bedraggled but multiple flowers on one plant.

24 Jan 2005:
Kestrel spent a couple of minutes on top of concrete pole in strong wind. They hover in a breeze but perch to hunt when calm or strong winds For once not seen off by Jackdaws but went off to a distant pole.

28 Jan 2005:
4 moorhen on the main pond chasing & fighting. Subsequently 1 pair established dominance over the main pond and others skulk in the 'round' pond - seldom seen but often heard.

8 Feb 2005:
10 mallard (mixed sexes) on main pond at 07:55. 2 swam off behind the island and the other eight (4 each of Ducks and Drakes) is scheduled as 'Image of the Day' for 24 Feb 2005

20 Feb 2005:
A pair of mallard now regularly seen morning and evening on the main pond and signs of others elsewhere. Not seeing the female pheasants in the night photos now (only the male) - perhaps they are on nests somewhere.
Incredible numbers of Great Tits and Blue tits visiting the feeders and inspecting the nest boxes.
A new page of Pheasants & Partridges has been added - click the thumbnail at the right

21 Feb 2005:
First sighting of Teal ducks - a pair at 21:40 by torchlight in the main pond. Didn't particularly react to the light but not possible to photograph.

22 Feb 2005:
First ever sighting here of a Polecat (in Winter Coat).
For a larger image and description click the thumbnail at the right.

11 Mar 2005:
Spring has leapt into action in the last week as a period of snow and ice has ended
First sightings this year of a Heron presumably looking for frogs (even if we haven't spotted any yet).
First sighting this year of a Sparrowhawk.
First sighting this spring of Fieldfares who have been absent since mopping up the last years orchard windfalls.
First ever 'hearing' of a Woodcock 05:30 on 7 Mar. Call is a 1 to 1.5 second churring in 4 slightly rising steps while out in the dark changing the night photo camera cards

16 Mar 2005:
First frog of the year 'seen' in a photo taken automatically overnight

17 Mar 2005:
First Frogspawn in W edge of Round pond.
First Bees seen (on Blackthorn)

18 Mar 2005:
First Ladybird seen this season (7 Spot).
Hundreds of bees on Blackthorn flowers after several years of very few. Mix of honey and a few Bumble bees
Dozens of frogs are adding to the clumps of spawn.
Pair of Long tailed tits spotted after months of absence.
Muntjac deer startled out of long grass mid-afternoon.

27Mar 2005:
A Pair of Carrion Crows are building a nest in a long ago transplanted Cypresses that is now about 10m tall. Whether the chosen branch is sturdy enough remains to be seen.
Rooks seen mating in the next field along (but not nesting here).

31 Mar 2005:
Ladybirds mating in the sunshine a day or two ago
Carrion Crow nest now being lined with moss. No pictures - we have had a cloud sitting on us for 2 days!
The Polecat (22 Feb) is confirmed as a Polecat in Winter Coat.

10 April 2005:
1 Swallow seen fleetingly after the first full grass cut of the year.

12 April 2005:
Muntac deer and very young fawn seen on CCTV cam crossing the farm track. No new photos but here is previous portrait (with an older fawn) that you can click for the relevant page.
Several young tree sparrows seen as a family group on the easy access peanut feeder (accessible from the flat surface).

18 April 2005
The Carrion crow nest has been waving in the wind but is still there and the birds are sitting. The bird is almost hidden on the nest, so here is an image at the feeding site they are using.

20/21 April 2005
The moorhen's nest was destroyed overnight most likely by a fox seen that night. The birds are both very listless.

25 April 2005
A Muntjac deer seen in the garden with a young fawn. A daylight picture of this added to the appropriate page - click the thumbnail to view.
The moorhen pair are now back courting and prospecting new nest sites.
The Carrion crow nest is being incubated continuously with the birds changing over a few times a day.
3 swallows seen (yesterday) for a few minutes perching on the overhead wires.

25 April 2005
Heron seen in back garden pond after months of absence. (since then seen almost daily).

1 May 2005
Carrion crows are feeding at least 2 chicks (see Image of the day for 3 May 2005)
1st Cuckoo heard morning & evening (not located)
Muntac fawn seen about on its own during the day. On one occasion walked up path toward us to about 20m before disappearing into a hedge.
More Swallows on wires and fleeting flybys, but no Swifts yet.
4 moorhen seen skirmishing midway between the two largest pond (see image of day for earlier event). The pair near the house are building numerous 'platforms' but haven't decided yet. We may end up with nests on two ponds for the first time

2 May 2005
Young magpie being fed in birch treetop

8 May 2005
Swift thumbnailFirst Swifts Seen. Click the image (from last year) for Flycatchers

15 May 2005
Carrion crows are still feeding at least 2 chicks (was at one time 3 but we haven't seen a third in the last couple of days). Just after dawn they are fed every few minutes
Cuckoo heard yesterday - still no sightings.
Muntjac fawn (mostly seen now in overnight photos rather than during the day) spots are starting to fade (see Image of the Day for 16 May 2005).
Tree sparrows appear to be incubating eggs in a Great tit box on the main ponds island. (see Image of the Day for 6 May 2005 for image of nest building).
The Moorhen on the main pond have constructed a well hidden nest and are incubating. Fingers crossed.

21 May 2005
Tree Sparrows occasionally taking nesting material into Great tit nestbox on main pond island.
2 Carrion Crow chicks have reached jackdaw size.
Moorhen are still incubating.
First sighting of Pebble Hook-tip moth. Species List updated. For image see the Image of the day archive for 26 May 2005

22 May 2005
First oxeye daisy flower seen. Carrion crow chick exercising wings on edge of nest.

25 May 2005
Small Morsels being delivered to the moorhen nest but it is so well concealed we can't see the chick(s).

27 May 2005
6 moorhen chicks being fed on the water by both parents, 4 with one, 2 with the other.

29 May 2005
Carrion Crow 'chicks' are near the size of the parents are spending their time on the edge of the nest and the support branch.
6 Moorhen chicks still being fed.
Young jackdaws seem to be everywhere. While digging the vegetable plot they follow you along picking up leather jackets from the freshly turned soil.

31 May 2005
One Carrion crow left the nest about 0800 but was back in it after about 2Hr.
Magpie made aerial swoop on moorhen chick on its own on grass. Parent came rushing to see it's defense. In the afternoon Jackdaw on a bird table with small killed creature (counts indicate not a moorhen).

2 June 2005
Frog spotted in IR beam photo - not seen any since spawning.
Carrion crow nest now permanently abandoned.

5 June 2005
Regular sightings/hearings of a 'Garden Warbler' defending territory in the corner where we used to see/hear skylarks.
Heard some frogs near the duck shaped pond on recording of the Garden Warbler, but couldn't find any when we returned.
2 young carrion crows photographed themselves several times at the distant feeding station. (May be visiting nearer the house, but the camera is on its way back to Canon for repair.)

12-14 June 2005
For the first time we have two moorhen families at once. 1 pair of Moorhen parents on main pond have 4 chicks (3 with one parent and 1 with the other) while another pair using round and back garden ponds have 3 (2+1). We have found the disused nest at the round pond while the pair at the main pond have 'refurbished' their old nest as a brooding platform.
The 2 young carrion crows are regularly seen and occasionally perch together at the top of the old nesting tree.
What we assume is the Muntjac deer fawn photographed itself in immaculate condition around midnight 13-14.

17 Jun 2005
While mowing spotted young jackdaw trapped on the ground with leg tangled in shredded agricultural matting. Parent frantically making alarm calls. Cut it free without apparent ill effect.

18 July 2005
Mallard ducks seen on Main pond after months of absence (moulting)

22 Jul 2005
Number of swifts (high) and swallows seen about 14:00
Adult male swallows have the tail streamers.

23 July 2005
First sighting here of a Small Copper Butterfly - a pair over the meadow. Click the image for the butterfly pages
First sighting of Common Footman Moth on a privet flower.
Ringlet Butterfly seen again after a few years absence.

24-25 July 2005
2 adult moorhen seen on overnight image on the same night as a fox can be bad sign for a nesting pair. But they seem to be taking turns on the out-of-site nest next day so hope all is well.

2 Aug 2005
Geese skeins flying over for first time for years.

5 Aug 2005
Rosebay Willow Herb founf growing unexpectedly amongst buddleias (after year of trying to grow it elsewhere). This bit of land was polluted by agricultural chemicals in 1990.

08 Aug 2005
About 40 gliders (people in engineless planes) flew South to North over 30mins stopping off for thermals in groups of about 10.
Some swallows seen.

10 Aug 2005
About 100 swallows on the wires & gutters some feeding young on wires and on the wing. Got through 550 frames (1GB) in 45 minutes!

16 Aug 2005
Young pheasant seen coming through gate. Possibly bred in one of the intentionally overgrown parts of our patch.

20 Aug 2005
About 100 swallows again but this time over our plot for hours - magic.
Fieldmouse seen in overnight photo kit 2 - the first for ages.

21 Aug 2005
Several Brown Long-eared bats flying around the front of the house just before dawn. Click the image for Bat Sounds and Images.
About 100 swallows over our plot from 0900 to 1730.

30 Aug 2005
Several Brown Long-eared bats again around the front of the house just before dawn - some sound recording made (much softer than other species). Will review the bats pages over the Winter.

18 Sep 2005
Records of last sightings of flycatchers are useful. Here are ours:-
        Swallows 8 Sep 2005 (7 off)
        Swifts 23 Aug 2005 (1 off)
        House Martins (n/a - only handful of sightings all summer)

04 Nov 2005
A Redwing identified in one of the automatic photo kit frames - first positively identified for some years.

15 Nov 2005
Pair of Muntjac deer seen sticking together in various sightings. Female seen regularly after dark at secluded feeding station.

Logs from Previous years