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Garden wildlife

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Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Thu May 08, 2014 9:12 am

We had a good weekend with some interesting wildlife in our garden so I thought I would share a few photos  cheers 

Ptolemy - our one remaining Red legged Partridge, having a good scratch


A pair of Mandarin ducks who we are hoping will have some ducklings soon.  They are extremely flighty and fly back to the river if they spot us.  The male is incredibly brave towards the male Mallards who are much bigger and when they are all feeding from the bird food I put out they he always see them off


Tawny owl in the apple tree


2 days running this Tawny owl was around, it has a bad left eye but was successfully hunting voles!


Fur ball - or young Tawny owl


The yew tree is good cover  Very Happy 


Okay I know you are there so I shall stay very still and pretend to be asleep


I'm still trying to get better photos of the Mandarin ducks but I do have some good trail cam clips I will share later.

Lai  Very Happy 

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Safariman on Thu May 08, 2014 2:22 pm

If you have lost the mallards then at least you have plenty of other wildlife to keep you occupied. Are the Mandarin ducks wild or escapees as they are not native to the U.K.!!! A pair have occasionally visited the pond but never stayed long. Lets hope they breed and you get some chicks. Interesting to see the photos of the owl as I never get to see them where I am.

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  whitestarling on Thu May 08, 2014 5:31 pm

That looks like you had a great weekend Lai, glad Ptolemy is still going strong. Great shots of the Owl, and especially your young Tawny Owl ones great to see them in the day time. I've never see Mandarin Ducks before, perhaps because as Safariman said because they are not a native species, it would be great if they had Ducklings, and you managed to get some photos of them.
I forgot to put on the site that our Swallows are back first saw them on Saturday when we got back from Dog sitting, so I don't know how long they have been back

WS

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  littlewid on Thu May 08, 2014 9:36 pm

Those are really great Lai and it's lovely to see Ptolemy again and looking so well, its a wonderful picture of her. How wonderful to have Mandarin Ducks, isn't he a stunner and I too hope they have some chicks and hang around long enough for you to get some photo's of them, that would be brilliant.
So excited to the Tawny Owl, such a beauty, it's a shame about it's eye but at least it is able to hunt successfully and good job too with a little one to care for, what an adorable fluff ball that is. I am so envious of you having them in your garden but pleased for you at the same time.
It really does look as though you have had a fantastic weekend with lots of gorgeous visitors.......fingers crossed they all stay around so we get to see more of them.

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Fri May 09, 2014 8:42 am

Thanks everyone.  The Mandarins are a mystery as they are obviously not native so must have done a runner from somewhere.  Last year we spotted a male on the river but never saw his mate or got close to him.  This year they both appeared on the river and then must have spotted all the other ducks flying in to the garden and the pond and so gradually they have got braver and braver.  As long as you stay still you can watch them, but move an inch and they fly off!  This morning I kept the blinds down and watched them come right outside the window where I leave some feed.  If only I had had my camera out  Rolling Eyes

 http://i70.servimg.c  WS I am seriously envious of you having Swallows, we don't and they are birds I really love.  No pressure for some photos WS   

I'm hoping to get my camera out on Sunday to see who's around.

I just found this on Mandarin ducks

These are monogamous ducks that choose mates through the males’ elaborate courtship rituals that include fighting, preening, head dips and flashing the unique sail feathers at females. While they do not typically mate for life, a mated pair may remain together for several years while renewing their bond annually. As a cavity-nesting species, they prefer vacant woodpecker nest sites or natural tree cavities 20-25 feet above the ground, and the nest is often lined with wood chips, down or grasses.

The female incubates a brood of 8-12 buff-white eggs for 28-30 days, and the precocial young are ready to leave the nest shortly after hatching. After the mother and ducklings leave the nest, they rejoin the father and both parents care for the young for 50-60 days. While the male may fight off intruders or other threats, the female will use distraction displays feigning injury to lead potential predators away from her ducklings


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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  whitestarling on Fri May 09, 2014 12:26 pm

I will do my best on some swallow pics Lai, but they are so fast it's difficult to get a good shot, need lots of light so I can use as fast a speed as possible. At least the male Mandarins should have no competition for his bride, and they should find some really good nesting sites in your woods
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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Fri May 09, 2014 12:31 pm

Thanks  WS and I know they are hard to get, but if you do .................................  http://i73.servimg.c        

Will keep you posted on our pair of Mandarins.

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  littlewid on Sat May 10, 2014 5:22 pm

Thank you for the info on the Mandarins Lai. Lets hope they mate and you may get some chicks on your pond as well, wouldn't that be something! Isn't it incredible what mother ducks will do to protect their young and very clever too.......and who says birds are stupid...they are very clever.

Looking forward to hopefully more pics from your garden Lai.

Also keeping my fingers crossed that you manage to get some pictures of your Swallows WS. Was it your Swallows you managed to get a video of once?

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Sun May 11, 2014 11:22 am

Update on the Mandarins - they are back on the river and sadly I had the dogs with me but saw Mr Mandarin leading about 8 tiny weeny ducklings to safety whilst Mrs M flew off in the other direction. I called the dogs back quickly and for once they came so all ended well thankfully. Mr and Mrs M came to our pond that evening leaving the duckling safely hidden on the river. We're a bit worried as the river is so high just now but will take a dog free walk later to see what we can see.

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Wed May 14, 2014 3:59 pm

First thing this morning the Greylag geese were back at our pond.  Only 2 today, after 4 yesterday.  Here's a couple of early morning shots taken from the house.







Who knows where they came from or where they go to but it's fun to see them briefly, and you surely know they are around with all that honking when they land and take off  Laughing 
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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Doogs on Fri May 16, 2014 1:49 pm

Sorry Lai been missing this thread so glad to have finally caught up with and your wonderful pictures, you really do have some amazing wildlife on your doorstep, you are very lucky.   The Red Legged Partridge's are beautiful birds and how wonderful to have a Tawny  Owl  and a chick  Cool  Those Mandarins are stunning, they must know you have good gardens Lai  Wink  The chicks must be adorable  I love you 

Your geese shots in that surroundings are amazing, well captured - very picturesque  cheers 
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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Wed May 28, 2014 8:04 am

Thanks  Doogs, there's always someone around in our garden  Laughing 

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Doogs on Thu May 29, 2014 11:29 pm

There certainly is Lai and with great variety as well  Very Happy Cool 
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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:10 am

No photos as yet but really good news, one of the female Mallards has 11 ducklings which look about 3 days old. They all came out onto the grass by the bird feeders last night. Happily the herons, buzzards, crows and jackdaws were all busy so fingers crossed they all stay safe and we get to see them again with a camera in hand  Very Happy 

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  whitestarling on Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:13 am

http://i73.servimg.c Lets hope all those predators stay bust somewhere else Lai it would be lovely if they made it through, but a tuff job for mum. Hope you manage to get some pics

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Doogs on Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:40 pm

http://i70.servimg.c great news Lai -   to mum & her little ones  Duck 
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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  littlewid on Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:18 pm

I missed your pictures of the Greylag Geese earlier Lai, they are lovely looking birds aren't they, they look quite sleek.

What brilliant news about the 11 Ducklings  bounce  hopefully all the predators will stay away and mum can rear all 11 of them and no reason as to why not as safarimans mum did with 13 of them, so heres hoping all goes well and the updates are good news ones and fingers crossed you will be able to get some pictures of them all   

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:26 am

Sad  Only 9 as of yesterday afternoon but still 9 this morning, they are such funny little things and one or two are very independent and are all over the place until mum calls them to order. Fingers crossed for the 9 remaining, Pete and I are endlessly shooing away the crows, jays and jackdaws, thankfully no herons or buzzards around just now.

Sorry no pics, just no time at the moment  What a Face 

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  whitestarling on Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:23 am

Thanks for the update Lai, don't worry about the pics we know your busy, and appreciate the time you spend letting us know whats going on.  What a Face 9 left, and those other independent ones are asking for trouble going off on their own. You, and Pete can only do so much shooing, but I'm sure Mum Duck appreciates you doing it. Fingers X for the remaining 9

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Doogs on Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:48 pm

Oh no but still great there is 9 left, it's so hard for mum to bring up all of these with no mishaps. Awww bless you and Pete trying your best to look after them, good on you  Like a Star @ heaven 
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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:30 am

Thanks  Still 9 this morning and a hub of activity with all the male Mallards as well, sometimes it's like Piccadilly Circus around the bird feeders  Laughing 

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Doogs on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:41 pm

 http://i70.servimg.c http://i70.servimg.c http://i70.servimg.c http://i70.servimg.c http://i70.servimg.c http://i70.servimg.c Good news Lai
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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:26 pm

And now finally some pheasant chicks, not sure how many it looked like 6 or 7 but they vanished into the long grass.

   and let's hope they survive.

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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Doogs on Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:29 pm

More good news Lai  cheers 
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Re: Garden wildlife

Post  Laikipia on Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:36 am

I Agree  Doogs and another 8 pheasant chicks, not sure for how long though   

The 8 ducklings are all looking good and growing fast   

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