Monday, 31 August 2009

Back to the wild side…

… and not before time :-) Throughout the school hols my video camera has been rolling capturing a variety of wildlife. I’ve been snap happy too. Scottish Schools are back now so it’s time to hand in some homework! I think we’ll have Maths first…

Sun +4+2+2+2= 10 = pure delight! Ah… perhaps this isn’t a familiar equation but this isn’t a familiar sight in my garden either. Buddleja is a new addition to my front garden (just a couple of years ago) and it definitely gets full marks for performance!


Bees are always visiting it and now increasing numbers of butterflies are too. I'm now even considering doing a butterfly count! Yes, it will be modest... but fun :-)

So far, at the same time, we’ve seen four Painted Ladies… I’m hoping this number will increase yet! Two Small Tortoiseshells, two Red Admirals and two Large Whites make up this modest but record list for butterflies spotted in my small front garden.




Sun kissed gravel and stones are also a very popular spot for the butterflies there. I don’t know, but the colouring of some of the Painted Ladies is looking a bit richer than usual to me.

What do you think? Oh… and you can see seedlings of Euphorbia coming through the gravel too… I’d guess and considerable larger count there!


Moving on to Environmental Studies next… the plastic plant pot can be seen with the Painted Lady above. Oh wait a minute… this Homework isn’t due until the 1st September. I’ll have it ready for then. Mm… and I might not be alone with this homework :-D


English next.… a visual interpretation of the challenge that simple everyday steps can be for some during any one day…





Biology… observations in bird behaviour in the garden over the summer. Homework incomplete due the lush foliage in back garden causing problems with visibility.

A juvenile Robin has been seen but photos are not yet available. House sparrows have increased in numbers quite significantly in the last week. Fat balls are particularly popular.

Science… look to the skies. Successful viewing of the Perseid meteor shower on the 13th of August. No photos or videos unfortunately. First ever sighting from the garden… amazing! Surprised at the speed the meteors travelled.


Finally, Creative Arts… a short film. Subjects include family life, the underground and patience. Entertainment value required.




Subject chosen… just had to be from a swallow’s next in the subway to/from RSPB Reserve Vane Farm. The chicks patiently waited… as I have to post this footage :-)

We walked under the nest not knowing they were sitting quietly above us just under the domed roof. We never spotted the tiny frogs either on our way out either.

Walking down the steps on our return we spotted a little movement on the ground... then the tiny frogs. Quietly watching two frogs we were startled by the noise of chicks being fed! Had we not stopped to watch the frogs we would never have seen the young swallow chicks!

What a delight to see. That’s also the delight of watching out for wildlife… you just never know what’s around the next corner… or under the next roof :-D


Apologies, late homework! Forgot about Craft & Design...


Hedgehog house with camera has not shown significant disturbance on floor to suggest any enquiries. Re-think considered on location.

House moved for third time... someone one popped by the first night! Now awaiting a return visit. Tasty bites near by to encourage further enquiries include some dried mealworms. Fingers crossed :-)

Photos above were taken in my garden with the exception of the frog poster. The videos above were taken at RSPB Vane Farm.

8 comments:

Midmarsh John said...

You definitely deserve an A+ for your homework Shirl.

Poor little froglet has a veritable mountain to climb. Brilliant video of the Swallow chicks.

No takers on my hog nest yet. Like you I was wondering if it needed to be in a different position. Great to see you have a camera installed.

shirl said...

Hi again John, thank-you for your very generous grade :-D

Yes, that little froglet did struggle and once I heard the feeding going on just along from it... I didn’t follow its struggle with my video camera quite so closely. Once again I was transfixed by the swallows and such a close encounter with chicks in the nest :-D

Yes, I’ve had a camera in this House since it went out into the garden and have been monitoring it by taking still shots every few days and comparing the patterns on the floor. Another spot the difference game! Had one curious sighting… a dead mouse lying on its side. Don’t know what happened there.

Good luck with any visitors to your house. Hopefully when it gets colder between us we’ll see some visitors :-D

Midmarsh John said...

Hi again Shirl. I've been doing the same thing with still snaps of the inside of the hedgehog house looking for any changes.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Fingers are crossed. Hope the hedgehogs find the house to their liking. You get an A+ for your homework.

Liz said...

Lovely photos, so nice to see you still have Buddleija in bloom, and still have the Butterflies visiting :)

I do hope you get Hodgieheggies using your house soon!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Is it Back to school time already? You are well prepared!

ShySongbird said...

A very imaginative post Shirl and lovely photos. Nice to see the butterflies, my Buddleia has long since finished flowering! It is amazing how tiny those froglets are, the one I encountered on one of my previous posts was so small I really thought it was a (small!) spider at first!

shirl said...

Hi again John, Lisa, Liz, Tatyana and Jan :-D

John – Yep… it’s the only way to monitor this for the moment isn’t it. Just had a look in my box tonight (7.15pm) and it looks pretty certain a hog has been in! I’ve left little trails of crushed peanuts and sultanas around the area but two nights ago (in the rain) I tried mealworms as you do. I am guessing they got a passing hogs attention! I’ll add more tonight and have the camera on live to watch inside. Too much excitement for one day!!

Lisa – Thanks, it’s warm yet and there are plenty of slugs etc around here in the damp evenings so it could be a while yet before one looks for a winter home… fingers crossed! I’m doing my best to bribe them in :-D

Liz – Thanks, gosh… in just a few days my buddleja has lost a lot of flowers :-( Not so many butterflies now… the bees are still around though :-) Oh… I’m quite excited tonight (must keep it together!) as just discovered it is very clear a hog has been inside over the last couple of nights. A trail of mealworms will go out in an hour or so and I’ll be watching live tonight as I potter around my plant pot posting :-D

Tatyana – Yep… two weeks back already! Sadly, I’m not keeping up with my homework here on comments and visiting blogs… must try harder :-D

Jan – Thank-you, I do love to play around with postings every now and again :-) Ah… since this posting my buddleja is going past and butterfly numbers are dropping. Ah yes… I spotted your froglet posting and smiled knowing I had seen one around the same time :-D Sorry I haven’t been by your blog in a while. Thanks for visiting. Hot news... my daughter passed her driving test today!! Whoopee :-D :-D