I thought I had been gardening at the weekend.
Ah… wait a minute… I took some photos…
I’ll take a look and be back later with an end of the month review.
When to Watch Wildlife has been a link on my blog for some time now… almost pre blog listings! This is a website from someone clearly passionate about wildlife. Peter has done a fantastic job with his site. I can completely appreciate how much time and dedication it must be to keep current. He has great info, photos and numerous useful links.
When I started blogging I was a bit wary of the whole comments thing and chatting to bloggers. I can’t imagine why now!! However, at that time I enjoyed email exchanges with many enthusiasts… including Peter. So… it is with great pleasure that I’d like to return the favour and welcome Peter into the blogging world.
Peter from When to Watch Wildlife is now blogging at Wildlife Wanderings. In his profile he describes himself as “a wildlife enthusiast with a background as a professional ecologist.” Peter lives in the South West of the UK. His inaugural post, just a few days ago, describes a visit to the wetlands of the Somerset Levels.
Jodi at Bloomingwriter has been encouraging established bloggers in our friendly blogging community to help promote new blogs and support new bloggers as they start out. With only one post under his belt I would like to promote Peter’s new blog… I’d say interesting postings are guaranteed here!
I would agree with Jodi that a great way to support new bloggers is by leaving comments. If nothing else then at least you know someone has read your post. Now… you can probably guess what I’m going to ask now. Yep… it would be great if you could pop over and leave a comment on Peter’s new blog. Sorry, I’ve been there already :-D
Oh… just a quick word to Peter and other new bloggers. If you leave a comment…. they will come ;-)
In order for people to find your new blog it’s a great idea to browse other blogs in the same field as yourself or ones that interest you. Ah… but how do you find them… it’s a big blogging world out there!
My tip would be to follow links from the comments that you find interesting yourself. They will usually take you to the profile of the blogger. From there you can visit the blog and others that this blogger follows too. Then, find a post you like… yep… leave a comment and start the whole process all over. Watch the time of course :-D
I’m sure Peter won’t mind that I add another couple of wildlife updates here. As I've mentioned previusly, other bloggers are seeing hedgehogs out and about now. I've been taking regular photos from inside my hedgehog house. I've had no sightings here yet. However, the image above was taken this morning and shows enough movement inside to suggest a hedgehog was in it last night! Excellent :-)
My last posting told the story of the female Osprey recently returning to her Scottish nest for the 20th time. For those who read this posting early I did update it with a few more facts later. I rushed posting that one.
Looking at the live Osprey webcam this morning and I see there is some news from the nest. All isn’t looking to good at the moment for this elderly female… she really does need her mate to arrive ASAP!!
The latest dairy entry on March 29th reads:
“High drama on the osprey nest over the last 48hrs here at Loch of the Lowes. No, it’s not the arrival of 'our' male unfortunately, but yet another intruder osprey! A second female has been landing on the nest, and looking rather too comfortable on it. She is easy to recognise as she is very large (at least the same size as our female) and very very dark in plumage, with a distinctive black 'cap'.
The resident female has been frantically mantling (standard defensive behaviour) but all her anger seems not to be having much effect on the bold intruder. Do we have a serious rival for the nest? Can our female hold on to her nest without her mate to back her up? Only time will tell."
Oh dear! I decided to give the centre a quick phone call to ask if he has arrived today before posting this. I was told no, not yet and that the second female is continuing to take spells of sitting on the nest. That’s nature I guess and I’ve seen similar with the blue tits in my nestboxes.
I did consider avoiding advertising the weather outside… we’ve snow again! Spring is temporarily cancelled… its cold out there and there is hurried activity at the bird feeders at the moment. I can’t imagine that the snow and winds will be helping the male Osprey find its way back. I just hope he gets back in time. It’s two against one at the minute… shame.
It’s also a shame to think that hedgehogs were out and about last night. The ground was snow covered… cold slushy stuff at that! Before going to bed I looked out the window and did convince myself that I could see a set of footprints in the snow that didn’t belong to a cat. I doubted the hogs were out on such a horrible night. By the image in my hedgehog house they must have been!
The photos above were taken in my garden on March 30th 2010.
Posted by Shirley at 17:40
Just in case anyone missed this one in the news today… the UK’s oldest known breeding female Osprey has just returned to her nest in Scotland for the 20th consecutive year! Isn’t that just brilliant? I’d say well worth republishing some previous blog photos of her from last year in celebration. At an estimated 25 years old, incredibly, she is over three times the average lifespan of an Osprey!!
There is a live cam link for this nest if you'd like to see her. Although, at the moment she won’t be sitting on the nest at all times during the day during the evening you should be able to see her. The camera shows a picture when its dark. After completing a 3,000 mile migration from West Africa she deserves a night in don't you think?
Jack Frost is quaking in his boots… my Brunnera plant that is! For the last few days a female Blackbird has gone away with beakfuls of damp, root like material from around the crown of this plant. I am guessing this is the first layer of her nest. You can see her in the montage below looking like butter wouldn't melt.
You can also see a male Blackbird that was on guard duty when she was visiting too. Yep, it’s getting quite a battlefield out in the garden just now.! Much chasing is going on. It won’t get any quieter anytime soon either. She is getting chased by both females and males but just kept coming back again. This male was one of the ones seen chasing her.
Getting photos of the female with material in her beak has been tricky. I keep missing her. You can see just one strand in the montage above. I set up the camera outside on my tripod and let it record the area where she has been seen. Bingo… got her with a beakful!
Unfortunately, the bird soundtrack in the background wasn’t so lucky. Hardly any was recorded. In this instance, as the video clip is just over a minute, I have added background music. However, the music has been edited with a low volume so you may need to turn your speaker volume up if you want to hear it.
Not quite Canada, but she has space to roam now and the harsh weather this winter has made her feel quite at home! Mercedes, the Edinburgh Zoo polar bear, is now living in the Highlands of Scotland and has been enjoying the snow!
...this month for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day! After uploading my photo selection I see that many other blogs today, showing what’s in flower in the garden on the 15th of the month, have celebrated it too. Even our hostess for this monthly event, Carol, in her garden in Indiana USA has them in flower at the moment.
Edinburgh Botanical Garden saw many families wandering through it yesterday afternoon. We joined them. A blue sky and light winter sunshine brought us all outdoors. The garden was full of chatter from people and its resident birds.
Posted by Shirley at 13:23
Finally, after some deliberation outside our new camera nestbox we have seen the first images of blue tits inside it this week. Their curiosity has satisfied mine too! I have been very interested to see what quality of images we would get from this nestbox showing only black and white images. This nestbox has infra red to allow viewing at all times and both features are what attracted me to it.
The floor area of this Gardman Nestbox is smaller and the camera closer to the floor so I did expect the images of birds to be larger in the space. However, I have been surprised that the difference has been quite so noticeable with my Camnest Nestbox which you can see in the montage below.
The top four images show a visit just ten minutes after the rooster of 4 months in our colour nestbox was seen on a morning visit. By the patterns on the eye band I’d say they were different birds.
That was interesting to see that two birds were inspecting different nestboxes in my garden at almost the same time. You can see the video footage captured below. Note the rooster removes her droppings as she leaves. There is no background music with the videos below so you can hear the birds move about the empty boxes.
Uploading videos to display directly into blog posts is the main reason I began blogging. I have used Google, BlipTV and YouTube to host mine. Generally speaking I’d say the processing quality is definitely improving all the time since I first began over three years ago. I’m sure others would agree.
However, I should stress that uploading your video does not improve its quality in any way. It’s best to be realistic if you fancy trying it. If your video is jumpy or grainy before you upload it then you should expect that to be the case with an upload too and most likely it could be worse.
Perhaps you don’t fancy uploading your own videos but like the idea of adding one to a post for a bit of humour perhaps or to illustrate something. For example, how you might be feeling when you see it snowing… again… and again...