June 2019 Page 2
The duck family once again returned to the garden (2nd), where they spent several hours during the afternoon and thankfully there were still 7 ducklings!
New bird from the garden......
The Mallard duck family were not seen at all today (3rd) I can only hypothesise why that is.
Over the past few days, Bumblebees have far more frequent visitors to the garden and there is a constant ‘hum’ throughout the day, amplified when entering the Foxglove flowers! White-tailed, Buff-tailed, Carder, Early and Red-tailed Bumblebees were seen. A Holly Blue was also present as was a female Helophilus hybridus Hoverfly.
Both a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk were seen soaring in the sky and in the late afternoon, a new species from the garden was a Red-legged Partridge feeding on grass seeds on the grassed area at the rear of the garden.
Disappearance of the ducklings!
The duck Mallard Lucy 2-2 visited the garden on two occasions today (4th) but with no ducklings! I can only speculate what has happened to the ducklings, amid rumours of culling by the parish council and being picked up by someone from a pet shop in the past. Mallard broods are easy prey for many predators and I have seen them gradually go down in number, day by day over many years, but for a whole brood to just vanish possibly suggests a human intervention.
A visit to the two ponds in Martham; pond on the green and one near the fish and chip shop also made a surprising discovery. Where there were 10+ Mallard ducklings the previous day on the fish and chip shop pond there were now none. An unknown duck was seen with 3 ducklings walking past the butchers, but otherwise there were no other ducklings present.
In the evening I contacted two members of Martham Parish Council and was told on both counts there had never been a cull of Mallard at Martham. The second of these council members was the chairman, who I had a very interesting conversation with, in view of being involved with the improvement of the green pond (literally green!) and in recommendations for the housing being built in Martham. More information to follow....
An Orange-vented Mason Bee was seen again in the garden (5th) and it was good to see all four of my regular Mallard in the garden together.
The Hedgehog was seen at 0.25 (6th), several juvenile Blue Tits were heard with one seen outside the garden (7th) and the Hedgehog was seen at 22.33 and again at 22.47 (8th).
Return of the Magnificent 3!
Somewhat of a surprise (12th), when the Mallard duck Lucy 2-2 came into the garden with two ducklings, which she was guarding fervently from the other Mallard duck (Lucy 2) who was also present in the garden.
A council that just doesn.t care?
A Painted Lady was in the garden today (13th), but other untoward things were happening with Great Yarmouth Borough Council deciding to cut the hedgerow, at the back of the property during the nesting season!
An email has been sent to the apparent individual who makes and implements these vegetation cutting routines, after being told by the head of the workforce for cutting that their ‘hands were tied’ and Brambles were a H&S issue and Buddleia was an invasive species. More about this later.......
Lucy 2-2 again brought the two ducklings into the garden (14th), but she also visited the garden twice more during the day, for food, but without the ducklings! Is she leaving the ducklings somewhere, coming to feed and drink in the garden and then flying back to them? The Mallard ecology ‘plot thickens’!
A Painted Lady was once again present, one of a reported ‘invasion’ into the country by this species.
At least 2 Painted Ladies were in the garden (15th), but how many there were is difficult to ascertain.
Singles of both Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell made brief visits to the garden and a female Vestal Cuckoo Bee Bombus vestalis was also present,
A Common Buzzard and later in the afternoon a Sparrowhawk were in the ‘Martham air-space’.
Result of council cutting!
Vestal Cuckoo Bee Small Purple and Gold, still regular Painted Lady
Lucy 2-2 brought her two ducklings into the garden (16th) and Hedgehog sightings occurred at 22.35, 22.48. 23.47 and at 23.52 when there were two hedgehogs present.
The first Hobby of the year was seen flying over (17th) and an Orange-vented Mason Bee, Red Admiral and Painted Lady were in the garden.
The Mallard family were in the garden again, but two further visits by Lucy 2-2 were without the ducklings.