Wildlife Garden Diary 2019

May 2019

 

A Stock Dove was seen again (1st), this time just outside the garden fence.  Getting closer!

The Mallard duck nest has 5 eggs visible, but because of the covering up of the eggs with pieces of vegetation, this number is by no means certain.  What also is not certain, is which duck the nest and its contents belong too?

Since moving in here, I have given the ducks names (somewhat tragically some might say and they do!).  I named them after my Rabbits I have visit, so therefore it began with Lucy 2 and Brambles 2.  Since the original ‘pair’ (I use that term loosely!) there has been another ‘pair’, which became Lucy two-two and Brambles two-two (yes I know pathetic anthropomorphic behaviour from someone who should know better)!

However, the subtle differences in plumage particularly of the two ducks have led to a discovery!  I originally saw ‘two-two on the nest and therefore presumed it was her nest and eggs, but then I discovered Luck two on the nest and to confirm that the eggs and nest concerned both ducks, both were in the garden together so it was easy to see, on one particular occasion that two-two was on the nest and Luck two was sitting outside in the garden.  The saga continues.....

The Hedgehog made a visit for food at 22.00 and although he/she is not always seen, the evidence shows that the hedgehog/s is coming regularly for the food, which is put out every night.

 

New species in the garden......

 

After returning home after a day (2nd) ‘out in the field’, I was pleased to see that a Stock Dove was now in the garden and busily feeding on the seed placed on the ground, mainly for the Mallard, whilst they are nesting.

What was quite disconcerting was there was no sign of any of the Mallard ducks and in my absence, had something happened?  Later, Lucy two and Brambles two-two did enter the garden for food, but then left again!

Stock Dove

A day with hail showers (4th) found Lucy two-two the duck Mallard beginning the brooding of the nest and eggs.  Hopefully, the ‘patter of tiny duck feet’ will be the result of breeding.

A Stock Dove was once again in the garden and several species of birds are now coming regularly to the garden to feed and hopefully the supplementary food put out is helping them at a time of increased energy consumption due to breeding.

The Hedgehog was first seen out in daylight at 18.40 with further visits recorded at 20.30, 21.12 and 21.58.

Hedgehog 4th May

Lucy two-two continues to brood (5th) and the brooding, which began 4th May was further confirmed when she left the nest to feed on grain put out and immediately returned to the nest.

An Alderfly was found in the bathroom (6th), but human-vectoring cannot be ruled out as it could well have hitched a ride on my clothing, whilst at Filby the previous day!

During a visit to my next door neighbour during the afternoon, a Hedgehog was seen, foraging amongst the plants.  It had found some Garden Snails concealed under some Bluebell leaves and was consuming them; the crunching noises very audible.

After finishing eating it then headed in the direction of my garden, where it was seen again later at 15.15 after which, it entered the hedgehog box under the Fuchsia.

Later at 17.50 on hearing alarm calls from Lucy two-two I found the Hedgehog just outside the kitchen window consuming duck pellets, put out for Lucy two-two who was very alarmed, with the hedgehog obviously too close to her nest for her liking.  However, after some intervention from me she returned to the nest, even though the hedgehog was still present, although a short time after it walked away and returned to the hedgehog box.

With the increased Hedgehog activity over the past two days, could this possibly mean that the hedgehog is a female with young?

Hedgehog 1 6th May