Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stretch Spider and a Dandelion Clock

Frost on the ground first thing this morning but fortunately it soon melted when the Sun got up.

There are lots of these Stretch Spiders which build their webs between the vertical leaves of my pond plants. I tried to get in close while this one was in the middle of its web but every time it made a dash for its hiding spot where it stretched out along the underneath of a leaf but still kept one leg attached to the web, just in case there was food about:

Stretch Spider IMG_7721

As children we used to blow on the seed heads of dandelions, the game was to tell the time by how many goes it took to blow all the seeds away:

Dandelion Clock IMG_7754

Both photos are hand held macro shots.

Great Tit;
The egg count has finished at eight and Mama is spending long periods on the nest with Papa bring a tasty grub to feed her every now and then.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Another One

Mrs Great Tit spent some time yesterday sitting on her eggs so I thought she had finished laying but this morning there are now eight. The pair are going to be kept very busy if they all hatch out.

Great Tit Nest 0014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Now We Are Seven

Snapshot this afternoon when Mrs Great Tit left the nest for a while:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mr Great Tit Feeds Mrs

Mrs GT still spends a lot of time out of the nest. This seems to be normal behaviour until the last egg is laid. She visits occasionally, usually with a bit more nesting material, and turns the eggs. If she keeps adding to the nest she will be banging her head on the ceiling before long.

Today was the first time with this pair I have seen the male bring some food for the female, just before she settled in for the night.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hedgehog Sleep Over

Last night the Hedgehog went in the hedgehog house about 10.30 p.m.:

It spent some time snuffling out the food I had put in there. Eventually it settled down and dozed a few times, leaving about 3 o'clock in the morning.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How Many Eggs?

It is always difficult to spot how many eggs the Great Tit has laid so far. In this video clip at least four can be seen with possibly the faint outline of a fifth:

The Hedgehog visits are erratic at the moment but last night saw a brief visit from one. Although slugs are part of their natural diet it sniffed and then ignored the one creeping across the paving slab. The crushed, unsalted peanuts were obviously tastier:

I have been a bit lax in writing recently. Partly due to abysmal photographic opportunities with thick cloud obscuring the Sun for much of the time. Partly I have been concentrating on a new project. 15 to 20 years ago I used to grow orchids in the bay window of the utility room but the room became a general store and unused for most of the time. The orchids didn't like any other places I tried so I gave up.

I did try building a terrarium for them but at that time lighting was expensive to buy, and run. Recently I have looked in to the possibility of starting again. I found out that some indoor growers use a vivarium as a substitute terrarium. They are reasonably priced so I invested in one. Also modern LED lighting designed for plant growing is much cheaper and uses much less power so I have spent a while gradually gathering all the items I need. So far it is looking good and I will put up some photos in the near future.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Egg Laying Started

Mrs Great Tit has been busy this week. She continued building up the nest and lining it with lots of fur or hair she has found.  A couple of days ago I thought I could see three eggs but it is difficult to tell as they are usually tucked well in the nest but one can be seen at the start of this video clip:

It has been an awful week with most days featuring low cloud and a sea fret making it feel really cold and damp outdoors. Today is the first time the Sun has managed to break through but only for a short while.
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