Tag Archives: wildlife

Duckwatching

Friday 13th November 2020, 3.25pm (day 3,368)

Ducks, 13/11/20

As government policy and public fear continue to ravage our lives and economies, I speculate as to what kind of future awaits, and ahead there’s an old-man version of me that just wanders through our empty town each afternoon to spend time watching the ducks. They are peaceful, good-looking creatures, they clearly have some basic society, with obvious couples, occasional spats and arguments, and an ability to understand and make use of the dynamics of water flow for their own personal edification. This duck seems proud of her own drake and watches the other two parade past in much the same way as might a haughty woman sat outside a café. To my eyes, anyway. There is little else to look at right now.

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Maris the heron

Thursday 5th November 2020, 12.50pm (day 3,360)

Maris the heron, 5/11/20

Let us ignore the rest of the world and indulge in some Hebden heron-spotting. I have no idea how long these creatures live, but I would expect a few years at least would be normal for a bird that size, and so I think this is the same bird as pictured on 8/5/17. The particularly sharp neck markings are one clue, but to be honest, the main one is those slightly comical knock-knees. Both photos show this. This is not the rather more butch-looking, and generally bigger, one that I had christened Humph (see 25/5/16, 23/1/17 for example).

So this one needs a name of its own. And I’m going to call it “Maris Crane”. You’ve seen Frasier, right?

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The robin goes incognito

Monday 14th September 2020, 10.15am (day 3,308)

Incognito robin, 14/9/20

“You can’t see me. You only think you see me. Look, I’m camouflaged, and then there’s this strategically placed twig.”

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Monarch of the fern

Friday 10th July 2020, 5.25pm (day 3,242)

Peacock butterfly, 10/7/20

When the sun shines, we all deserve to perch on a fern somewhere and stretch out at 5.25pm on a Friday evening. Lockdown or no, it’s been a busy week. And butterflies have a lot still to do.

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Grasshopper

Tuesday 2nd June 2020, 4.50pm (day 3,204)

Grasshopper, 2/6/20

I credit Clare as ‘spotter’ on this one. While on the allotment this afternoon she drew my attention to this insect and said, “Try getting a photo of this one.” And so I did. And thank you my love — I rather like the result. This grasshopper has a sense of nobility I think.

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Out on a morning forage

Friday 29th May 2020, 8.20am (day 3,200)

Squirrel, 29/5/20

It’s a bit out of focus but this was taken with a very long zoom and squirrels move damn fast, particularly up trees. The light’s good, though. This is the earliest shot in a day for three months, which isn’t saying much, but that’s life under house arrest for you.

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The magpie exercises

Wednesday 20th May 2020, 9.00am (day 3,191)

One leg magpie, 20/5/20

“And stretch that right leg… hold it…. hold it…. feel those calves working!… and rest.”

A shame the bird’s body is a bit grainy but this was done on a very long zoom. And on a beautiful morning, as you can see. The blog’s third magpie, according to my over-detailed files.

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First caterpillar to complete the Pennine Way?

Monday 4th May 2020, 1.05pm (day 3,175)

Caterpillar on Pennine Way, 4/5/20

Well, OK, perhaps it is ambitious to expect that this caterpillar will manage to complete all 300+ miles of the Pennine Way, but if you’ve never been near it, it’s done more of it than you. And it also becomes the blog’s first caterpillar, a singular honour.

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Eyes of the peacock

Thursday 23rd April 2020, 3.40pm (day 3,164)

Peacock butterfly, 23/4/20

Peacock butterfly, that is. This specimen positively batted its eyes at me, clearly it wanted its close-ups doing; but then again, with a pair of eyes like that, who wouldn’t. It seems to be a good spring for butterflies, there are plenty of them about. Maybe it’s because we humans aren’t disturbing them so much this year, but more likely is just that it’s been warm and sunny.

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Nuthatch

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 10.45am (day 3,142)

Nuthatch, 1/4/20

It can’t honestly be said that April 2020 promises much variety. Not as things stand. Forgive me then that this shot repeats the theme of two days ago, but local birdlife is at least photogenic and active at the moment. I marvel at the ability of this tiny creature to happily cling to a fully vertical surface using only its feet: something we humans have yet to master.

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