When it’s fine on Christmas Day we often go to Dunraven Castle at Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan to eat pâté and pickle sandwiches in the walled garden – our main meal of roast beef and Brussels sprouts is in the evening. This year the weather was good, with a cold, brisk wind that kept the cloudy sky interesting. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category
Over the years you hear sounds in the garden that tell you it’s a certain season. And sometimes it takes you years to work out what makes these sounds. This was the case with the squeaking of the cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) in summer, which I wrote about here.
Another sound, which I can hear as I write this, is the thin, plaintive, high-pitched squealing/shrieking/wailing of the baby bird season. I have had trouble describing it, but I have seen some people online give it a name – and that name is “Tseeep”. It could also be “Tseeeeep” or even “Tseeeeeeep”, as it is quite drawn out and mournful. (more…)
Whenever we go to the Festival Park shopping centre in Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent, we like to visit the owl sanctuary, which has now been there for 14 years. Although it’s called an “owl” sanctuary, it is home to about 60 different birds of prey, not just owls. Most of these poor creatures were bought as pets or gifts and then the owners decided they didn’t want them or couldn’t look after them properly.
The majority of the birds cannot be released into the wild as they were either bred in captivity or are native to far-off lands. (more…)
I often fail in my attempts to capture an image of a cormorant or its close relative the shag, but this time the bird was very placid as I watched from the opposite side of the river. In fact looking at the picture I think its tail feathers might be broken. So I am guessing it’s either an old injured bird or a young one not quite fledged. Adults have white patches on their throats and thighs during the breeding season, but it’s not the breeding season, so that doesn’t help. (more…)