While in Covid-19 lockdown, I am updating this blog twice a week - on Tuesdays and Fridays...
|Posted on 24 July, 2020 at 17:45||comments (31415)|
A day late again! I need to get back into my routine....
Today's blog is built around something we saw in our garden for the first time: bumblebees mating.
There are 4 stages in the lifecycle of a bumblebee:
1. Queens emerge from hibernation and start a new colony (she has been fertilised the previous year, before hibernation)
2. Workers (females) are produced and start to forage; the colony develops and grows
|Posted on 22 July, 2020 at 2:30||comments (16573)|
Oops - sorry fans; missed my deadline yesterday. Busy making bread then receiving visitors; followed by taking them to Rising Sun CP.
So, a brief Wednesday morning blog. The undoubted highlight of our walk yesterday was seeing fledgling Whitethroats still being attended by their parents. Why are young animals and birds always so cute?
|Posted on 18 July, 2020 at 0:30||comments (3746)|
Yesterday Julia and I went to the beach just north of Newbiggin - hoping it would be fairly empty. It was - except for the normal smattering of dog walkers. And also - a 'cat walker'. So - we are not the only ones who take our cats for walks in a harness. Mind you, ours only get to the garden - not the beach!
Most bird life was out to sea - and zooming by. Gulls, gannets and terns were on show. Gulls I avoid but I did at...Read Full Post »
|Posted on 14 July, 2020 at 8:35||comments (1724)|
On Sunday, 12th July, we had one of our infrequent trips out. We would have preferred to go midweek but the weather was inclement. We opted for Bolam Lake.
On arrival we were a bit dismayed by the number of cars but most of the occupants either seemed to be feeding loaves of white bread to the swans or be grouped around the ice-cream van! So the one-way walking system that is in place and our desire to walk the less popular paths meant that we were able to ...
|Posted on 11 July, 2020 at 0:30||comments (1004)|
Yesterday evening (Thursday 9th July) a knock came on our door. It was neighbour Tracy telling me that a Sparrowhawk was devouring its kill right outside their house! And so it was...
A magnificent female Sparrowhawk was making short work of a juvenile Woodpigeon.
I grabbed my camera and rushed out. Unfortunately I had just been working on the previous blog (about my stroll around Rising Sun CP) and the memory cards were lying on my desk. I s...
|Posted on 10 July, 2020 at 5:45||comments (1859)|
Yesterday I went for a gentle stroll through Wallsend Rising Sun CP. Starting at the Visitor Centre car park I went through to the meadow to the North of the site. This is developing into a lovely area.
The Meadow Cranesbill is a beautiful subtle shade and moves gently in the breeze...
|Posted on 7 July, 2020 at 8:15||comments (1327)|
It's Tuesday - so I should be posting... But the weather has been so cold and windy that I haven't taken a picture of anything for a week! So, I've decided to mix my two websites and show you some art I'm working on.
I have done some 'naive' type paintings of birds using water-soluble oils - basically using them straight out of the tube, impasto. The paintings are meant to give a flat print-like effect without any light and shade.
So here are: Arcti...
|Posted on 3 July, 2020 at 7:35||comments (2880)|
What a miserable week of weather - haven't got beyond the garden - so no birds today. We are back to little things lurking in the vegetation.
Hoverflies are always around and I spotted something different the other day. It is a 'bee mimic' fly - Merodon equestris, also known as the Greater Bulb Fly. It gets its name from the fact that its larvae develop in bulbs - especially daffodils. I had trouble identifying it from my 'Britain's Hovef...
|Posted on 30 June, 2020 at 4:45||comments (3303)|
So - why do birds sing?
A bird's song is only one type of sound birds make, but it is the most recognizable. Birds have very complex vocalizations, often with more than one tone produced simultaneously, thanks to the specialized syrinx (their equivalent of a voice box) that allows them to create independent ...Read Full Post »
|Posted on 26 June, 2020 at 4:05||comments (4976)|
Well loyal fans - I do now believe there is more than one of you - I've got an owling treat for you today. Inspired by our recent local Long-eared Owls, I have been looking back over past owl encounters. I have put up a new photo gallery page of the Wallsend LEOs.
Because Owls are generally active at night, they have a highly developed hearing system. The ears are located at the sides of the head, behind the eyes, and are covered by ...Read Full Post »