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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

It's savage out there!

As I was wandering around the patch, a couple of days ago, one of the local dog-walkers told me of her horror as she'd seen a Sparrowhawk (probably the same individual that visits my aviary) eating a Blackbird in her back garden, so much so that she pulled the curtains! I tried to offer the alternative opinion - it being a privilege to witness such drama from the comfort of home without the requirement of Sir David Attenborough, or Simon King, fronting a documentary on the T/V. She wasn't entirely convinced by this, but could see where I was coming from - I think?
I was out again this morning, my reward being two more Wheatears, 6+ Chiffchaff and my first Willow Warbler of the Spring. It looked really good for some raptor movement, early on, but clouded over before 11.00 hrs and that put pay to my hopes.
A singing male Willow Warbler in the Plum blossom at the end of Vine Close.
The garden continues to produce sighting which are of interest; my major frustration being that I've usually the wrong lens fitted when I see something avian! A Speckled Wood was my first of 2014 - it enjoying the sunshine in the shelter of the aviary. Spiders have been very conspicuous and rather amusing. A Zebra Spider has taken to hunting around the ivy-clad spars of our decking. They are amazing little creatures with loads of character.
Predator and prey! I wonder if that lady dog-walker would be as repulsed by this sight?
It is going on all around us, the vast majority on a scale that is easily over-looked.
The other spider sighting, of which I am most intrigued, is the large, and rather flat, female which is guarding her nest (?) that has been partially covered with strands of moss; these she must have deliberately carried to the silken construction. I initially assumed that it would be a Garden Spider but, its' markings don't seem to fit the bill so, have absolutely no idea as to the id - for once the Garden Safari website was of no help at all.

This spider is about the size of a 5 pence piece. Her nest being on a post around our decking.
The various bit of debris that cover the web/cocoon must have been placed there deliberately
as some form of camouflage.
 Walnut Orb Weaver - Nuctenea umbratica  (Many thanks to Seth Gibson for supplying the correct id)

1 comment:

  1. Heya Buddy, your spider is the Walnut Orb Weaver (Nuctenea umbratica as it is properly known). One of a handful of spiders I deem far too sinister looking to even attempt picking up. They're known to bite (humans) although only when aggravated. Something akin to a nettle sting in ferocity. Personally they give me the creeps so I leave them well alone! Been masses of Osprey sightings today, so keep your eyes peeled and listen out for the gulls or crows kicking off!!! Take it easy mate, great blogging of late, makes me almost wanna take up pike fishing meself! :)

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