Wildlife Wednesday – Water: The Great Attractor

Apologies, I know that it’s Thursday, but you know how things get. Regardless, I wanted to quickly link up with Tina for her monthly Wildlife meme, to share some of the babies and new creatures I’ve seen in the garden over the last month.

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This baby crow was on the path next to our house. It is fresh out of the nest by the looks of it. I didn’t see a parent and I don’t know what happened to it.

The best place to look for wildlife in this hot, dry weather is where there is water, be that a dish, a birdbath, a fountain, a rill, waterfall or pond.

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We have two ponds and both are unfortunately growing blanket weed at an incredible rate. We pull it out regularly, but always leave it at the edge of the pond for a day so that sludge-based wildlife can crawl out of the mess and back into the pool. Last week the weed seemed to be full of wriggling dragonfly nymphs and this week they are stepping back out of the pond by themselves and also out of their ugly grey skins …

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A dragonfly exuvia. The white stringy bits mark the hole through which the dragonfly emerged. Check out this article to see how a dedicated enthusiast captured this transformation.

They have turned into beautiful, metallic-painted winged creatures. Here are some of the newly emerged ‘dragons’ we’ve spotted:

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 A four-spotted Chaser, Libellula quadrimaculata, alert for easy prey

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 A Large Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma nymphula, filling out its new wings

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Female Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula depressa. (The male has a powder blue body and while I’ve seen them patrolling over our pond, I’ve not caught one on camera)

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Male (marked by the black spot on its wings) Banded Demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens

Meanwhile, the stone bubble fountain is attracting an ever increasing range of birds, including crows, rooks, magpies, woodpeckers and this rather glorious sparrowhawk:

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Sparrowhawk taking a drink at the bubble fountain

And our newly resident blackcap (he definitely overwintered here this year):

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Blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla, on the drilled stone bubble fountain

Plus various common garden birds. These young long-tailed tits seem to linger and play around the fountain for hours.

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Baby long-tailed tits enjoying the bubbles

Most don’t seem to mind sharing the resource, but size matters!

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Song thrush bathing, watched by a patient blue tit

Goldcrests have recently reappeared in the garden after an absence of half a year or so. They are very shy and mostly wait until other birds have gone before approaching the fountain. They don’t stay long, but come back several times during a washing ‘session’.

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Goldcrest, Regulus regulus

I’ve finally managed to take a decent photo of our other shy visitor: A lovely little wren, Troglodytes troglodytes. I’ve just read that it is the most common UK breeding bird with 8,600,000 territories. That seems amazing to me. I would never have guessed!

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Wren bathing in the waterfall.

I am also happy to say that a couple of days ago I saw a newt in the smaller pond on the patio. I will keep watch for it again so that I can try to get a picture for next month.

Meanwhile, happy wildlife spotting!

 

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About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in birds, The home garden, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Wildlife Wednesday – Water: The Great Attractor

  1. Tina says:

    What a marvelous array of wildlife at your pond! Your title to this post says it all: the great attractor. Your big-to-small captures of of this wide variety of critters really is a confirmation of how important water is–to our gardens and everything else! Lovely post–thanks for joining in!

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Critters complete a garden and it is nice to see the residents in your garden. Those bathing baby long-tailed tits are so adorable!

  3. Lindy Le Coq says:

    Wow, Susan! What incredible shots of the dragonflies – most so different from the ones I see “in my neck of the woods,” yet some are the same. And the birds in your bubblers and waterfalls – such a delight! Thank you – whether its Wednesday, Thursday of any Wild day of the week!

  4. Chloris says:

    What a fabulous post and wonderful photos. I really enjoyed it. I agree that a pond is essentual for wildlife. I enjoy all the birds ours brings in too.

  5. shoreacres says:

    Even on my urban balcony, my bird bath draws a number of species: to drink, to bathe, and to just hang out. Every now and then, one of my pigeons will plop down in the middle of the bird bath — probably to cool off — and the sparrows will line up along the railing to watch. Eventually, the pigeon leaves, and the sparrows have their turn. It’s great fun to watch — I can only imagine how enjoyable it is for you to have so many species enjoying themselves in your place.

  6. Sue says:

    Lovely photos. Water always brings in wildlife which makes it perfect for us to watch them. 🙂

  7. A great post and awesome photos. It is great to see the variety of birds from other countries. Our Wrens are completely different. I only have a few Dragonflies here but there were A LOT when I was living in Mississippi. I didn’t realize they came in so many colors. I have never heard of a Chaser until now. Thanks for sharing this post. I will have to visit more often!

  8. Wonderful photos!! I would love to instal a small water feature, do you have any photos of your own feature that might inspire me? Many thanks!

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