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dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 39514
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 21 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

the "wet pot tray"/birdbath is about 2C, tweed jumped in, jumped out and then took a leisurely spa and bath for 5 mins

she may be slender with thin red legs, but she showed remarkable cold water immersion skills
if that had been me i would want my chums to drag me out horizontally and to follow normal re warming procedures

she is a sparrow, the others think she is a sparrow, i am reminded of darwin's finches as she is a "different "sparrow who has exploited a niche(she has me trained etc)the others have not

if young tweed is her offspring or even a similar very close relly/phenotype am i seeing how species evolve?
it does seem plausible

i spose can they breed? and do the offspring thrive? is a relevant set of data to look for.

as an individual she has a rather different phenotype to the colony but she is successful, socially with them, in terms of having food and especially in avoiding predators, with that stuff she out performs them on every metric

12 months ago i did not expect her to thrive, now i am wondering if i am watching a Galápagos Islands moment

after we both hid from grin in the same bit of bramble we have had a very close bond
maybe "interfering" with wildlife is of dubious ethics but a bird feeder is just an available niche to them and an amusement to me.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 7175
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 21 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

dpack wrote:
i compared the paw print to the diameter of the grass strands, but it could be weasel

somewhere i have a book of foot size, patterns and trail shapes for uk mammals, i will try and find it

the wide to long ratio of the critter's trail is a good indication for some similar ones

Difficult to see tail marks where it was, just at the road edge on a small patch of otherwise untouched snow.
I will have to keep an eye out for that

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 39514
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 21 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

shape of critter, gait and tail mark (or not see squizzer vs rat) can all be found in the trail it left as well as foot shape and size.

that said size and shape are the primary criteria as to what it was and can often describe what age, gender or condition a beast is in.

gait and trail are useful for deciding what it was doing

sometimes just for fun i track strangers on pavements, once you "get your eye in" tiny clues lead to the shoes, it is easier than most would think, or i follow an old trail to see how long i can keep it

they never know
off road no comment re any species

re the id stuff for critters i spose learning the shapes and "styles"is the thing
your id seems pretty good but where did that weasel go, what was it doing etc? are also fun

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 39514
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 21 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

i just had another thought, the "bits" a critter sheds can be diagnostic, be that ginger fur on the prongs of the wire or the shape of the dinner leftovers

tracking is a huge subject of which i only know a fraction, it is a bit like fossil hunting in that there are techniques and id info to learn but "getting your eye in" is a big factor if trying to follow and make sense of a trail

using all your senses helps, i find foxy stuff by scent as much as by eye, hearing birds is useful with humans that do know to mask their scent, in a building changes of airflow can be informative, etc

what is it, where is it? in real time or as history is a fun game

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12712

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 21 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I think you tend to learn the most likely animals in an area fairly fast, and also where to look for the traces. As you say Dpack, hair on barbed wire or knowing the muddy bits of a track. Use it as often for vehicles and people as animals to see if anyone has been to certain places in the wood.

I was doing some more work clearing the path in the garden yesterday, and the robin came to inspect. I was clearing a mixture of ivy, moss, leaves and soil, so it had good pickings. At one point, I emptied a shovel full of stuff into one end of the wheelbarrow and it was still sitting at the other end. Seemed to accept me as part of the furniture or a good employee for finding bugs to eat.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 39514
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 21 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

grin is up early, 7.15 ish, the locals missed that pass, panic far to late is no response

5 mins on they are still puzzled as to what happened

they were just getting up in just before sunrise light and grin went for low level/high speed strafing run

it used the alleyway as a line, flew under the phone wires but a little above wall ht at about 60 to 70 mph

dead straight, dead level, looking side to side as it went

i only had a second or so to see that but there was a lot going on

a couple of the locals were shouting avian attack but by then it had gone which confused the others

they seemed to decide it was a false alarm rather too quickly

that was awesome flying, perhaps gliding would be a better term as it was not flapping but it was wings open and active
i recon it had to stay in a "tube" about 6ft diameter with a start low and a 30 degree climb after about 50 yards to then swerve or climb

through the railway tunnel, under the pylons and over mountain might be an aircraft version

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12712

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 21 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

They are amazing flyers. I always like to watch kestrels too, as they can keep their heads perfectly still and move their body in the hover. Buzzards are better at gliding than you would expect; we often see them gliding between the tree trunks in the wood.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12712

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 21 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

On Saturday we went out for a walk along the roads and saw a bird of prey on a telegraph pole. Rather tricky to see what it was exactly as it was against the sky, but could have been the peregrine. As husband found a dead pigeon outside on the road yesterday that looked like predator kill, it could well have taken up residence with us again. If it misses, we may well get some contributions towards the pot from it.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 39514
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 21 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

grin is not a tidy diner but is tidier than some

about a 6 foot diameter circle for a pigeon 4 ft for a sparrow

dinner is held to the floor, plucking starts on the breast,eat that, start to pluck more while turning side to side spitting feathers, but dinner is still in the same position, eat more, pluck more, use talons to rip if needs be, eat rest bar the beak, chuck beak into feather ring, clean plate.

a completed meal is a circle of feathers with a beak and maybe a few sarcostains in the middle

wind etc can make a circle not a circle but on a big enough tablecloth they seem to make circles

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12712

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 21 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Saw a really large deer in the wood yesterday. Think it was a roe, but a large buck probably. Also more signs of bird life as it is a bit warmer. The 'yard robin' came begging for crumbs. It seems to have got quite tame and developed a taste for my home made biscuit crumbs.

Went for a walk and found the bluebell leaves are coming up nicely and found a primrose in flower. No sign of early purple orchid leaves yet though.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12712

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 21 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

We were cutting birch again yesterday; last week for it as a few trees are starting to break bud. There was a woodpecker drumming virtually all day, but for some reason it sounded rather high pitched. Later, another started, but at lower pitch and the first one stopped. I assumed that the sound was to do with the tree, but does anyone know whether the pitch is to do with the bird? Or when one got a reply, did they get together?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 39514
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 21 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

as a percussionist i would vote tree variables rather than bird ones

a few inches on the same tree can be a very different sound
every tree is different

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5932
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 21 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

There was a woodpecker at the college I went to that favored a metal lamppost for advertising its territorial claims..... Quite an effective nose maker. Apparently they seek out different trees depending upon whether they're looking for food, or looking to advertise something to each other

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12712

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 21 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I know our woodpeckers sound completely different when feeding. For calling, they make drumming noises, but when feeding they are making individual tapping noises as they tap the tree for insect galleries under the bark. Yes, Slim, I would think they would need fairly sound wood for drumming and rotting or insect damaged wood would be best for feeding.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 7175
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 21 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    


Any ideas? Sorting our pallet stack today and we found this

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