Monday, 28 December 2009

9 -12 April 2004 - Observations in Nature Diary

9th - Good Friday
Fritillaria meleagris at far end of point by the bief [millstream] near the wier.
Three plants.Also on opposite bank of Aigronne about 100 mtrs further on [2 plants visible].
Also 2 plants visible alongside the fence between Richard's etang and our field.
Near the fritillaries on the opposite bank of the Aigronne was a large 'colony' of Purple Toothwort [Lathraea squamaria],
only their purple flowers showing above the soil... wierd plant!

At entry to village, on bank by first houses.... Star of Bethlehem [Dame d'onze heures]
Also disturbed Green Sandpiper who were feeding on gravel bank at side of bief near the house.

Purple Toothwort  ||  Snakeshead Fritillary 
|| Bloody-nose Beetle

12th - Easter Monday
Lesser-Spotted Woodpeckers in the walnut tree by the verger and in the poplars on far side.
Red squirrel carrying baby, running towards us on the back road [le Petit Pressigny / Preuilly]
One of those moments... we stopped, squirrel stopped, stared, thought bubble appeared
"OOO Eck! O oo I oo ow?! is a oo ee ee... own ee em ery o'en!" before turning tail
and belting back down the road and up the bank!
[Translation of thought bubble - ' OOO heck! What do I do now?! It's a two CV... don't see them very often!"]

Muskrat - lives opposite side of bief, just behind the house. Comes out evenings to feed.
The crunching of vegetation echoes back off the barn wall.... sounds strange.
Caught Barn Owl in the beam of the 2,000,000 candle-power torch,
flying across fields opposite the house - it didn't seem perturbed by the light.

14th - Photographed a Bloody-nose Beetle. This large flightless beetle exudes 'blood' from its mouth if disturbed.

Seen round La Forge
Birds seen:

  • Barn Owl
  • Buzzard

  • Turtle-Dove [heard in trees by river]
  • House sparrows
  • Black Redstart
  • Blue Tit
  • Great Tit
  • White Wagtails
  • Moorhens
  • Robin
  • Crows
  • Rooks
  • Greenfinch
  • Song Thrush
  • Chaffinch
  • Swallows
  • House Martins
  • Male Blackcap
  • Goldfinches
  • Stonechat
  • Blackbird
  • Lesser-spotted Woodpecker

  • Green Sandpiper [feeding on gravel bank at side of bief]
  • Grey Heron

  • Muskrat

Other Local sightings- vers Petit Pressigny
  • Indeterminate large falcon
  • Red squirrel carrying baby in mouth. [Along back road to Preuilly, just outside P.P.]
    When it saw us it turned round and ran back down the road, up a bank and into the hedge.

Visit to the Brenne:
At La Gabriere
  • Black-necked Grebes
  • Great White Egret
  • Tufted Duck
  • Pochard
  • Gadwall
  • Shoveller
  • Mallard
  • Coot 

At le Foucault:
  • Hen Harrier [male]
    Black Kite
  • Magpie
  • Snipe

  • Grey Herons - roost at Plume Cane [house on corner of etang - not the farm!]
  • Turtle Doves
  • Collared Doves
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Redstart [le Bouchaut]

  • Marsh Harrier [female - Meziers-en-Brenne]
  • Kestrel
  • Cormorants
  • G-C-Grebes [everywhere]

  • Chocolate-headed Land Gulls [Black-headed gulls]
  • Herring Gull
  • Jay
  • Green Woodpecker [Azay-le-Feron]

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