Winter watch is on

Winterwatch is an offshoot of Springwatch which is a programme that started on BBC TV several years ago. The presenters have changed over time, but it gives us a view of the British Isles through the seasons.

Winterwatch is lovely, seeing badgers, falcons, water rats, deer, stoats and seabirds amongst other animals gives you an idea of how they live and survive and in some cases thrive during the winter.

The programme explores wildlife and behaviour over a couple of weeks, sampling their lives and how humans affect them. The series is a wonderful reminder of nature. Some of it is filmed live during the evening programmes and also has videos of other animal activity happening at this time of year.

If you want to know more about the natural history of the British Isles during winter you can watch it in the UK on BBC 2, or the BBC I player, or the Facebook page which is called BBC Springwatch. Or bbc.co.uk/winterwatch

Swanning about

Swan from a couple of years ago, changing from plumage as a cygnet (young Swan) , I guess the brown helps camouflage it. I haven’t been out anywhere for weeks, so I have not seen many birds recently. This photo was taken on a walk round Westport Lake. More worrying is the prevalence of bird flu in the UK which was around in the summer and has been continuing over the last few months. Its frightening that so many birds and animals are being affected by disease. It says something about humans interference with nature that these things are happening. Recent studies have found that the bird flu virus survives in open water for months and that it is able to infect birds that migrate to those lakes and pools, making them ill when they arrive.

I hope this bird has had a good and healthy life. I don’t know how the disease can be prevented.

Where are they now?

Butterflies, summer creatures

Hide in crevices

Overwintering

Blood like antifreeze

Or lay their eggs

Somewhere safe

To form a chrysalis

That will emerge next spring

Or flutter south

To warmer places

Migrating to survive

And moths?

Do they do the same

Flitting to darkened spaces

To wait out the cold?

Mild winters fetch them out early

Cold and hungry

Where can they feed

If plants are dormant

Not in flower

No leaves to eat?

A delicate natural balance

Disrupted

Lakeside

The plants are turning red in places, golds too. The rushes by the lake have dark heads. We are just starting to head into autumn. I took a photo through the glass on the balcony of Westport Lake Cafe. The cafe is a few meters above the lake. It is curved wood like a boat standing on massive metal legs. It is built into a slope because of the way the land falls away. The entrance is at ground level on the side opposite the lake. There is a white curve in the just above and to the right of the middle of the photo. That’s a reflection. Not sure what caused it.

Wet web

Water spray on a garden spider web caught in the sunlight.

I’m happy I got a reasonable photo as I had to use my zoom on the phone because I couldn’t get close enough. The spider was absent, probably taking shelter from a splash of water.

My phone memory is full so might not be posting much for the next few days.. I will try and post when I can.

Humid day

Humid but no rain sadly. The air is sticky with moisture. The storms we have been promised haven’t materialised. We got out and walked round Trentham lake because our neighbours are doing building work and digging up the land next to our garden. This was despite my back hurting as I got in the car. But I think the walk has helped. We managed to get round slowly and the breeze off the lake has helped. It’s still humid but I do feel better.

Speckled Wood butterfly

We just saw this butterfly on the buddlea in our garden. It was feeding on the nectar from the flowers of the bush I think.

It seems appropriate to have a name with wood in it as our garden is very woody now. I guess we will have to try and cut things back a bit because it’s very overgrown, but I’m glad we have made room for nature, and by planting trees we are helping reduce our carbon footprint.