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Julie's Nature Column - Summer 2016

Jun 17, 2016

At last some much needed warm sunshine has arrived after a bit of a stutter. The warmth seems to produce plenty of insect activity just at the right time when the birds need to feed their chicks.

This makes it a bit difficult for me to get photos because they never stay in one spot long enough or maybe I'm just too slow. I was quick enough to get this Black cap recently though.

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There has been a fox that keeps making an appearance when the land train or army truck drives past. It s usually in the same area so it s quite possible that there are cubs. I seem to be the only person that keeps missing it's appearances, maybe it's camera shy, but I did eventually spot this fox.

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The deer at this time of year seem mostly relaxed, enjoying the new fresh grass, spending a lot of time on the Mead and at the stage where their antlers are starting to regrow. I witnessed some behaviour that I've not seen before, when being dominant over food usually a wave of antlers does the trick, but as they haven't got any at the moment I saw biting take place as a show of dominance.

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For the past few weeks there has been a lot of sightings of Red Legged Partridges. Seems that every corner on the road has a pair of them and they take great delight in being road runners to keep you from driving past.

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I am hoping that our resident swans will breed this year, the nest building started and the female seemed to enjoy sleeping on the nest, but no eggs as yet. Fingers crossed for some cygnets this year as I'm getting withdrawal symptoms. I can only hope.

Julie Matthews

Nature Conservationist - Royal Gunpowder Mills


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