Guest blog post – Magpies.

Finding people my age who are like minded about wildlife and the outdoors is very rare. However, a few weeks ago I visited a blog by a girl called Emily who is a similar age to me. Her blog is called ‘Nuts about Nature’ and is quite similar to mine. It’s a brilliant blog and I highly recommend everyone follows this link to it – http://nutsaboutnature98.blogspot.co.uk/

After having a look through her blog and what she gets up to I decided to ask her if she’d do a guest blog post for me on my blog, this is the first one of these I’ve ever done and here it is.

Hi, I’m Emily and I have a little nature blog called ‘Nuts about Nature’. I hope you enjoy this guest post I am doing on Georgia’s blog today!

A little while ago I noticed that a pair of Magpies were collecting nesting materials from my garden. I’d never seen Magpies in my garden before, so I was so happy to see that they were using materials from my garden to make their nest.

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After collecting a ‘beak-full’ of straw, grass and moss they flew straight to their nesting site. Which is very close to where I live, so I had a perfect viewpoint!
I also saw one of the Magpies break twigs off of a tree, some were longer than the bird itself!

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A few days ago, after the Magpies had finished building their traditional untidy and large nest I decided to walk up to the tree they chose to nest in.

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If you look closely in the photo above, you can see the female Magpie sat in her nest, incubating the eggs. The males feed the females throughout the whole incubating period. Also, I recently found out that when food is scarce, Magpies use their sharp beaks to dig little holes in the ground around their territory to hide food. They then cover the hole over with grass, stones or leaves.

Female Magpies usually lay around six green-blue eggs which have brown spots, she then incubates them for around two and a half weeks. Both of the parents feed the chicks, but if there isn’t much food around, the older chicks – which are usually stronger – get all of the food. This means that some of the chicks will survive.

I reckon that the Magpies finished building their nest approximately two weeks ago, so I’m expecting to see both the parents busy searching for food to feed chicks very soon!

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I’m looking forward to seeing the Magpie fledglings fly around. They usually stay in their parents’ territory for a few months, normally until around September time.

It’s amazing that all the different birds are so busy at this time of year. Up until a year ago, I never realised just how clever and interesting birds are!

 

A return of the badgers!

Last Saturday night I returned to the badgers sett where I have recorded badgers in the past. The badgers which I recorded were the same ones I recorded many times last year and which featured on BBC Autumnwatch. At this time of the year the badgers are becoming more active and the young cubs are starting to emerge from the sett in the next few weeks. In the near future I hope to record the badger cubs around at this sett when they come out around late April and early May which I’m really looking forward too! At the most I recorded two different badgers however they weren’t as active as the ones I recorded last Autumn. Here is the footage that I got and there will be lots more to come over the next few weeks!

 

You can see some of the footage that I recorded last year here – https://georgiaswildlifewatch.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/best-badger-footage-yet/

 

Spring flowers.

Following yesterdays first Thursday wildlife quiz here’s a post with the answers on and some information about each flower species I quizzed about.

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So then the answer to the first one was of course a daffodil which has the Latin name of Narcissus. Daffodils are a well known European flower and can be spotted from the beginning of Spring. Snowdrops belong to the same family as daffodils which makes them both a member of the Amaryllidaceae. 

The Latin name for daffodil is thought to have been inspired by Narcissus who was a figure in Greek mythology said to have fallen in love with his reflection in a pool of water. The nodding head of the daffodil is said to represent Narcissus bending down and gazing at his reflection.

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The answer to this photo was snowdrop which have the Latin name of Galanthus nivalis. They are mostly found in deciduous woodland but occasionally coniferous woodlands. They can also be found in meadows and near rivers. It was given the name nivallis as this means snowy. It is very popular in the British Isles even though it isn’t native here.

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The answer for this photo was crocus which has the Latin name of crocus too.You can find them in three different colours which are purple, white and yellow.

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This was a very difficult one, it is in fact a southern marsh orchid which is commonly known as a ‘spotted orchid’. They are widespread and commonly found across the UK. These flowers appear in the late Spring to Summer, dependent on the weather, but typically from June to July.

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This one is off course a primrose and has the latin name of primula vulgaris, it also belongs to the Primulaceae family. They are native to the UK and you can usually expect to see the pale yellow flower in the Spring time.

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The sixth photo was a wood sorrel which has the Latin name of oxalis acetosella. You can expect to find them in distinctive clumps in woodlands and shady hedgerows, often growing from moss on fallen logs. They are widespread and you can expect to see them in April and May.

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This is a common dog-violet which has the Latin name of viola riviniana. They are very common and they grow almost everywhere in the UK and you can expect to see them in many different habitats including woodland, grassland, heaths, hedgerows and old pasture. It flowers from around April to June but it’s flowers are not scented.

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The last one was of course bluebells which have the Latin name of Hyacinthoides non-scripta. They can be found throughout the UK and can be expected be seen in flower throughout April and June. They are mainly found in woodlands, especially coppiced woodland.

Next weeks quiz will be all about British fungi!

 

New Thursday quizzes!

I have thought of an idea to make my blog more interactive, get more visitors and fun for my blog visitors. It would also make sure that I’m regularly putting new things on as recently I haven’t kept my blog up to date due to school work and an injured wrist. The quiz will start on Thursday coming and I will publish it in the morning then visitors will have all day to answer. Then on Friday I’ll do a blog post with the correct answer on and a bit of information about the species or wildlife that I have quizzed about. Each week the question(s) will be different for example one week it might be a photo, video or some questions. There is no prize as it’s just a bit of fun. After having problems commenting with my old blog host this new host is much more easy to comment with but let me know if you have any problems or you can perhaps tweet me the answers at @GeorgiaLocock 

This weeks quiz will be published on the morning of Thursday the 10th of April and it will be a photo quiz about Spring flowers!