Christmas 2008 Page 2
Local birds and animals
This is a big grasshopper, over 2" (5 cms) long
A preying Mantis in front of the garage. He was a
little bit bigger than the grasshopper.
a stick insect on my radiator.
My Dad use to have some in an aquarium. I never thought of seeing one in the wild.
little fellow is a tree frog. He really is bright
and he really is climbing up the window. He was about an inch long.
is a normal frog. But very tiny. the photo is
because he was hopping
about all over the place, he didn't stay in one place long enough for the camera to focus.
had a few butterflies. Nice, they seem to have gone from the
I had great problems getting this photo. He was fluttering around all over the place,
as soon as I went near he flew off, and when he did stop a moment he closed his wings,
only opening them momentarily.
I don't know what this caterpillar is going to grow into. He's
was something I'd never seen before. An otter.
You can't see much of him but he is causing the ripple towards the front left.
Just his nose is out of the water.
I was on a bridge for the above photo, just the other side of
the bridge, very early one morning,
I saw all these birds.
saw a similar group of birds when I was travelling in Mexico.
This one below, was hanging around our group of houses for 10 days or so, on his own.
We surmised he had been injured since he could only make short flying hops, 20 yards or so.
But what a handsome bird! A little less than 18" (50 cm) in length.
found out he was a cattle egret. I asked my Auntie Lucy, who
knows about these things.
At 84 she had only recently got her first computer but is doing brilliantly.
It seems this year is the first year cattle egrets have been seen in the UK, so they are not in any of my books.
I found where our lone visitor was based, on an island on a small lake about half a mile from
here, with the gang shown below..
particular island was the scene of one of the
I have ever experienced when ballooning. Early one morning I drifted towards
the island flying very low, only a few feet over the water and flying in
about the same direction as the photo. I passed the island to the right
and as I reached he end I turned left. I climbed a little until the basket
was maybe half the height of the trees. I continued turning left and
finished up flying right around the island, crossed my original track and exited the lake
to the right at about right angles to my approach, having completed a 450 degree circuit.
They don't take a lot of notice if you drive past, or even if
But if you open the car door they're off.
It's fascination watching them coming in to roost.
They come in, in groups of 10, 20, or 30, swooping down, sometimes
stopping on the side of the lake for an evening drink. Just like people.
Talking to neighbours, it seems that this year is the first year they have been
around here. Maybe with global warming they are able to move further north?
Below they are lined up beside another small lake a few hundred metres from my house.
there are very few overhead wires round about, although we still
some just here. Below you see house martins, just in front of my house, making use of a 4 lane parking.
are just behind my house - you can just see the corner of my
garage in the photo - I temporarily forget their name, they are not pigeons, but similar.
There are huge flocks of birds that appear from time to time, some. sparrow size,
Now we reach domestic animals. Here's Pica, in front
of my balloon weather vane.
Here's Smokey. Abandoned, he's been adopted by some
How could anyone abandon such handsome person loving cat?
He's currently boarding here as his people are in the UK at the moment.
He can be a bit of pain though. Since 'the operation' he started putting
on a bit of weight so I've put him on a diet.
(The photo was taken a while ago, when he was slim)
So whenever he's not cuddling up and dribbling all over me with love
he's trying to steal food wherever he can.
He's about the most unaggressive cat I've seen but Pica hates him,
hissing whenever he goes near. Might be something to do with the fact that
Pica is a little tiny lady cat and Smokey is twice her size!