Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wildlife locally on the allotments!

As we are in a fairly rural location here (on the very edge of Manchester and Cheshire, with the Cheshire border only 1/2 mile from our house, and with a 5 mile journey from Partington - down country lanes - to any form of metropolitan civilization), we are fortunate to have a lot of wildlife locally, so as I drove onto the allotment site today (after work to meet up with Lee for some weeding, hoeing and watering) and was met with the sight of this fine fellow, I thought perhaps it was time to do a blog entry showing some of the wildlife I've managed to capture with my trusty camera on the plot!

Quite often as you round the corner at the bottom of the site on the road that runs round the site you will catch sight of the local rabbits, usually youngsters, but as you drive up towards them, then they usually run off and leave the site! This one today allowed me to get close enough to take this piccy with my 300mm telephoto zoom lens before it decided to run around the corner, as I followed I got closer, and when it stopped in a bed (in a plot at the top), I managed to get the following picture!

They are beautiful creatures, but they can cause havoc with our crops, so generally we do try and discourage them (although they do taste nice in the pot - if you can get one)! They do face a lot of problems locally, there is a pair of buzzards living within 1/2 mile of the allotments, plus a fox that regularly visits the plot (we've not seen him, but his runs are visible, and a couple of other plotholders have seen him, a young male) and these do seem to be doing well with keeping the rabbit numbers under control!

This little fellow is one of a family of squirrels that live in the woods surrounding the allotment site, they can be a bit of a problem, eating sweetcorn, burying acorns (that sprout in the middle of our beds!) and pinching strawberries (Lee watched one last week sit and eat one on Pat and Colins Plot), but generally they dont cause too many big problems for us! Mind you, HFW does say they go well on a BBQ! Lol!

Other mammals we have also seen Hedgehogs (there were 5 hibernating in one plots compost heap one year, as you can see in this piccy), fieldmice and I'm sure the other day I saw a Shrew!

We also have a colony of Pipistrel Bats living nearby (in a cave off the side of the Manchester Ship Canal that runs just to the north of Partington), which we often see in an evening, flying round the houses!

The local birdlife is also proliffic, a pair of Blackbirds nested in the alcove of our shed earlier this year.

They hatched 5 chicks........

....... who all fledged succesfully! The nest is still in the shed alcove, though is no longer being used!

Other birds we are aware of living on the plot, wood pidgeons, magpies, robins, blue tits and great tits, sparrows, jays, peregrines, buzzards, blackbirds, ravens, crows, barn owls, and a heron who lives locally too! There are also seasonal visitors such as the swifts, goldcrests and others besides! I need to spend some more time with my telephoto lens on the plot to catch some piccies of some of these feathered visitors, but that will come with time!

We also have both frogs and toads on the site, both of which use our pond for spawning, and are regularly seen around the plot!

All you have to do is turn over something and out jumps a toad!

Or look into the undergrowth, and there lurks a frog!

Last year we also saw a small lizard at the site cabin, no idea what species, but if I see it again I'll be sure to get a picture!

There's also lots of insect life around, especially if you take the time to have a look, this orb spider was busy making its web when we noticed it!

Hover fly, there's lots of polintating insects on the plots, as well as our honey bees!

Plenty of butterflies too, I believe this one is a Monarch, which is quite far north for the breed, though one or two types (cabbage whites in particular) we could do without!

There's plenty of other fauna on the plots too, though one type we could definitely bear to see less of is the common garden slugs and snails!

Locally we've also got plenty of fields, the Dunham Massey NT Hall and plenty of nature in all its guises, sometime in the future I may get round to taking some piccies locally and do a future blog on it!

Anyhows, I hope you like the piccies and get more of a feel for the beauty of the natural world we have around us hereabouts!


Shayla said...

You certainly have lots of interesting wildlife. I find one of the joys of gardening is to take a break and watch some form of wildlife nicking off with a strawberry or something, its like they're telling you who is really the boss.

Unknown said...

Some lovely wildlife photos there! For information, the butterfly is a called a peacock.

Steph said...

great photos. what a lovely post. it is always nice to step back and take a look around.

Mrs Dobby said...

Lol, agreed, we dont begrudge the wildlife a meal or two, as long as there;s enough left for us! As the old saying goes...
'One to grow, one to rot, one for the snails and one for the pot!'

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Capsid, thanks for the kind words, and the ID, it was NTG who told me the butterfly was a Monarch, I'll have to gen up on them I think!

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Steph, thanks for the comments on my piccies, I enjoy photography, so enjoy trying to get a good piccy, and sharing it with others!

It is good to take a break and look around, my only trouble is getting started again afterwards tho! Lol!

Green Jeannie said...

Excellent photos. Thank you for sharing.

I love the frogs!

Mrs Dobby said...

Lol Jeannie, your welcome, glad you liked them!

BilboWaggins said...

Wonderful range of wildlife, all part of the food chain. Great photos, thanks for sharing it all - I know how long it can take to do posts like this.

Mrs Dobby said...

Thanks Bilbo, I enjoy doing some photography, so although my camera is a bit out of date (compared with newer ones), I'm happy with what I can manage to catpure, and enjoy messing with it on the puter, so although it does take a bit of time, its fun time!

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