Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Wild Visitors

Here are three of the rarer visitors to our garden, which borders New Forest heathland and is not far from the woods.

One day last week, I looked out of the kitchen window to see this young grey heron ducking his head as he strode underneath a washing line full of drying sheets and towels. He then stalked across the grass on his long legs and disappeared. Later, I found him perching on a neighbour`s gate in the lane.

This heron has apparently found our neighbour`s fish pond, so they are not so pleased to see him.

Another view from the kitchen window. A Greater Spotted Woodpecker was hammering at the bark of a young Rain Forest Pansy tree growing in a border. The tree has several dead branches this spring and the bark wounds made by both woodpeckers and cat claws will not be helping. We need to find it a bark protecting sleeve before more damage is done. Even so, it was thrilling to watch this beautiful woodpecker at such close range.

On Sunday, a hot day of bright sunshine, this slow worm was basking on the stone floor in the doorway to the greenhouse. When he was disturbed, he tried to escape into a hole at the side of the inner brick wall, but this must have been a dead end as he turned round and came back out again. As he was vulnerable to predation by birds where he was, we coaxed him into an empty seed tray and carried him to safety in the wild area at the side of the greenhouse. A place where we have seen slow worms in the past.


ChrisJ said...

Such an interesting post. I don't see many woodpeckers around here and any snakes we see I keep a close eye on. We do get rattlers -- several baby ones last year. We get the greater Blue Heron and he is magnificent. So glad to read about your environment.

Bovey Belle said...

I must do a post about the slow worms of my youth (they lived in our wild back garden, along with lots of lizards). D saw a slow worm on his way back from his friend's house the other night, so they are about here, on the dry banks. Our woodies are nesting somewhere near, and thankfully the heron who used our pond as a pit-stop one summer, has been deterred by the netting we put on . . . Lovely photos.

Danielle Barlow said...

Oh how lucky to see a heron so closely! We had to rescue a slowworm from the pavement the other day, he was in danger of being trodden on.