Page 8 - Hunstanton Town & Around - May 2016
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8 Hunstanton Town & Around May 2016                                         Tel: 01485 533422 email:
       Nature notes with Joanna

       WAR GAMES

            s  spring  makes  its  way
            into  our  consciousness
       Ahave  you  realised  just
       how  much  of  a  battle  it  is?
       There  are  subtle  war  games
       going on all around us. I men-
       tioned  in  my  last  article  that  I
       had come up against two spar-
       ring Red legs. They really were
       going hammer and tongues and
       I am surprised that they escaped
       injury. You will also have spot-
       ted  sparring  cock  Pheasants,
       again  they  ignore  all  around
       them  including  moving  cars!
       Getting  the  better  of  a  neigh-
       bour  is  much  more  important
       than saving ones life. Yesterday
       I was watching a Blue Tit chas-
       ing a male Chaffinch; it would-
       n’t  let  the  Chaffinch  on  to  the
       feeders  and  made  life  difficult
       for  it  for  at  least  10  minutes!
       Quite  what  the  reason  was  I
       don’t  know,  maybe  the  Tit  is
       thinking  of  using  a  nest  site
       near  the  feeders.  Also  in  the  glorious cascade of song down  by a kick and the other Hare’s  try  ‘saw’  similar  to  the  Gorse
       garden the male Blackbirds are  to warn other males that this is  clean pair of heels.   (when  Gorse  is  out  of  bloom
       trying to see each other off the  their  patch  of  field  and  to  tell  The  frogs  and  toads  that  kissing  is  out  of  season)  says
       premises  and  I  have  spotted  a  females I am the best mate cos I  fight  over  the  females,  are  that if you can tread on 6 Daises
       pair collecting nesting material.  can fly higher and sing longer  another  battlefront,  so  much  at once spring is with us! A lot
       The  Blackbirds  don’t  often  than  all  those  around.  Perhaps  that  several  will  cling  to  her  of  our  favourite  spring  wood-
       come to full fights, they clock-  the most belligerent of the birds  back  to  try  and  fertilise  her  land  flowers  are  in  a  fight  to
       work  about  after  each  other  are  our  old  friends  the  Robin,  eggs.  In  the  woods  Squirrels  bloom ahead of the trees shad-
       until one gets fed up and flies  cute  and  round  and  endearing  chase  through  the  trees  after  ing them out in full leaf. Think
       off. The other ways of spotting  they  may  look  but  they  will  mates and good breeding areas  of the Bluebells, Primroses and
       the war games is by listening to  fight to the death to hold a nest  and on the seal grounds where  Wood Anemones.
       the singing, at this time of the  area and it’s not a pretty sight!  the Common Seals pup (later on  With trees there are different
       year not only is it an enticement  Even  the  Woodpigeons  are  in  spring)  there  will  be  war  war games, how do little seeds
       to the ladies but also a warning!  fighting  for  space  as  well  as  between the bulls as they look  manage to grow into big trees in
       I am in this patch keep out! The  porpoising  in  their  display  to further their blood line.  a  forest  or  wood?  One  way  is
       war paint of the male birds is of  flights.           If  you  think  that’s  all  lets  for  the  seeds  to  drop  into  a
       course  seen  in  their  feathers.  Along  one  of  my  routes  I  look at the fight between plants  clearing! That’s chancy so there
       There is a pink blossom tree in  regularly see a very dark cock  and  trees!  I  am  sure  you  will  is the competition, probably not
       the  garden  and  the  male  Pheasant, the other day I saw it  have  noticed  how  quickly  the  battle  among  the  trees  to  get
       Chaffinch are so well dressed in  in full sunlight, gosh is he fabu-  ‘weeds’  appear  as  soon  as  the  birds  and  animals  to  disperse
       their pink breasts that it can be  lous, the sun bounced off blue,  weather improves. They are in a  their  seeds.  Squirrels  and  Jays
       difficult to spot them among the  green, violet and dark magenta  race  or  duel  to  get  on  with  and acorns spring to mind.
       flowers.  Again  plumage  tells  feathers! He was un-believably  flower  and  seed  before  bigger  Did you know that there is a
       the ladies I am fit and well and  beautiful!        plants  crowd  them  out,  if  we  huge  underground  network  of
       also  tells  the  rivals  that  they  The animal world can be just  didn’t pull them up the chances  mycelium and fine rootlets that
       should  keep  away.  I  learnt  the  a  bellicose,  think  of  the  Hares  are  they  could  dominate  and  connect all the trees in a wood
       other  day  that  in  the  colony  and  the  fight  between  females  push  our  cherished  garden  and can spread out beyond the
       nesters e.g. House Sparrows the  and  males  as  she  decides  who  plants  to  poor  growth.  Mind  wood.
       males pull rank by the amount  will  father  her  leverets.  I  you  having  said  that  there  are  That’s enough of war! Enjoy
       of a dark bib that they have. The  watched a couple of Hares in a  many  ‘weeds’  I  am  only  too  watching the leaves unfold, the
       older  and  more  senior  potato field. He was working up  glad  to  give  garden  room  to,  spring flowers and the migrant
       ‘colonels’  have  a  big  bib  and  a furrow and I could see another  Scarlet  Pimpernel  being  one.  birds and do try to catch a dawn
       the younger ones go down to a  Hare settled in the grass just out  Also  I  don’t  have  a  lawn  so  chorus.  Whilst  you  are  doing
       small  bib  ‘privates’.  I’ve  said  of  sight,  the  first  kept  rearing  miss out on Daises, again they  that bear in mind that there are
       before  there  is  always  some-  on to its hind legs and peering  are  take  over  plants  and  the  many hidden layers and mean-
       thing to learn! Now is the time  over  the  furrow  edge  until  it  verges are full of them, its just  ings in what you see and hear.
       to listen for the Skylarks as they  saw  the  second  and  over  the  those  pristine  lawns  that  hate  Roll on SPRING!
       soar  in  the  sky  and  pour  that  edge it went only to be greeted  them. Incidentally an old coun-
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