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Prepare to welcome returning hummingbirds as migrating birds make their way back

Our Fine Feathered Friends

Rubythroat-TheSoarNet Photo by TheSOARnet / • Male ruby-throated hummingbirds usually migrate ahead of females. These tiny birds must cross the Gulf of Mexico, without stopping, to reach their nesting grounds in the eastern United States. The journey across the Gulf can take them 18 to 22 hours, dependent on weather conditions.

As it has done for many years now, the website is tracking the progress of ruby-throated hummingbirds as they return to the United States.

Most of the first sightings of hummingbirds made each spring are of male hummingbirds. The males arrive first so they can find and defend a choice territory for the purpose of attracting females. Indeed, there are many more sightings this week for male ruby-throated hummingbirds from Journey North citizen scientists who live along the Gulf Coast states.

Hummingbird-Ventral Photo by Bryan Stevens • A ruby-throated hummingbird perches at a feeder for a sip of sugar…

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The rewards of ‘fire monitoring’


Since the fire on 11th January a group of fire monitors has been observing the regrowth on the burnt slopes. Often blackened with ash they hang over path edges or clamber up rocks in order to photograph and record their findings.

From fire lilies in January, to fields of yellow moraeas in March, to the bright red fire ericas in April, it is an exciting and rewarding pursuit!

Of particular interest has been the flowering and seeding of the very small Aspidoglossum heterophyllum, a member of the milkweed family. The plants grow up to 12cm tall and have a milky latex. The flowers are white and for their small size produce very large long inflated seedpods – the fluffy seeds will be collected and sent to Kew Gardens for inclusion in their Millenium Seed Bank.

The slender wiry plants of Eriospermum dielsianum, common name Cottonseed, (the seeds look…

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It’s Good To Be The King

Through Open Lens

F/7.1, 1/200, ISO 250.

Belted Kingfisher

What do you call a pig that does karate?

A pork chop.

Interesting Fact: Belted Kingfishers excavate burrows in earthen banks, usually avoiding ones with vegetation (especially trees, whose roots get in the way of digging). They generally choose a bank near water, but may use a ditch, road cut, landfill, sand pit, or gravel pit far from water. A pair may select a nest site during courtship, usually high in the bank where floodwaters are unlikely to reach. The male probes the bank with his bill, flying back and forth to the female, who calls continuously from a nearby perch. ( )

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Kagawa BONSAI on Instagram: “美しい盆栽園です。 It is a beautiful bonsai garden. . 綺麗に手入れされた盆栽が美しいですね。 園主さんの人柄も素晴らしいです。 Beautifully maintained bonsai is beautiful. The…”