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Sheffields Flora and Fauna


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Kingfisher on the River Don next to Norfolk Bridge. As fish now thrive in our rivers and Canal, so do the birds that rely on them for food.

She's back!   W/E.

The plant I know as traveller's joy (old man's beard is another name for it, properly known as clematis vitalba) en mass near Broughton Lane bridge, August 2019.

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hilldweller

The answer is a badger latrine.

Badger Setts.

http://www.badgerland.co.uk/seeing/evidence.html

For a period of about five years we lived in a home located within about 30 metres ( God I've gone metric ! ) of a large urban badger sett.

It took up the top third of a neighbours wooded garden and had apparently been there when the houses were built.

One of the surface runs ( the badger M1 ) ran below our bedroom window.

Badgers make very poor neighbours, the noises they make as they shuffle about would wake the dead. The adult males are very powerfully built animals with nasty teeth.

I tried to stop up the run with chicken wire which they promptly bit through.

I then tried to make a fence with steel bars driven 24 inches into the ground on 4 inch centres. We endured a very noisy night and next morning there was a big hole littered with steel bars.

At this point I gave up and replaced the chippings at the side of the house with flags so at least they could pass in relative silence.

One morning we found a large hare, dead with it's throat torn out, at the bottom of the garden. We left it and next morning it had disappeared. Whether it had encountered a badger or some other creature I don't know but it was about 2 feet long 'so no easy pray.

HD

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A Horticultural Imposter at Sheffield

A fellow has been cheating people here by selling what he described as tree tulips, growing the usual size of common tulips, but which produce many flowers on one stem and some of them of different colours.

This impostor called on me in August 1828. He said he received them from a brother residing in South America, that he was the under gardener in Lord Fitzwilliam's botanic garden at Wentworth House, near Sheffield, he said they had bloomed them in great perfection at that place last year .

Knowing the gardeners at that place to be truly respectable I, along with many other gentlemen, purchased some of each kind. My gardener planted some of them in pots and placed them in the forcing house, others in a cold green house and some out of doors some are about six inches in height.

I have been looking for the side branches but in vain. One he calls the Eye of the Mountain, there is also the Pride of the Valley but he observed the Rose of the Valley surpassed all it had so fragrant a perfume.

He appeared about 6 ft in height about 45 or 5O years of age. I took him into my stove he appeared to be well acquainted with the names of most of the plants, was dressed like an under gardener and talked much of their last new plants at Wentworth House.

I fancy he reaped a plentiful harvest in this neighbourhood, was here on the first day of August 1828 and some days afterwards. As he mentioned to me correctly the name of the head gardener there, as well as the name of the gardener in the botanic garden (under whom he said he worked) I, as well as my neighbours, had no doubt of the man's respectability.

As people do not like to subject themselves to the laughter of their friends for their gullibility I shall subscribe myself only MP Sheffield Feb 26 1829.

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Reports from all over Sheffield about flocks of waxwings, a rare event, one reported at Greystones, so I went hunting this afternoon. Unfortunately I only had my titchy camera, but here's a couple I took.

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Unfortunately I only had my titchy camera, but here's a couple I took.

Good photos, you even got a shot of them feeding !

A lot better than these I took yeserday

at the back of the Wagon and Horses PH in Heeley.

On first sight I thought they were Starlings.

Then they flew off over Kent Hill towards Meersbrook

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Keeping the bird tables clear and full over the last few days but nothing seems to be visiting.

They've taken hardly anything.

I've only seen a few sparrows and a robin.

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Keeping the bird tables clear and full over the last few days but nothing seems to be visiting.

They've taken hardly anything.

I've only seen a few sparrows and a robin.

Currently we have a pair of collared doves, a pair of blackbirds, a dunnett,a robin and a few sparrows regularly coming into our garden for food and water.

The robin and the male blackbird are becoming particularly friendly and are not affraid of us at all as they know we will feed them.

They will come close and almost ask us to put seed down where they can get it and thaw out the water on the bird table.

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Bringing it back to History, 'The Vital Statistics of Sheffield' by G Calvert Holland (1843) has an interesting list in Chapter 1 of species found in Sheffield. There is a copy on Google Books at this link. Interesting scraps from it include the following which tell us about the change in attitudes to wildlife ...

Rough legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus)—Eight or ten have been seen and procured.

Osprey (Pandion Haliaetus)—Three have been obtained, in the course of ten years; one at Hillsbro' fish pond, another, in 1838, on the edge of Bradfield moor, and a very fine specimen at Whirlow.

Brown-bee Hawk (Pernis apivora)—Wharncliffe wood has furnished three specimens, Tinsley park one, and Ecclesall wood one of this rare Hawk. Few localities can boast of such a number.

Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinus)—Three of these birds have been shot lately: two are in the collection of M. J. Ellison, Esq. We observed one fly over the Infirmary in the spring of 1840. This is the species famed in falconry

Marsh Harrier (Circus Cyaneus)—occasionally seen; one shot on Hallam moors.

Long billed Chough. (Fregilus Graculus)—One was shot on the Subscription Moors.

The Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis and Picus pipra) are occasionally found. A male and female of Picus Striolatus were shot in Middlewood.

Snow Bunting (Plectrophanes nivalis)—visits the moors every year—one obtained in a garden adjoining Pitsmoor Workhouse.

Coccothraustes atrogularis (Grosbeak)—Has been shot near Heely, but not recently.

The Lesser Redpole (Linaria minor)—Breeds abundantly. Linaria borealis (Mealey Redpole)—One shot in the Infirmary gardens.

Columba Turtur (Turtle Dove)—One was shot near the Blast Furnace; others have been obtained a few miles from the town.

Ring Plover—Shot near the reservoir at Redmires.

Crested Grebe (Podiceps Cristatus)—One or two have been caught in an exhausted State.

Sterna Hirundo, (Common Tern,) Sterna Minuta, (Little T. and S. Fissipes Black T—Shot on Blonk dam and various parts of the river.

Larus Argentatus, Canus and Tridactylus, (Herring, Common and Kittiwake gulls)—Often fly over, and a good many are shot, mostly young birds.

Stormy Petrel (Procellaria pelagica)—One is said to have been shot on a house in Waingate, by Mr. Raven, watchmaker.

Anas Clangula (Golden eye Duck)—Fine specimens have been shot on Little London dam and at Brightside lane.

.... Is anyone having Duck for dinner?

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Bringing it back to History, 'The Vital Statistics of Sheffield' by G Calvert Holland (1843) has an interesting list in Chapter 1 of species found in Sheffield. There is a copy on Google Books at this link. Interesting scraps from it include the following which tell us about the change in attitudes to wildlife ...

Rough legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus)—Eight or ten have been seen and procured.

Osprey (Pandion Haliaetus)—Three have been obtained, in the course of ten years; one at Hillsbro' fish pond, another, in 1838, on the edge of Bradfield moor, and a very fine specimen at Whirlow.

Brown-bee Hawk (Pernis apivora)—Wharncliffe wood has furnished three specimens, Tinsley park one, and Ecclesall wood one of this rare Hawk. Few localities can boast of such a number.

Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinus)—Three of these birds have been shot lately: two are in the collection of M. J. Ellison, Esq. We observed one fly over the Infirmary in the spring of 1840. This is the species famed in falconry

Marsh Harrier (Circus Cyaneus)—occasionally seen; one shot on Hallam moors.

Long billed Chough. (Fregilus Graculus)—One was shot on the Subscription Moors.

The Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis and Picus pipra) are occasionally found. A male and female of Picus Striolatus were shot in Middlewood.

Snow Bunting (Plectrophanes nivalis)—visits the moors every year—one obtained in a garden adjoining Pitsmoor Workhouse.

Coccothraustes atrogularis (Grosbeak)—Has been shot near Heely, but not recently.

The Lesser Redpole (Linaria minor)—Breeds abundantly. Linaria borealis (Mealey Redpole)—One shot in the Infirmary gardens.

Columba Turtur (Turtle Dove)—One was shot near the Blast Furnace; others have been obtained a few miles from the town.

Ring Plover—Shot near the reservoir at Redmires.

Crested Grebe (Podiceps Cristatus)—One or two have been caught in an exhausted State.

Sterna Hirundo, (Common Tern,) Sterna Minuta, (Little T. and S. Fissipes Black T—Shot on Blonk dam and various parts of the river.

Larus Argentatus, Canus and Tridactylus, (Herring, Common and Kittiwake gulls)—Often fly over, and a good many are shot, mostly young birds.

Stormy Petrel (Procellaria pelagica)—One is said to have been shot on a house in Waingate, by Mr. Raven, watchmaker.

Anas Clangula (Golden eye Duck)—Fine specimens have been shot on Little London dam and at Brightside lane.

.... Is anyone having Duck for dinner?

Sounds as though these birds only exist so that some pompous old pillock with a gun can amuse himself taking pot shots at them and killing them. :angry:

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A visitor this morning - everyone else flew away!

Our birds (see earlier post #332 ) all flew off briefly this afternoon while we had a visit from a passing Magpie, but once he had eaten, drank and gone they soon returned.

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Bringing it back to History, 'The Vital Statistics of Sheffield' by G Calvert Holland (1843) has an interesting list in Chapter 1 of species found in Sheffield. There is a copy on Google Books at this link. Interesting scraps from it include the following which tell us about the change in attitudes to wildlife ... ............

Nice find - thanks.

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Good photo Adrian,

it looks like a Sparrowhawk to me .. ?

Probably Steve.

We have the occasional sparrowhawk around our way occasionally.

You never actually see them but all the other birds disappear and you keep finding the headless remains of other birds it has attacked.

See my earlier posts in this topic for details of what has happened when we have had a visit from one of these birds.

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Probably Steve.

We have the occasional sparrowhawk around our way occasionally.

You never actually see them but all the other birds disappear and you keep finding the headless remains of other birds it has attacked.

See my earlier posts in this topic for details of what has happened when we have had a visit from one of these birds.

We get Sparrowhawks and Kestrels in my area,

they often perch in a dead tree at the bottom of my garden,

as they take a look over the valley and town.

A couple of years ago I did spot a Sparrowhawk nest in Norfolk Park,

spent a good few hours watching the adult birds feeding the young uns.

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madannie77

Good photos, you even got a shot of them feeding !

A lot better than these I took yeserday

at the back of the Wagon and Horses PH in Heeley.

On first sight I thought they were Starlings.

Then they flew off over Kent Hill towards Meersbrook

Finally found some photos I took of waxwings on Dyche Lane in 1987: I took lots which came out really dark against the bright blue sky, but one or two were better, such as this one.

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ukelele lady

Take a look at this picture, it's the roof of my porch.

The snow is all untouched except for this hollow spot, could a bird have snuggled

in there over night.

At the side of the hollow the snow has been slightly brushed by it's tail perhaps?

Sorry this picture is a bit dark, I seem to have lost the ability to lighten my pictures for some reason.

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Take a look at this picture, it's the roof of my porch.

You didn't take that picture through a bedroom window did you ukelele lady? <_<

I seem to remember getting any unfounded reputation for doing that :rolleyes:

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Closed my office door and went out to do a couple of hours work.

This was waiting for me when I got back.

Don't know where it came from or how it got in, the room is virtually airtight.

A bit lethargic but alive.

I chucked it out the window rather than kill it.

(Thought I'd give it a sporting chance) Not good odds I know.

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Closed my office door and went out to do a couple of hours work.

This was waiting for me when I got back.

Don't know where it came from or how it got in, the room is virtually airtight.

A bit lethargic but alive.

I chucked it out the window rather than kill it.

(Thought I'd give it a sporting chance) Not good odds I know.

Stuart had an interesting incident with a wasp back in post #178 in this topic.

He gave the wasp a sporting chance as well.

He didn't kick it out in the cold though, instead he nicked the nest it had just built itself while it wasn't in it.

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ukelele lady

You didn't take that picture through a bedroom window did you ukelele lady? <_<

I seem to remember getting any unfounded reputation for doing that :rolleyes:

Yes, lol but it was from my own bedroom window. lol

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ukelele lady

I had a frightening experience some weeks ago while driving down a steep winding

country lane. I spotted a large spider on the steering wheel near my left hand slowly

crawling round the steering wheel to my right hand.

There were nowhere to pull in and there was some other car behind me, I

was getting very panicky in case it crawl on my hand, I was trying to steer with one hand.

I don't know what the driver behind thought but when it crawled to the bottom of the

steering wheel I had visions of it dropping onto my lap. I just had to blank it out of my mind

until I could stop. :o

I never found the blighter :angry: [ now there's an old word. what's it mean?]

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had a frightening experience some weeks ago while driving down a steep winding

country lane. I spotted a large spider on the steering wheel near my left hand slowly

crawling round the steering wheel to my right hand.

There were nowhere to pull in and there was some other car behind me, I

was getting very panicky in case it crawl on my hand, I was trying to steer with one hand.

I don't know what the driver behind thought but when it crawled to the bottom of the

steering wheel I had visions of it dropping onto my lap. I just had to blank it out of my mind

until I could stop. :o

I never found the blighter :angry: [ now there's an old word. what's it mean?]

I think we used to use blighter as a general derogatory term.

It would signify someone or something which is irritating, annoying, counter-productive ----

from Blight

blight (blīt)

noun

  1. any atmospheric or soil condition, parasite, or insect that kills, withers, or checks the growth of plants
  2. any of several plant diseases, as rust, mildew, or smut
  3. anything that destroys, prevents growth, or causes devaluation: slums are a blight on a city
  4. a person or thing that withers someone's hopes or ambitions
  5. the condition or result of being blighted

It's probably just been overtaken by more graphic terms in this day and age. I'm sure you can think of a few.
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Had this nice visitor to my table today, a Nuthatch. Also a Buzzard soaring on the up draughts.

We still have our very friendly robin and blackbird visiting us because they know they will get food and water.

Also we have some of our collared doves coming back and also some very fat pigeons.

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