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One for sorrow, two for joy ---

What's 20 or more mean?

We usually have a few Magpies around. Maybe 3 or 4 at any one time but just a few minutes ago there was the most incredible din outside .

I turned round to see this lot arriving. They stayed for a couple of minutes going backwards and forwards between the trees and the rooftops then off they went as quickly as they'd arrived.

I don't think I've ever seen so many of them in one place.

By the time I'd got the camera out it was a bit too late to catch the full spectacle, but I did manage a couple of quick snaps before they disappeared.

Edit:

Just found this link on the subject.

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One for sorrow, two for joy ---

What's 20 or more mean?

We usually have a few Magpies around. Maybe 3 or 4 at any one time but just a few minutes ago there was the most incredible din outside .

I turned round to see this lot arriving. They stayed for a couple of minutes going backwards and forwards between the trees and the rooftops then off they went as quickly as they'd arrived.

I don't think I've ever seen so many of them in one place.

By the time I'd got the camera out it was a bit too late to catch the full spectacle, but I did manage a couple of quick snaps before they disappeared.

Edit:

Just found this link on the subject.

It is spring,

Could this flocking of Magpies be something to do with either migration behaviour or some sort of mating ritual?

As vox says, we usually have just a few around which seem to be fairly solitary and independent rather than as a group.

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hilldweller

Went out on my 8 mph wheels for a "walk" last week and saw a large gathering of lapwings wheeling and swooping down like minature dive-bombers. It's some years since I have seen so many which were performing their acrobatics in the fields either side of the top of Lodge Moor Road near to the junction with Brown Hills Lane. There were at least a dozen of them at any one time. The calls of Peewitttt were very distinctive. Last year I heard Skylarks almost every time I went out, (later in the year of course). It's good to hope that nature may be making a comeback.

HD

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Went out on my 8 mph wheels for a "walk" last week and saw a large gathering of lapwings wheeling and swooping down like minature dive-bombers. It's some years since I have seen so many which were performing their acrobatics in the fields either side of the top of Lodge Moor Road near to the junction with Brown Hills Lane. There were at least a dozen of them at any one time. The calls of Peewitttt were very distinctive. Last year I heard Skylarks almost every time I went out, (later in the year of course). It's good to hope that nature may be making a comeback.

HD

That's good news. I often walk Brownhills, and I've seen a couple of pairs there in the last couple of years, but not the numbers you saw. I must say my favourite bird calls are the curlews up near Redmires and over Houndkirk Rd, you can guarantee hearing them there.

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It is spring,

Could this flocking of Magpies be something to do with either migration behaviour or some sort of mating ritual?

As vox says, we usually have just a few around which seem to be fairly solitary and independent rather than as a group.

A few years ago we had a plague of magpies. The numbers gradually grew until there were 16 roosting in the ash tree at the bottom of the garden. I know there's an argument about whether they prey on songbirds, but I have to say the number of blackbirds and thrushes took a dive at the same time. Then suddenly the number dropped, and back came the blackbirds then the thrushes. Unfortunately the magpie population is on the rise again, up to eight or so at present.

They don't seem to work as one group. You'll see them in twos or threes through the day, but they seem to gather around dusk.

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hilldweller

A few years ago we had a plague of magpies. The numbers gradually grew until there were 16 roosting in the ash tree at the bottom of the garden. I know there's an argument about whether they prey on songbirds, but I have to say the number of blackbirds and thrushes took a dive at the same time. Then suddenly the number dropped, and back came the blackbirds then the thrushes. Unfortunately the magpie population is on the rise again, up to eight or so at present.

They don't seem to work as one group. You'll see them in twos or threes through the day, but they seem to gather around dusk.

Up until around 12 years ago I used to live on the edge of Crookes overlooking the Rivelin Valley. The biggest group of magpies I ever saw were all sat on the ridge of a block of flats at the end of Duncan Road. I counted 25 in all. Around the same time I saw an article that reported that the Rivelin Valley had one of the largest magpie colonies in England. Apparently the trees are just the right height for the magpies. Incidently old photos of Rivelin show a landscape almost entirely devoid of trees.

Apparently they used to chop them down to feed fires to keep warm in all the grinding hulls. In Elizabethan times the valley was famed for it's fine oak trees used to build warships. Many of the trees there now were planted when the valley road was built early in the twentieth century and also earlier when the Rivelin Dams were built.

HD

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A few years ago we had a plague of magpies. The numbers gradually grew until there were 16 roosting in the ash tree at the bottom of the garden. I know there's an argument about whether they prey on songbirds, but I have to say the number of blackbirds and thrushes took a dive at the same time. Then suddenly the number dropped, and back came the blackbirds then the thrushes. Unfortunately the magpie population is on the rise again, up to eight or so at present.

They don't seem to work as one group. You'll see them in twos or threes through the day, but they seem to gather around dusk.

What with the magpies ganging up on us, it reminds me of either,

a well known 1963 film by Alfred Hitchcock :o

or

exercising our birds at home lol

Don't know which is worse. ;-)

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I was only a joke dave lol

I got my interest in mycology from an elderly Polish friend

who came over to this country before the war,

he has since passed over and his wife

very kindly gave me his books to add to my collection.

Inside one of his books I came across this old newspaper cutting that he

had saved,

seems a coincidence that it's about what you have mentioned.

My books on the subject.

So here's another one for that fun guy, SteveHB lol

On a recent trip to Clumber Park I noticed this collection of fungi growing on an old tree trunk down by the lake.

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RichardB

With our three cats plus another, friendly neighbour cat in the back garden, a magpie sat on the fence defiantly then took out a six inch piece of trellis with one blow of the beak then flew to a neighbours roof and saw watching all four cats for what seemed an age. Magpies getting tough these days it seems.

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SteveHB

So here's another one for that fun guy, SteveHB lol

On a recent trip to Clumber Park I noticed this collection of fungi growing on an old tree trunk down by the lake.

Quite easy that one Dave as the birch polypore can only be found on birch trees,

a very common fungi.

Ps: Sometimes called the Razor-Strop Fungus,

was formerly dried and made into razor-strops, whence it gets its name.

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Quite easy that one Dave as the birch polypore can only be found on birch trees,

a very common fungi.

Ps: Sometimes called the Razor-Strop Fungus,

was formerly dried and made into razor-strops, whence it gets its name.

Thanks for the identification there Steve,

It wasn't meant to be easy or difficult to identify, it's just that its distinctive appearance took my eye and I thought it looked a nice picture.

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With our three cats plus another, friendly neighbour cat in the back garden, a magpie sat on the fence defiantly then took out a six inch piece of trellis with one blow of the beak then flew to a neighbours roof and saw watching all four cats for what seemed an age. Magpies getting tough these days it seems.

Anyone remember a 1969 Disney cartoon called "It's tough to be a bird"?

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Noticed a fair bit of frog and toad spawn in our local ponds this spring.

Wonder if it's going to be a good year for frogs and toads?

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SteveHB

A bit like a mystery Location but with ducks, where have I been today

Not very far from a couple of well known Sheffield landmarks.

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A bit like a mystery Location but with ducks, where have I been today

Is it your back garden and you fiddled the duck pond in some sort of Government expenses scandal? lol

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Stuart0742

Is it your back garden and you fiddled the duck pond in some sort of Government expenses scandal?

The duck pond was the easy bit, getting the weir installed was the difficult bit

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The duck pond was the easy bit, getting the weir installed was the difficult bit

Stick it on your expenses, along with a nice duck house in the middle of the pond. ;-)

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Would you believe it?

It's the week before Christmas,

We have just had a bit of snow and the daytime temperature is barely above freezing, night time is down to -3.

Had another look in those frost covered garden planters and those fungi from September are not only still there, - there are more of them!

A fungi that thrives in cold and frost!

Those planters that were full of fungi growing in the snow just before Christmas now look like this.

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SteveHB

As magpies were recently mentioned,

it came as a bit of a surprise to see one in my kitchen today,

except this one has a wingspan of about an inch Eurrhypara hortulata

PS:

think I should make it clear that maggie came to no harm in the photo shoot,

and is alive and well and living in my kitchen.

I'm a little reluctent to release her into the open

as there is still chance of frost.

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As magpies were recently mentioned,

it came as a bit of a surprise to see one in my kitchen today,

except this one has a wingspan of about an inch Eurrhypara hortulata

PS:

think I should make it clear that maggie came to no harm in the photo shoot,

and is alive and well and living in my kitchen.

I'm a little reluctent to release her into the open as there is still chance of frost.

A moth called Maggie that you want to keep in your kitchen :blink:

The Honeybus 1968, -

She flies like a bird in the sky

She flies like a bird and I wish that she were mine

Now I know

I can't let Maggie go

lol

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SteveHB

A moth called Maggie that you want to keep in your kitchen :blink:

The Honeybus 1968, -

She flies like a bird in the sky

She flies like a bird and I wish that she were mine

Now I know

I can't let Maggie go

lol

Nimble :)

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
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Nimble :)

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Rather have her in the kitchen than a moth! lol

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Rather have her in the kitchen than a moth! lol

Or what about having one of these in the bath :o

This one was trapped in our bath.

To give an idea of scale the body of it was about 15mm

Spiders seem to be a lot bigger this year, a lot faster at running about and there are considerably more of them.

We have had several of them in the house, some of which have spun large course webs.

None have been harmed and if I can catch them (they can't half shift) they are released down the bottom of the garden.

If we get one loose in the house it certainly entertains the dog. She doesn't go for it and kill it or harm it but, not being quite sure what it is, she sits and watches it and stalks it.

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