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Nature Watch, by Trevor Beer

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 14, 2014


Trevor Beer

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Averil Batten of Norton-Sub Hamdon tells of a pheasant regularly visiting her garden for food. Currants and oats are its favourite and it comes to within 6ft of Averil when she goes out to feed it.

He is a beautiful male with full white neck ring. Interestingly, Angela Case recently mentioned pheasants visiting her garden at Stoke Abbott but they are pecking the crocus flowers off, which is not so good. House sparrows here do the same and seem to prefer yellow crocuses to the purple ones and there may be saffron in them, hence their popularity. Must taste them and find out.

Mrs Batten also tells of the various bird species visiting her garden and how beautifully they fill days that might otherwise be lonely. How I agree! Birds and other animals bring a sparkle to one’s life, as do flowers and trees. How fortunate we are to have them around and about us.

Wreford Leverton of Torrington, walking on the Commons tells me of seeing two female adders on February 20, so something brought them out of hibernation.

I see holly blue butterflies are officially reported as being down in numbers generally but I must say they did very well in this area last year, both spring and summer generations. Habitat is important of course and the holly blue needs both holly and ivy. Remember folks the butterfly is a curious insect laying its spring eggs on the flower buds of holly and in summer laying almost exclusively on ivy.

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