A few questions from the week

The week started off sunny and cold. With the sunny weather came lots of Red Kites and Buzzards over the garden.


Normally there are a couple of Red Kites and around 2 local Buzzards plus a couple more at the other end of the village, but this week I have counted 6 Red Kites together and 12 Buzzards rising on the thermals.


Question 1 – Where have they all come from and why do they all come together when the sun appears?

On Tuesday evening just as we left the house to take the dogs out, the moon was rising over the hill, so on Wednesday we checked out the time that the moon would rise and I waited with my camera. While we stood waiting we could hear a Muntjac barking at us and badgers snuffling around in the hedge.

There are still large flocks of birds in the field such as Goldfinches and Chaffinches.


I have noticed a few bees around this week, this one was trying to crawl inside a daffodil.

Question 2 – At this time of year, with the cold nights, where do bees go at night and can they survive the cold mornings?


In the nearby field, yesterday evening, there were four males and three female Roe deers. I’ve never seen so many males together, usually I see one male with a group of females

Question 3 – Is it normal to get 4 males together?


These two females are two of the three females that are always close to the house, they weren’t with the group of males.


My dad had a bit of a shock when he came home from work this evening. As he pulled on to our front drive, there was a Muntjac deer by our front door.

The pigeons have started build a nest in one of our conifers, the same place they built last year. Unfortunately last year both chicks were taken out of the nest by something and killed. They had just started getting feathers.

Question 4 – Do you think whatever predator took them from the nest last year, will remember where they were and come back this year?


About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire Badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
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2 Responses to A few questions from the week

  1. Mark Smith says:

    This is an amazing blog Alex, its great to see someone your age so involved. I thought I would take the time to answer your first question. Raptors like Buzzards and Red Kites although impressive predators are very lazy animals and when its cool they conserve energy by not moving much. When its warmer and on sunny days the warmth of the sun creates thermal currents of rising warm air. This warm air rises and a Buzzard can ride on this up and up without flapping. At this time of the year pairs will be looking to set up new territories and will be going up high to explore the area and check out the neighbours. They also exhibit natal philopatry which means the young that dispersed last year return their birth site before being chased off to new territories of their own. If your interested this is a report I made on Red Kites in the midlands – http://www.wildwarwickshire.co.uk/home/The%20Red%20Kite%20in%20Warwickshire.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

    • appletonwild says:

      Thank you Mark, and thanks for the Red Kite article. Last year we had a group of 19 Buzzards pass over one afternoon, I read up on social behaviour of Buzzards and thought that they might have been a group of juveniles. We have a local pair of buzzards in the wood/field behind my house. One is ringed H3, she was ringed in June 2013 in Surrey and came to Appleton around early 2014. I have been watching her and her mate for 2 years. They are very good at catching pigeons. Alex


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