A video of our Red-legged Partridges. When we first saw the partridges there were 7 chicks. Every day we checked and counted the chicks, she managed to hang on to seven for several days. We were concerned the Crows, Magpies and Kestrels would feed on the chicks. The partridges were in our garden every day, though for only part of the day. They would be missing for long periods and then suddenly show up.
After a few days, the number of chicks started to decrease, first to 4 chicks. Then a few days later there were only 2 and finally, a couple of days later, all the chicks were missing. We thought maybe they had been predated by the Crows or Magpies. Interestingly our neighbour across the road also had a Red-legged partridge which also lost its chicks over the same days. It does seem this dim bird was taking the chicks across the A41 where the traffic is high with large numbers of trucks feeding the building spree going on in Aylesbury Vale. I am sure Darwin would have some comments about the survival of Ref-legged Partridges
A video of the partridges in better times as they walked about our garden.
On the 24th of July, we had the fortieth anniversary of KCRC. This started with a clay shoot. The shoot was interesting because we were able to shoot black powder guns. Additionally, there was a flurry to be shot by teams of three.
After the shoot, Mickey Rouse, the 1990 World FITASC Sporting Champion and FITASC World Cup winner showed us some trick shooting. Firing from the hip, hitting long-range targets, and firing at balloons, eggs, golf balls, cabbages and melons.
After the shoot, we were entertained to a fabulous roast BBQ with numerous side dishes, at Dawn and Brian’s home.
The Game Fair was at Ragley Hall this year. We believe this is now a permanent venue. The show ran from 21st July to 24th July. This year we arrived on the first day the campsite was open, Wednesday. Most of the site was fairly empty. Thursday was a peaceful day reading books on a hot sunny day. We luckily had decided to take the awning for shade.
Friday the show opened, and we took the tractor towed trailer up to the show to save walking. There was a short ceremony in the main arena at 10.00 am with a shotgun salute.
We spent Friday looking around the show, finding somewhere to eat. I’m sure the show was smaller than usual. Many gun shops had decided not to attend, the cost of the stand and the potential of Covid restrictions forcing social distancing made many think the risk was too high. The food area was a bit of a disappointment. In the past you could pick up a nice lunch, this year seemed few were selling meals while loads were selling gin.
We did spend quite a time looking at the dogs, and their retrieval performance. We left after lunch on Saturday. Sunday was going to be the Kingswood Gun Club 40th anniversary celebration.
On Sunday 18th July, just before I left for my Sunday Clay Shoot, a hot air balloon hove into sight from the North. The wind was extremely light, and it was drifting very slowly towards us. At one time I thought the dirigible would land in our field. Then the zephyrs shifted and blew her towards the East. It spent an inordinate time tracing the hedge between two fields, edging closers and closer to a row of houses on the main road. She did land at the edge of the field. The pilot kept the canopy inflated, waiting for the recovery vehicle. Without help, the canopy could have been damaged by falling over the nearby house and fence. I suspect the house & fence could also have been damaged, but luckily no harm.
Back in the day, 16th July, while we were having a lockdown drink with friends. One of our number, George, arrived in his newly purchased 1932 784 Alvis 12-60 TL Beetle Back. Even for me, an electric head, this was a fabulous looking car.
We had a pair of Moorhens nesting on the pond, and then a brood of cute black Moorhenlings (Moorhen chicks). The pond was unusually full for the time of year, so the Moorhenlings were there for quite a while. One of the very few benefits of the incessant rain this year. Before the arrival of the Moorhenlings, the Moorhens actually coexisted with three Mallard ducks for several weeks. The Mallards could be spotted on the pond day and night. They appeared never to sleep, steaming around the pond at any time of the day or night, unlike the Moorhens. The Moorhens disappear back to their nest during the night. For many days we had only one Moorhen, presumably the other was hatching the eggs. At this time the ducks vanished, I presume forced off by the Moothens. We now had a set of baby Moorhen chicks (Moorhenlings).
The Moorhens chicks soon increased in size. You can see them searching the margins of the pond for food, and being offered morsels by their parents. A Heron paid a brief visit. Did any of the Moorhenligs fall prey to its avaricious appetite?
The Moorhen chicks also spent a considerable amount of energy hiking across the fields in search of food. Sometimes we would see them in the garden. Recently I was surprised to find the adults and chicks investigating the badger sett in our Compost Heap. This is a considerable distance from the pond with long grass in between. (We are limiting the grass mowing this year, with a no-mow Summer.)
On the 7th of July, R and I went for a nearby walk at the BBOWT Rushbeds Wood. Rather muddy underfoot on some of the paths, so we forgo our normal route. The flower meadows were spectacular with the colour and insects. We met a couple of other people in the woods and fields. So quiet, except for the occasional London to Birmingham train.
There has been quite a bit of tree felling in the woods, the Ash trees are dying. There is replanting going on, which requires barriers against the deer. who appear partial to young trees.
The camera is moved around different garden sites, trying to spot the most interesting animal movements, and discovering their preferred routes. We had much activity in the Compost Heap in early June. There were two badgers who had taken up temporary residence, one even showing itself during daylight hours. Kindly one badger moved the camera during the night, pointing it more directly down the badger sett. They appeared to move off, and only come back to visit the sett on later days. A large male fox also came visiting. Amazingly not many rabbits appeared in the footage.
The last scene from the video is a badger walking along the bank of the pond, turning around and rushing off.
A sunny bright July 2nd saw us take the Polestar 2 to Marlow to meet up with Richard and Andrea. Despite Covid, the high street was unbearably crowded, so we took a walk along the river bank. Thankfully the river walk was much quieter. Plenty of water activities taking place on the river, with multiple coaches yelling and shouting at their charges in the rowing boats. We had an enjoyable meal back at the Two Brewers pub.
On returning to the car park, my Polestar 2 had the company of another Polestar. This is the first time I have seen another Polestar in the wild.