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Science/nature/environment

Memories of our natural world

(24 Posts)
whitewave Sun 20-Mar-16 10:44:46

I am sure that grans have a memory of how the natural world was in our youth compared to now. My contribution is

Hedgehogs - so many wandering around in our garden during the warm summer evenings. Gone.
No longer hear the cuckoo from our home
No longer hear the Owls every night
The beach has been denuded from the miriad of species that we used to collect
The car no longer "collects" dead flies on its windscreen on long journeys

BBbevan Sun 20-Mar-16 16:05:39

A wood at the back of our house which was awash with wood anemones and then bluebells every spring. All built over I believe.

BeeWitch Sun 20-Mar-16 16:26:05

The skies teeming with starlings - I used to call them tea-leaves...brew

annsixty Sun 20-Mar-16 21:45:11

Hi Beewitch welcome back I thought you were long gone. Hope you are OK.

ninathenana Sun 20-Mar-16 22:11:04

Sky still teems with starlings here.
There used to be several pairs of swans and mallards nesting on the canal that runs through the town. Now you may see one pair of each if your lucky.

Indinana Sun 20-Mar-16 22:34:06

Dozens of sparrows - still a few in our garden but nothing like the numbers of years ago.
Starlings and thrushes - hardly ever see them now sad
I can't remember the last time I saw a bat. They were always flying around at night when I was little. But that might be because I live in a more urban area now.

I am phobic about moths and crane flies. Every late summer throughout my life has been a terror for me. I would never, ever open a door or window after dark while the light is on, for fear of them flying in. Large moths would always be batting themselves against the window of any lit room. I can't actually remember the last time I had a moth or crane fly in the house. It must be several years.

whitewave Sun 20-Mar-16 22:39:29

Oh yes indinana sad all that as well for me.

God this is depressing -shouldn't have started this thread.

My son posted something really startling tonight about climate change I must find it.

Indinana Sun 20-Mar-16 22:50:58

Yes it is depressing isn't it? I have often over recent years lamented the lack of moths and crane flies, even though I'm terrified of them! I should be pleased they're no longer terrorising me, but I'm not sad

Jalima Sun 20-Mar-16 23:45:50

We still have an occasional hedgehog; I don't remember them years ago in our other gardens, but now we have security lights they trigger them as they wander up the garden.

The cuckoo hasn't been around for years.
The owl is still around sometimes (and very loud!)
I haven't been to the beach for ages, am getting withdrawal symptoms.

I just hadn't thought about the flies until you mentioned it whitewave

We haven't seen a thrush in the garden for years but they must be around as there are murmurations of them not far away
We have more sparrows and tits and the green woodpecker is back - after the myriads of ants under our garden.
We have too many magpies, possibly a partial cause of the decline in blackbirds as they snaffle the eggs and leave the shells around.

tiredoldwoman Mon 21-Mar-16 05:18:48

I used to have thrush activity in my garden , their 'anvil' was piled with snail shells but I havn't seen any for the last 2 years . Also my front step housed a lovely red bottomed bee family , they havn't lived there for 2 summers either .
Yesterday we all went for a sunny morning walk , we were excited to hear then finally see a woodpecker !
Fewer ducks in our local burn , too . Lots of herons, hawks , magpies and seagulls - that's probably where the ducklings have gone ?

Jalima Mon 21-Mar-16 07:44:31

Yes, seagulls (well, herring gulls) are around everywhere now too.

whitewave Mon 21-Mar-16 07:49:17

We have a pair on the chimney. Failed attempt last year at producing a chick but they are obviously going to give it another go.
They have just discovered -after a year - the dried meal worms I put out for the small birds and come down as soon as I put them out in the morning. They eat the lot in one sitting which considering the expense is not what I want.

carerof123 Mon 21-Mar-16 08:34:45

My husband and i try to encourage wildlife into our garden, plenty of shrubs, the kind of flowers that bees and butterflies enjoy and shaded areas with trees for nesting birds. We still only get regular visits from pigeons, two pairs of collared doves, luckily a male and female blackbird and some sparrows. Occasionally we get a pair of magpies as well. We have two nesting boxes for blue tits, they flit in and then out as if to say 'not for us' we have two bug hotels as well plus two feeding stations. I can remember when blue tits, golden finches, robins and occasionally a beautiful thrush would visit but they are all gone now for some reason. It is so sad as like many on this site i can remember seeing bull finches, yellow hammers, wrens, cuckoos, wood peckers as a younger person as a matter of course and not paying any real attention to them as they were just there, now i notice their absence. Does anyone remember having the milk bottles tops pecked by blue tits if you didn't bring the milk in early enough after delivery???

Falconbird Tue 22-Mar-16 07:09:06

I've noticed the decline in Thrushes. There are two in my local park but the species I haven't seen for years is the Thrush that stands very erect and has a speckled breast. There are lots of seagulls where I live, urban gulls, and a few pied wagtails that often inhabit car parks.

Stansgran Tue 22-Mar-16 09:30:19

I grew up in a suburb of Liverpool and really there was birdsong and cherry blossom but I wasn't really interested. I know live in the centre of a small town and I have often thought I should invite people to bird watch. We have a woodpecker family, endless flocks of long tailed tits,chaffinches ,not many bull finches this year so far,magpies ,jackdaws a couple of robins. At the moment a very handsome young thrush ,the collared dove has found a new partner. We have bats in the evening in summer and badgers, and deer and a pheasant family.the squirrels and rabbits cause a lot of damage and I suspect /have a feeling that there are blue tits are nesting in the roof again but in a different space. So perhaps the wildlife feels safer in the town than the country.
There are certainly fewer butterflies and bees but I've seen comma butterflies here for the last couple of years but no cabbage whites which used to be commonplace or red admirals.

Stansgran Tue 22-Mar-16 09:30:51

Now not know ..

Londongirl Tue 22-Mar-16 13:20:07

There used to be swarms of starlings over Leicester Square of an evening, chattering away in the tree tops before taking a turn in the evening sky. Not any more. We do have quite a few starlings come to our garden feeder but it's not the same.

Similarly, the sparrows have disappeared. If I see one now, let alone a pair, I feel like I should mark the occasion in my diary.

I do hear the tawny owls in the trees, and we have bats in the summer, herons, kestrels, the occasional kite and plenty of foxes, feral cats, pigeons, robins and blue and great tits.

TriciaF Tue 22-Mar-16 13:36:16

The number of pigeons in Trafalgar Square is reduced now. Apparently there's a new law that it's an offense to feed them.
Whitewave I agree about the beach. In the 90s I went back to the rock pools at Seaton Sluice and instead of starfish, various shell fish etc I saw tampax and faeces (sorry to be so explicit!)
But at a later date the pools were cleaner, they had installed a new sewage outflow system.

Jalima Tue 22-Mar-16 16:40:31

I think they introduced a hawk to Trafalgar Square - wasn't it Ken Livingstone because the pigeons were becoming more and more of a nuisance.
When DD lived in London there was a ledge outside her bedroom window; a pigeon made a nest on it and apparently she was supposed to knock it down, but she didn't.

whitewave Tue 22-Mar-16 17:40:01

I have been nurturing the sparrows for ages now, as at one time I hardly ever saw one in the garden. The unintended consequence is that I get loads of pigeons that take advantage of the seed, but can't possibly stop feeding all my sparrow families now so plough on feeding the 5 thousand😄

Eloethan Tue 22-Mar-16 23:17:07

Lizards and snakes - in Suffolk countryside
Newts - can't remember the last time I saw one
Sparrows and thrushes - very rarely see them now.
No frogs in the garden anymore - they used to all come at night when it rained - or tadpoles in our pond
Last saw a hedgehog in our garden about 15 years ago

Anniebach Wed 23-Mar-16 09:47:37

Little change in my area, we even have the Red Kite back , few in number but they are back.

whitewave Wed 23-Mar-16 09:53:50

Oh yes lizards and newts always spent ages as children catching them - poor things!

MiniMouse Wed 23-Mar-16 10:08:54

Lizards, slow worms - and trying to catch grasshoppers grin