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Whilst the Swallows are gathering and chattering together on the power lines overhead, in the hedgerow Rosebay's summer is coming to an end. There are only a few buds left to open and lower down the flower stalk ripe pods are already bursting open. What are the Swallows discussing, I wonder? The best route to South Africa, perhaps, or mithering in disbelief that a Hobby has been seen chasing them down.
Harvest Mouse The Harvest Mouse is the only old world mammal to have a truly prehensile tail and is one of the smallest rodents - a fully grown male weighs in at about 7g (or ¼oz in old money). To achieve this gargantuan size they climb grass and flower stalks to eat seeds and small insects.
Lapwing Chick
Lapwing chicks are looked after by both parents with the male usually guarding whilst the female does most of the leading and brooding. Four to five weeks after leaving the nest they are left to their own devices. A century ago train loads of Plovers (= Green Plover = Lapwing) were netted and sent to the London Christmas markets from the East Anglian fens, they were that common. Now you're pushed to see them. It's all about habitat loss from changing land management.
Red Kite From great abundance as city scavengers when Shakespeare was scribbling, through years of persecution to a low point of perhaps only 10 pairs scraping a living in central Wales, Red Kites are on the up again. Re-introduction programmes from captive-bred birds have been successful in the Chilterns, the Midlands and north-east England and a few sites throughout Scotland.
Red Squirrel Only some 160,000 Red Squirrels are left in Britain, compared with more than 2.5 million Greys. They are more arboreal than the Grey, being extremely agile traveling along branches. In fact, this agility may begin to redress the imbalance in numbers. Pine Martins are slowly expanding their range and these preditors find it easier to catch the more ponderous greys.