Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

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Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:00 pm

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Spotted (and heard the compressor) our first olive nets yesterday. Another of the yearly events, festa gone, grapes picked and now the olives to harvest. Yes there are the sounds of guns also, but not heard so many (yet) this year. But it's so enjoyable to pick up the sounds of frogs migrating back for winter, blue tits, finches and redstart returned and cicada gone for another year.... Trees turning yellow with even a touch of red... Would be nice for people to add their own as and when "spotted" events that often go without comment....  Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:20 pm

Now these are summer bird and likely my favourite Bee-eaters arrived today... Several came flying past as we sat having lunch... Wonderful looking birds with very distinctive sound   Very Happy  Very Happy

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:36 pm

Goldfinch - Well I've seen lots of these little birds here and they are very pretty too, but never seen them eating what seemed to be dandelion clocks! Of course they may have been just getting nesting materiel, but it did not seem to have any in its mouth....

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:58 pm

... and this anyone Google picture link ? Odd things you spot in the rain...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:28 pm

Come on Angela, I'm disappointed, I was sure you would be able to tell me what this moth was...?

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:03 am

Sorry Steve, I am no moth expert.....Tried reducing size of pic but no luck doing, all I can see is what looks like aa pr of hare's ears.....back to you to enlighten us......
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:30 am

I don't have a clue! There were two of them, one the right way up and the other upside down. They were about 3-4cm  in length and 1cm across. I guess sheltering from the rain on our conservatory door front. Must admit I did not look at the resulting uploaded picture, will do so and if naff try to load another.... The heads looked like batman with longer ears...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:57 pm

Well I think it is something, if not, like this chappy!!!

Swallow Prominent LINK

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:08 am

This morning it was 2-3 willow warbler's, which I've never seen so close. Plum tree 3-4M away at eye level as we were on balcony. Despite our noise scraping doors and chairs, they took absolutely no notice and continued to pick something off the plum tree. Still there after we left 10 minutes later. What surprised me was their very small size. Took a while to identify as this will show Willow Warbler v Chiffchaff LINK

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Gala Placidia on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:26 am

We have at least a couple of weasels living downstairs under the arches of the mill. They don't show themselves very often, but when they do all other fauna runs away. I understand that they are very agressive hunters. Generally, they come out at dusk, but I only see one at the time as they have different fur marks and I can differentiate them. I guess that they are males, as the females are smaller and their coat is different Weasel
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:40 am

Well they will keep the snakes at bay...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:45 am

Gosh Gala, weasels, havn't seen any here or stoats....just see / hear the martens at night.  Sadly found a new goldfinch nest on the grass this morning....it had fallen out of a pencil pine tree....no eggs visable so that was ok but so much work went into the making of said nest it does seem such a shame.  Steve, will look out for Willow Warblers, after I've looked them up !
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Flip on Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:26 am

Well we must get a better class of  carnivorous mammal up the Lima valley as we have quite a few Mink around as I regularly see them around a my walks. Now there is a ferocious little fecker if ever there was. Mink
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:23 pm

... just pole cats here....

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Gala Placidia on Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:27 pm

Yes, Flip, weasels, minks and stoats are all members of the same family and they are really nasty creatures. They bite! and they are agressive by nature. You only have to watch other animals running away when they see them! One day I observed a water rat with a big bite on its back and I am pretty sure that Mr Weasel was the culprit. I say water rats and not ordinary rats because they have shorter ears and very poweful tails. They swim beautifully and go across the river without any difficulty.
Steve's advice about the snakes is great because I am terrified by them.I had not seen any for many years, possibly courtesy of the weasels; however, in June last year, just a few hours prior to the big tremors in Garfagnana and Lunigiana, I saw three of those, al at the same time. My screams made the neighbours come to the rescue and I must say that we did not notice the tremor at all at home (although other people in the area did notice it; however, I was told that at a meeting conveyed by Council to inform about possible advance information about tremors, it was said that unusual sightings of snakes, etc. could be early warnings.
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Thu May 01, 2014 5:39 am

I know the locals call them 'Faini' - unsure of spelling, can anyone confirm if they are martens or polecats or what....I see and hear them at night, re-arranging the tiles on the roof whist presumably looking for lizards and the like to eat.  Occasionally you see them dead at the roadside and resemble a stoat or weasel ? Any advice appreciated.
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Vicino on Thu May 01, 2014 8:05 am

Surely a pine martin................

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_pine_marten

we had them on our roof a year or two ago, I went out in the dead of night, torch in hand and there they were, lifting the edges of the coppi tiles presumably looking for food. My gawd did they scarper when they realised I was there !

I would not want one to attack me though !
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Thu May 01, 2014 8:33 am

I am sure you are right Vicino....Pine Marten's but I was unsure as I have also been told they are Stone Marten's but need to look them up....
Like you say they lift the tiles, I get up armed with torch and throw some gravel up in their direction.....seems to make them scarper pdq.
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu May 01, 2014 8:52 am

Pine Martins are the climbers, so more the likely  on the roof... Not seen or heard one here, but did see one when staying in Tuscany.

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu May 01, 2014 8:55 am

... should mention that we actually spotted our first Golden Oriole this morning. Heard them for weeks now, quite close at times, but still had not spotted them until now... Golden is the word...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Thu May 01, 2014 8:58 am

Ah ha....Just looked up Stone Marten and seems it is also known as a Beech Marten.
That is the one we have here....latin name Martes Foina....more cat like, has a white throat, lives in deciduous forests too....Problem solved !
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu May 01, 2014 9:16 am

... well don't try to pick it up! YouTube LINK

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Thu May 01, 2014 9:35 am

Even wearing goal keepers gloves !
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Tue May 13, 2014 2:53 pm

Not the best of pictures, but we think  this (LINK) is a very young Aesculapian?

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Tue May 20, 2014 7:55 am

Can't see many cherries on the trees this year....thinking back the blossom was really late......some very small cherries are lying on the ground.....probably the birds are hungry ?
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Tue May 20, 2014 8:02 am

Angela Fuller wrote:Can't see many cherries on the trees this year....thinking back the blossom was really late......some very small cherries are lying on the ground.....probably the birds are hungry ?

Hard for us to tell this year as we pruned our one and only fully grown tree very hard last year. I know the of the few we had that the magpies ate half of them! The previous year I blew up an old empty 5L silver wine bag ("bag in a box" something the Italians learnt from the UK, so they said) and this did put them off... So this year the magpies are eating the strawberries, which I don't mind too much as we have loads and loads of them...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

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