The mallard or wild duck is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands, and South Africa.
It inhabits a wide range of habitats and climates and is found in both fresh and salt-water wetlands, including parks, small ponds, rivers, lakes and estuaries, as well as shallow inlets and open sea within sight of the coastline.
Mallards have had a long relationship with humans and almost all varieties of domestic ducks were derived from it. They were first domesticated in Southeast Asia at least 4000 years ago, during the Neolithic Age, and were also farmed by the Romans in Europe, and the Malays in Asia. It is also common for mallards to mate with domestic ducks and produce hybrid offspring that are fully fertile. (source: Wikipedia)
en Yellow stagshorn
de Klebriger Hörnling
It has bright orange, yellow or occasionally white branching basidiocarps, which are somewhat gelatinous in texture and slimy to the touch. It is relatively large for a jelly fungus, and can reach up to ten centimetres in height. It is widespread and common, and its bright colour makes it stand out in its habitat. It grows on decaying conifer wood, typically stumps and roots, although this may not be obvious if the wood is covered in leaf litter. It fruits throughout the year, but is most commonly seen in autumn.
It is not poisonous, but its tough gelatinous texture and nondescript taste and odour make it unattractive as a food. (source: Wikipedia)
en European robin
The European robin is a small insectivorous passerine bird, specifically a chat, that was formerly classified as a member of the thrush family but is now considered to be an Old World flycatcher. It is found across Europe, east to Western Siberia and south to North Africa; it is sedentary in most of its range except the far north.
Well known to British and Irish gardeners, it is relatively unafraid of people and drawn to human activities involving the digging of soil, in order to look out for earthworms and other food freshly turned up. Indeed, the robin is considered to be a gardener’s friend and for various folklore reasons it would never be harmed. In continental Europe on the other hand, robins were hunted and killed as with most other small birds, and are more wary. Robins also approach large wild animals that disturb the ground, such as wild boar, to look for any food that might be brought to the surface. In autumn and winter, robins will supplement their usual diet of terrestrial invertebrates, such as spiders, worms and insects, with berries and fruit. They will also eat seed mixtures placed on bird-tables.
Robins may choose a wide variety of sites for building a nest. In fact, anything which can offer some shelter, like a depression or hole may be considered. As well as the usual crevices, or sheltered banks, other objects include pieces of machinery, barbecues, bicycle handlebars, bristles on upturned brooms, discarded kettles, watering cans, flower pots and even hats. (source: Wikipedia)
en Red squirrel
Sciurus vulgaris is a species of tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus common throughout Eurasia. Red squirrels occupy boreal, coniferous woods in northern Europe and Siberia, preferring Scots pine, Norway spruce and Siberian pine. In western and southern Europe they are found in broad-leaved woods where the mixture of tree and shrub species provides a better year round source of food.
In Great Britain, Italy and Ireland, numbers have decreased drastically in recent years. This decline is associated with the introduction by humans of the eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) from North America and habitat loss. (source: Wikipedia)
en Green-veined white
Pieris napi is a circumboreal species widespread across Europe and Asia, including the Indian subcontinent, Japan, the Maghreb and North America. It is found in meadows, hedgerows and woodland glades but not as often in gardens and parks like its close relatives, the large and small whites, for which it is often mistaken.
The eggs are laid singly on a wide range of food plants including hedge mustard (Sisybrium officinale), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), cuckooflower (Cardamine pratense), water-cress (Rorippa nastutium-aquaticum), charlock (Sinapis arvensis), large bitter-cress (Cardamine amara), wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea), and wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), and so it is rarely a pest in gardens or field crops.
The generations vary with location, elevation and season. In northern Europe there are two or three generations from April to early September. In warmer areas and in some good years there is a fourth generation. In southern Europe there are three or more partially overlapping generations from March to October. (source: Wikipedia)
en European kestrel
A juvenile kestrel born in our barn.
Falco tinnunculus is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America. They are small compared with other birds of prey, but larger than most songbirds. Like the other Falco species, they have long wings as well as a distinctive long tail.
In the cool-temperate parts of its range, the common kestrel migrates south in winter; otherwise it is sedentary, though juveniles may wander around in search for a good place to settle down as they become mature. It is a diurnal animal of the lowlands and prefers open habitat such as fields, heaths, shrubland and marshland. It does not require woodland to be present as long as there are alternative perching and nesting sites like rocks or buildings. It will thrive in treeless steppe where there are abundant herbaceous plants and shrubs to support a population of prey animals. The common kestrel readily adapts to human settlement, as long as sufficient swathes of vegetation are available, and may even be found in wetlands, moorlands and arid savanna.
When hunting, the common kestrel characteristically hovers about 10–20 m above the ground, searching for prey, either by flying into the wind or by soaring using ridge lift. This species is able to see near ultraviolet light, allowing the birds to detect the urine trails around rodent burrows as they shine in an ultraviolet colour in the sunlight.
F. tinnunculus requires the equivalent of 4–8 voles a day, depending on energy expenditure. They have been known to catch several voles in succession and cache some for later consumption. An individual nestling consumes on average 3–4 voles per day. (source: Wikipedia)
en Marble white
Melanargia galathea is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found in forest clearings and edges, meadows and steppe across most of Europe, southern Russia, Asia Minor and Iran.
Like other members of its subfamily, the larvae feed on various grasses. Eggs are laid on the wing, or from brief perches on grass stems, and are just sprinkled among the grass stems. Upon hatching, the larvae immediately enter hibernation and only feed the following spring when the fresh growth occurs. They are a lime-green colour, with a dark green line running down the middle of their back. Pupation takes place at ground level in a loose cocoon. Adults emerge in July, and, on a good site, in warm, sunny weather, thousands can be seen gently fluttering amongst the grass heads. (source: Wikipedia)