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12/12/2013 at 07:46

Hi, this is a strange one. I have a shrub app 2mtrs from our fishpond, I think it's a Black Phoebe, strange name as it has white spongy puff balls. Over the past few nights a dozen or so of these puff balls have appeared right next to the pond edge & appear to have been broken up. None are actually in the pond. The first time we saw this I swept them away, but they were back the following morning? What on earth is going on. The only wildlife we have around are Squirrel, Magpie & Rooks plus the usual array of birds oh! & the odd cat taking a short cut. All the pods taken from the plant are deposited next to the pond, none are on the ground around the plant. This is weird. Any thoughts are appreciated.

12/12/2013 at 08:03

I didn't remove the pods yesterday, this morning there are more heaped on top of the others. Spooky!

12/12/2013 at 08:13

Don't know any shrub called a Black Phoebe - is it a snowberry? 

http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/wildflowers/74325-snowberry.htm  

 

The berries usually fall and because they are light they blow about in the wind - they are sometimes eaten by pheasants but usually only in hard weather as they are quite bitter.  Perhaps yours have been tried and rejected .

12/12/2013 at 11:05

Black Phoebe is a bird (USA). Can you post a photo, or describe your shrub in more detail, please?

12/12/2013 at 16:26

Could these 'puffballs' be the seedheads of japanese anemone?

12/12/2013 at 16:55

a picture would help

14/12/2013 at 07:47

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/35112.jpg?width=480&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/35113.jpg?width=480&height=350&mode=max

 

Hi, sorry for the late reply, but the "instant notifier email" hasn't worked. Yes it's a Snowberry, dunno where I got Black Phoebe from, (senior moment) I really can't see them being blown into a neat pile & none end up in the pond. Something is definitely moving them. The 1st pic is before a pile was formed, as I didn't move them after moving them when they first appeared. The 2nd pic shows an almost bare bush. PS The culprit isn't the tortoise next to the pond!

14/12/2013 at 09:06

Mice make little caches fruits, eaten and half eaten, but they're usually hidden away.

KEF
14/12/2013 at 09:19

Magpies dunk bread in water, wonder if you have a silly one that thinks it's bread. Think it must be birds if higher up the plant is being stripped.

14/12/2013 at 12:41

It was the over-night thing that made me think rodent rather than bird KEF. 

Mice are good climbers

14/12/2013 at 13:01

The berries are poisonous to most but foxes and squirrels eat them. Could either of those be the culprit? 

14/12/2013 at 13:29

They are planted as food for birds - they are not affected by the substances that are toxic to humans.

14/12/2013 at 20:47

We've only seen squirrel in the garden. I've laid a footprint pad with a layer of sand, hopefully that should give us a clue to what/who the culprit is. Whatever it is, it likes a nice flat area to eat/store them rather than on the shale. Watch this space.

14/12/2013 at 20:58

I love working out these mysteries.

Something is regularly stirring up the mud all along one of our ponds. I think that must be happening at night. 

KEF
15/12/2013 at 08:48

Nut, bet that's a Magpie 

I hadn't taken note of the overnight activity ( nocturnal Magpie ? ) think you are more likely to be right.  I'm also looking forward to finding out who the culprit is.

What if it continues and there aren't any footprint 

15/12/2013 at 08:57
gsdf&f wrote (see)

We've only seen squirrel in the garden. I've laid a footprint pad with a layer of sand, hopefully that should give us a clue to what/who the culprit is. Whatever it is, it likes a nice flat area to eat/store them rather than on the shale. Watch this space.

Any News???

gsdf&f wrote (see)

We've only seen squirrel in the garden. I've laid a footprint pad with a layer of sand, hopefully that should give us a clue to what/who the culprit is. Whatever it is, it likes a nice flat area to eat/store them rather than on the shale. Watch this space.

 

nutcutlet wrote (see)

I love working out these mysteries.

Something is regularly stirring up the mud all along one of our ponds. I think that must be happening at night. 

Heron?  Otter? Water vole?  Duck?

15/12/2013 at 09:44

Heron?  Otter? Water vole?  Duck?

 

Any of those Dove, though I've never seen an otter in the garden.

I think we need one of those IR cameras set up on the end of the shed pointed down the pond.

15/12/2013 at 10:53

I'm sure that's well within your OH's capabilities Nut - in fact, have you bought him a Christmas present yet?  It might be just what he's always wanted 

15/12/2013 at 14:52

No news on the footprint trap. Not surprised really, the cupboard, ooops sorry, the bush is almost bare. Another mystery, can anyone explain why the notifier isn't working?

15/12/2013 at 15:35

Working for me at the moment.

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