Saturday, 23 November 2013

A large flock of teal

A flock of 260 plus teal lifted from the common this week, I wonder what spooked them, we had a possible female hen harrier this morning!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Feathered Thorn

One of the moths from last nights moth trap in our garden, this handsome male Feathered Thorn ( Colotios pennaria) 

such striking eyebrows!!!  It is only the male that has the feathered antennae

Sunday, 22 September 2013

sedum - a must for butterflies and bees

Our sedum has just burst into flower - just in time as the buddleia has almost finished flowering now.
Today it was covered in flies, hoverflies, bees and butterflies.

Note to self - must buy a couple more for next year!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Common darter - dragonfly on our glacial boulder

I don't think I've ever mentioned our glacial boulder before have I? - We have a large boulder, sitting on top of our lawn, which we dug up from under our lawn, it took five of us to move it to where it sits now, we have all at various times sat on it and it provides a useful perch for others too!

Common darter Sympetrum striolatum

Monday, 26 August 2013

caterpillar heaven

Those who have visited us will know that our garden couldn't exactly be described as immaculate, we do not have neatly cut edges around our lawn which isn't cut as often as many are. We have a very over grown but controlled herb garden predominantly marjoram with a couple of lavenders, chives and rosemary thrown in for good measure. This spring we dug up our old flower bed just leaving our buddleias and re-planted it with half a dozen other bee and butterfly friendly shrubs and to fill in the gaps this year we sowed some wild flower seeds which weren't particularly successful this year so we will have to re -think that for next year.
Alongside our lawn we have a patch of nettles, which we leave for the butterflies and this year we have many peacock butterfly caterpillars feeding on it.

In May I received a selection of herbs including a horseradish - Two weeks ago it looked healthy and stunning - then all of a sudden, this happened - it turns out that horseradish is a tasty herb for large white caterpillars

as is nasturtium

oh well the nasturtiums were coming to the end for this year - and at least I know that we have helped at least two species of butterflies this summer and provided an additional food supply for some of the garden birds too

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Butterfly garden - Red Admiral and Painted Lady

Red Admiral and Painted Lady butterflies finally both make an appearance in our garden today. Always a delight to watch.
painted lady
painted lady

painted lady

painted lady Amazing patterns on their under wing

Painted Lady with Red Admiral

 Red Admiral

 Red Admiral

 Red Admiral

 Red Admiral with peacock

A couple of gate keepers - looking very tired

Also in the garden today plenty of whites, large, small and green veined , meadow brown, and small tortoiseshell, along with a  silver y moth and a common darter dragonfly

silver y
common darter
And an egret flew by followed a couple of hours later by a hobby so all in all a cracking good day

Saturday, 10 August 2013

A thorny National Moth Night

It is 'National Moth Night' 8th - 11th August, so what better excuse than to get our trap out again last night. We have spent the morning identifying, photographing and recording them - we actually only recorded 45 different species and although that is quite a low number for us, several of the species were new to our garden!
including this swallow prominent and pebble prominent.

Swallow Prominent

Pebble Prominent
and this oak hook-tip
Oak Hook-Tip

 But for me the stars were the thorns, and today we had Early, August, Dusky and Canary-shouldered.  Thorns are fast becoming my favourite moths as for me they are moths with a quirky character, I guess it has something to do with their long legs and their comical faces.

Early Thorn

Early Thorn

Early Thorn

August Thorn

August Thorn

Dusky Thorn

Dusky Thorn

Dusky Thorn

Canary-shouldered Thorn

Canary - shouldered Thorn
  We also had several (6) of these Ruby tigers too
ruby tiger

our complete moth list from last night is 
Lesser Broad bordered yellow Underwing 20               
Dingy footman  20                                                    
Flame Shoulder 8
Drinker 2
Antler 1
Canary-shouldered Thorn 1
Dark arches 3
Smokey Wainscot 2
Mother of pearl 8          
Dusky Thorn 4
August Thorn 2
Blood-vein 1
Ruby Tiger 6
Dun-bar 7
Lesser yellow underwing 6
Early Thorn 2
Common Footman 2
Snout 1
Swallow Prominent 1
Pebble Prominent 1
Silver Y 8
Broad bordered Yellow Underwing 4
Lunar Yellow Underwing 1
Common Rustic 11
Copper Underwing 1
Crescent 3
Magpie 1
Clouded Border 1
Mottled Rustic 2
Common Carpet 4
Chinese Character 1
Small rivulet 2
Riband Wave 1
Small Fan-footed wave 1
Flame carpet 2
Shaded Broad-bar 1
Oak hook-tip 1
Rosy Rustic  2
Flounced Rustic 1
Suspected 3
Ingrailled Clay 1
Cloaked Minor 1
Bird cherry ermine 3
Agapeta zoegana 1
Euzophera pinguis 1