Thursday, 26 August 2010

Bathing beauties....15/08/2010

A couple of my garden visitors freshening up!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


What a sweet little Midge! I found it on the tiles in my front porch, it was lucky that I didn't tread on it as it was so tiny!

The Chironomidae, commonly known as non-biting midges, is a large, cosmopolitan family of nematocerans whose adults are small and delicate and superficially resemble mosquitoes.

No doubt tiny insects do not appeal to everyone but on close inspection I find them rather endearing and fascinating...I must get a!!!

Monday, 23 August 2010

A Summer update!

A Summer update...who am I kidding! It seems more like Autumn to me, dew on the grass most mornings, spiders webs glistening in the early morning sunshine (when it deems to shine), less and less sightings of Butterflies, the only saving grace is that the garden birds are slowly building back to sightings of species not seen for a few weeks or months in the case of the Wren. I spotted a juv Wren in my garden on Wednesday (18th), the first I have seen in my garden since the 1st week of April. A welcome sight too after fears for their survival rate after the harsh Winter. The following day (19th) the Wren was picking off the greenfly on the Sweet Pea plants! There will be plenty to keep the Wren going for a good week or two if this damp weather keeps up! Blackbirds are returning also Great and Blue Tits, the Great Tits looking especially smart! Butterflies are few and far between since the weather cooled. During a warm spell I had Comma and Peacock regularly on the Buddleias along with what seemed swarms of Hoverflies and various bees on the Vipers Bugloss, not forgetting the Ladybirds. I have not seen so many Ladybirds for a few summers as I have this summer, our native Ladybirds and also Harlequins. One Ladybird had a lucky escape one day last week, I had started to iron the washing that I had just brought in and a Ladybird appeared as I turned over a T-shirt to iron the other lucky Ladybird! I put it outside into a planter of flowers to recuperate after the shock. The Ladybird not the T-shirt!

Visits to Brandon Marsh, Upton Warren and Lower Smite Farm were partaken during the last week of July and early August. Highlights at Brandon Marsh were Little Egret, Black-tailed Godwit, Hobby, Green Woodpecker, Kingfisher and a Brown Hawker. Very quiet at Upton Warren with highlights here being Common Tern, Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Beautiful Demoiselle, Comma and Peacock butterflies!
Lower Smite Farm was a pleasure as always to walk around! Highlights being Goldfinch, Chaffinch, House Sparrows, Green-veined White, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter and a few Froglets were seen along the walk...tiny little creatures! I am just glad I spotted them whilst walking!
I am seeing more Moth species than bird species this month, in fact trying to ID them is harder than trying to photograph them!

I visited the Birdfair at Rutland Water on Saturday (21st August), my first visit and enjoyed every minute of it! Chatted to some really friendly people on the stands and thoroughly enjoyed the Optics and Art Marquees. Saw Simon King, Chris Packham and Nick Baker, they didn't ask for my autograph so I didn't ask for!!! A very pleasant day all in all and hopefully on my next visit (probably leave it a year) I will stop over and visit the Reserve as well as the Fair as there was not enough time in one day and it is such a super Reserve!!

Friday, 6 August 2010

From Larva to Ladybird....19th July-2nd August 2010

I have been following the progress of the Harlequin Ladybird larva since I first spotted it on a Buddlaei bush in my garden. The date was the 19th July. It then settled into a static state on a leaf from the 23rd July until 2nd August when it emerged. I was lucky to have been at home and caught the action taking place. The process of emergence started at 10.11am and I periodically photographed the Ladybird, the last photo with the Ladybirds spots showing much clearer was taken at 14.49pm.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Moths.... July 2010

I have really enjoyed seeing the variety of species of moths in my garden of an evening, some have also stayed the night in my front porch giving me the chance to photograph them in daylight which is much easier. I find it quite challenging photographing moths that have landed on windows, flowers, frames etc at night. I take many photo's of the moths I find and it is pot luck whether I get a half decent image of them or!! My neighbours must wonder what an earth I am doing if they notice my camera flash going off late at!