|Male Glow Worm (Lampyris noctiluca).|
We've discovered a less desirable garden visitor though. But before this was discovered, we went out for a butterfly/wildlife walk to two spots with tracks usually pretty good for butterflies. On the Melodious Warbler track I spotted a mature fox walking across some fields - do you know I think this is the first time I've seen one in broad daylight! I've seen urban foxes at night in London and have seen them on rare occasions round here whilst driving at night, caught in the headlights. So I was really happy to see it. However...... there have been quite a few cherry pip laden poos around in our garden, probably a mix of hedgehog (if they eat cherries), stone martens, and one which was distinctly dog like. So Keith set up the trail camera to see what might get caught. We were a bit shocked to see who is managing to get inside the garden at night - thank goodness the chickens are safely shut inside the shed, and I hope my remaining two ducks stay out on the water. I'm not sure that I mentioned that Freckles, the last of the original white ducks, disappeared without trace a few months back, apart from a pile of white feathers. :-(
|Not too keen on this garden visitor!|
The trail camera also picked up a strange vision in the early morning...... (I'm now letting the chickens out and bringing Keith his cuppa in bed - the least I can do after all he's been doing for me for the last four months!)
|Caught in my dressing gown and wellies again, with Bertie keeping me company!|
I've started to do a bit of gardening and I'm trying to tidy up and dead head in the flower beds, as there are lots of annuals and biennials which are over and need pulling out. That's a job and a half and I'm only able to do a bit here and there, but I've been enjoying it as it's been a long time since I did any proper gardening!
|My sedums in pots are flowering, and the house leeks.|
|Here's the sort of mess that needs sorting - Love in a Mist gone to seed, |
ditto Chives which need chopping back, plus that yellow weed
is setting seed..... all these are self seeded plants anyway!
Just a few pics taken around the place in the last week or so.
|Male Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans).|
Demoiselles are hard to capture as they don't stay still for long and I always have to zoom in on them - never got close enough to use macro on them. But I love those wings.
|Female Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) - I think. |
They have a white spot on the wing tips that are smaller than that of
the Banded Demoiselle, but the females seem hard to tell apart.
|Female Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo).|
|Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris), a wildflower growing down by the pond edge. |
It also grows low through the mowed areas in the
slightly wilder areas of my garden.
|A small solitary bee on a wildflower.|
|My Bronze Fennel is covered in Common Red Soldier Beetles (Rhagonycha fulva), |
many of whom are mating.
Here are some creatures I saw on my last wildlife walk. I've only been out once as it's either been too hot, or overcast and therefore no good for butterflies, or I wasn't feeling up to it, but the ditches and verges are full of wildflowers and insect life and I reckon I saw about 15 species of butterfly between two places.
|This lovely dragonfly was following us about. |
It's a female Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).
|Female Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).|
|Best I've got so far this year of a Marbled White (Melanargia galathea), |
I did a lot better two years ago when there were loads of them about!
|A Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) was happy feeding from these flowers when a |
tatty old Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) arrived, a little too close for the Skipper.
|So the Large Skipper skipped off!|
At home the Gatekeepers have just started to appear, and I saw a Map butterfly yesterday, but apart from tons of (Cabbage) Whites, Meadow Browns and Hummingbird Hawkmoths, I'm not seeing the variety that I saw out and about. I did get a glimpse of what I think is a Lulworth Skipper, as I've been watching my tall lavenders through the window, and a teeny skipper landed on one yesterday, only to disappear completely as soon as I got outside..... typical. They are one of the few butterflies who love the lavender and I've been seeing these skippers on them for the last two years, so here's hoping I'll get to see them closer up soon! :-)
Overhead the Swifts are flying low and making that whee whee sound that they do; I wonder if they are youngsters. They always sound like they are saying "Whee, look at me, I can fly!". And Keith found a grass snake in one of our compost bins, always a nice thing to find, but luckily it hadn't laid any eggs as he needed to turn the compost.
|Map Butterfly (Araschnia levana) 2nd generation.|