Sunday, 30 August 2009

Wood pigeon, hummingbird hawk moth and slow worm

Have suspected for sometime that wood pigeon are nesting in the tree that overhangs our garden. The last couple of days I have heard the almost pathetic cries of two young wood pigeons being feed by an adult. I say young, they are almost as pig as the parent and slight differences in the beak and plumage distinguish them.

Common urban birds, because they are more settled in towns etc, often give us a peak at a larger part of their lives than the less common species.

A hummingbird hawk moth again visited the red valerian growing from our flint wall. It was quite windy and the moth did not stay around for long. A red admiral butterfly also passed through the garden, but did not settle.

For the last few weeks we have had a couple of bags of wood chips laying on our front lawn, waiting to be put on the garden boarders. I was concerned that they may be damaging the grass beneath so decided to move them. As I lifted up the first bag I noticed a smallish slow worm (legless lizard) curled up underneath.
I checked the second bag, but found nothing except squashed grass.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Emperor Dragonfly and egg laying speckled wood

Another hot sunny day. I noticed a large Emperor dragonfly darting to and fro in our neighbours garden, occasionally crossing into our garden. It was probably hunting for flying insects which this species catches in flight, often patrolling an area. The dragonfly was around in the same area for much of the afternoon. There are many flying insects around the large tree that overhangs our garden and the dragonflies patrol was centered around this area.

I noticed a second speckled wood butterfly laying eggs on the long grass next to our lawn. For first observation of this see 8th August 2009.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Small white butterflies egg laying

It was a hot sunny day yesterday. Several small white butterflies Pieris rapae in the garden feeding on the Buddleia bush and laying eggs on the nasturtium plants.

The butterfly is in the process of laying an egg. You can also see a few eggs that have already been laid on the leaf.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Hummingbird hawk moth

Early evening I noticed a hummingbird hawk moth feeding from the Red Valerian. Hummingbird hawk moth are a summer visitor to the UK which flies during the day - its wings make a humming sound up close. It darts from flower to flower and hovers uses its long tongue to probe for nectar.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Egg-laying speckled wood and blue butterflies

As we only have a very small garden we have not been able to create a meadow garden as we would have liked. We do let the clover and other small flowering plants remain in our lawn. We also allow some of the lawn edges, where they are bordered by shrubs, to grow uncut. I was really pleased today to see a speckled wood butterfly laying eggs on the long grass at one corner of the garden.

Egg on grass

The garden was also visited by two of the blue butterflies. A female common blue (below) the females have brown upper wings tinged with blue with a fringe of orange spots.

This Holly Blue (blue) was actually photographed just outside our garden on the track where it settled.