Saturday, 26 March 2011


While gardening I looked up and saw another buzzard, this time circling high above our garden. Unfortunately by the time I got my camera it was circling away to the west and was little more than a dot in the sky.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Honey bees on Grape Hyacinth

We have numerous honey bees visiting the grape hyacinth in our front garden. In our area in Portslade, they grow like weeds and swamp out the flower borders. Nothing ever seemed to visit them and we were constantly trying to dig them up.

Then last year they were visited by honey bees (and an unidentified mining bee species) and even a couple of peacock butterflies.

I have now let them spread into the lawn at one end and these appear to attract the most bees.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Churchyard Foxes

I visited our local churchyard to have a look at the foxes I had heard about apparently there are six altogether. Unfortunately people have been feeding them dog biscuits and they have become very tame.

They keep coming up to people to see if they have food. I am a bit concerned that someone will get bitten, as they appear tame and if someone without food tries to stroke them, they may get bitten. Then of course who will be to the blame, the foxes.

The one I saw was beautiful. A selection of my photographs below, enjoy.

 Me and my shadow.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Ariel dog fight

 As a kestrel flew over our garden it was constantly harried by a crow that mobbed and dive bombed it.

 Three in a row
Eventually they both disappeared into the distance.

Some of the frog spawn, that I rescued after it had been dragged out of the pond, has started to develop.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Hairy-footed bee

I have recorded the first Hairy-footed bee, Anthophora plumipes, in our garden on the Pulmonaria plant by the pond. It was male, which is mainly brown, while the female is black.

This sighting is a few weeks earlier than in previous years.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Queen buff-tailed bumble bee

I got a quick glimpse of another queen buff-tailed bumble Bombus terrestris this aftrenoon as it flew around the garden. Possibly looking for a nest site. It was cloudy and very windy. It didn't stay for long before it flew off into the neighbours garden.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


While walking through my local park (Easthill) here in Portslade I noticed two large birds flying high, from the north east.
As they got closer I could see they were buzzards.
They are probably common buzzard, markings can be quite varied in this species so identification is not always easy.

One had a ragged tail.

As they flew over the park they circled effortlessly. It was a spectacular site

They eventually drifted off towards the south west. The pictures were taken on a 24x zoom and then enlarged.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Frog spawn mystery

I awoke this morning to find a big clump of frog spawn had been dragged from the pond and was on the path nearby. (Approx 7.30am) The pond is slightly raised 30cm from the ground, and the water level about 8 cm from the top of the pond

The spawn had been dragged out over the wall (wet patch visible) and the clump was on the ground nearby, stretched away from the wet wall. (trailing water patch visible). When I had observed this clump a couple of days ago, it appeared to be about 15 cm at its longest point).

This was the only clump of frog spawn near the edge of the pond that was completely submerged and free floating. The other clumps of spawn, easily accessible from the vegetation had been laid partly on the vegetation and stuck fast (I tried to move them into the water, but could not dislodge them without fear of damaging the eggs).

Any ideas! My thought was a fox; we do have foxes that pass through our garden late evening and early morning. We also have lots of cats around this way and they do take a lot of interest in the pond, but do little more than dip their paw in - and not really enjoying the sensation. We also have lots of herring gull, but I can't imagine them being able to drag a clump of spawn out either.
The spawn still looked fairly fresh and the water patches had not dried up, so it must have happened. I managed to pick the clump up carefully using a dustpan and put it back in the pond.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Queen Buff-tailed Bumble Bee

I saw the first bumble bee in the garden today. It was a queen buff-tailed bumble Bombus terrestris.
After flying around the window boxes it settled on the window frame sunning itself.
Queen Bumble bees usually come out of hibernation in March to start a new colony as only the queen survives the winter. The pollen baskets on the legs were empty.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Rescued spawn

The frog spawn that I rescued a few days ago, that had been laid on the path, has now absorbed water and swollen as normal. As I expected, many of the eggs, that were stuck to the path, are not viable.
The eggs at the top look normal.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Icy weather

The pond has frozen over today, including parts of the spawn clumps exposed above the water.