Sunday, 30 August 2015

Juvenile slow worm

The pavement outside out garden had become quite overgrown with grass and other vegetation. 
I decided to clear the pavement and to my surprise found a very small slow worm curled up in one of the small clumps of grass I pulled up.

I carefully placed the clump of grass plus slow worm into a overgrown corner of the garden. My wife found a juvenile slow worm in the garden a few days ago and adult slow worms turn up every now and again.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Yellow field ant nuptial flight

Yellow field ant nuptial flight started at just after 6.00pm. I had noticed over the last couple of weeks that there were two very small soil piles made by any in the front garden and two on the grass verge outside of the garden.
I knew we had a small yellow field ant colony in our front garden, but far out numbered by the black ants. I first noticed the nuptial flight when a flying ant landed on the book I was reading.

I looked up and noticed a few more ants in the air.

The yellow ant flight was much smaller than the black ant nuptial flights reported earlier.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Fox and Pipistelle Bat

Just before 9.00am I noticed a fox hunting in the track. It traveled nose to the ground crossing the track and looking in the vegetation, slowly making its way towards our house. I quickly went inside to get my camera.
I knew the flash would probably cause the fox to head back up teh track so I waited until it was near enough to take a photo. 
The flash caused the fox to freeze and it looked in my direction, but not sure if it could see me as I kept myself in front of our brick wall. It turned slowly and trotted back up the track.

Foxes were quite common around our way and in previous years I have watched a couple of foxes on their nightly rounds, but I have not seen them for a couple of years, so great to see this fox.

Just after the fox had gone, I noticed the pipistrelle bats were also now on the wing. Again, I have been watching these bats hunting along the track for the last few years. There are lots of insects in the track and the bats may hunt for a 20 minutes or more before moving on. I watched them for a while then went inside.  

A short while later I went back out to check and as I suspected, the fox was back hunting again. I knew that my presence would only cause it to go away temporarily

Monday, 3 August 2015

Bush Cricket

Due to the warm weather we often leave te conservatory oor open and today I found two bush crickets on the ceiling. Crickets feed on vegetation which our conservatory was very lacking of - so not sure what attracted them into our house.

I carefully examined one using my USB cam. I placed the cricket on some vegetation and after a while it started to move around. It moved in that same jerky swaying movement you might expect from a stick insect or praying mantis. It also carefully chose where it would place its legs as it climbed (pic through USB cam below).
The next morning there was a bush cricket on the outside of the window.
 I had previous;y seen bush crickets near our pond, on the bramble leaves.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

More on flying ants nuptial flight

Following the black ant nuptial flight on 31st July, we had a major flying ant event today starting at 5.15pm. This time the large ant nest in the back garden had a major nuptial flight, queens and males pouring out of the nest and launching into the air.
Some of the flying ants were caught in a spider web just above the nest, see top right of picture above.
There was also a major nuptial flight from the nest in our front garden, swarming up te fence post before fling from this elevated position.

 This seemed to be the main ant day for my neighbourhood as their were many other ants on the wing and later in the evening we drove down to the beach and encountered many flying ants on the way.
Records were again sent to the survey by the Royal Society of Biology see more at see more at get-involved/biologyweek/flying-ant-survey  and also my blog entry below 31st and 30th July.