Monday, 18 July 2016

It’s that time of year when the flying ants take to the sky, new queens and males on their nuptial flight.  


The Royal Society of Biology (formerly the Society of Biology) have been running a flying ant survey in collaboration with the University of Gloucestershire between 2012 and 2014 and I have provided my records for this survey.  As with 2015, this year, the survey is more informal but society is keen to receive reports, find out more at
The main flying ant nuptial flight in and around my garden took place on 18th July.

The main nest on our rockery 

Smaller nest in our front garden

A small nest under the pavement just outside our garden. 

As always many were eaten by birds including gulls that catch them, on the wing and also pick them of the ground. Some become entangled in spider webs before they get far from the ground.

The nuptial flight this year is earlier than last year which took place 31st July and 2nd   August

Friday, 8 July 2016

garden wildlife update

Phew! what a busy year and apologies for the fact there have not been any posts since March. This has been due to working on a nature reserve in Lewes Sussex - a former railway yard that has now become a community environmental hub in the form of a
Local Nature Reserve served by an innovative community building.

There is a small woodland, winterbourne stream, reed bed, ditches, water meadows and two ponds. The project I have been working on, as lead field teacher and lead freshwater biologist, called Railway Land Live can be seen here and you can also ready my nature posts tab 'places to think' for the project.

Meanwhile, in my garden, the tadpoles have now turned to frogs and lots more. Bees are busy visiting the garden, red mason bees have again nested in our bee hotel. Not many birds around at the moment as they are elsewhere rearing young etc - but will return last summer to autumn.

The swifts are gain nesting in the roof space of the house next door. Hering gull chicks are beginning to wander causing commotion as their parents try to defend them against any possible perceived danger.