backswimmer, badger, borage, crabapple, damselflies, gatekeeper, green woodpecker, holly blue, long-tailed tit, peacock butterfly, starling, tadpoles, tiger moth, wildlife garden
Preparing to depart for a wildlife trip to the wetlands of Brazil, the Pantanal, at the end of the week, I thought I would do a photoblog entry about the wildlife in my own garden since the beginning of the year. Except that it turns out that it is going to have to be three days’ worth of entries. It also turns out that I only got down to a serious photographic record in August, before then being very haphazard.
My bird seed disappears very rapidly in the winter, the most numerous commensals being chaffinches, goldfinches and above all starlings.
They roost at night with millions of others, after spectacular murmurations if the conditions are right, in the reedbeds of the Somerset Levels – and at dawn scatter to the gardens and fields surrounding for miles around. There can be as many as 30 or 40 in this tree and on the ground at one time. In summer though, I can go for weeks without seeing a single one.
Robins – not necessarily the same ones, since they also migrate to a certain extent – are here year round.
In the same month, the frogs start getting amorous. Here are a couple in amplexus in my pond, and the results of their amours.
The next six pictures were taken in March.
April sees the arrival of many bees. Here is a solitary (that is, not living in a community) bee.
I always feel guilty that the nail-holes in this summerhouse will not provide the sort of nests that they want, and that the bees waste their time trying. I really will buy or make a bee house for them soon.
When I stand under my crab-apple tree in blossom-time, the humming of, mainly, honeybees is almost deafening. Butterflies also enjoy the nectar.
Here is a damselfly (wings closed behind it and much smaller than dragonfly) on a field maple.
We’re into May now. Just one picture. I don’t know what this insect is, but it’s rather handsome in my view.
Badgers use my garden most of the year, and I have seen, and been able to stand among – badgers’ sight is notoriously poor – as many as eight of them, including young, foraging for insects in, or rather within, the turf. They emerge from their setts as it is getting, or it has become, thoroughly dark. However in the long days of June they are forced to come out while there is still a little daylight, and I was thrilled to get this picture from my kitchen window around 9 pm one evening.
Last year I saw – and have seen elsewhere this year – Jersey tiger moths. In June I was delighted to see in my own garden Scarlet tiger moths, so-called for obvious reasons.
Only the buddleia in this picture is in my garden. These sparrows wait in a neighbour’s garden taking their turn to raid my feeders. There are more than 30 of them in this picture.
Once the borage is out, honeybees have a clear preference for its flowers, while the bumblebees stay with the lavender.
I love it when long-tailed tits flit through the garden.
We’ve arrived at August. More pictures from that month next time.