Sunday, 15 June 2014

What a wild weekend

The Safari hasn't been able to go out far this weekend, in fact we've barely left the garden here  at Base Camp but as we saw during the National Garden Bioblitz a couple of weeks ago we didn't need to go out there's plenty only a few feet from your back kitchen door.
We wandered around our tiny empire camera in hand looking for anything of interest to point it at - the bees caught our attention as they climbed in and out of the tall Foxglove spikes.
Bees eye view of the ttarget
The sun had got tthe Blue Tailed Damselflies in the mood for love and several were flying around for fun.
 Some had only just emerged and were still in their teneral colours - orlack of them
It doesn't take them long to colour up
The pond provided us our regular Frog that peeks out fom time to time
and now it the time the dancing lily flies Poecilobothrus nobilitatus are at their most active giving it plenty on their floating leafy dance-floor. This one is a female, the males have darker longer wings with white tips.
Other invertebrates that caught our eye were this Eristalis hoverfly most likely to be Eristalis arbustorum
A chunky sawfly came to rest on the new ornamental Cockerel, a 'must have' after our chicken filled hols in Shropshire...those clever iSpotters tell us itt's not a sawfly but a wasp, Ectemnius sp a solitary wasp that stings other insects to paralyse them then lays its eggs on them. Having had a proper look at the pic we can now see the narrow waspy waist which we hadn't noticed earlier assuming it to be the same thickness all the way down the body hence our sawfly mis-ID.
We have a little bee-house, one of those things with bamboo tubes and blocks of wood with holes drilled in it, nothing nesting in there yet but this little mining bee totally ignored it and went in a hole in the neighbour's gate post, here it is coming out backwards.
A Garden Cross Spider was tying up what looks like a large parasitic wasp, something a bit like a Yellow Ophion type thingy, one of which was in our very disappointingly almost devoid of moths.
The full moon was the cause of the lack of moths, far too much competition for the paltry bulb. Heart & Darts made up more than half of the catch which numbered only six in total!
This one caused a bit of trouble but was eventually identified through Facebook - Middle Barred Minor.
Birds weren't upto much as we were mooching about in their territory. The Starlings hoovered up the mealworms we put out only 20 minutes earlier when there wasn't a Starling in sight - can they smell them from afar?
 A short walk with Frank had us photographing some lovely Selfheal in the grass verge alongside the main road - but how long will it last - 'Say no to the mow' folks and give the wildflowers (and all important pollinators a chance).
This morning the moth trap was much fuller, mostly with Heart & Darts again but there were other goodies lurking in the depths.
Here's a selection
The Magpie
Peppered Moth
Shuttle Shaped Dart
Turnip Moth
Clouded Border
Cochylis atricapitana

Marbled Minors - (agg)
Pammene regiana
Scoparia ambigualis
The Clouded Border and tiny 'micros' are new for the garden.
So there you have it a back garden safari with all manner of new, bizarre and exciting wildlife found and enjoyed - it's all there right outside your door waiting to for you to start exploring.
Where to next? Back to Patch 2, what will be out there?
In the meantime let us know who's facing you off in your outback.

1 comment:

Heather Wilde said...

A great post. I know I appreciate my garden wildlife a lot more after the Bio Blitz a few weeks ago. Really like that Magpie.