Garden Robin

Garden Robin

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

#30 Days Wild

Apologies for lack of posts recently but just to let you know that I have decided to post all 30 Days Wild Activities - including garden wildlife and the bioblitz - on my other blog Ragged Robin's Nature Notes (please see link on the right).

Hopefully, once July arrives I will start putting garden posts back on here.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Quick Update

Garden Nesting Activity

The Blue Tit eggs hatched last Wednesday 18th May. It was initially difficult to count the nestlings but finally counted nine so all the eggs have hatched!
(Sorry photos not the best!).

I thought the young wrens had fledged at the weekend but I was wrong - the adults are still going in and out of the nest. I spent ages trying to get a photo which is difficult as I don't want to stop the adults feeding - this is the best I could manage. (I promise if you enlarge the photo you can just make out one of the adults perched among the patio pots and on it's way to the nest).

Moths and Butterflies

I've not been putting out the moth trap much over the last two weeks as catches were so low - Shuttle-shaped Dart is the only new moth species for the year. There are several Holly Blues around the garden most days and we are still seeing the occasional Orange Tip.

Wildflower Meadow

The Yellow Rattle plugs have been planted in the Wildflower Meadow but we didn't really need to order them as hundreds of the seeds have germinated. As long as they all survive the meadow will look a picture when they all flower and hopefully the plants will help to eradicate the couch grass.

A few of the Yellow Rattle plants among other species

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Garden Update - Nests, flowers, butterflies,

A belated update on the Blue Tits - the female has laid 9 eggs and started incubating on Tuesday, 3rd May. The incubation period is 13-15 days so we should have a happy event early next week.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos - the camera relays via the tv screen.

I am pretty sure the female wren is incubating eggs also in a nest in ivy on the patio.

The garden is looking very colourful at the moment - I went out a few days ago to practise using the Canon bridge camera.

The euphorbia I thought I had lost

Green Alkanet is in flower and plants are spreading all over the garden.

Azaleas starting to bloom

A patch of Wood Anemone and

Honesty has been attracting Orange Tip butterflies.

Orange Tips first started appearing on the 4th May and I saw my first Large White on 6th May.

I spotted the first Bee Fly of the year on 8th May - a Dark-edged Bee Fly - sorry no photo I did manage to get D to fetch the camera and even focused only for the camera to tell me there was no camera card :(

First Shield Bug of the year spotted last week - believe it is a Green Shield Bug

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Good news on nesting activity :)

Yesterday we saw two Blue Tit eggs on the screen when we switched on the nest box camera. Eggs take 24 hours form so she must have laid the first on the 25th (they tend to cover them up during the day before they start incubating and they are not always easy to spot! Today there were three :)

Sorry not very good photos as I took photos of the tv screen and the camera tends to pick up the pixels.

We've had Blue Tits nesting in the garden for over 35 years - we put up nest boxes when we first moved in but I've only kept dates of egg laying since we had the nest box with camera as I have never wanted to disturb the birds.

The dates when the first egg was laid are as follows - its interesting to note that the 25th seems the most common date!

2010 28th April

2011 25th April

2012 25th April

2013 25th April

2014 14th April - this was the year when 10 eggs were laid (usually its around 5 or 6)

2015 ~17th May - very, very late

2016 25th April

Monday, 25 April 2016

Garden Moths and Birds and First Butterflies


In the trapping sessions I have had since my last post on moths, catches have been low (just a few Common Quakers and Hebrew Characters) but this Brindled Beauty was nice to see and a new tick for the year. Sexton Beetles have started to appear in the trap!

I've brought in the remaining Emperor Moth cocoons (from the caterpillars I raised two years ago). The adults can take up to 4 years to emerge so I am hoping I may get some females this year - the few that emerged last year were all male.


The Blue Tit's nest seems finished and she has roosted overnight in the box recently - in the past this has suggested that egg laying is imminent so fingers crossed. Blackbirds and Robins are feeding young and House Sparrows are collecting nest material. The wren is in the garden frequently so I am hopeful that the nest in the ivy will be used.

First Butterflies

A Holly Blue was seen briefly on 18th April and a Green-veined White 2 days later. Sorry, no photos - by the time I had been indoors and fetched the camera both had disappeared.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Garden Moths and Nesting News

Friday, 1st April

Min Temp 7.2 degrees Centigrade

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Common Quakers (Orthosia cerasi) x 5

Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) x 2

Twin-spotted Quaker (Anorthoa munda) x 1 (New for Year)

Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) x 1

If you were visiting my Ragged Robins Nature Notes blog 2 years ago you'll remember that I was given some Emperor Moth eggs and raised the caterpillars to pupae stage. A few males emerged from the cocoons last Spring but, as they can take several years to emerge,in the Summer I put the cage back in the coal house where its cooler to bring back indoors this Spring. Yesterday I noticed from Martin's Moth blog see here that his Emperor Moths had started emerging already. None of mine have appeared so far but I have now brought them indoors and placed the cocoons in a larger cage. I really do hope some females appear this year so I can try "assembling" to see if they attract some males. Alternatively, if I get just one female and male I will let them mate and raise some more caterpillars! Fingers crossed there will be some news soon!

Garden Birds

We had a visit from a Jay yesterday - a new garden species for the year.

Blue Tits appear to be lining the nest so will check the camera later to see if the female is roosting overnight as this is often a sign she will soon be laying eggs. Wren nesting activity continues, House Sparrows are collecting nesting material, the Robins appear to be feeding young and Blackbirds have built a nest in one of the shrubs.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Garden Moths and Books

I put out the moth trap last weekend - and trapped the following - all New For the Year

Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) - one of my favourite moths

Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)

Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)

As always if any of my id's are incorrect please let me know. Overnight temperatures are forecast to be milder this weekend so will hopefully be trapping again.

Garden Birds

A pair of Blue Tits are taking nesting material into the nestbox (which has a camera) and a Collared Dove visited the garden (a new species for the year).

Frog spawning activity went on for days - a good year for frogspawn :)

A Spring posy of flowers picked from the garden for Easter Sunday

Books (for Amanda)

I picked up a couple of book bargains at the Nurseries when I went looking for birthday presents for my friend last week.

The AA Book "Exploring Britain's Churches and Chapels" was greatly reduced to £6.99! In fact, I saw it at the same price yesterday in a National Trust shop. It features various churches region by region and has articles on features such as towers and spires. It's well worth buying if you are interested in churches.

This charming bee book was half price!

Will try and resist sneaky book purchases for a while and catch up on some of the books in my vast pile of "waiting to be read"!