Garden Robin

Garden Robin

Friday, 25 March 2016

Frogs in the Garden Pond

Common Frogs (Rana temporaria) were very active in the garden pond again this morning with several more clumps of spawn added. I estimated up to around 10 frogs.

A few photos

I've taken better photos in the past using a tripod with the Olympus and 70-300 lens but its a precarious business trying to manoeuvre a tripod and camera from the rockery!

Leaking pipe hopefully is now fixed so Easter baking is back on track :)

B's home-made Hot Cross Buns

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Frogspawn, Moths and Flowers

Frogs have been active in the pond - we finally have frogspawn - 3 clumps in the pond this morning :)

Sorry poor picture - low light and it was raining. Hopefully, may be able to get some photos of the frogs in action tomorrow.

I put out the moth trap a couple of times last weekend - 2 Common Quakers and a

Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) (New for Year)

We bought this pot of red daisies as a joint Valentine's Day present and the daisies are still flowering well.

Our neighbour's camelia is flowering profusely whereas

we have just one flower on our red one and one flower on the white.

I bought this Euphorbia a few years ago and, although it did well for a year or two, it then "disappeared" so I was pleased to see it re-appear this year. Although from the look of old seedheads on it, it must have flowered last year too. Feeling rather unobservant!

There are lots of daffodils in flower.

The Hellebore I bought last year is still flowering

as are Snowdrops.

Primroses have been flowering since before Christmas and

Primulas have now appeared too.

The bluebells we inherited when we bought the house in 1978 are coming into bloom.

Lungwort is still in flower - I have another plant further up the garden which flowers later in the year.

Grape Hyacinths are appearing.

B's attempts to eradicate couch grass in the wildflower meadow do not appear to be going well :( He planted loads of Yellow Rattle in the autumn so it will be interesting to see what, if any effect, that has. I have a horrible feeling we won't get many wild flowers this year :(

Still no sign of any butterflies in the garden and no droneflies yet. I have seen a few bumble bees whizzing past the kitchen window and a Blue Tit has started taking nesting material into the nestbox with a camera.

I hope everyone has a lovely Easter.

I am off out to buy some bottled water as B is attempting to repair a leaking hot water pipe (which suddenly got a lot worse yesterday) in the bathroom and we currently have no running water :( The water I put in jugs and kettle etc. is rapidly being used up. So much for making a Simnel Cake today!

Friday, 18 March 2016

Garden Moths and Birds Update

I put out the moth trap for the first time this year last weekend as the Garden Moth Scheme was starting again.

I trapped 2 new species for the year -

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) and

Common Plume (Emmelina mondodactyla)

Its a shame the Common Quaker had laid eggs in the pot - it doesn't happen very often but I will keep the eggs in the hope they will hatch. We have Birch, Hawthorn and Hazel which the larvae eat.

I will put the trap out again this weekend.

Common frogs and Smooth Newts are moving about in the pond but no frogspawn yet.....

We saw a Grey Heron (new bird species for the year) on the lawn this morning making its way to the pond and no doubt on the hunt for frogs. No photo I am afraid it didn't stay long.

Nesting activity has commenced with Blue Tits checking out the nest boxes, female blackbirds collecting nest material and taking it into one of the holly bushes and a wren is making a nest in ivy on the patio wall. The male wren makes several nests and the female will finish the one of her choice.

I saw my first bumble bee (one of the white-tailed species) whizzing past the kitchen window on Wednesday but still no butterflies.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Garden Moth Trapping Session - Monday, 7th March

Min Temp -3.2 degrees Centigrade

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Moths 0!

Will try running the trap again this weekend - looks as though it may be a little milder!

Monday, 7 March 2016

First Moth Trapping of 2016

I put the moth trap out for the first time this year last night - to be honest with low overnight temperatures forecast I probably wouldn't have bothered but it was the weekend that Garden Moth Scheme started. Unsurprisingly, there were no moths in the trap this morning! As the trap is all set up and a dry night is forecast I will try again tonight as some moths do fly in cold temperatures.

Sunday 6th March, 2016

Min Temp -1.3 degrees Centigrade

Garden Moth Scheme Week 1

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Moths 0