Our lovely hedgehog put in an appearance. Not sure where he hibernated or where he hangs out during the day, but he seems to be in the garden every night and seems nice and healthy. The bouncy mouse that lives underneath the swing also couldn't resist some peanuts.
The kids love it when we run the moth trap, as it's very exciting opening it in the morning to see what's in there, then letting them all go again. It also gave me a chance to try out my moth Id book that I'd been given for Christmas. It's still quite tricky, so apologies if I've got them wrong!
The first night we only caught 8 moths, 4 Hebrew characters and 4 clouded drabs. It's still quite early in the year and it was a cold that night, so we weren't too surprised there weren't many there.
|Clouded drab - most moth names are really pretty and a bit over the top,|
but calling this one drab seems a bit mean!
|Another dotted chestnut|
|Satellite - named for the gold spot on the wings, with two little satellite spots|
either side of them
|March moth - interesting how it held it's wings crossed over it's back|
|Another picture of the March moth|
|Another type of plume moth called Emmelina monodactyla|
Somebody else was after the worms too!
Bug Mad Girl found what we thought was a wasp, but looked quite unusual with a lovely golden striped body, bronze tinted wings and slightly clubbed antenna. Not sure what it was, we posted the pictures on the NHM forum to see if anybody there could Id it. Somebody suggested a clearwing, which is a type of moth, so I asked the BC person who'd identified the dotted chestnut moth. He said it was a Zaraea lonicerae, a sawfly whose larvae feed on honeysuckle. Then somebody from the NHM forum replied that it was a large cimbicid sawfly. So another mystery solved.
|Sawfly, Zaraea lonicerae|
She also found a 7 spot ladybird, which we have recorded on the Natures Calendar website as part of The Big Spring Watch http://www.naturescalendar.org.uk/bsw.
Then she climbed the tree to clear the ivy away from the entrance to our bat box. We see bats in the garden, but have no idea whether they've ever used the bat box. Better chance of them using it if they can actually get in it though!
Many thanks to all the very clever moth and sawfly experts for helping us identify our discoveries!