Friday, 24 April 2015

Not doing the gardening

I've made the most of the lovely weather, before the rain sets in tomorrow, and spent the last two days in the garden. I was pretending to tidy the garden, but spent quite a lot of the time totally distracted by the butterflies, bees and birds.

A holly blue spent most of the last 2 days rushing up and down. I don't think I saw it settle once. There were also brimstones and orange tips flying around, but best spot was my first green-veined white of the year. It settled on the choisya bush, blending in rather well with the bright yellow leaves, and was quite happy to have a camera stuck in it's face.

When they open their wings they look like a large white, but underneath
they are really quite pretty
I then spent quite a lot of time following a bumble bee (I think it was a buff-tailed bumble bee) around the garden. They're tricky things to photograph because they never sit still!

Coming in to land
Coming in to land 2 - Looks like I strapped a tiny camera onto his back for this one!
This was a different bumble bee, with yellow, white, then black on it's bottom. Not sure of the name, but different to the one above on the apple tree.

A hairy bottom!
Helping with the watering
There were lots of other buzzy beasts to keep me from my gardening.

Hoverfly - look at those eyes!

Wasp, chewing on the fence
I checked the nettle patch and they're growing really fast now. No sign of any aphids yet, but there are lots of little moth caterpillars that have made a silk hideout in the tips of the leaves. I also found one patch of leaves that have been eaten by something bigger. I couldn't see what, but I'll keep an eye on them.
Something's been eating the nettles
Then I spotted two tiny little flies mating. They were minute and very funny looking things!

My gardening buddy, Robbie, followed me around the garden just in case I unearthed any worms and a blackbird seemed quite surprised to see me, before jumping into a flower pot for a sunbathe. A greenfinch picked some nesting material out of one of our nesting bundles (I love it when a plan comes together!) and a bird sat high up in the silver birch (I think it was a chiffchaff). A pair of goldfinches have been visiting the bird feeders every day and they popped in for some seed. All the time, the red kites kept an eye on what I was doing.

Robbie loves a bit of gardening

Greenfinch just after it had selected its nesting material from
our nesting bundle

A chiffchaff, I think

Keeping an eye on things
Then on the way home from school we found our first hawthorn flowers (they're one of the things they want to know about for the Big Spring Watch, so we've recorded our find). We also found a red kites nest in the park, where they're sitting on eggs. The nest is in a tall tree in the park, right between the play equipment and the church. Must be quite noisy, but they don't seem to care. It'll be a good one to keep an eye on though as we go past it most days.

The nest is top left, with the play area right below it

Peeping out of the nest

Sitting on eggs - To the left, you can see her tail sticking out of the nest