Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The birds and the bees (and a few caterpillars)

This lovely little bee dropped in for a chat yesterday. Looked like it'd been very busy in the flowers!

The back garden birds have also been very busy and there are lots of babies around (and some tired looking parents!)

I made some bird cake for them as treat, but within a couple of minutes about 20 Starlings descended and ate the whole lot. They squabbled and fought, getting covered in it. There was an awful lot of strutting around the patio, shouting, pushing and general bad tempered behavior. Such funny birds to watch, it's just a shame they can't leave a bit of food for the other birds!

The Rooks have been visiting the bird table, but they're after the peanuts. They're so different to the Starlings, as even the slightest noise or movement will scare them off. The Starlings are too busy fighting to even notice you're there!

Very handsome, except perhaps for the bare bit of skin around their beak
They're big birds and struggle to get onto a bird table with a roof on it. They have to sit on the top, slide down the roof, then jump round to get onto the table. They seem to manage OK in the end, but it can take them a few attempts.

Our back garden Red Kite, Whistlejacket, is still around and sits in the Silver Birch and whistles every now and then. It's quite hard to get a clear shot of him now though as the leaves on the tree camouflage him quite well. They didn't nest in the tree they spent the winter sitting in, so must have picked somewhere else near by.

The Red Kites in the park are still sitting on eggs. You can just make out a white head peeping out of the nest (in the middle, between two pieces of white tissue or cloth).

Kenny, the Red Kite that nests every year in my parents garden, doesn't seem to have managed to breed this year. First his nest was blown out of the tree in the gales and he had to rebuild it. Then it seems something happened to his mate, Katrina. He seems to have found a new mate, but they aren't sitting yet and it's getting a bit late! Anyway, they are still visiting the nest and have been taking wool up there to line it. You never know, they may still lay, but it's looking unlikely for this year.
Bug Mad Girl's caterpillars are doing well. She has 10 Emperor Moth and 7 Chinese Oak Silk Moth caterpillars to look after. The Emperor Moths are native and will overwinter as pupae, emerging next spring. The Chinese Oak Silk Moths will turn into huge green caterpillars, eventually spinning a silk cocoon and hopefully emerging this year.

Both sets of eggs hatched over the weekend and the silk moths are already double the size of the Emperor moths. They should keep her busy over the next couple of months!
Emperor Moth caterpillars

Chines Oak Silk Moth

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant as always! I have a fern for you to ID on my blog. Quite a lot of drama too!