Thursday, 25 June 2015

The little things in life ...

Sometimes it's the little things in life that can make the great big dark clouds bearable. Get out there and look around and you never know what you might find ...

This little fly, pretending to be a bee, caused a bit of a twitter buzz yesterday. I just happened to take a photo of an orchid and this fly was sitting on it. A fly fan spotted the photo on the blog and said it was very rare. Turns out it's an Ogcodes gibbosus, the Smart-banded Hunchback Fly and this is the first one recorded in Oxfordshire since 2006. That's quite exciting, even if I had no idea at the time! The larvae of the fly attach themselves to the body of spiders, then feed inside the spiders body (yum!)

I've found two different parent bugs on the Silver Birch tree in the back garden. They lay their eggs, then brood the eggs and the young. I can't think of many bugs that are such dedicated parents, hence their name.
Parent bugs and her eggs
I think these are newly hatched eggs - still being protected by the parent bug
Ladybird larvae are out and about in the garden - they remind me of tiny monsters, munching mouthfuls of aphids, before pupating and turning into beautiful ladybirds.

We've had a song thrush singing in the garden every evening. It's such a treat! Looks like it's been enjoying some of our snails too!

A couple of weeks ago we watched an Orange Tip butterfly laying her eggs on the Night-scented Stock in the garden. The caterpillars have hatched and we keep catching a glimpse of them, even though they are really well camouflaged and are still tiny.


We found this tiny cricket on the nettle patch. It's just changed it's skin and you can see the old skin next to it on the leaf.

We had a huge bumblebee (maybe a buff-tailed bumblebee) that was stuck in the window. We launched a rescue mission and caught it in a pot, before putting it outside. It seemed really cross, so I was slightly worried when we released it, but it dived straight into the flowers and was actually very happy to be free (and very hungry). Eventually it flew off and seemed fine.

Stuck in the window, but not for long

Very cross about being in a pot

A happy ending - getting stuck into the flowers and very happy to be free
A sunbathing blackbird - just because they look so funny!

Not so small, but I can't resist a Red Kite! I was walking the dog and several Red Kites were very low down in the trees. When I got closer I realised a couple of kites were eating a Woodpigeon on the ground and the others were hanging around waiting for their chance to get some of it.

Sorry - bit gory!
And finally, Bug Mad Girl decided to teach the dog all about bugs!


  1. Congrates on finding that rare fly! That is a brilliant discovery. Well done! How many people tweeted about it?

    1. Thanks - didn't really find it though. Just took a photo that it happened to be in and somebody else spotted it! Maybe a dozen people tweeted (not sure the fly community is that big!) but they were all quite excited about it!!

  2. I always look out for the little things! That fly was a brilliant find and what luck that a twitter person (tweeter?!) spotted it. How exciting! I've never found a shield/parent bug laying eggs, or any tiny baby ones but I keep hoping I will see that one day!
    I think I'd enjoy that book BMG is reading - I'm a bit of a bug made girl too!

    1. I've never seen a parent bug with eggs or young before either. She's still out in the tree guarding them though!
      Bugs are great, although BMG laughs at me because I'm not very keen on holding some of them (Cockchafers mainly!) I leave that to her!!