Saturday, 26 March 2016

Spring in the back garden

What a difference a day makes. We spent yesterday outside in the beautiful sunshine, at the Ragpits and in the back garden, marvelling at the delights of spring. Today we're all stuck indoors as the wind drives the rain sideways and it looks more like winter than spring. So, here are a few of our spring sightings from yesterday.

A brimstone was bombing around the back garden for much of the day. It's been around for a few days now and never seems to settle for long. We also saw our first comma of the year, which was more obliging and posed for a photo.

We had a couple of other firsts for the year in the back garden. Our first white-tailed bumble bee and a wasp were both sunbathing on the Mexican Orange Blossom. It's not in flower yet, but I think the bright yellowy leaves make it a good place to soak up the suns rays. It certainly seemed popular yesterday. Both of these are queens that have come out of hibernation and will be looking for sites to lay eggs and start a new colony.
White-tailed bumble bee

The back garden birds have all been extremely busy. Brenda, the blackbird, has been taking earth up to her nest to make the shiny, mud lining. She must be very nearly ready to lay eggs now. The blue tits have been in and out of the nest box on the silver birch and I've seen red kites flying over head carrying sticks, so they've started their nests too. Still no sign of a male blackcap, but the female is using the feeders every day and the goldfinches are often on the nyger seed feeders.

The blue tits have been in and out of the nest box,
although I haven't seen them taking any nesting
material in yet

Last summer we looked after some emperor moth caterpillars, which you can read about here, that pupated and have been out in the greenhouse all winter. The first one, a male, emerged yesterday. They're such lovely moths, with four large eye spots and bright orange hind wings.

Another lovely spring day ... now we're back to the more traditional bank holiday gales.

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