Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Garden Life

The moth trap went out again, with no higher expection but actually a better return: x5 Hebrew Characters, x3 Common Quakers, x1 Clouded Drab, x1 Twin-spotted Quaker, x1 Early Grey, x1 Double-striped Pug and x2 Diurnea fagella. I made an effort to grab some shots late this afternoon, the first moths I've photographed at home for months. I then remembered that I'd cleared out all of my photographic props, so had to make do with a bit of broken fence panel which worked out okay.

Double-striped Pug

Twin-spotted Quaker ab. immaculata
Really pleased to pick this one up; not annual and never in numbers in my garden, so seeing one this year with the crappy wet early spring was unexpected.

Early Grey
Perhaps the best behaved individual I've ever pointed a camera at.

Common Quaker
What you can't see from this shot is that it was tiny; I actually potted it up thinking it was Small Quaker, and only looked at it properly when preparing the camera.

Today has been another lovely sunny day with a bit of warmth, so I made a point of loitering in the garden for ten mins or so every time I grabbed a coffee and rested my eyes from the PC whilst working. It really did feel like things were stepping up, with more new for year insects including Peacock butterflies, Tree and Buff-tailed Bumblebees, Tawny Mining Bee, and a few of these ..

Dark-edged Bee Fly (Bombylius major)

Eristalis pertinax

I also listened and looked out for any bird activity whilst out there, seeing and/or hearing House Sparrow, Chiffchaff, Wren, Pied Wagtail, Common Crow, Feral Pigeon, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Herring Gull as well as the usual ten or so species I get in the garden. I ought to join in the 'lockdown listing' challenges, but I haven't got literally all day to peer hopefully into the airspace I can see from my house and garden.

My garden itself has nothing attractive to a wide variety of birds other than the feeders. Most of the genuinely interesting birds on my garden list are absolute one-offs, lucky flyovers or heard only - eg Woodcock, Kingfisher, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Black Redstart ...

Most of the stuff that uses my garden actually nests on the scrubby embankment that runs adjacent to my immediate neighbour's garden, and which partially restricts the open view I have of anything flying through. The neighbour's garden is a thin wedge that doesn't get much sun; we got the much better share of back garden space when the plots were laid out, though they have more land at the side and front.

Looking pretty much due-west over our knackered fence ...

... and looking north-west over our front conifer border

Ours is the red dot: sprawling suburb to north/east, sterile farmland to the south, industrial estate and motorway to the west .... but you see where the embankment turns from larger trees (mainly sycamore) to more scrubby before petering out

I pointed the camera at some Starlings which looked superb in the morning sun, and a pair of the Collared Doves that are still knocking about.

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