Friday, 6 June 2008

Dunking Jay

Although we quite often see Jays in the trees at the bottom of the garden they seldom come to the feeding station by the house, so I was pleased to see one up close this afternoon.

Having said, only a few days ago, that I was surprised to see a Magpie dunking peanuts in the bird bath I was less surprised to see the Jay do the same thing today.

Although the weather today was grim, I did use the sunshine yesterday afternoon to take some pictures. For the last few days there have been a couple of Red Admirals around. The particularly like to small flowers on Pyracanthus bushes.

Several Hoverfly species are now appearing. The commonest seems to be Syrphus ribesii, a particularly striking insect.
While I was watching the Hoverflies I came across this beastie. At first I thought it was a species of Ichneuman Wasp but now I'm not so sure. Any entomologists out there able to Id this for me?

At long last there are a few different moths appearing. The strange Common Swift has belatedly arrived. These are fairly primitive in the the adults have no mouth parts and don't feed. The larvae are quite "worm-like" and in large numbers become pests, as they eat the roots of grasses and other crops.

This is a Small Phoenix, a member of the Geometridae. I love the elaborate patterns they have, and it is only when the summer arrives properly that we get a good variety of this family.

The Badger put in an appearance last night and tonight. I think it was the same one last night, but tonight although I didn't see it well I thought it may have been a bigger animal. It didn't wait for a portrait so I'm not sure.
I set up four moth traps in the Garden this evening, the make sure they all worked. Tomorrow night is national moth night, when the idea is to collate everyone's records and get a countrywide census. This will probably guarantee bad weather tomorrow evening!

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