30 Days Wild – Day 4 (a bit late!)

I was not able to do the last couple of days at the time, but here is Friday, spent at home mostly, but that did not mean without wildlife. One of the first things I did when I moved in was to set aside a section of the lawn to see what was in there. It turned out mostly grass, no surprise there, but also red and white clover, small stitchwort, cat’s ears and quite a bit more besides. To this I added some local seed and a few plants I grew on myself and planted in. Now I have quite a nice mini-meadow.

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It is noticeable how many insects there are in the mixed flowers and grass compared to the remaining traditional area of lawn. It probably also help with the diversity of moths I catch in the garden. On Friday the highlights were a coxcomb prominent

Quiet a common species, but this was the first one I had seen this year. The prize for the largest moth went to a privet hawkmoth, which is our largest resident species.

Whilst the top spot for scarcity went to a ringed carpet, this is primarily a northern species but there is a southern population more or less restricted to the New Forest.

30 Days Wild – Day 1

It’s that time of year again! I have started the 30 Days with a day off, so I was out in the garden, thanks to a rather warm day there were lots of insects about. As ever my mini-meadow was the place to look.

common blue

common blue female

I have not been able to confirm if they are breeding in the meadow yet, but I have recently seen both males and females, so I am hopeful. The garden is also good for bees, lots of bumble bees of several species and solitary bees too, such as this mason bee, which I think is orange-vented mason bee.

mason bee

mason bee (I love those eyes!)

These bees seem to face a lot of problems, not least a lot of parasites, one of which maybe this wasp with an almost unbelievably long ovipositor, this one is  the rather splendidly named Gasteruption jaculator.

Gasteruption jaculator

Gasteruption jaculator

I also got out onto the New Forest for a bit, I called in at a site that is well known for its population of southern damselfly, and found lots of them!

southern damselfly 4x3

southern damselfly male

Nearby there were lots of heath spotted orchid, smaller than the common spotted orchid and with a more compact and shorter flower spike, they are common across a lot of the New Forest heaths.

heath spotted orchid 4x3

heath spotted orchid

Back at work tomorrow, so we will have to see what Blashford has in store.