Spring has really taken off in the garden this week with the gloriously hot, sunny weather we are experiencing.
There are a lot of signs of nesting activity with blue tits regularly going in and out of the nest box, starlings and house sparrows collecting nest material, the wren collecting moss from the lawn and taking it into ivy on a wall at the side of the patio. The blackbird eggs hatched a few days ago and the adults are busy feeding young.
The blackbird nest can just be seen in the bamboo in the centre of the photo below (I was very careful when I took the photo to make sure the adults were foraging for food for the young in a different part of the garden).
I have seen several more orange tip butterflies in the garden today plus buff-tailed bumble bees and my first red-tailed bumble of the year.
There have been a lot of tawny mining bees (Andrena fulva) in the garden in the last week or so - I love these bees they have such pretty colouring and are entirely harmless.
These bees are solitary and build individual nests by digging holes in the ground to provide a safe haven for laying eggs and rearing young. Their nests shown above look like miniature volcanoes and I counted over 30 individual nests on just one of the smaller lawns.
I found it impossible to get a photo of the mining bee in the garden as they never seem to keep still!!! So here is a poor record shot of one I caught in the kitchen just before I released it which at least gives an idea of their colours.
We are still counting newts in the evening in the garden pond and have seen a total of 15 at the same time now!! No wonder I can't see any frog tadpoles!
The garden has lots of spring flowers
Daffodils are still flowering
Spiraea arguta or "Bridal Wreath"
I can never remember the name of this shrub which is full of yellow crysanthemum type flowers
There are lots of violets in various nooks and crannies
and Bluebells are starting to flower
Dungeness mid-May birds
1 hour ago