"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Quick Update

Just a brief update on activities and sightings in the garden.

Sadly, the blue tit nesting attempt has now totally failed. The one remaining nestling died during the night. It is a shame as I was hopeful that now there was just one mouth to feed, the final chick might fledge. As mentioned earlier very little food was provided for the young especially compared to previous years when we've seen the adults constantly entering the nestbox every few minutes with food. It will be interesting to see in the next few weeks the amount of young blue/great tits that are seen in the garden and on the feeders which may give me an idea whether or not there has been a shortage of natural food which has affected breeding success locally.

Brian spotted a grey heron standing motionless by the pond early yesterday morning. I hope it wasn't after the newts! Also I saw a red admiral butterfly in the garden yesterday - my first sighting of the year.

Moths - Had quite a good catch (for me) on Friday night (the highest number of moths trapped so far this year). There are several new species for the year and I am still trying to identify two (a nicely marked pug for once not well worn AND I've managed to get a photo and what looks like a species of carpet). So I will post a full list when I've attempted to identify those two.

I am reading a rather superb book at the moment - "The Butterfly Isles - A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals" by Patrick Barkham. The book follows the author's quest to see all 59 species of butterflies found in the British Isles over the course of a year. I am not sure if he succeeds as I am only about half way through but its natural history writing at its best including details of butterfly collectors in the past and considering what the future holds for our butterfly species.

Reading this book has made me realise that there are still a lot of British butterfly species I have yet to see. The four species I would most love to add to my butterfly list are Swallowtail, Glanville Fritillary, Purple Emperor and Large Blue. Purple Emperor occurs in Warwickshire but the others would require journeys to stand any chance of seeing them. Whenever we go to the Isle of Wight I look out for Glanville Fritillary especially when we visit Compton Beach as I believe there is a colony on the cliff tops above the bay. Hopefully, one of these years I will get lucky and finally get a glimpse of this rare butterfly.

Butterfly Species for the Year - 11
Garden Butterfly Species 2011 - 8

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