"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

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Moths and Garden Update

Finally last night an evening when at dusk it wasn't chucking it down with rain and I was able to put out the moth trap (well, as its got an actinic bulb I think you can use it in the rain but even with an upturned plant pot over the electrics I still worry and avoid trapping when its heavy rain - wimp that I am).

I did manage to trap two moths - Emmelina monodactyla and my first Shuttle-shaped Dart of the year.

Shuttle-shaped Dart
and once again many thanks to Stewart from The Orthosia Enthusiast for recommending slate as the background - the markings seem to show up much better!

Summary of Moths Trapped Monday, 23rd April

GMS Week 8

8.00 p.m. to dawn
Minimum Temperature 4.3 degrees centigrade
15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Emmelina mondodactyla x 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) x 1 NFY

Garden moths species for 2012 = 12

Temptation has arrived in the form of this leaflet which fluttered out of "British Wildlife" magazine when it arrived yesteray!!

How can I resist??

At long last a comprehensive field guide to the micro moths in one volume. Hopefully, it will help my identification skills?! Although I fear there will still be many photos of unidentified or wrongly identified moths appearing here!

There are still no eggs in the Blue Tit nest but Mrs Blue Tit started to roost overnight in the nestbox from last Friday onwards (a promising sign!). Sorry for the poor picture quality but I have taken photos from the tv screen to which the nestbox camera is routed. It will at least give you an idea of progress.

Here she is roosting overnight

and feathers have been added to the nest starting with one last Friday

Over the course of the last week I have seen the Wren going into the nest in the hanging basket several times a day and as she has not been carrying nesting material I have a feeling she may be sitting on eggs.

A male Bullfinch was seen in the garden on Saturday and Sunday - the first sighting this year although they only rarely visit the garden and on Sunday a pair of Collared Doves were feeding - believe it or not the first garden sighting of the year for this species too. This brings the number of species actually seen within the garden this year to 26.

Common frog tadpoles emerged from the frogspawn a few weeks back - if you click on this image to enlarge you may just be able to make one out.

Seeds are just starting to come up in the part of the wildflower meadow which has been re-seeded.

Red campion which has self-seeded into a flower border from the meadow is just starting to flower

as are the wood anemones - I find this species really hard to photograph as the white always bleaches out - note to self to experiment with white balance function on camera!

I planted some sunflower and tomato seeds a short while ago. I really like sunflowers and they are good for attracting insects. We haven't grown tomatoes for some years but I just adore green tomato chutney and its very hard to buy green (unripe) tomatoes so I've decided to grow my own! No sign yet of the tomatoes but the sunflowers are just breaking through.

To me they look like the heads of baby snakes breaking through the compost!

At the end of last week I had a day out with a friend (will do a post on this later this week) and I couldn't resist buying this alium - hopefully another plant to attract insects this year.

I rather like succulents and this plant Aeonium Arboreum "Zwartkop" is my very favourite so I bought one of these too!


kirstallcreatures said...

Lots of interesting things in today's post.
The micro moth book, I think its a must! Lovely to see the BlueTit roosting.The wildflower meadow looks full of promise.
Green tomato chutney sounds wonderful, we make gooseberry chutney with the annual gooseberry glut from the allotment. lliums,alliums, you can never have enough!

Ragged Robin said...

Kirstallcreatures - Many thanks Linda. Gooseberry chutney sounds delicious. We used to have a vegetable and fruit patch in the garden many years ago and I must admit these days I miss it! There's nothing like growing your own fruit and vegetables!

ps Not sure if I am going to get used to the new Blogger set-up - everything seems to have changed!

ShySongbird said...

An interesting post as always Ragged Robin. I suspect all the recent rain will benefit your wildflower meadow, I noticed yesterday, while on a walk, how much new growth the trees had put on in just a week!

I haven't looked at my mag yet but expect that tempting leaflet may drop out of mine too. Although I don't have a moth trap I have been looking forward to the micro book...I do like my Nature books :-)

I hope the Wrens and Blue Tits are successful, I was fascinated to read of the battle you had with the GSW in May 2010, that was quite a nail biting drama!

Toffeeapple said...

Goodness me, it is all happening there, even sunshine! So good to see all your pictures especially the nest box.

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Many thanks.

The micro moth book is irresistible isn't it :). Know how you feel about nature books - I just can't help adding to my collection :).

I will keep you up to date on blue tit and wren nests - GSW attacks in 2010 were very nervewracking and I was reading recently (possibly BBC Wildlife Mag? - I have several wildlife magazines on the go at the moment (I am as bad with buying these as books!)) that GSW's will reach beak inside nestbox hole and pull out larger chicks. Eek!

Toffeeapple - Many thanks - glad you liked the photos. I wish I could work out how to put some video on here but I tried last year and failed miserably!

Rohrerbot said...

Lots of fun things to see today. A book on moths...hmmmmm:) To be able to see into the Blue Tits nest is a real treat. As for the plants, have fun!!! I do have these plants on the property and they need a little shade but look great to have around the property. Take care and have a great Thursday.

Ragged Robin said...

Chris - Many thanks. Have a great day too!