A few birds feeding in our garden

•November 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This female blackcap (sylvia atricapilla) was feeding on honeysuckle berries outside our dining room window.

and we have had a robin on our fat feeder

and a blue tit on the seeds, but very few birds are interested in our garden at the moment.

•May 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Judging by the shorter antennae I think this is the female that the males were trying to attract yesterday with their dance. These nemophora degeerella are also known as “fairy” longhorns. The dance I saw yesterday was certainly reminiscent of fairies, so this is probably how they got their nickname.

Dancing day-moth

•May 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A group of insects had me baffled for a while this morning. Above the woodpile at the back of my pond they pirouetted whilst moving up and down about 2 feet at a time. Here is a short video of one of them:


I watched for a while before one of them settled and I could identify it as a nemophora degeerella

Apparently swarms of males dance in the sun to attract females.

Finally succummed!

•May 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The greater spotted woodpecker who regularly feeds next door has finally succummed to the temptation of my nut feeder!


Last caterpillar

•May 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This was the last caterpillar this morning, and this evening there were none. No obvious chrysalids either. Mystery.

Mystery caterpillars leave the nursery

•May 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The mystery caterpillars are starting to move away from the leaf where they all spent so long, with one or two caterpillars to a leaf.

And some ladybird eggs I have been following hatched out yesterday while I was out for the day. I’ll have to wait for the next batch to film the eggs hatching.


These caterpillars just get better

•May 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

1st and 2nd instars of the mystery caterpillars. I love the crossed bands.

Patience is rewarded

•May 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Iris finally flowering. I planted this in August 2008 and this is the first time it has shown any sign of flowering. I was sold it as a purple iris but it seems a bit late to complain now!

Something is happening to my caterpillars…

•May 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

…and it doesn’t look good 😦

But the commas are growing well, and there is a comma caterpillar under most leaves of the hop plant

Down at the Bottom of the Garden

•May 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

At the bottom of the garden by the shed I lifted a plastic seed tray to find this caterpillar in a damp patch of ground elder.  Identified via iSpot as a Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua fimbriata) caterpillar.