Sunday, 21 April 2013

Overdue butterflies

The butterflies are late this year, just like everything else in the garden.  In previous years, orange-tips, small whites and green-veined whites have all been seen by now, but this year there have been none.  The first butterflies to appear were two small tortoiseshells on 14 April, and there were five more enjoying some rare warmth on the 20th.  Back on the 14th there were few flowers open in the garden and thus few nectar sources, however by the 20th there was plenty of aubrieta on display in the walls which was to the liking of the small tortoishells as the photo shows.
Small tortoiseshell nectaring on aubrieta

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Moths at last

The incessant cold weather and strong easterly winds that have been ever present for most of the last couple of months have meant no mothing in the garden.  The trap did go out on a couple of occasions on mild January nights but produced nothing.
Last night was the first evening with mild temperatures and little wind for several weeks where I had time to put the trap out, and at last a few moths were caught. Not a great total, but any signs of spring are welcome this particular year.

1 Hebrew character,
1 Common Quaker,
1 Clouded Drab,
2 Oak Beauty's (one of which is pictured below)
Oak Beauty

Oak Beauty

Friday, 12 April 2013

Frog chorus

I counted over 40 frogs in the pond today and about 20 lots of spawn.  About three or four weeks later than usual but better late than never.  The sound of the frogs croaking (singing?) was an absolute delight when I went out into the garden at lunch time - one of the benefits of working from home today!  I took a few photos, including the one that is now the new blog banner.  Here's another.
Common Frog
Both pictures: D300 & AF-S Nikkor 300mm, @ ISO 200/f4, with tripod 

Very satisfying to think that this little bit of amphibian habitat did not exist 3 years ago.