Wednesday, 17 June 2015
A POST FROM THE GARDEN
After a wet, windy and cold week on the Isle of Mull in Scotland where signs of Spring were few and far between, we were quite pleased to get home to some warmth and a few garden visitors.
We're lucky enough to have almost daily visits from Nuthatches through the year and it was nice to see the parent bird feeding this recently fledged youngster above, in the shelter of our Catalpa tree.
A garden pond is always a magnet for wildlife, especially insects, like the huge queen Hornet above who has paid regular visits to drink from ours.
It's dragonfly time now as well and this Broad-bodied Chaser paid a visit to the garden recently.
We get the occasional Pied Wagtails out the back, they don't usually stay too long, but I was surprised to look out of the kitchen window and see this adult with a beak full of insects.
It soon became obvious who they were for when I spotted this young bird on the patio nearby.
They stayed on and off for most of the morning. Thankfully the local cats didn't turn up.
Here's another surprise. This Swallow decided to use one of the patio chairs to sit on for a while. Pictures through the kitchen window again.
I was worried that it was unwell, it almost seemed to be sleeping at times. But in the end it flew off strongly and seemed ok. I believe this is one of the birds which have been swooping down just inches above my pond to take some of the plentiful supply of insects from it. I know this is what they do over lakes etc. but i've never seen it on a garden pond before. It's a great sight when we are close by in the garden.
I suspected that the local Mistle Thrushes were nesting very close to our garden after witnessing some loud and fearsome battles between them and the local Magpies. I think they thwarted the dastardly corvids though because this juvenile Mistle and I think one of its siblings took up residence in our back garden while its parents found food for them. They always had an eye to the sky and became very excited when the parents showed up.
Last evening we had a fleeting visit from this Hummingbird Hawkmoth. It has returned several times during the day today, always visiting these particular flowers. Any picture is a serious challenge so i'll settle for this one.
This week I saw the first newt in our pond since we moved here, I hope the Heron doesn't get it as it has managed to eat most of the fish this Spring. although if it escapes the Heron there's always the Grass Snake, which slithered into the pond the other day as I walked past!
And lastly, while standing on the front drive yesterday I watched a Wren take a beak full of feathers into an old Swallow/House Martin's nest under the eaves of our house. Squatter's rights I presume.