Having said in my previous post that I won’t be able to post again for a few weeks, I have decided to quickly do another one because I wanted to have a last wander around the garden before I move. Also, I should have internet on the 10th so only a few days of no posting will occur!
This is only my second safari that I have posted (although I have included the Wildview Camera post in the category) because I started the blog so recently. To beef it up a bit, I will start putting up some of the previous walks I have done around the local countryside, probably over the next few weeks. So look forward to these! Until then, here is the safari for today.
The first thing I noticed was this greenbottle fly. Generally I find flies really unappealing, but I appreciate the colours on both green- and bluebottle flies. The colours on this swirl nicely between shades of green and yellow, with reflections of the trees in the garden also visible. I quite like this shot as well because the wings are crisply in focus.
Quite close to these flowers was a spider with an impressive catch – a full grown Common Field Grasshopper.
The web was about a foot above the ground so presumably the grasshopper was hopping by and hopped too high. Most of the web was broken and I did not see what species of spider had built it. I’m sure this grasshopper could provide food for a while though!
And speaking of spiders, I saw the Wolf Spider again, having seen it the other day. This time I knew what it had on it’s back so took a photo which was more in focus.
You can see all the little baby spiders sitting on it. It lives in a patch of soil covered in dead leaves and stones and everytime you take a step, loads of small spiders scuttle out of the way. They move too fast to get a good look, but they are similar to this one and could be a previous brood.
As I was photographing the spider, I was distracted by lots of flapping and squawking above me. It was a Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus). As one of the commonest birds in the UK, it is not really of interest and our garden has had at least four pairs nesting in the garden in the past year. However, recently there has been a big drop in numbers in the garden, down to one or two. Apparently, a kestrel turned up when we were on holiday and took out most of the pigeons, also dispatching the resident blackbirds as well. I haven’t seen the kestrel, but I have definitely heard it. Often when you hear it, the pigeons seem to freeze in place. I was stood by the pond listening to the kestrel the other day, when I noticed a pigeon sat in a tree right next to me, staring at me and looking terrified. It didn’t fly away and I assume it was because it could hear the kestrel.
Returning to spiders in the garden, I found a Garden Spider with a Flesh Fly trapped in its web. As you can see, the fly is as big, if not bigger, than the spider. If you look at how thin the web fibres are in comparison to the Flesh Fly, you realise how strong the web must be. As I commented in a post about Orbit Spiders, when the web gets thicker, it becomes more like metal than thread, so it’s no surprise really that it can constrain a large fly.
One of the flower beds if full of marigolds and these attract various bumblebee species. There is the common Bombus terrestris, below on the left, but also various other species. The one below and on the right is one I see quite a lot, but I don’t know what species it is. It is a fast mover and flits from flower to flower, so getting a photo has proved difficult which in turn makes identification more difficult. Let me know if you can identify it!
As I was walking across the lawn, I noticed a little frog jumping out of the way. We had quite a few frogs in the pond this year, but I didn’t notice any frog spawn. Despite this, there are now a couple of small frogs hopping around the garden.
You can see the mask-like colouring around the eyes which distinguishes it as a common frog. I particularly like the eyes on this one because of the metallic look they have about them. The photo to the right shows how small it is, not much bigger than the width of my finger. There are at least two young frogs living in the garden and hopefully this means that there will be frogspawn next year.