Friday 7 April 2023

A day in my Strood garden - 7th April 2023

Unlike my birthday yesterday, today was once again spring-like and there was some degree of warmth in the air.  I decided to try and do so garden stuff which started with the collection of a bundle of Sycamore saplings to send to Mark T for his ringing site at Buckton just north of Bempton.  Some trauma ensued with me leaving the gate of the catio open for the first time in five years and temporarily misplacing two of my cats.  Amazingly they came back to the safety of their outdoor enclosure within five minutes and my heart rate returned to something like normal.

I divided and potted on a few bits and bobs and even attempted to tidy some of the stuff out the back of the house and as usual this produced plenty of lurking wildlife including a huge Eratigena House Spider and several Steatoda nobilis, a Double Striped Pug and several fine Yellow Slugs (Limacus flavus).

Steatoda nobilis

Eratigena atrica group House Spider

Eratigena atrica group House Spider

Double Striped Pug

The sun was warming the top of the garden and my woodland floor project that I started at the beginning of 2021 has come on wonderfully with a multitude of early blooms.  

Wood Anemone

The variation in Lesser Celandine

Lesser Celandine

Lesser Celandine

My Early Purple Orchid is still coming along

Sweet Violet


Green Alkanet

Wood Spurge

Marsh Marigold

Snake's Head Fritillary

I sat and watched at hoped that at last I would see some insect life.  I was not disappointed and had five male Anthophora plumipes zipping around like loonies and occasionally stopping to get their breath back. Bombus terrestris and pascuorum droned around and one other solitary Bee looked like Andrena nigroaenea but I have asked for help on that one.  A male Osmia bicornis briefly popped in.

Anthophora plumipes

Anthophora plumipes

Andrena nigroaenea

Andrena  nigroaenea

Three Hoverflies were recorded including a male Platycheirus probably of the scutatus group, a single Epistrophe eligans and a super fresh male Myathropa florea that threw me initially with its bold patterning.

Myathropa florea

Platycheirus sp

Two Dark-edged Beeflies were nectaring on the Primroses and what appeared to be dozens of tiny Sawflies were attending the flowering Euphorbias.  Calliphora vicina sunbathed at several spots and there were a few other small flies but I was surprised to see a male Scathophaga stercoraria coming down to one of my micro pools for a drink.

Dark-edged Bee-fly - Bombylius major

Dark-edged Bee-fly - Bombylius major

Calliphora vicina

Calliphora vicina - no ginger beards

Yellow Dung Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria

I think that these are tiny Sawflies

My 1st Green Shieldbug of the year and bonus Owl Midge

Similarly this was my first Speckled Wood of the year but was the only Butterfly I saw all day

It was nice to feel the sun on my back and I sat and watched the insects for a while with the Firecrest singing from the neighbours garden. I am pretty sure that he is paired up now and has been around for 17 days now. 

My pond was in a very sorry state and I was well aware of just how full of decaying dead leaves it was. Even my Great Ramshorn Snails were not looking too happy so I decided to give it a clear out despite it not being the best time of year.  It was disgusting.  I bailed out about three quarters of the water and a large amount of the detritus in the bottom, rescuing the Snails and Hornwort and even a few of the Water Louse in the process.  I moved the Common Frogs to the clean lower pool before popping in one of my extra Marsh Marigolds and topping it back up from the water butts. At least now any wildlife has a fighting chance.

I need of a hot shower I called it a day but not before a cheeky look in the compost bin for my first Slow-worm of the year.


Jasper chilling after his earlier escape bid

No comments:

Post a Comment