Saturday, 30 April 2016

exploring the garden

It's still very windy here but at least the sun was out today with some clouds and dry. Also still generally quiet in terms of visitors to the garden. The buds and flowers of bushes are slow to open due to the cold we've had. However the pair of Blackbirds have been feeding all day and a few Starlings. We can now hear baby House Sparrows in a nest in our gutters of the house. Sadly one was lost yesterday - possibly taken by a Jackdaw or Carrion Crow and dropped against our window - found dead on the decking. It had feathers, so they're obviously well developed already.
When chasing a cat away from the garden this morning I accidentally scared off 2 Linnets. I just didn't see them. They seem to have been hanging around the area of gardens for a few days - slightly more unusual as a garden bird in a built up area.
So I had a little ramble and explore in the garden this afternoon. I saw a tiny hoverfly on a dandelion flower, full of pollen! There were some spiders on the kids' playhouse. A large bumblebee flew through too quick to see any colours for ID purposes. And the great game of 'lifting up a stone or tile to see what's underneath' was successful - several woodlice, some slugs and ants!

A tiny hoverfly which will need identifying

A close up of one of the Woodlice under the stone tile. 

The many Woodlice that were living under a stone tile near the shed. 

This was an obviously different spider by its shape. It seemed to have an egg sack which almost looks like a cocoon. I am reliably informed, and looked online myself since, that it's a Walnut Orb Weaver Spider. New for us!

Also on the kids' playhouse was this strikingly marked Garden (cross) Spider. Although smaller it has an obvious white stripe across it. 

One of hardly any flowers open in the garden is the sunny looking Calendula flower.

I thought you'd like to see the Hedgehog gap we had put in our new fence couple of year ago. We'd often get a hedgehog in the garden but since new fences have replaced old ones in the neighbourhood we haven't seen one for a long time. But we requested this gap was made for when they do visit the garden. There is a call in the UK here to protect our Hedgehogs due to declining numbers and that people could do simple things like this in their garden fence so as not to block out their foraging and feeding routes.

Finally our Pear tree has buds on it - with a couple of ants though. We look forward to our Pear tree flourishing every year, and every year is different - affected by the weather. 

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