With the warmth of Spring, insects are hatching or coming out of hibernation, and the new growth of nettles and deadnettles is alive with tiny creatures, some very beautiful, like leafhoppers
and leaf beetles
…and nearly 200 species photographed since Hagbourne Wildlife started, I’m still finding new things just outside the back door; most are small, many nocturnal: click the thumbnails below for a bigger view of the nursery-web spider, another centipede, a stretch spider, two rove beetles and an ant eating a mite. Meanwhile the niger seed feeder is proving a great success with the goldfinches, and the first lapwing I’ve seen round here for years flew over at the weekend – the fields used to be full of them at times.
We’ve had goldfinches for ages, usually in greater numbers in the summer, but apart from the bubbling song in the hedge (the RSPB has a recording here), the only evidence has been fleeting or distant. I installed a niger-seed feeder a few weeks ago, and goldfinches are beginning to visit it:
Hunting mini-beasts that is – and especially springtails. I’m reaping the rewards of not tidying the leaf-litter in the Autumn: now it’s full of all sorts of fascinating small-scale wildlife, and so far I’ve found 11 springtail species, a very tiny snail, and a ground beetle (which eats springtails!). As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been poking around the compost bin with a macro lens, and found some mites and a sap beetle. I think there’s a future in compost heap wildlife photography (don’t ask why), so please join in via my new Flickr group: