Archive for the birds Category

Half-way through 2019

Posted in birds, bumblebee, flight, garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , on 28 June 2019 by bramblejungle

This spring was a good one for solitary bees – tawny miners everywhere: females emerging,

Tawny Mining-bee (Andrena fulva) Tawny Mining-bee (Andrena fulva) Tawny Mining-bee (Andrena fulva)
with males standing by
Tawny Mining-bee (Andrena fulva)

Then there were hairy-footed flower bees, ashy mining bees, red mason bees, leafcutter bees…
Hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes)Andrena cf. nigroaeneaOsmia bicornis (m)?Solitary bee (Megachile centuncularis?)Ashy mining bee (Andrena cineraria)Andrena sp

and of course bumblebees

Common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum)Tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)Bumblebee

Not so good for butterflies so far, perhaps because of the long wet spell, and the annual emergence of scarlet tiger moths was late

Scarlet tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula)

but garden birds are doing well, with adults feeding fledgling starlings, robins, bluetits, great-tits, blackbirds, house sparrows… and, as always, wood-pigeons and collared doves. Here are just a few:

FledglingBluetit (Cyanistes caeruleus), juv.Great tit (Parus major), juv.Pester power.

Coming next: butterflies (I hope), whitethroats, skylarks, hedgehogs – and cuckoo bumblebees.

Advertisements

Garden Birdwatch 2019

Posted in birds, garden, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , on 27 January 2019 by bramblejungle

House sparrows still here (possibly more than the 14 I counted), and for the first time a male blackcap. Some big birds – jackdaws, wood pigeons and collared doves – turned up, but no finches at all. I hope the goldfinches will be counted somewhere else!
Big Garden Birdwatch 2019
Big Garden Birdwatch 2019

Big Garden Birdwatch 2019
Big Garden Birdwatch 2019

Scarlet tigers – early this year

Posted in "Butts Piece", birds, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , on 9 June 2018 by bramblejungle

Just the odd one so far;
last year the best show was a couple of weeks later, so here’s hoping… Scarlet Tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula) Scarlet tigers

Meanwhile. it’s good to see a few linnets around Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)

Garden Birdwatch 2018

Posted in birds, garden, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , on 29 January 2018 by bramblejungle

Another RSPB annual Big Garden Birdwatch, and ten years’ data from the local patch (click the image for an expanded view in Flickr). As always, some regular visitors were absent – jackdaws, collared doves, goldfinches – but there were more house sparrows than ever. This year a sparrowhawk did turn up, but it didn’t catch anything, and the small birds re-emerged from the brambles within a few minutes.

Big Garden Birdwatch 2018

Early Summer

Posted in birds, bumblebee, garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife on 27 August 2017 by bramblejungle

“Variable” just about sums it up:

June – the Marjoram patch attracted a wide range of  hoverflies, bees and other invertebrates
Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) in flight Bombus terrestris?
Oak bush cricket (Meconema thalassinum) nymph

and Field Scabious appeared in the “meadow” Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)

July – butterflies, mostly a bit earlier than usual (and, of course, nowhere to be seen by the time of the Big Butterfly Count at the end of the month)

Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus), m
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

very few ladybirds, except some 22-spots breeding on a mildewed thistle
22-spot ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata) larva 22-spot ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata)
but it was good to see this chiffchaff catching insects in a plum tree
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

and many hoverflies, including several Volucella zonaria (the UK’s biggest hoverfly) Volucella zonaria
and its smaller cousin V. inanis
Volucella inanis

August isn’t quite over, so I’ll save that for another day.

Spring at Butts Piece

Posted in "Butts Piece", birds, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , on 21 March 2017 by bramblejungle

Moth-eaten comfrey

The scarlet tigers have started early: not many caterpillars are visible just after a shower, but the comfrey is already looking distinctly moth-eaten
Scarlet tiger moth caterpillar
There is frogspawn in the nearby brook: with luck the frogs will help to keep slugs down on the allotments
Frogspawn in the brook

but (not so good for the allotments) there are plenty of rabbits Rabbit at Butts Piece
This buzzard may help
Watching the rabbit

Garden Birdwatch 2017

Posted in birds, garden, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags on 29 January 2017 by bramblejungle

Big Garden Birdwatch 2017

Another RSPB annual birdwatch, and no major changes here despite periods of abnormally cold/wet/dry weather  (click the graph for full view in Flickr). Sadly there’s no sign of waxwings, and the woodpecker that’s been visiting almost daily since October has presumably found better things to do as Spring approaches.

Still here

Luckily the local sparrowhawk didn’t appear during the count.

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

%d bloggers like this: