Wildlife Garden Diary 2019

March 2019

 

A Hedgehog was seen entering the hedgehog box at 10.32 (1st).

A moth thought to be a Tortrix species flew up onto by jacket, whilst working in the garden (2nd).  After seeking some help from Ken Saul the species was identified from photographs as being an Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth.  

Ken suggested it might be a female, based on the definition of the markings (like many species of moth, is highly variable) and is a species that seems to occur as an adult throughout most of the year, which originates from Australia. Ken also informed me that this micro moth is thought to have appeared in the UK (where it is now a widespread species) during the 20th century via apples imported from New Zealand.

A Song Thrush was heard singing during the late afternoon/ early evening (2nd), somewhere from the SE and the Hedgehog was seen at 02.40 and 23.16.

The Hedgehog was seen at 01.13 and at 03.02 (4th).

A Great Tit (very seldom seen here) was in the garden briefly (6th) and a Hoverfly Eupeodes luniger appeared on the kitchen window!

A good number of Hawthorn saplings were rescued from destruction from Marina Park/Kingfisher caravan parks at Burgh Castle, where the removal of vegetation continues by Island Meadow Parks

I was very happy to plant three of these hawthorn saplings in the garden and to give the others allocated to me to another ‘good home’, where these native and very important trees will be allowed to grow and support the myriad of life that utilise them.

However the seven or so saplings I was given had been placed with their roots in the pond, while awaiting planting.  The removal of these trees from the pond seemed to be the catalyst, which allowed the garden-visiting Mallard to finally discover the pond and immediately made themselves at home!

Unfortunately, several mallard in a small area of water is not going to help, in the least any other forms of flora and fauna and a cover of bamboo has had to be placed over the pond to prevent the ducks feeding.

Further sightings of the Hedgehog were at 22.56, when after feeding it returned to the box, or should that be ‘Hedgehog Hotel’ with room service!

 

GARD MAR (1) GARD MAR (2)

Light Brown Apple Moth

Eupeodes luniger

The Hedgehog came out to feed at 0.44 (10th) and an Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth, this time a male appeared in the bathroom.

A male Pied Wagtail was in the garden (11th) and a queen Bombus terrestris Buff-tailed Bumblebee came into the garden on two occasions.

A bit of reorganising in the garden included pricking over the surface to aerate the soil, whilst removing grasses, which had emerged from bird seed.  Two more Buddleias were planted, one each of B. globosa and B. davidii grown from cuttings during autumn 2018.

Whilst carrying out this work it was good to see many Honesty seedlings, which will hopefully attract Orange-tips and a Teasel self-set from last year’s structurally pleasing plant, which now resides in my living room!

 

A male Pied Wagtail appeared in the garden again (12th) taking advantage of various morsels found in yesterday’s restructuring of the soil, and this was also taken advantage of by the semi-resident (although some days resident!) four Mallard.  A Hedgehog was seen at 22.24.

garden 12th Mar moth March

I cannot begin to tell you how much seeing wildlife in the garden I have created, means to me.  Today (15th), everyday birds to most people (Starling, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Mallard, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon and for the fifth day running a Pied Wagtail) mean a lot as they look for food in the small area I have created for wildlife (along with the food provided), which tell me I have provided a habitat that is compliant with what nature needs.

With very little effort, a garden can be such a great resource for many species and is a great comfort to someone’s wellbeing.

My health conditions; particularly related to anxiety and depression has been greatly helped by this relationship with other creatures.  No other organisms, apart from my fellow Homo sapiens have ever caused me harm; yes a few mosquito bites, three Wasp stings (remember each one!) and ticks on my face, whilst in Kenya etc have been relatively painful, or distracting but nothing to ‘write home about’.  I have never been bitten by a snake, ‘stung’ by a Jellyfish or attacked by a Lion; all of which I have been in close proximity to, why; because I respect the environment they live in and in turn, as much as I can, understand it.

Overall, my contact with ‘Nature’ has been a very positive one and has helped me continue a life I no longer understand.  Although it is not an absolute cure to anxiety and depression, I can tell you it helps!  Look after your little Nature Reserve!

Two Pied Wagtails ventured into the garden to look for food today (16th), a male and what looks to be a juvenile female.

The Grape Hyacinths, which are attractive to Bee-flies and Three-cornered Leeks, which last year attracted Mining Bees have been in flower for several days now, so good to see some more colour and most importantly flowers which attract insects.

Despite the strong winds, plants are slowly growing; sending out shoots, coming into bud and producing flowers and with the winds predicted to ease considerably in the coming week, so hopefully a few more insects may appear: A male Anthophora plumipes Hairy-footed Flower Bee was seen in the Gorleston garden of Joy Cushing (14th March) visiting Perennial Wallflowers.

16th March (2) 16th March (1)

A little bit of sun and the first Mining Bee appeared in the garden today (18th) with both a male and a female Buffish Mining Bee Andrena nigroaenea.  The female was visiting Aubrietia and the male on Heather.

2 Common Drone Flies Eristalis tenax were resting on the bee hotel and my first butterfly of the year was a Peacock flying over.

18th March (3) 18th March (1) 18th March (2) 18th March (5) 18th March (6)

Buffish Mining Bee: female (1st 3 images), male (4th image.                                                                                       Eristalis tenax

Tawny Owl, Swallow, Grey Heron and Curlew were all heard today (19th), but they were all emitting from one species, a Starling!

The improvement in the weather found several species of birds in the garden, which included a Robin and Great Tit, which have not been seen in the garden for a while and the male Pied Wagtail continues to visit, along with Blackbird, Starling, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw and the virtually resident 4 Mallard.

A pair, of Blue Tits was also in the garden, showing interest in both nestboxes, with the one Blue Tits nested in last year being favoured with at least 5 visits in a short period of time.

Linnet, Greenfinch and Goldfinch flew over, a female Blackbird was collecting nest material and taking it to the hedge opposite the back garden and a Common Buzzard was seen circling to the NE.

Hedgehog visits for food were at 00.12 and 21.13 and it was seen again exiting the garden at 21.47 to pay a visit to a neighbour’s garden.