Wildlife Sightings in the Garden 2020

Earliest butterfly sightings:

March 2nd: Peacock on tulip

March 23rd: Small Tortoiseshell on buddleia

March 27th: Comma

April 9th: Small White

April 10th: Orange Tip and Holly Blue

April 11th: Speckled Wood

April 15th: Large White on wallflower

April 16th: Green-veined White

July 28th: Gatekeeper

August 6th: Common Blue

August 14th: Red Admiral

An absentee in 2020 was the Painted Lady (this photo is from 2019):

Other creatures

We have plenty of nectar/pollen rich plants in the garden that attract other insects throughout the year. Bees are especially welcome and there is always a constant hum among the perennial wallflowers (particularly Bowles Mauve which flowers all year), poppies, hardy geraniums and aquilegias, lavender and comfrey.

Harlequin ladybirds are, unfortunately, increasing in numbers to the detriment of indigenous ladybirds:

And there are plenty of moths around although we tend to see only the day-flying ones such as Scarlet Tiger and Burnet!

And sometimes we see the caterpillars but not the moths such as Mullein (24/5/20), Elephant Hawk (3/8/20) and Cinnabar (26/5/20).

We have a small pond that is not really big enough to attract dragonflies or damselflies. However, we do get occasional visitors such as the Pale Blue Damselfly (26/5/20).

The Pond

Speaking of the pond, this comprises a deep round tub, donated by a neighbour, set into the ground and with dimensions of about 60 cm (diameter) by 50 cm (depth). It contains a small leaved water lily and a pot of rushes.

Every year we get frogspawn and 2020 was no different.

The 'hatch rate' was high in 2020 and there were tadpoles galore for many months (here living side by side with water snails).

snails, tadpoles, frogs, pond

A very tiny frog (1 cm long) emerged one day and, later on, we spotted another about 2.5 cm (or was it the same one?). Even in Autumn, there were still quite a few tadpoles in the early stages of development in the pond. Would they survive the winter? Would they overwinter?

Adult frogs are seen around the garden - I found one hunkered down in one of my compost heaps quite a few years back. The specimen below was enjoying a quiet bathe in our pond - was it the mother or father of this year's tadpoles?

Juvenile frogs are also seen further afield. The example below was spotted in the Kitchen Garden on July 25th 2020 rooting around the strawberry patch.

Birdwatch 2020

We try to keep a record of birds seen in or around the garden, including those flying over. This is a somewhat ad hoc list for 2020 but we hope to be a bit more systematic in 2021!

Species (maximum seen at anytime)

Blackbird (6)

Blackcap (1)

Blue Tit (4)

Buzzard (1)

Coal Tit (1)

Collared Dove (1)

Crow (2)

Goldfinch (1)

Great Tit (2)

House Martin (2)

House Sparrow (6)

Lesser Blackbacked Gull (4)

Long-tailed Tit (4)

Magpie (3)

Robin (2)

Starling (6)

Swift (20)

Wood Pigeon (2)

Wren (1)

TOTAL   19 species

Here is one of our regular visitors atop the bird feeder. Fortunately for the other birds, he/she cannot get to the bird food below his/her feet otherwise there would be nothing left for them. The copper dove was made by Greens Weathervanes, a local Herefordshire company.

Greens Weathervanes, wood pigeon, bird feeder, dove of peace


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