General garden updates

I have been so busy recently, I haven’t really had as much time as I would like to be in my garden and updating my blog. Hopefully over the next few weeks, I will get some new images on and put into action a couple of plans I have.

The Buddleia is now in flower and beginning to attract some butterflies, although not as many as I have had in recent years. Commas, several peacocks and a few large whites have been regular visitors and I was also pleased to see, what I think is a female emperor dragonfly in the garden. It is huge and has a green abdomen… could be a Southern aeshna, but it was moving so fast, I was unable to get a really good look. I love these amazing insects and watched it patrolling up and down the garden for a while. I checked the pond to see if any had emerged recently. We often collect their nymph cases from the iris, where they are left dangling… a papery shadow of a former life form.  I am hoping to photograph some as they emerge this year… should be around this time. A couple of years ago, we must have collected over ten nymph cases! None to be seen as of yet.

The female blackbird is building another nest. I am not sure whether it is the same female who lost her chicks to the magpie a month ago. I watched her collect beak fulls of mud from the lane and then disappear up into the garden. Found her nesting in the hedge next to my patio. The site is even more vulnerable to magpies, I think. She is right near the top of the hedge, really close to the field, where the magpies patrol. I do not hold out much hope for her raising a family there. I have considered netting the field side somehow, but I am scared she will get trapped in it if I do….. may be I should just let nature take its course.

The male bullfinch was on my seed feeder again this morning. I have decided to set up a few old logs I have and pack some of the holes with seeds. I am going to set my camera up and then try firing it remotely from the kitchen and see if I can get some good, low shots of them visiting. The chaffinches, great, blue and coal tits are also visiting regularly ( as well as a young squirrel!). The forecast is quite good for the next few days and I may have a go soon.

The fox family are a little less predictable. Bill is still coming quite regularly and Fern usually makes an appearance before dark, but until tonight, I had not seen the other cubs in daylight. Tess and I think Marvin, appeared on the far side of the field tonight and I got a little bit of footage, which I will process later. They are growing so fast and becoming more independent. They still all visit the feeding station after dark, but I am hoping to get some more cub shots in the evenings, as if it is sunny, the light is just in the correct place now for some great shots.

Here are a couple I got of Fern the other night….





…. and a couple of Bill….



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