Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Sad Update :(

I mentioned in my post last weekend that I thought there may be something wrong with the roe deer that did not run away. Sadly, I found it dead in the garden this evening. Twice this week I found it sitting or lying in the garden and managed to get quite close to it before it noticed me. I thought this was most unusual.

I am now wondering what happened. I hope it was not poisoned.

Very sad.

Monday, 27 July 2009

After the Rain

The weather has been awful for the last couple of weeks - heavy showers and very blustery. However, the rain has greened up the lawn which had become very brown after a particularly dry May and June. The rain has also brought out the fungi which is popping up all over the place. There are a couple of rings of Fairy Ring Champignons (Marasmius Oreades), Yellow Stainer (Agaricus xanthodermus), lots of boletes (not sure which), Common Earthballs (Scleroderma citrinum), Collared Earthstars (Geastrum triplex), 3 different kinds of Russula (purple, red and yellow) and various other LBJs which I won't even try to identify.

In between the showers the butterflies come out in their hundreds - lots of whites, peacocks, painted ladies, fritillaries, brimstone, meadow brown, commas, gatekeepers, speckled wood...

The Jays have also made an appearance. Normally very shy, we usually see them at this time of year collecting acorns.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Deer Surprise!

I had a nice surprise today. I was out in the garden photographing butterflies and I looked over the fence into the field next door. There, sat very quietly, was a roe deer who looked at me with interest but did not run away.They are normally very nervous creatures so it was lovely to get so close without scaring it. I rushed indoors to get my other camera and she was still there when I got back.

Roe Deer in the grass She sat quietly while I took some photos, but the problem was the long grass in which she was hiding. I am wondering why she did not run away? Maybe she was a youngster or perhaps she had a problem of some kind. She was not one of the regular roe deer that frequent the garden. I am getting the recognise them now!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Hundreds of Butterflies

Green-veined white butterflies
After the rain yesterday, the butterflies have emerged to make the most of the sunshine. There are hundreds of them - gatekeepers, ringlets, green-veined whites, commas and small heaths (I think). Today is fairly windy so they are keeping to the sheltered spots, where I also spotted a banded demoiselle and a large red damselfly.

This photo shows a male (one black spot) and female (two black spots) green-veined white.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Mother and Junior

Although I have seen them several times, the roe deer and her fawn have been avoiding the camera. However, the windfall apples have started to fall from the tree and they are proving to be too much temptation. Still not a very good shot, but they are easily spooked.

Junior still has his/her spots.

Roe deer doe and fawn

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Trouble with Magpies

A family of magpies (at least 5 of them) are causing real trouble at the bird feeder. They have taken to hanging on the feeder and are particularly partial to fat balls. They are not a bird that I like and they are chasing all the little birds away. I will stop putting out fat balls for a while to see if they will go and feed somewhere else.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Great year for butterflies

Gatekeeper Butterfly What a great year this has been for butterflies. Today was warm and sunny and the bramble bushes along the garden fence were alive with butterflies - dozens of them, mostly Gatekeepers (sometimes called Hedge Brown) and Ringlets.

This is the first time I have seen Ringlets in the garden, but I find them very difficult to identify without getting a photo. That is difficult in itself because they don't keep still for long.

Ringlet Butterfly

Two new moths this week

Light Emerald Moth This week I have found 2 very pretty moths that I have not seen before, both emeralds.

They are attracted to the windows when the light is on and the curtains open. The Light Emerald has a very distinctive shape and colour and has a tiny red dot on the tip of each wing.

Large Emerald MothThe Large Emerald was very bright green. I believe that the colour fades very quickly so I was lucky see to both of them while they were so colourful.