Monday 28 March 2011


Holly Blue Butterfly

The last few weeks have been unseasonably warm and dry. March is lining up to become one of the driest in recent memory. I have no doubt that April will make up for it!

The weather has brought out the butterflies - Brimstone (which never hang around long enough for a photo), Commas, Peacock and finally I have managed to get a photo of a Holly Blue. I have seen them in the garden before but they are very difficult to photograph. Firstly, they are very tiny and secondly, they flutter around the tops of the shrubs. The shrubs in our garden are very mature and many of them are at least 2 metres high. This makes photographing the butterflies very difficult.

The photo above is the best I could manage today and since the weather forecast predicts an end to this dry spell, I may not get another chance. Although, you cannot see it from the photograph, the upper wings are a darker blue. The underside of the wings is a silvery colour with black speckles.

Elsewhere in the garden, there is a frenzy of activity - nests are being built, the male pheasants are showing off their gorgeous colours and chasing the females. The bluetits have set up home in the bird box on the pergola. It is also the time of year when we see all the birds in pairs. In the last couple of days, 2 green woodpeckers, 2 nuthatches, 2 chaffinches, 2 robins.

My favourite time of year!

Monday 21 March 2011

Hares and Rabbits

Brown Hare

Spring is most definitely here. The evenings are getting lighter and the spring flowers are appearing all over the place. The birds are building their nests but some of the animals are already rearing their young. There are baby rabbits all over the garden. As cute as they may be, they really are pests in the garden - digging holes and eating all the plants.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the hares (which I find really beautiful) and the rabbits which to me are pests.

The photo above is a hare - a gorgeous fluffy creature - which was nibbling grass just outside my conservatory yesterday. It is huge compared to the rabbits and it does not dig holes. They are much lighter coloured with very long black-tipped ears. The legs, although you cannot see them in this photo, are also much longer and they can run very fast.

The photo below is a group of baby rabbits. There are several families living in my shrubberies. The babies venture out further and further from the shrubs but dash back in when disturbed.

Baby Rabbits

Another interesting find in the garden this week are a pair of red-legged partridges. They have so far evaded my efforts to photograph them!