Sunday, 4 April 2010

Trim & Proper Wildlife Garden

When we moved into our house some nine years ago the first task was to dig a pond and the second was to plant some ivies. The third was to unpack. The pond is thriving, brimming with frog spawn and this year's first Palmate newts (Triturus helveticus) were seen yesterday.

10 days since spawning and tadpoles are developing well.
 I estimate another 25 days till they 'hatch'.

The ivy is well established, a bit too established, so yesterday, after twitching the Great White Egret (Ardea alba) at Bells Farm (just thought I'd slip that in), I went up the ladder with the secateurs to get pruning. While I knew there had been at least one blackbird nest in the ivy last year I was pleased to find another old nest. A singing male nearby suggests this year could see a third.

Can you spot the two nests?
I also found this little fellah.

Two-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata)

Ivy is fantastic for many insects, and of course birds. Why not plant some? Hedera helix is the native species to go for. It flowers late autumn attracting butterflies well into October and the fruit is eaten by birds during the winter.

PS. Don't make the mistake I made a couple of years ago, pruning ivy in shorts and a t-shirt. The sap gave me one hell of a rash!

1 comment:

  1. I really like the pic of the ladybird on the ivy, thanks for ivy tip too. Linda