My blog posts have been few and far between, over the last few months, as just over a year ago we moved into an old farmhouse needing some major repairs; new roof, windows, pointing etc. But as someone who is aware of the needs of other species, other than my own, I was always concerned that any works shouldn't preclude the various residents that find crumbly old buildings a cosy place to live. So the first thing to do was to let a few months roll by and see just what was living where......
|On opening the bedroom cupboard there was a television. To enable it to fit, a|
hole had been knocked into the chimney breast. On top of the back of
the TV was a jackdaw nest. 'Nature's Home' indeed!
|An area of bare ground left after a confer was removed, had some cornfield annuals|
seed chucked on it. Yes, that's about all that's needed. No time-consuming
gardening required. The results were blooming marvellous.
|These Marmalade Hoverflies loved the poppies in their hundreds.|
|A number of Black Ant colonies were found along the garden path.|
They enjoyed the 'weeds' left to grow,
|A Blackbird finds the hedge a safe place to nest. Other species using the hedge|
included Chaffinch and Greenfinch.
|Buff-tailed Bumblebee nested under the hedge.|
|A Buff-tip Moth caught in moth garden moth trap.|
|A Lesser Yellow Underwing caterpillar found taking shelter under a pot.|
|Collard Dove builds a nest in the Ivy.|
|Crocuses brought early spring colour, and an early source of nectar to|
|Drone fly laying eggs in the small barrel pond.|
|An Elephant Hawkmoth found in my moth trap|
|The new 'Swallow House' begins construction. One of two I intend to build to|
help mitigate the loss of swallow nest sites resulting from development
planned by my neighbour on his derelict barn.
|The Swallows should be pleased!|
|A Nettle Tap moth, a Sun-fly and an unknown fly, tuck into a flowering 'weed'.|
|A local fox patrols the hedge row.|
|We have lots of frogs, common toads and some palmate newts here.|
My neighbour's pond is particularly large so amphibians live here in great numbers.
It even accommodates a Kingfisher that comes to take Sticklebacks!
|Thistles in the front garden prove tempting for the Goldfinches.|
|The green roof installed on top of my garden container has really taken off!|
|Greenfinches nested in the garden hedge in September last year. Just proves|
why early hedge cutting isn't a good idea.
|Green Silver-lines moth found in the moth trap.|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker is a regular visitor to the garden feeders.|
|Dicranopalpus ramosus - an alien Harvestman invader from Europe.|
There's lots of these in the garden.
|Leucozona lucorum, a striking hoverfly feeding on Buddleia.|
|Jackdaws nested in a hole in our gable end an in a nest box we put up|
for Little Owls.
|A recently fledged Little Owl in my neighbours barn.|
|Long-tailed Tit looking for a invertebrate snack.|
|Phlox provides a source of nectar for this Marmalade Hoverfly.|
|Leaf mine on the apple tree caused by the caterpillar of|
Lyonetia clerkella, a micro moth. They cause no harm to the
tree as shown by the huge crop of apples this year.
|Marsham's Nomad Bee is a cuckoo bee that seeks out the nests of|
other solitary bees.
|Large annual daisies come into their own in late summer, early autumn|
as a butterfly magnet. This stunning peacock could't resist.
|Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronal) growing along the hedge is the food plant for|
this tiny moth, Plutella porrectella
|Hundreds of Poecilobothros nobilitatus 'danced' on the pond to attract a mate.|
|Red-tailed Bumblebees nested in the house wall.|
We left a few holes when it was pointed.
|Red Admiral makes a late show in October.|
|Red Mason Bees take advantage of the holes in the stone house walls.|
When it was pointed we ensured that plenty of nest sites remained.
|Ruby-tailed Wasp looking for Red Mason Bee nests to lay their eggs.|
|A Shrew in the wall.|
|A large Snail Eating beetle found under the boot brush at the back door.|
|Spiders are in every nook and cranny.|
|Swallow getting vocal.|
|Tree Sparrows raised three broods in a hole in the house this summer.|
|At least two wasp nests nearby this year. One in the hedge, and one in a nest box.|
Left alone, they didn't cause any problems for anyone while providing
a fantastic pest removal service in the garden.
|Wolf spider on patrol.|
|Wren nest building in some Ivy.|
|Zebra Spider hunting on the wall|