Thursday 13 May 2021

A Garden Surprise of the Green-Winged Kind


I was thrilled to find what I think is a Fairy Longhorn Moth from the family Adelidae in our garden yesterday. We usually have a few each year; they are such fascinating insects. 
I was also keeping an eye out for butterflies yesterday afternoon when I thought I saw what at first seemed to be a 'metallic moth' with iridescent outer wings. I was a good few metres away and reliant on my camera's 30x zoom. It seemed worth a go, though by then I was shooting blind into the Euonymus leaves you see below. I blew the picture up today, and while the quality is poor, I think you will agree that there is a Green Hairstreak lurking in the photo. I am particularly delighted as this is a species I have only encountered about four times before, and now I have three garden records and another butterfly to add to my Garden Butterfly Survey list.  

Monday 10 May 2021

Nomad Bee (?) on Dandelion

We have various insects landing on the Dandelions at the moment. This seems to be a new one for my garden list. I am not exactly sure what kind of ?bee it is, but judging by a thread on the Suffolk Wildlife Facebook group, it seems to be a Nomad bee, perhaps akin to Nomada goodeniana, though I fear the antennae are not sufficiently orange in hue for this particular variety. Those two yellow spots made me stop and take a second look. I shall post the photo on iSpot.  



P.S. Thanks to the kind (and knowledgeable) folk on iSpot, it seems this is a Nomada/Nomad bee, possibly a female marshamella.

Sunday 9 May 2021

Landguard and the Sea at Last

Wheatear, there were several in evidence today


We have had a couple of visits to the sea recently, which have been such a joy after all the long winter months of shielding at home. 

The beach at Landguard (Felixstowe) is partly nature reserve, and there are currently large swathes of fenced-off areas to allow species such as Ringed Plover to breed without disturbance. We saw a number of these beautiful birds from a distance. There was also a sizeable flock of Linnets.

We looked hard for seals this afternoon, but failed to see any. However, there was one in evidence on our previous visit (see further down).  

I hope we will have the chance to visit this bit of coast more frequently now that restrictions are lifting. How I have missed the sea!



Thursday 6 May 2021

My Puffin Photograph on the Cover of 'Reading Between The Lines' by Neil Leadbeater

Littoral Press, £8.50

Those who follow my blog posts, and perhaps particularly this one, will know that (in normal times) I enjoy watching Puffins as they move about on and off our coastal cliffs. I am thrilled to have one of my Puffin photographs on the cover of Neil Leadbeater's new poetry collection, published by Mervyn Linford of Littoral Press. David and I met Neil back in 2011 as fellow participants at Swansea's First International Festival of Poetry, organised by Peter Thabit Jones of The Seventh Quarry Press (Swansea) with Stanley H. Barkan of Cross-Cultural Communications (New York).

This fine collection includes poems rooted in a variety of rural (e.g. Tarr Steps), coastal (e.g. Aldeburgh) and urban (e.g. Port of Tyne) landscapes. A compelling sense of musicality pervades much of Neil's work, aided and abetted by a sprinkling of alliterations and allusions. I have been particularly enjoying the poem sequences ... and the Puffin poem, of course!  

P.S. This has also been posted on my Poetry and Writing blog since the subject was relevant to both.  

Monday 3 May 2021

Wildflowers in our Wild Garden


Two more flowers for the list ...


 My fledgling list of wildflowers seen in the garden ...

1. Daisy (20  February)

2. Violet (18 March)

3. Chickweed (19 March)

4. Dandelion (19 March)

5. Herb Robert (9 April)

6. Red Valerian (29 March)

7. Goosegrass (with tiny white flowers) (21 May)

8. Buttercup (21 May)

9. Red Dead Nettle (21 May)

10. Common Storksbill (24 May)

11. Red Clover (25 May)


I am finding it a bit of a challenge to distinguish between the wild 'weeds' and the wild 'flowers'. We have nettles and goosegrass growing at the moment; but since these do not have obvious flowers, I have not counted them. We also have a stalk of Aquilegia, and having read this page, I am wondering whether it ought to be included since it seems it is not the 'garden escape' I asssumed it to be, but rather a British wildflower that has become domesticated!