Friday 9 June 2023

Quick Wildflower Audit ... and Frog


1. Poppy, possibly 'sown' by the birds (is it perhaps a cultivated specimen?)

We had a plumber working away on a leaking valve this morning so I thought it might be a good moment to do a quick wildflower audit in our wild garden to gain a snapshot of what is showing up as we approach the longest day of the year. It has been a particularly chilly spring so far in my part of Suffolk. To be fair, the temperatures have risen in the last couple of days, but the north-east wind continues to make its presence felt. 

I may put in some effort to check names etc. in due course, but the purpose of this audit was really just to take a quick photo as a record of what I saw (with added input from David). If I can name the species, I will. I always struggle to identify yellow 'dandelion-like' flowers, including sow thistle, hawkweed and cat's ear ... do let me know if you recognise an unnamed plant. It may be that two of these yellow plant pics are actually of the same species ...



3. Ribwort Plantain

4. Daisy


6. Dandelion (with Thick-legged Flower Beetle)

7. Herb Robert

8. Small-flowered Cranesbill

9. Knapweed (first flower opened today)

10. Oxeye daisy


12. Goosegrass

13. ?Chickweed

14. Lesser Trefoil

15. Buttercup

16. Pink Valerian

17. (?Wood) Forget-me-not

18. Wood Avens

19. Nettle

20. Violet (flowers have died)



23. Willowherb

24. Purple Oxalis (garden escape?)


The photos that follow show how 'wild' a medium-sized suburban garden (ours) can look when it is largely left to nature.

Hummingbird Hawk-moths frequented this patch last year

Long grass micro-meadow

The hedgehog continues to visit most nights, and the frog reappeared in the mini-pond two days ago. Butterfly numbers have largely been down on last year, but we have had record garden sightings of Holly Blue.


Update 2024

25. Red Valerian

26. Bramble

27. Ivy

Thursday 8 June 2023

A New Ladybird for My Records

I was on a dragonfly and damselfly quest last Sunday afternoon when my attention was diverted by this ladybird. It was so tiny that I needed the magnification provided by the lens of my camera to convince me that it really was a ladybird. 

I have seen a lot of ladybirds over the years and have submitted many sightings to the UK Ladybird Survey, but I believe this beige and black 16-spot (Tytthaspis sedecimpunctata) was a first of its kind for me. It often eats pollen and favours damp grassy landscapes. It is not averse to aphids. 

This is just a quick post, but it would be fun at some point to gather my photos of the different species I have encountered. 

There have been very few ladybirds in evidence in my neck of the woods this year. It would be interesting to know if you have had more sightings ...