Common frog tadpoles (Rana temporaria) in the little pond under the Decorated Bridge.Continue reading “Tadpoles”
Please do send us pictures of the flora and fauna you come across in the park, particularly if you don’t know what it is. We are happy to help with identification. To encourage you, here is our Messenger conversation with Julie about the caterpillars she found and photographed.Continue reading “Messages about moths”
Another new species
On Sunday, Julie Newblé sent us pictures of caterpillars in a tent-web she found strung between blackthorn twigs in the hedge at the top of the Arboretum.Continue reading
ONE: Though their typical nest site is a hole in a tree, blue tits have been recorded nesting in all sorts of places: letterboxes and street lamps, inside a crack in a wall or a drainpipe, under a cast iron drain cover and, of course, in garden nest boxes.Continue reading “Five facts about blue tits”
An azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella) photographed in the park by DKG last week.Continue reading “Azure damselfly”
Common swallows (Hirundo rustica), returned from their long migrations, come hawking over our fields and ponds in search of insects at this time of year.Continue reading
This week has brought a report of the first of the summer’s meadow browns.Continue reading “Meadow brown”
with Ian Bushell
Ian, our expert on invertebrates, has sent us pictures from the park…Continue reading
A gallery of pictures from DKG.
Our brilliant resident photographer is back. Here is a gallery of pictures he took this week down among the park’s lush greenery.
Header picture: Buttercups in the Race and Sheep Field, by DKG.
Feeding birds in the spring.
Birds time their breeding period to coincide with the maximum availability of their natural foods: for example, winter moth caterpillars in the case of blue tits and earthworms for blackbirds and song thrushes. But cold or wet weather during the spring can cause severe shortages of insect food, and if the weather is exceptionally dry and the soil hardened, as it was last year, earthworms will be unavailable to ground feeding birds.Continue reading “Bird table”
This is a red-and-black froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) photographed in the park yesterday by Ian Bushell. There are ten different species of froghopper in the UK and while the red-and-black froghopper is not the most common, it is widespread.Continue reading “Froghopper”
Longest butterfly migration
We now know the painted lady (Vanessa cardui) makes the longest migration of any butterfly: 9,000 miles from tropical Africa to the Arctic Circle, almost double the journey made by the previous record holder, the famed monarch butterfly.
It can take six successive generations of painted ladies to complete this epic journey, flying up to 1,500ft high and reaching speeds of 30mph. The butterflies that return to Africa at the end of the year are several generations removed from those that set out.
This astonishing and beautiful butterfly, spotted in the park for the first time last year, will begin arriving in Britain this month. Keep a look out for it.
Pictures (CC0) from pixabay.com
Cockchafers, more familiarly known as May bugs, are one of those things that go bang in the night.Continue reading “Cockchafer”
Rüppell’s griffon vulture
No, of course we haven’t seen vultures circling over the park; that would be silly. But…..Continue reading
The record breaking swifts are back from their winter feeding grounds.Continue reading “Record holders”
This is a 16 spot ladybird, identified in the park for the first time this week and added to our species lists.Continue reading “A new species”
DKG photographed a small grey green bird with a pale eyestripe and cream underparts. This is either a chiffchaff or a willow warbler and it’s very hard to tell the difference.Continue reading “Chiffchaff or willow warbler”