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

Common swallow

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

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.

Bird table

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”

Froghopper

Red-and-black froghopper

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”

Another world record

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

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑