Mini beast bioblitz for Day 27 of 30 Days Wild

When I got home from work today it had finally stopped raining so I ran into the garden in search of mini beasts.

I walked around looking closely at each shrub and flower, waiting to catch a glimpse of a bug. I was amazed how many mini beasts I spotted and the closer I looked, the more interesting critters I saw.

There were ladybirds and larvae hiding amongst the leaves and petals of fuschias.

There were caterpillars and moths hiding amongst wood piles and under leaves.

A little ball of garden spiderlings huddled together amongst the lavender stems. Black lace weaver spiders (Amaurobius ferox) scurried across the wall then into their homes, whilst red velvet spider mites (Trombidiidae) moved quickly on the lid of the water butt.

I saw a variety of flies enjoying the wildflowers, fuschias and honeysuckle. A variety of hoverflies hovered above the lavender flowers. Pretty small solider flies called black horned gems (Microchrysa polita) sat on camellia leaves. Whilst other flies sat on daisy flowers, ferns and jasmine leaves.

A stunning metallic coloured rosemary beetle sat on my lavender plant. Cuckoo spit dangled under fuschia leaves and a darkling beetle (Lagria hirta) hid on an old bluebell stem. Flower Bugs – Anthocoris nemorum and Liocoris tripustulatus as well as a variety of other insects (some of which I haven’t found the name for yet) gathered amongst other shrub leaves.  

I thought the prettiest bug of the afternoon was Calocoris stysi. I love it’s yellow and black chequered pattern and I think the yellow marking in the middle looks like a butterfly pattern. It looked very pretty sat on the lavender flower.

My favourite encounter of the afternoon was with a Epistrophe grossulariae hoverfly. It was attracted to my blue water bottle and kept sitting on the lid trying to lick up the ribena juice around the edge. I noticed the hoverfly had licked a lot of it up so I spoke to it and asked if it would like some more. It stayed sat on the top of my bottle unafraid of me, while I opened the lid for it. The hoverfly then carried on drinking from the top of the bottle until it had had enough. It was a magical experience to be just a couple of centimeters away from a hoverfly and it was happy for me to be that close to it.

I’m glad I made the effort to go out in the garden and search for mini beasts. I hope this little blog will inspire you to go out and see what insects are lurking in your garden and appreciate its great biodiversity.

 

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Lazy day in the garden #30DaysWild

Its that time of year when the fruits are forming on the the trees and the soft fruits are getting their colour. I love watching those delicate blossoms fall like confetti followed by the formation of tiny fruit ready to be picked in Autumn.  I always look forward to tasting the first pears, apples, damsons and plums of the season and it looks like there will be a good crop too this year.

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It wont be long now till the soft fruit is ready to pick. Ice cream at the ready waiting for those mouthwatering tayberries, raspberries, gooseberries and currants. Yummy!!

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After doing a spot of gardening I sat down by the thick carpet of white clover and watched the many bees happily buzzing from flower to flower in front of me. I see a flock of fledgling long tailed tits eating the whooly aphids in one of the trees, a robin tugging at a worm in the grass, a blackbird having a bath and a woodpecker and a jay squabbling as to who has the peanuts out of the feeder next.

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I then went for a walk around the garden. I like to see if there are any wildlife tracks or signs. I normally find hedgehog poo on the lawn, nibbled nut left overs from the wood mice and squirrels or the smell of fox under a tree.

I stumbled upon what I thought was another mole hill, but on closer inspection I see a nest of meadow ants in the small earth mound busily going about their daily business. They have made there nest in a small clump of grass and wildflowers were they help keep the soil porous and manage the aphid population.

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There are so many insects about today in the sunshine and I’m glad. These insects are gardeners little helpers. Without pollinators there would be no fruit, or flowers; so be kind to your bugs and bees and give them a home, and in return they will help you in your garden.

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There is so much more to gardening than just dead heading flowers, mowing and weeding. The closer you look the more you will see in your garden. The more you see, the more your garden will come to life and enrich you.

So from time to time put that trowel or spade down and just sit and really appreciate the overlooked things in your garden and the wonderful joy your garden brings to you.

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