Wildlife in August

A lot of birds are quieting down now, but Yellowhammers 🐤 are continuing to sing away!  Plus this is another great month for seeing some beautiful Butterflies! 🦋 

(The videos below were made a few years ago)

Thanks for visiting! 😊

Day 12 – 30 Days Wild

“Follow a bumblebee” 

12/06/16

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After work, I decided to go for a nice stroll with a colleague and friend, Sophie.  We sauntered around the semi-rural outskirts of Northfield Town Centre (in South Birmingham).

Before we got to the location Sophie had in mind, literally just a few yards from where we work, we noticed beside the path (there is a grass verge) was a patch of Bird’s-foot-Trefoil.  I informed Sophie it is also know as Eggs and Bacon.  We saw some bees buzzing around it, so we observed and followed them from flower to flower.

I took a short video:

Thanks. 🐝

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Day 9 – 30 Days Wild

“Wear a flower behind your ear”

09/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_09Today I helped out at Cranesbill Nursery – it’s a lovely company that sells Hardy Geraniums.  ‘Cranesbill’ is the common name for a Hardy Geranium, and there were plenty of Bees buzzing around them today. Many of the varieties on the nursery are in flower at the moment, and they are fantastic for creating  that rich micro-climate for wildlife in your garden. The plants are very diverse – they come from all over the world – so the good thing about them is that you can literally find one for every part of the garden, and because they come from a variety of climates, by mixing them up within your borders, you can ensure that you have flowers from very early in the growing year, until late Autumn, therefore providing a food source for wildlife for a very long period.  So naturally I put a flower behind my ear. 😉

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Me with a Himalayense behind my ear.

The nursery is located on a farm – just on the edge of South Staffordshire – where I observed Swallows, Skylarks, House Sparrows, baby Rabbits, Moths and Butterflies (as well as the Bees).

Thanks. 🙂

Video

Realised Recently

I had a realisation recently, regarding the invertebrates I blogged about back in June… I’ll bee honest 😉  I didn’t think about what the Ruby-tailed Wasp may have been up to, but I was reminded in the September Issue of BBC Wildlife magazine – that they’re a kind of Cuckoo!  This jewel-like wasp, happened to be close to where the Mason Wasp was coming and going from!

I only have this poor photo of these amazing Apocrita:

Ruby-tailed Wasp – blue top and red bottom

These weeny wasps (with metallic blue/turquoise tops and ruby red bottoms) lay their eggs in the nests of other Solitary Wasps, like the Mason Wasp!

When lava of the Ruby-tailed Wasp hatches, it eats the egg or grub of the host’s nest – which makes these sort of Wasps parasitoid (because they don’t live inside the host, they kill them instead).  September’s issue of BBC Wildlife also features “7 WAYS TO SAVE SOLITARY BEES”.

Thanks 🙂

Day 18 – 30 Days Wild

What Caught My Eye 

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#30DaysWild
For day 18, I decided I would take a picture of whatever caught my eye.  The first thing that did, was a lovely Green Shield Bug! 🙂

A Green Shield Bug perched on my parents livingroom window.
A Green Shield Bug perched on my parents livingroom window.
Later I went to visit my friend Laura’s pet shop, CavyNoodle Pets UK – in a village called Rubery.  The shop more or less has a Wildlife Garden out back, where various wildflowers pop up.  The Sweet Pea below, stood out to me.

I forgot how large Sweet Pea flowers and leaves grow.
This Sweet Pea is growing wild, so its’ flowers and leaves are larger than the cultivated varieties.
On the way back, I remembered the Shinning Cranesbill I passed on the walk down to Rubery was very red!  So on my way back up, I snapped a couple pictures.

It'd be really cool, if this whole path was lined with the red plants!
It’d be really cool, if this whole path was lined with red Shinning Cranesbill!

A closer view for you.
A closer view for you.
These particular plants are red in colour due to the dry weather – therefore are nutrient starved, shutting down/stopping chlorophyll production and going to seed quite early.  The remaining sugars in the leaves give it its’ red pigment.  In away, the sugars have caramelised 😀

Thanks for visiting 🙂

Day 17 – 30 Days Wild

(I’m using my phone to do this blog entry)  I was at work early today and had to do a couple errands when I finished, then it rained continuously.  I had already danced in the rain.  

#30DaysWild
  So I was left trying decide what to do, sat in my parents kitchen, when my Dad said he had came across another interesting insect at work…  

 

What is it? It looks like a Beetle-Cricket-Hybrid, haha! …Is it just a Cricket?
 
 
Its’ top/back half.

My Dad has came across various creepy crawlies at work, some living and some dead.  The Cricket thing is the second specimen he has came home with, below is the first.  

 

A Small Elephant Hawk-moth! 🙂
 
 
I love its’ patterning/colours. There is always perfection in nature.
 
Thanks 🙂

Day 11 – 30 Days Wild

There’s the suggestion to “Follow a bee”, but to cut a long story short; I watched a few insects (no Bees today) after work.  What first caught my eye was a wee blue flying one!  A Ruby-tailed Wasp to be exact 🙂

Apologies for the poor images (phone snaps again).

The fly that caught my eye
Ruby-tailed Wasp – blue top and red bottom

Something larger caught my eye and disappeared down the back of the shed door, a Mason Wasp!  Which I watched for a short while.

Mason Wasp
Mason Wasp

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Flies followed it back to the shed, and sat outside

Something landed on my hand and startled me!  After all, I was Wasp-watching.  I shook it off and it flew on to the shed door, which seems a popular place for flying insects.

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It was a Damselfly! It was brown in colour

A couple clips of the Mason Wasp:

Thanks 🙂