Friday, August 10, 2018

Start of August 2018

There is a pair of wood pigeons that visits our garden every day.  In late winter they eat the ivy berries in the hedge, but currently they like to perch together for a while on the same place on a branch of the birch tree just beyond the hedge.  Here they indulge in a little 'billing and cooing' though the 'cooing' aspect is usually not evident.  I wonder why they like this particular perch.  Maybe it is because there is lots of ivy nearby and they got used to it when they were homing in on the berries.

As well as mint beetles, our various mint plants often attract the little day-flying moth Pyrausta aurata. 

While looking for these we came across this strange looking creature feeding on mint.  It turned out to be the larva of a tortoise beetle (Cassida viridis).  The two prongs at the rear of the creature are used to carry excrement - turd kebabs - supposedly to discourage predators and the spines along the sides can be used for similar purposes.

Our buddleia has been popular with a wide range of commoner butterflies and moths including the migrant  painted lady and humming-bird hawk, but it was good to see a couple our native silver-washed fritillaries. 

Today the drought has ended with heavy falls of rain, but the ground will still be very dry for a long time.