Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Yesterday we saw two Blue Tit eggs on the screen when we switched on the nest box camera. Eggs take 24 hours form so she must have laid the first on the 25th (they tend to cover them up during the day before they start incubating and they are not always easy to spot! Today there were three :)
Sorry not very good photos as I took photos of the tv screen and the camera tends to pick up the pixels.
We've had Blue Tits nesting in the garden for over 35 years - we put up nest boxes when we first moved in but I've only kept dates of egg laying since we had the nest box with camera as I have never wanted to disturb the birds.
The dates when the first egg was laid are as follows - its interesting to note that the 25th seems the most common date!
2010 28th April
2011 25th April
2012 25th April
2013 25th April
2014 14th April - this was the year when 10 eggs were laid (usually its around 5 or 6)
2015 ~17th May - very, very late
2016 25th April
Monday, 25 April 2016
In the trapping sessions I have had since my last post on moths, catches have been low (just a few Common Quakers and Hebrew Characters) but this Brindled Beauty was nice to see and a new tick for the year. Sexton Beetles have started to appear in the trap!
I've brought in the remaining Emperor Moth cocoons (from the caterpillars I raised two years ago). The adults can take up to 4 years to emerge so I am hoping I may get some females this year - the few that emerged last year were all male.
The Blue Tit's nest seems finished and she has roosted overnight in the box recently - in the past this has suggested that egg laying is imminent so fingers crossed. Blackbirds and Robins are feeding young and House Sparrows are collecting nest material. The wren is in the garden frequently so I am hopeful that the nest in the ivy will be used.
A Holly Blue was seen briefly on 18th April and a Green-veined White 2 days later. Sorry, no photos - by the time I had been indoors and fetched the camera both had disappeared.
Thursday, 7 April 2016
Friday, 1st April
Min Temp 7.2 degrees Centigrade
15w Actinic Skinner Trap
Common Quakers (Orthosia cerasi) x 5
Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) x 2
Twin-spotted Quaker (Anorthoa munda) x 1 (New for Year)
Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) x 1
If you were visiting my Ragged Robins Nature Notes blog 2 years ago you'll remember that I was given some Emperor Moth eggs and raised the caterpillars to pupae stage. A few males emerged from the cocoons last Spring but, as they can take several years to emerge,in the Summer I put the cage back in the coal house where its cooler to bring back indoors this Spring. Yesterday I noticed from Martin's Moth blog see here that his Emperor Moths had started emerging already. None of mine have appeared so far but I have now brought them indoors and placed the cocoons in a larger cage. I really do hope some females appear this year so I can try "assembling" to see if they attract some males. Alternatively, if I get just one female and male I will let them mate and raise some more caterpillars! Fingers crossed there will be some news soon!
We had a visit from a Jay yesterday - a new garden species for the year.
Blue Tits appear to be lining the nest so will check the camera later to see if the female is roosting overnight as this is often a sign she will soon be laying eggs. Wren nesting activity continues, House Sparrows are collecting nesting material, the Robins appear to be feeding young and Blackbirds have built a nest in one of the shrubs.
Friday, 1 April 2016
I put out the moth trap last weekend - and trapped the following - all New For the Year
Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) - one of my favourite moths
Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)
Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)
As always if any of my id's are incorrect please let me know. Overnight temperatures are forecast to be milder this weekend so will hopefully be trapping again.
A pair of Blue Tits are taking nesting material into the nestbox (which has a camera) and a Collared Dove visited the garden (a new species for the year).
Frog spawning activity went on for days - a good year for frogspawn :)
A Spring posy of flowers picked from the garden for Easter Sunday
Books (for Amanda)
I picked up a couple of book bargains at the Nurseries when I went looking for birthday presents for my friend last week.
The AA Book "Exploring Britain's Churches and Chapels" was greatly reduced to £6.99! In fact, I saw it at the same price yesterday in a National Trust shop. It features various churches region by region and has articles on features such as towers and spires. It's well worth buying if you are interested in churches.
This charming bee book was half price!
Will try and resist sneaky book purchases for a while and catch up on some of the books in my vast pile of "waiting to be read"!