New House… New Garden…New Years Resolutions

So since I last posted here (a loooong time ago; I have been very slack) I have moved house….

I’m missing my sparrows, wagtails, frogs, sparrowhawk etc… but this garden has some

different visitors that make up for it..

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A young slow worm

 

 

 

 

The best part is there is large allotment patch at the back although it had not been looked after for some time. I attempted to dig part of it over last year, and I managed to plant some pumpkins out, resulting in yummy pumpkin cake and pumpkin pie.

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But my new years resolution is to do so much more in the garden this year… I’ve got some interesting seeds from James Wong and Clare has got me a tin bath to create a pond like at my old house 🙂 I’ll keep you posted!

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DIY Hogitat!

Well, it’s not a hogitat actually… it’s a hedgehog feeding station! After acquiring some dried hedgehog food from freecycle I decided to convert one of my big plastic plant pots into an area where hedgehogs can eat in peace and the pesky ginger cat can’t get to it, as he is fat enough! Hope the hedgehogs like!

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Grow Your Own Garden

Still got lots of veggies and fruit growing in the garden. The birds are so lazy they don’t eat the seeds from the sunflowers but wait for me to remove them and put them on the bird table. Looking forward to trying my tasty peppers… 🙂

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Ribbit!

The frogs in the garden still do not like the pond I have created for them! This little fellow has decided he prefers the birdbath!

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Shield bugs galore!

All kinds of shield bugs seem to love my sunflowers. There are two sloe bugs which I have been able to spot on my 2 big sunflowers nearly every day for a couple of weeks now. You can tell them from other shield bugs because if you look closely they have a layer of fine hairs. Since they seem to have taken residence we have managed to get some nice shots of them.

It was while I was looking at these sloe bugs that I heard a very loud insect flying past me, which landed and turned out to be a forest bug. It was the largest shield bug I have ever seen and had really big ‘shoulder pads’ like an American football player. I don’t know if these are what makes it so loud when it flies!

There have also been a few younger green shield bugs around the sunflowers too. No piccies yet… 🙂

On another note, it was while researching these shield bugs that i discovered that many people, including one of my sister’s friends, call these ‘stink bugs’ because of the “pungent fluid exuded when the insects become alarmed” (according to my Collins Insect Guide!). We had never heard of this before and certainly never experienced any stinking from these bugs!

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Sparrowhawk in the garden!

I suppose I should have expected it to happen sooner or later, seeing as the garden is now attracting up to 50 or more sparrows at a time – quite a delight to watch! Today, I was completely taken by surprise by a sparrowhawk landing on the bird table. It moved to the fence, but by the time I got the camera it decided to fly away – always the way! I think it may have been around earlier too, as I heard the sparrows panicking  and one flew into the patio window and stunned herself. I took her in and put her in a cardboard box lined with a cloth for 10 minutes as she wasn’t quite with it and luckily she was right as rain afterwards.

Last night discovered our most successful moth trap so far. Known as the ‘living room’ – all you have to do is leave the doors open and turn the light on :p It was really hot and we kept the door open a little too late into the night. Attracted rather a lot of orange swifts. I really hope to do a proper moth trap soon – I say proper, but I think we’ll just start out with the good old white cloth and torch technique, and perhaps look into making our own soon. Also keeping an eye out on eBay, but I think buying one takes all the fun and achievement out of building your own… we will see!

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Cat and Moth

I was sitting watching TV tonight when I noticed a black cat that regularly visits the garden darting back and forth past the patio window. He is usually very shy so I became curious when it seemed that this time he was too preoccupied with something to be bothered by me. Eventually he wandered off half-heartedly and I looked outside to find a moth on the floor. The poor thing seemed intact and flew off quite happily after posing for a few photos. I’ll put some up later if any were good. After checking online, i discovered the little guy was a Scalloped Oak Crocallis elinguaria.

In other news, I’ve put up some bird feeders with peanuts, which has seemed to attract the sparrows back to the garden after they fled during all the building work next door. I thought they would take a while to get used to the new feeders but they were tucking in within an hour of me putting them up 🙂

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