The Back Garden

Sunday, September 15th 2013

The back garden at Foxglove is a mixture, with some of it looked after as a garden and some falling under the general habitat management.  There are feeders in the cultivated area and these can be easily viewed by visitors.  Jay, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Siskin and Great Tits, are amongst the different species who visit these feeders.  Washing up can be a slow job as the person doing it is distracted by the activities of birds outside the kitchen window eating nuts and Nyger seed.  However there is more to the garden than the birds.

A few weeks ago the pond received a very necessary clean.  Birds can now drink from it and already midge larvae have taken up residence.  The newly built stone edge will provide hibernation sites for insects and possibly frogs, toads and newts.

Delicate white blossom was seen on the Guelder Rose earlier in the year and this has been replaced by bright red berries.  Unfortunately very few birds eat them.

Guelder Rose berries

Blackberries have to be trimmed back as they grow over the net rides and the paths the bird ringers take.  However plenty are left for animals to feed on.

Riepning Blackberries

Wild Carrot only grows in a few places on the reserve, the back garden being one of them.  Once the flower is over the seed head develops.  It is unlike any of the other umbelifers.

Wild Carrot seed head

Butterflies have visited the garden during the summer as have the damselflies and dragonflies.  On closer inspection other insects can be spotted. 

Devil's Bit Scabious is flowering amongst the taller grasses and bees and hoverflies are still feeding from the nectar.

Hoverfly on Devil's Bit Scabious

Sawfly larvae were eating their way through a willow shrub, leaving behind skeletal leaves. 

Skeleton leaf

On being threatened with a camera they all took up their defensive position.

Defensive sawfly larvae

Hidden away in the undergrowth lurk spiders, only noticed when the dew highlights their webs.

Spider's web highlighted by dew.

(1) Comments:

Glenn responded on 16th Sep 2013 with...

Two grey wagtails in the back garden attempting to drink at the pond, kept flying round the edging stones, but flew on after a short while. Did not appear happy with the pond-liner edging…...water not easily accessible. Lovely observation, though!
Sunday pm. approx. 2.30.

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