Garden Bioblitz and #30DaysWild

Hi all,

As many of you know, June is the month in which The Wildlife Trust start #30DaysWild, it’s an amazing challenge for you and your loved ones to get out and about enjoying our wildlife and environment. More info here ( http://action.wildlifetrusts.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1823&ea.campaign.id=48499 )

We have been doing the challenge since Day 1, in fact we started a tad early and had a nice trip to a local meadow, walking and relaxing a few days before.

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Day 1 – My wife and her friends went to a local park, bug hunting and tree climbing whilst I did some bug hunting.

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This is one from Day 1, even made its way onto the BBC Springwatch website.

Day 2 – We had a nice walk to another local meadow which we have never visited at this time of the year.

Day 3 – We set the moth trap up in the evening

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Day 4 – We checked the Moth Trap this morning and ID’d the species and then we took part in the Garden Bioblitz which is happening today and tomorrow. More info here ( http://www.gardenbioblitz.org/ )

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The girls getting ready to record the species in the Bioblitz.

We love the Garden Bioblitz, such a fun way of introducing the kids to the wildlife in your garden, and at the same time recording and discovering beautiful creatures! The first thing we discovered, after moving some rocks was this Red Ant nest, the girls were amazed!

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After admiring the hard working Ants for a few minutes we began to dig deeper into the garden and collect our specimens to be ID’d later. We hung an old shower curtain up, and with the help of the kids we shook the bushes and trees hoping whatever fell would land on our sheet. We actually got this Idea from watching BBC Springwatch, although they used and umbrella 🙂

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shaking the bushes

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Amber inspecting with a pot ready to capture whatever scuttles out.

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Our nephew Noah getting involved….Not sure what’s going on with Amber and Jasmine’s poses though 🙂 🙂 🙂

After a 2 hour period we began to list and ID all species we found and have some lunch.

 

In total we found :

  • Greenfly x a gazzilion
  • White lipped Snail x 3
  • Common Garden Slug x 5
  • Southern Garden Slug x 1
  • Red Ants and Larvae x way too many to count
  • Garden Snail x 10
  • Common Garden Frog x 1
  • Common rough woodlouse x 35
  • Female wolf spider and egg sack (Pardosa Sp.) x 5
  • Red Velvet Mite x 7
  • Male Wolf spider (Pardosa Sp) x 15
  • Common Garden spider x 10
  • White tailed Bumblebee x 1
  • Black Ant x 1
  • White legged Millipede x 2
  • Brown lipped Snail x 2
  • Earwig x 1
  • Small White Caterpillar x 1
  • Female Zebra Jumping Spider x 7
  • Male Zebra Jumping Spider x 5
  • Micro Moths (Various) x 3
  • Cadisfly x 15
  • Common shiny woodlouse x 19
  • Blue Bottle x 8
  • Common Green Capsid x 5
  • Harvestman
  • Sac Spider x 6
  • Meadow Brown Caterpillar x 1
  • Weevil ( possible Polydrusus tereticollis) x 1
  • Running Crab Spider x 8
  • Skipper caterpillar x 1
  • Earthworms x 10
  • Owl Midge x way too many to count
  • Hoverfly
  • Female Hairy Footed Bee
  • Sawfly Larvae
  • Small White Butterfly
  • Large White Butterfly
  • Common Wasp
  • Lacewing
  • Large dragonfly
  • Horsefly
  • Springtails
  • Fruitfly
  • Yellow Slug
  • Blackbird
  • Sparrow
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Robin
  • Magpie

Some list that for 2 hours in a small garden!!!

Of course, I had to get a photo of those Ants with my Macro Gear!

Bring on the rest of the Month 🙂

Matt

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#30DaysWild – Days 9-12

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been working the night shift this week so I haven’t had much time at all to do anything or get out with the kids.

Here is a quick recap of what we got upto.

Day 9.

We decided to stay at home and refill, wash and fill the the bird feeders and table.

Day 10.

For day 10 we decided to plant some herbs in our garden. Jasmine and Amber seemed more interested in eating them than planting them. lol!

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Day 11.

We left the car at home again and decided to walk home from school, 2.2 miles to be precise. For me it was tiring as I’m used to my car, for the girls and my wife it was a breeze as they do this everyday whilst I’m at work.

On the way past one of the local parks the girls decided to try some balancing on the large rocks.

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Day 12.

This morning when I arrived home from work at 6am I decided to pop into the garden to see what I could find. I was shocked and excited to find this Red Damselfly on one of the strawberry plants. I’ve never had one of these in the garden!! Due to the fact it was so early in the morning, this beauty hadn’t fully warmed up, meaning I could get a decent picture. I eventually left it alone to wake up, and I went to bed.

I can only assume that someone has a rather large pond near my house, either way I was glad for the visit.

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Hopefully I will get out and about more this weekend. How are you getting on with your #30DaysWild?

Thanks for reading

Matt

What’s in your garden – You tell me!

Hi Everyone,

So it’s a new week and with the return of BBC Springwatch, Unsprung and Extra to our TV screens it seems Social Media has burst alive with Nature Enthusiast, conservationists and photographers each sharing stories, pictures and events! I love this time of year!!!

As I continue to do these blogs each week, introducing you to species that you can find in your own back garden, I have decided to make it a hashtag campaign. I will be opening up the wall on my facebook page until Autumn for you all to post pictures and stories of #WhatsInYourGarden. Hopefully by doing this we can show how diverse the wildlife is in each garden across the country, even the world. This will also give you a great excuse to get out in the garden, get the children involved and make a positive contribution the Natural World. Simply pop a picture/story on my facebook page, your own facebook/instagram/twitter or a link to your blog or page, whatever it may be. Try to identify the species and where exactly it was taken. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WhatsInYourGarden. It doesn’t have to be just Insects, although I do love them, it could be Birds or small Mammals, any wildlife that’s in your garden.

Ant with Larva

 

You may find yourself saying “I have no wildlife in my garden”, if so then I urge you to take a closer look, not only that, try and encourage wildlife into your garden. You can do this relatively cheap. A few bedding plants and other flora carefully planted will triumph and bloom into a spectacular array of colour and fragrance and this will be great for attracting Bees, Butterflies and other flying Insects into your garden, which in turn would attract birds. Bug hotels can be constructed quite easily from bits of broken wood and bricks, bird boxes can also be purchased for under £10.   A bird feeder and food could also be purchased from the local pound stores. For a small inexpensive price you could have your garden teaming with wildlife, and believe me when I say nothing is more satisfying than watching a garden alive with wildlife out of your window.  The inquisitive and excited faces of your children as they point,laugh and research what they find and see, watching each little bird lurking, seemingly gambling its chance to fly down to the feeders to secure a quick meal, Butterflies soaring and swooping over the flower beds, Bees actively pollinating your garden, it truly is a beautiful sight. Do this and you are guaranteed wildlife magic in your garden.

So I hope you join me in exploring exactly #WhatsInYourGarden.

Matt

Solitary Bee

#Day8 of #100DaysofNature

Hi everyone,

So, week 2, #Day8 and another new species for my garden, one which I am finding hard to pinpoint an exact ID on. I found this yellow Caterpillar at the back of the garden climbing up a blade of thick grass, it was so vibrant that it stuck out like a sore thumb. It posed nice for a photograph. I decided as it was so generous posing like a pro that I would go in for a portrait shot haha. Such an amazing creature, but even better up close!

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The girls were not far behind me in the garden and quickly come over for a closer look, I passed them the blade of grass with the caterpillar on for them to inspect and then document in the book, It was then put safely back where it was found.

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If anybody could help with ID on this then please contact me via my facebook page (Mattsmacro) or my Flickr (link). Hopefully I will have an ID soon.

Thanks 

Matt

ID UPDATED AS SAWFLY LARVAE