Saturday 16 June 2012

Sunday safari

 The juvenile Green Woodpecker visits most days.     This is the second year they have raised their young here.
 Many bees......they enjoy feeding on the wildflowers.
 False Oil Beetles look creepy but are harmless.     They are liquid feeders (nectar) and are common in meadows and flower rich gardens.

 The four spotted chaser has been hunting in the borders.   She is a fascinating and beautiful creature.
Yes there is much life in the garden, but I ask myself, where have all the butterflies gone ??

The sun is back.....Happy Sunday Safari.


  1. You are very lucky to have the green woodpecker visiting - I've never even seen one! As for butterflies they are few and far between here as well, it will be a poor breeding season for them I fear.

    1. Hi Rowan,

      The decline in our native butterflies concerns me. I read, a few days ago, that the common blue is down by 60% :(

  2. Hi Cheryl,

    I don't think you need to worry about the flutters quite yet... If the weather is still terrible in July then yep, I think there's going to be a massive crash in their numbers this year. I haven't yet seen a single Small tort, Peacock, Comma etc but I do know their numbers boomed in July last year so I'm still hopeful.

    1. Hi Liz,

      I hope you are was a bad year last year in SE, I just hope this year will not be a repeat.

    2. Hi Cheryl,

      Tbh, I'm being naive and know I am. I'm well aware that we're likely to see very few at all unless the weather FINALLY changes again. But even then, the adults which ought to be on the wing are unable to get food in order to even breed and lay eggs. So I think the reality is going to be really rather dire.

      I'm trying to stay positive; when in reality I'm really worried what this winter will bring if the jet stream doesn't move. We may end up with snow very early on! Eeeek.

      Btw, can you please send your green woodie this way; I've plenty of Ants for him!

    3. Hi Liz,

      Please don't mention the snow word......I do not want an early winter , summer hasn't really started yet.
      Staying positive is good......I suppose I can remember the days when gardens were filled with butterflies, now we get excited if we see one.

    4. I was far too excited this morning when I saw a Butterfly fluttering around - was a speckled wood that enjoyed a few minutes on my Pyracantha blooms sunbathing in the early sun.

      Been to an RSPB place today and there were quite a few small Blues there (not sure which species exactly, but they were too small for common blues) as well as lots of day flying moths, damsels and dragons.

      re: gardens filled with flutters. Mine honestly was like that last year. I'd love to have 30 Gatekeepers again but I don't hold much hope. Waiting for the privet to bloom and then we'll see what happens - last year it attracted various skippers too.

    5. Hi Liz,

      That really cheered me up :) Even if I don't get any, just knowing they are out there makes things that little bit better.
      Privet is great for butterflies. There is a hedge of privet just along the lane and it is a butterfly magnet.

      Great news, I really appreciate you popping over to tell me, tks.

  3. With the sun so too shall the butterflies return. The Juv Woodpecker is cute as a button. He looks quite large. The green bug is pretty. You captured the shiny aspect of its body. Happy Sunday safari. I love seeing the overview of your garden. It puts me in context.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I have been thinking about you a lot these last few weeks, so nice to see you blogging.

      Juv. Woodpecker is lovely....yes he is fairly large, he is doing well feeding on ants in the garden.

      Have a good week and hope that all is well.

  4. What an honour to have Green Woodpeckers in your garden Cheryl! I would love that.

    I love that particular beetle, I've no idea why but I do and always look forward to photographing it each year which I did a few days ago. I had never heard the name False Oil Beetle before, I have always known it as Fat (or Thick) Legged Beetle. It is always so interesting to learn all the different names for the same creature.

    The butterfly situation is indeed worrying and troubles me greatly. Their numbers were down by a fifth last year and it has already been confirmed they are down by 20% so far this year!! The weather has been devastating :-( Thankfully the bees seem undeterred (as far as I know).

    The photo of the beautiful Four-spotted Chaser is lovely!

    1. Hi Jan,

      It is an honour to have any creature in the garden but the Green Woodpecker is one that I love.

      That is interesting....I did not know they were called Fat Legged Beetle, although I can see why :)

      The bees have recovered very well here....I have them in large numbers so that is good. The butterflies, well, I just hope the situation improves....I have hardly seen any this year :(

  5. Dear Cheryl,
    I am so happy the sun has returned to your gardens. You have much to tend and the winds and rains make tending not as fun....I find the bugs and birds makes being outside in the heat and humidity worthwhile....Your Dragonfly is gorgeous....I have a soft spot in my heart for the Damselflies and Dragons...Beetles are very interesting creatures....yours is very exotic looking. Bees and wildflowers the best of two worlds. Perhaps the call to gardeners and those who love nature will go forth to plant for the butterflies.. The English are wonderful hosts.....
    I am looking forward to the Summer Games...greenways....I am sending thoughts of greenways.
    Happy Sunday Safari...I think I will go hunting for bugs....
    Sherry, who keeps planting seeds

    1. Dear Sherry, who keeps planting seeds :)

      I have spent the week tidying and taking down broken branches. It has been a bit laborious but worthwhile.

      I do so hope that gardeners will help the butterflies, they need all the help they can get. Butterfly Conservation is a wonderful charity, I hope many will follow the guidelines they give.

      I hope the Olympics are a success. As with all nations that host them, a lot of work has gone into it.
      Greenways has me intrigued, cannot wait to see the vision.

      Cheryl, who worries about the butterflies.

  6. The butterflies seem to come and go in my garden; lately, I've noticed frittilaries, or at least I think that's what they are. Now that the coneflowers are blooming, I know I'll see even more. One thing I haven't seen yet this year are dragonflies--we need some of your rain! The last photo is so beautiful!

  7. Hi Cheryl,
    I love your four spotted chaser, what a beauty! And the geranium is also quite lovely.
    I too share your concern over the butterflies, I have only seen a couple in the garden this year. I don't ever remember there being huge numbers of them though and that also makes me sad that people younger than me will be used to seeing even fewer and therefore not realise what a problem it is. Conscious gardening is no doubt on the rise though so let us keep hope that things will turn around before it is too late.

    1. Hi Lucinda,

      We can do nothing about the weather, the rainy Spring/Summer (so far) will not help the butterflies. If July and August are sunny then things will improve.

      I have let parts of my lawn grow into meadow.....whilst it is not the prettiest area in the garden, bees, hoverfly etc are enjoying it. Not using sprays, planting nectar rich and host plants for the butterflies would see a dramatic turn around, of that I am sure. There is so much we can do....whilst I walk the path to old age, I care about those left behind.......