I have been trying to catch up on writing some of my blog posts, which is why I am posting July in January!! After summer I have been rather rubbish at posting anything; partly because I have lots of images where I need to identify the insects or flowers and its taken longer than anticipated. I end up with a list of ‘blogs to write’ and then feel like events occurred too long ago to write about them. I do however feel that they are all part of a story I’ve been telling on here so have been doing my best to start catching up….
My first trip out into the patch in July was the 9th – I wasn’t out there very long; I got bitten by a horsefly on the inside of my wrist. I saw it and tried to flick it off but it didn’t move, I had to try and brush it off again, finally it went. Now I had a few bites the other week that turned into great big red patches so I thought it best to go and put some bite lotion on it. I have to say it didn’t help, this bite came up in blisters and half my forearm swelled up! I was wearing Boots sun cream that has insect repellent in it, either I hadn’t covered that spot or it doesn’t work too well with horseflies! I asked on Twitter for some suggestions to keep them away and two options that came back were, Avon Skin so soft and Jungle formula. I’ll have to give each a try to see which one works the best for me.
While I was out in the field I heard roe deer in the copse; well that was until a walker spooked them with their yappy dog that didn’t seem to follow commands! All I could hear after that was a high pitched dog whistle that wasn’t going to help me see anything! Why do people have to be so noisy?! There were numerous butterflies on the what I believe to be bristly oxtongue and also ox-eye daisies. I am rubbish at identifying the ‘white’ butterflies, once I have seen them all in the flesh and I ‘know’ which is which I will be more confident but at the moment I’m still not sure. They were quite difficult to photograph as they were continually flitting around not sitting still for a second. There was a very small dark butterfly that I couldn’t identify, its what I was trying to follow when I got bitten! I still have no idea what it was, I hope I can get back out there one evening to have another look for it.
I was tending the 12 tomato plants and noticed a leaf cutter bee buzzing around my head, I moved away and watched from the other side of the garden as I was unsure of where it was going. It carried a piece of leaf into a tray of soil and went into a burrow. I managed to get a very bad picture of it. The tray now has a label on it saying it shouldn’t be disturbed as there is a potential nest in there 🙂
July 16th – tonight there were 6 swallows feeding over the field.
July 18th – I was surprised by all the corvids that flew over the field tonight to roost – there must have been about 70 of them. I couldn’t clearly identify them as I was looking into the setting sun but I would make a guess at mainly rooks and carrion crows.
July 19th – I was pottering in the garden tonight when I spotted the starlings were collecting on the telephone line. I like to think it’s a family photo of all the starlings that have fledged in the garden this year!
July 20th – The farmer has made the first test cut of the oil-seed rape in the field. Its great because there is now a clear path to walk around the field, not so great at the loss of all the field chamomile and bristly oxtongue that were in flower 🙁
July 23rd – the crop was cut today.
July 24th – I didn’t know there was a wren nest in the Jasmine but today a fledgling wren was perched on the archway while I was watering. I took a quick photo and moved to the other side of the garden to stay out of its way. There was a parent nearby shouting at me!
July 25th – approx 30 swallows flew over and I discovered 104 large white caterpillars on one of the plants in the garden – I think it’s a false London rocket but I’m not 100% sure. I left them all where they were, happy that they had come to feast in the garden. The garden is after all being created for the wildlife 🙂
July 26th – today I managed to go for a walk in the field. It is really dry, there are cracks in the ground. All of the bristly oxtongue where the butterflies were has all been cut down. It feels a very different place with all the vegetation/crop removed. The copse is starting to look brown underneath the trees. The next field over hasn’t been harvested yet and still has some greenery around the margins. All that is really left in the field now is mainly stinging nettles and a few patches of grass on top edge. I know these are important but its sad that the chamomile etc has all been cut down when it would still have been useful to the insects buzzing around the field. When the farmers all cut at the same time this sudden vanishing food source must have a real impact on our wildlife.
July 27th – this morning there was a buzzard sat on one of the straw bales.
Over the month I have also been looking at who else has started to visit the garden area next to the field, some I can identify easily but there are so many new creatures I have never seen before! which I have been trying my best to identify (if I have any wrong, please let me know):