Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Garden Wildlife

In the last couple of years the garden has accounted for over 90% of species that are new to me. The moth trap has been responsible for many of these and I'm finding new species of moths which are quite common almost every week but without the moth trap I would never knew they existed so close to home. I'm also looking more carefully for insect larvae and yesterday morning I found a lovely Grey Dagger (Acronicta psi) caterpillar on one of our cushions in the summerhouse. It appears to be spinning itself a cocoon. 
The ladybird was in the moth trap yesterday morning. According to the UK Ladybird survey website it is an Orange Ladybird (Halyzia 16-guttata) which has between 12 and 16 cream spots. They were thought to be scarce and were an indicator of ancient woodland but since 1987 they have taken a liking to Sycamore and Ash and are now widespread. They are attracted to light and are often found in moth traps!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Plants common and rare

Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) the radiate variety is common on the outskirts of Morpeth

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) frequent on disturbed ground

Lady Clermont's Spleenwort (Asplenium x clermontiae) only site in UK on Northumberland coast shown to me by Stewart last month

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) East Mill, Morpeth

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Strange caterpillars in the garden

Elephant Hawk moth larvae defoliating the Fuschias

Buff Tip 

On Sunday there were 7 Buff Tip (Phalera bucephala) caterpillars walking around the garden beneath the Birch tree. It was very windy so they may have been blown out. While looking for more my son spotted the Elephant Hawk moth (Deilephila elpenor) larvae on on of our Fuschias.  Strangely this year I have had the moth trap running weekly but not caught any of these as adults but I have caught an adult Puss Moth and John Hall (Howden Blogger) has a nice Puss moth larvae photo on his blog. A larvae which I would love to find.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Some holiday photos

Two views of Ben Rinnes form Glen Livet

Family shot on Ben Macdui on August 4th...I don't think Bennyboy likes his picture taken

Elgin...City of Gulls

Dyers Mazegill

Scotch Argus

Views East from Ben Macdui