Wildlife Observations – Small Things

Thank goodness for asters. Apart from their beautiful shades of purple and pink, they are proving their value over and over again, as pit stops for the bees, bumbles and the few butterflies that are still on the wing. We stood and watched a stand of the shocking pink aster (now symphyotrichum I understand) novae-angliae ‘Andenken an alma pötschke’ on Monday and it was truly covered in honey bees. It looked positively alive and in fluid motion and it sounded like we were standing right next to a hive.

It is fascinating to watch just how quickly the different insects manage to drink from each ripe disc florets on the flowers before moving on to the next.

Around the garden ivy is in full bloom and also buzzing with visitors (flies, wasps, bees and butterflies). This red admiral butterfly was probably basking in the lovely warm sunshine though, rather than drinking.

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I am still seeing the occasional speckled bush-cricket in the borders. They seem to like to hang out on red plants for some odd reason. I had one take up residence in the greenhouse this summer, on a tray of Amaranthus ‘Red Army’ that I didn’t get around to planting out. I tried to move him out to a more diverse environment, but he was back inside again the next day.

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Are Speckled bush-crickets colour-blind?

Most of the Amaranthus ‘Red Army’ was planted out in a timely fashion though and it has done brilliantly, but haven’t seen that many pollinators on it. However, I did catch this shot of a bumblebee just before it speared itself some nectar. Amazing, isn’t it? I am still entranced by those tongues!

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Buff-tailed bumblebee ready to slake his thirst

Bird-wise, there is not an awful lot to report. Robins are more obviously around. I guess they’ve coloured up and are following the digging that happens as crops and plants are removed. The swallows are still here, but I don’t think that I am seeing as many.

The most entertaining birds in the last month have been the young greenfinches. There is one in particular trying to become the alpha ‘dog’.  Have a look below to see what I mean.

I am linking up with Tina at My GardenerSays (albeit slightly late – sorry) to share wildlife observations on the first Wednesday of the month. Take a look at her stunning photos. I try not to be jealous of the exotic nature of her participants, but I really want to see those pink moths for myself.

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About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in Bees, birds, Flowers, Nature, The home garden, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Wildlife Observations – Small Things

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    That shot of the bee’s tongue in incredible! Nature knows to put her best plants out before winter so all the insects can stock up!

  2. Sam says:

    Wonderful photos. The buff-tailed bumblebee shot is a corker.

  3. Chloris says:

    More amazing shots. It is amazing how full of bees the asters are. Another very good reason to grow lots of them.

  4. Sue says:

    Awesome close up photos of the bees. Love the greenfinches having a bath too. There’s always one in the crowd with an attitude. I see this happen a lot with the rainbow loirikeets that visit my backyard 🙂

    • Thanks Sue. I bet that lorikeets jostling for the top spot is a noisy affair. In fact I am happy that there is a good batch of young greenfinches around, since their numbers have been dropping dramatically over the last few year due to disease.

  5. Wow–you captured some great shots! Love the buff-tailed bumble! That alone will give me nightmares:^)

  6. Love your photographs. I like the bird with attitude!

  7. Shirley says:

    The closeup bee shot is amazing and so interesting to see the detail. It’s fun to watch the birds and figure out their personalities.

  8. Wow, great autumn photos – the upside bee is stunning, especially with the background red of the amaranthus.

  9. gardenraf says:

    Great Pictures, love the detail.

  10. karen says:

    Wow. Glorious photos. What camera are you using? I love the bird bath / stone water future. I’ve been looking for a bird bath for my garden but everything commercial seems too ornate. Now I just need a drilled stone with a dip in the top. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thanks Karen. My camera is just a little pocket Canon IXUS (175), which can be set specifically to macro mode and the focus can be tightened to a small central sample, which helps. That rock is busy every day. It was great purchase!

  11. Tina says:

    The bee shots are phenomenal and your finches are very happy with their bathing situation. Great post!

  12. robyndotj says:

    I found this article very interesting and the pictures were very good. It also taught me something new.

  13. Pingback: A Pollinator Garden Abstract – stbarbebaker

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