Sunday Safari

I thought this week I ought to actually hold a safari for once, rather than just simply posting bloom photos…

Last week we had a racing pigeon come for a rest in the garden; I noticed a pigeon on the lawn and thought it odd it was even there when I was in the garden… once I’d finished my job, I walked down on the lawn and sure enough it didn’t really move at all until the last possible moment. It flew onto the fence and still didn’t seem too bothered. I was a bit mean and wanted to shoo it away and it was when I again got far too close that I noticed the ring on its leg. I was literally within inches of the pigeon before it finally flew away.

I popped indoors to tell Pete about this friendly, suspected racing pigeon. Went back outside and again there it was on the fence looking down at me. I suggested that Pete try offering some bread but it wasn’t interested. Eventually it flew down right next to me on the wall and stood looking at me. I offered some sunflower hearts which it again ignored and began pecking at the Erysimum and Geum blooms instead.

Off I went indoors asked Pete to look on the net for lost racing pigeons and instructions on what to do. Then I decided to pop out to the front garden to cut some rose blooms. A glance to my right and there’s the pigeon again tootling towards me like I’m its best friend!
We just stood there for a few minutes enjoying our new-found friendship and eventually it got bored and began searching for food once more.

Pigeon hung around for the rest of the day – mainly on the tier after following the lead of the ferals and wood pigeons to hoover all fallen seed. I haven’t seen it since and hope it’s found its way home!

During the nice weather early last week I also saw a few Butterflies – mainly Speckled Wood but I also saw a much faster flying flutter that whizzed around the garden and I assume was either a Comma or a Peacock but I didn’t manage a proper look at it!
I did, however have a Cinnabar Moth pass through without stopping on the Ragwort and various bees…

I also saw my first ever prey caught by a Soliatary wasp! This tiny little wasp – I believe might be Anoplius nigerrimus – managed to drag this spider a long way – I watched it drag it the width of the decking, up the wall and into a hole; Lord only knows how far it had been dragged before I saw!

I think it must’ve killed the owner of this web around here… Normally there’s a big fat spider in there *shudder*. Then, I noticed, what I assume to be the male! Guess I’ll have baby wasps sometime!

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


12 thoughts on “Sunday Safari

  1. Thanks for the safari Liz, so glad you found a friend in the pigeon ! Looking at your spider being dragged away made me realise that so much goes on in our gardens that we know nothing about. When we had our old dog and wandered round the garden last thing at night, many is the time we heard squeals and yells coming from the undergrowth, a spooky place to be at night! Your Cinnabar moth reminds me of when we lived in Southport in the NW, used to see hundreds on the sand dunes feeding on the ragwort, see hardly any down here unfortunately.

    • Hi Pauline,

      It is quite amazing watching the wasp manage to drag the spider away. And I almost feel bad about renewing the seal around the door since they are nesting in there! I’ll have to provide other places for them instead.
      I don’t see many cinnabars here either. Only over the past two years have I seen one – I think there’s some ragwort spreading around the gardens as I suddenly had quite a few pop up last year so they must’ve self seeded over the estate. Not complaining; especially since the Gatekeepers loved them!

  2. Hi Liz, An interesting story about the pigeon, you certainly had a new friend there 🙂 I suspect if you could have read the number on the ring you could have traced the owner, I do hope it managed to get back home.

    Lovely to see the Cinnabar Moth, I haven’t seen one at all this year, mind you I have barely seen any butterflies or day flying moths at all. It is so worrying, butterfly numbers have already been confirmed to be 20% down this year and sadly, I suspect will drop even more with the continuing inhospitable weather and of course so many eggs will have been washed away 😦

    • Hi Jan,

      I did get the number of the pigeon – but the racing pigeon website said that only if they’re around for more than 48 hours or injured should it be reported missing. I couldn’t find any lists of owners or numbers of birds to report it’d been seen though! I’d love to know where the bird had come from and whether it had flown far/had far to go home. It was a GB bird though; as identified by its tag.

      Judging by the weather I imagine the butterfly numbers will crash this year. I’m trying to remain hopeful that we’ll see more soon, but the unpredictable weather is certainly not going to do them any favours at all. The big flutter that zoomed past me was a first large one I’ve seen this year – yet to see a Peacock, Admiral, Small Tort or Comma. I have however seen various whites, as well as Speckled woods. But also no Skippers or Gatekeepers yet. Over the past week I have seen a lot of day flying moths around! And on a visit to RSPB Old moor on Monday there were lots there as well as quite a few very small Blue Butterflies (still, none of the larger species)

  3. Hi Liz,

    The unknown pale yellow bloom is sisyrhinchium, I believe I gave you some seeds a couple of year ago 🙂

    I saw a red admiral, small skipper and a blue of some kind on Friday. They were too quick for me and I did not get any images. I felt relieved to have at least seen some…….

    Love the images of the wasp and spider…..great to see nature in action.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for letting me know; you sent a smallish plant either last year or the year before and it’s now sizeable – and needs moving elsewhere or dividing (think I might give some to my mum). It’s got quite a few blooms on it this year though.

      Yup; this time of year the flutters are usually very fast and don’t tend to hang around too long; this is why I always miss orange-tips in spring, and find later in summer they’re much slower and don’t mind me getting close.
      We just need a few weeks of calm weather, and we might actually get to see some!

  4. Great photos of the moth and the wasp, not to mention the pigeon. It’s nice to find a new friend in the garden, even if it’s just for a short while. I’ve got lots of friendly blackbirds at the moment, but I think they’re more interested in the ripening strawberries than in me.
    A couple of fine days forecast, so hopefully we’ll see some butterflies before the rain returns.

    • Hi Crystal,

      Normally the birds here are never very friendly – and I don’t encourage it, mainly because we have so many cats around here, I don’t want to endanger them by having them tamed. Generally it’s only the fledglings which are friendly before they mature and begin to trust me less. But as well as the Pigeon I’ve also had some Magpies coming close to the house and one was tapping on the kitchen window! Very strange that they’ve suddenly started coming close to the house, and indeed so have the Sparrows. Not entirely sure why. I wonder whether they’re desperate for food? (but the feeders are full)

      I’d love to have a couple of weeks fine forecast! This weather is getting very boring now.

  5. Well Liz you have had some interesting encounters with birds and insects….very cool shots…I have become interested in spider and other insects of late…I could spend hours wandering the garden taking shots of them.

    • Hi Donna,

      In general I take photos of anything that comes along! Including spiders which do give me the creeps but as long as they’re outside then I can cope with them. Although when they climb on me I do freak out – this nasty spider in here is possibly the same one that crawled up my back and decided to go down my bra cue lots of freaking out and desperately trying to get rid of it! Then the next day as I sat on the blanket again it attempted to attack me and I had to keep brushing it off! Grrrrrr. And boy is it ugly so I can’t really say I feel too sorry for it being the wasp’s dinner.

  6. The parasitic wasp and spider are morbidly fascinating. Shudder indeed!
    I hope your daylilies bloom like mad for you next year. I’m super excited for two types of rosy-orange asiatic lilies to start blooming in the middle of the yellow/violet combo. Maybe next week that will start? Although it feels like Alaska again here, cold and rainy, so maybe it will take longer. Orange definitely isn’t my favorite color, but somehow seeing it in that color combo makes it beautiful to my eyes. And the Harlow Carr you inspired me to order has little buds, can’t wait for it to bloom for the first time!

  7. Pingback: Safari Sunday | Gwirrel's Garden

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