There isn't very much to report from the garden except that sadly in the last few weeks at varying intervals I have found three dead finches in the garden, all appearing to have fallen victim to the horrible Trichomoniasis disease. I have also seen others looking fluffed up and poorly, the RSPB say,
'The trichomonad parasite lives in the upper digestive tract of the bird, and its actions progressively block the bird’s throat making it unable to swallow food, thus killing it by starvation.
Birds with the disease show signs of general illness, for example lethargy and fluffed-up plumage, but affected birds may also drool saliva, regurgitate food, have difficulty in swallowing or show laboured breathing. Finches are frequently seen to have matted wet plumage around the face and beak. In some cases, swelling of the neck may be visible from a distance.'
The only thing one can do is to observe scrupulous hygiene at all times and the RSPB advise,
'It is recommended to temporarily stop putting out food, except in tit feeders, and leave bird baths dry, for around two weeks, or until sick or dead birds are no longer found in the garden. This is in order to discourage birds from congregating together, which may increase the potential for disease spread between individuals.' More information can be found here.
Now, having got all of that out of the way, another reason I have got behind is because we have been trying to take some time out this last couple of weeks. HLH works from home on a free-lance basis in the publishing world which makes holidays difficult with deadlines to meet etc. so we have to snatch time out when we can. This post will encompass some of the Nature related things I saw during several recent outings, but first a couple of things seen at home, I found this moth on a net curtain in the dining room one morning, it is quite small so the photo is quite heavily cropped which is why the curtain looks odd, it is in fact an ordinary fine net.
Small Magpie Moth
A couple of weeks ago I went into the garden with a torch after dark to see if I could find any signs of Hedgehog activity as other years we have always been visited by them, however there were no signs of any but as I was about to go back in the door I spotted this frog by the gate into the front garden.
And do not call him names,
As 'Slimy skin,' or Polly-gog,'
Or likewise 'Ugly James,'
Or 'Gape-a-grin,' or 'Toad-gone-wrong,'
Or 'Billy Bandy- knees':
The Frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these.'
and moments later treated me to a 'bottoms up' shot!
I also saw this duck which I assume is one of the many hybrids around.
I think this butterfly is the Meadow Brown rather than the Gatekeeper as it only has one white pupil in the eye.
Now, I'm not too hot on damsel/dragonfly identification but after veering between the Common Blue and the White Legged Damselfly I have tentatively decided this next photo is a
White Legged Damselfly
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
The song of the Yellowhammer is said to sound like 'a little bit of bread and no cheese'.
Will you listen to my song, please?"
That is what the yellow-hammer said,
He wants no cheese, but just a bit of bread.
Yellow-hammer, you're a funny bird,
And your little song is quite absurd.'
This bird is very familiar as it visits my garden regularly but this time was high in a hedgerow.
This is a butterfly which lots of people seem to see but as far as I know I have never seen it before, I think it is beautiful, I love its sculpted shape.
'I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!'
This butterfly I know is definitely a
This Thistle held the
Seven Spot Ladybird
Finally, as Summer moves on apace the young birds are growing up and practising adult behaviour.
Have a lovely Sunday and a wonderful week.