Friday, 12 June 2009


It has all gone rather quiet on the mealworm front, definitively not the frenzy it had been at times recently, with mostly just the woodpecker and some great tits picking them for their second brood(s). Seeds, peanuts and fat are going quite fast though.
One of the reasons might be that a lot of tree leaves are covered in small green flies (if anyone can tell me what they are... Every year when we first moved in they infested our living room in the evenings for a while)

The slightest disturbance and they fly off, I learned very quickly to be very careful when taking the photos above... I have seen some of the young blue and great tits flutter among the leaves and then all they have to do is open their beak, gobble and start again. Juicy! Easy meal! :)

Last Saturday morning, I went for a walk in Margravine Cemetery and I ended up admiring for a while one lime tree which had started flowering, pondering, as I do every year at this time, on cultural differences. You see, in France, lime herbal tea (tilleul) is probably the most common herbal tea you'll find, and it surprised me when I arrived in the UK 16 years ago that I couldn't find any anywhere. For me, the smell of lime flowers means 2 things: illness and school holidays. Illness, because it would be the beverage of choice when in bed with the flu for example. School holidays, because towards the end of June (which is when summer holidays start in France) my Dad would cut a few branches from our lime trees and we would pick the flowers and leave them to dry up in the attic or the hay loft for another year supply of tea. But I digress. I noticed then what I was pretty sure were Harlequin ladybird larvae, which proved to be indeed the case. 'Good' numbers of them in fact, and a few pupae as well. I have now reported them to the Harlequin Ladybird Survey. I don't think I have seen a 'classic' ladybird around home for about 2 years now. But, at least, we seem to have good numbers of another native ladybird, the orange ladybird.

On that same tree, I also found 2 of these, which I hope I have correctly identified as Forest Bug nymph(Pentatoma rufipes):

There were also lots of bumblebees, 2 or 3 different species, but I didn't manage to get any decent photo.

Finally, last week, I found this moth on our bedroom curtain, which (once again) I hope to have correctly id'd as a Brown Plume Moth . My knowledge of moths is rather limited and I'd never heard of plume moths before (and my other half admitted when he saw this photo on my screen to have thought it was some kind of dady-long-legs) but I thought it was rather intriguing.

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