A Day of Surprises

Sunday, August 14th 2016

A Lesser Swallow Prominent moth decided to lay her eggs in a container.  So the container was placed in the 'caterpillar nursery' to see if they would hatch.  This morning there were tiny caterpillars crawling around.  Silver Birch, one of their their food plants, and we have plenty of it, was collected for them.  Immediately they began to feed.

Lesser Swallow Prominent Caterpillars

By lunch time you could see the holes in the leaves where the caterpillars were feasting.  Not a brilliant photo of the caterpillars but you can see the holes!  We presume that as they are so small they are unable to chew the edges of the leaves and so rasp the cells off.  It will be interesting to see if they do actually eat the edges as they increase in size.

Lesser Swallow Prominent caterpillars feeding

Daydreaming along the boardwalk to the middle pond dipping platform, I eventually noticed a brown mark next to the apple so set myself to take a few photos of the Water Vole.

Water Vole and Apple

The next photo shows that the apple was on the move!  We decided, very unscientifically, that 'she' had taken the apple back to her nest to feed her young.  A bit more thought and a further unscientific conclusion was that she took it back for herself as it was tiring to keep coming to the platform when it could be much closer to home.  There was no sign of the apple when the pond was checked later.

Moving Apple!

Our (when I think about it all the plants and animals on Foxglove are 'ours') Dabchick chick has grown.  Whilst watching it sitting on the water it seemed to know where the adult would appear after a dive.

Dabchick adult and juvenile

'Our' Mallard with nine young has done really well to raise all of them and they are now well grown.  One of them rested on the tree, next to a juvenile Moorhen.

Mallard and Moorhen on tree

Mallard and Moorhen on tree

Chldren love to see the frog hoppers hop.  Unfortunately taking a photograph of them is difficult because they hop!  These two, possibly male and female were intent on each other so allowing photographs to be taken.  They are Green Leaf-hopppers, Cicadella viridis.  

Green Leaf-hoppers

Grass of Parnassus has started to bloom.  The flower has a complex structure.  It attracts insects with its slightly honey scent, honey guides on the petals and a sweet sugary substance on its false stamens.

Grass of Parnassus


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