Sunday, June 02, 2013

A garden bioblitz

Today and tomorrow are scheduled for a national British event called the Garden BioBlitz organised by a mixture of volunteer wildlife experts and enthusiasts with help from all over the place. See:

I spent a few hours revisiting the wildlife in the top half of our garden (so as to keep all records within the TQ782188 grid square) and submitted almost 150 records, something that rather understates the biodiversity of our home plot.

I took various photographs on my rounds and I think this first one sums up how rich a garden can be.

IMG_1877aThe dunnock is perching on a log in my window box project.  Recently an attractive short-palped cranefly, Epiphragma ocellare, has been emerging from this decaying log.

20130515 WBX Epiphragma 06Other plants in the photo in and around the window box include goat willow, grey sallow, white clover, bramble, common hawthorn, tutsan, hairy tare, herb-robert, soft rush and goosegrass.

Elsewhere I saw a red-headed cardinal beetle (the 'sun' is a buttercup), here just about to launch into flight.

IMG_1864and a brown mint beetle, Chrysolina staphylea, curiously close to our burgeoning colony of deliciously aromatic Bowles's mint.

IMG_1876 Although the mushroom season seems far away, there is a fairy ring of St. George's mushrooms in a grassy place halfway down the garden.  We ate some the other day in the Spanish/Basque dish revuelto de perretxikos (perretxikoa is Basque for 'mushroom' in case you did not know that dear reader).

IMG_1878Just before I had to finish recording I came across a mating pair of the cranefly Tipula varipennis

IMG_1887There is still much to enjoy in a small patch of Wealden garden