It's a very simple concept- you do the same hour's walk once a month and record all the bumblebee species that you see on it. You can send any pics you have for help with IDs and all the data gets put together to work out trends in bumblebee populations. What's not to like?
Here's the link for any of you who are interested in taking part: www.beewalk.org.uk
I shall definitely be doing it, along with my butterfly transects which start in a couple of weeks.
Our frogs are out and about again and are especially busy at night. No-one has been in the pond as far as I can tell, but I found these two busy mating by the garage. Not a very salubrious place but as it has cover in the form of stones and leaves and isn't really a place people go, it probably fitted the bill for the frogs quite well... NB: thanks to Caroline at Ragged Robin for pointing out that these two are actually toads! The wartiness should have been a give-away, but I'll plead bad lighting as my excuse :-)
The moth box went out last night and produced a reasonable number of moths, with two new species for the year: a Nut-Tree Tussock and a Dotted Border (which is also an all-time new species for me in the garden here). They bring the total of species for 2014 to 14 (so I am now one ahead, Caroline :-) ). The Nut Tree Tussock is a good one for Hampshire because there aren't all that many recorded here at this time of the year, and we had 2 appear last night. It over-winters as a pupa and feeds on beech, hazel, birch and hornbeam, all of which we have around here. I'm assuming he has recently hatched. He's a little early- they are more common from April, but perhaps this is down to the recent mild weather.
|Male Dotted Border- a very pretty and delicate moth. The girls are wingless. This one was asleep on J's window where the light from the box had been shining all night.|
I'll leave you with a pic of our Geum (Tangerine) who is doing Rather Well in her second year with us. Her arrival last year was prompted by me seeing a relation of hers on Jessica's excellent blog at http://www.rustyduck.net/
Blogging is great for picking up tips and ideas. Another one I had this morning was for a company called http://www.seedball.co.uk/ from fellow wildlife enthusiast Caroline at http://raggedrobinsnaturenotes.blogspot.co.uk/. This company produces seed balls of various mixes of wildflowers for bees and butterflies etc packed into attractive re-usable tins. It's worth checking out (especially with Mother's Day looming!).
Wishing you all a peaceful week,