It's raining here today, which has effectively put paid to any wildlife spotting potential in the garden, apart from soggy and disgruntled birds on the feeders. But that is OK, because this week I have clocked up three new species we haven't had here before.
The first, I was a little worried about. Even for short-sighted voles, sitting out in the broad daylight in someone's garden while you feast on seeds and grains isn't terribly normal behaviour. This little chap is either a baby or not well. He's also a Bank vole (the long tail is diagnostic) and although we get field voles in the garden this is the first bank vole I've seen. I had a similar experience last year with an infant mouse who sat in the middle of the patio utterly unperturbed by me or the dogs, to the extent I was able to pick him up and move him somewhere more sheltered. He was fine and eventually scampered off quite happily, so it doesn't always mean they're sick.
The second Rather Wonderful that occurred in the garden this week was a Cucumber Spider, again a new species for the garden. This is a female. She's set herself up on the Leucanthemum where, as you can see, she is doing a roaring trade in flies. I think she's Rather Wonderful. Leanne, I'm wondering whether Olly might jump allegiance when he sees her?! I think she is Araniella curcurbitina, although she could also be A. opisthographa as they are indistinguishable in appearance and size. Either way, I'm very chuffed to have her in the garden. They aren't big creatures, only about 4.5mm in length.
The third new species was this magnificent Golden-ringed dragonfly, Cordulegaster boltonii. This is a male (no ovipositor and a bulge in the abdomen tell it apart from the female). It's also an adult as it has emerald eyes (the juveniles have brown eyes). It's an insect of streams and small rivers with acidic-running water, and although I've seen them in woods 6 or 7 miles away we've not had them here at home before. There is a small stream running down our lane so I can only assume it's come from there. Either way, it's a beautiful insect and I'm charmed to have one at home.
In Other News, I'm still waiting for the all-clear from the Physio to get back to running and am feeling fat, unfit and slow as a result. In order to cheer myself up, I've adopted a new TV boyfriend. I realised I'd gone off all my previous ones and it was time for a change, so I've succumbed to predictability and, in common with most of the rest of the women in Britain and somewhat unimaginatively because I haven't time to watch more than an hour's worth of TV in the evenings at the mo, have opted for Ross Poldark. A cliche, I know, but not an unpleasant one, so there we have it. Last night I went one better and had a dream that Prince Harry was my boyfriend. For some reason we were sitting on a sofa in Bell street in Romsey as hundreds of people went by, none of whom recognised him. When I told M he roared with laughter.
How are you all? Any interesting wildlife or dreams recently?