Tag Archives: garden wildlife

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #142 – You Pick It!

Regular readers will know I have written before about our Robin Friend. One great advantage of having a robin that is near-tame is that he allows us to get up real close. He was quite comfortable to preen away, with me standing right beneath him.

Inspired by this week’s Lens-artist Challenge and of course Robin-friend himself.

Six on Sunday

I was going to post six garden highlights yesterday for six on Saturday but I had to work this weekend so I never got time to post. So I am cheating and giving you six on Sunday instead.

1. Crabapple blossom.  The leaves and blossom have suffered from last week’s hail and sleet (note the brown-edged on flowers and leaves), but it is still a beautiful sight!

Crab apple blossom

Crab apple

2. My sister gave me these drumstick primroses as present a few years ago and they seem to be starting to multiply a little.


Primula denticulata

3. Slowly the lettuce crops are coming. For now, we are enjoying nice crunchy, peppery radishes, rocket and purslane.



4. Rockcress, is not as plentiful as other years. I need to remember to collect seed and set some plants to overwinter in the greenhouse or polytunnel.



5. The frogs must have run out of room in the pond because we discovered some spawn in this improvised water tank. The tadpole in both pond and tank are growing fast.



6. And finally some of the queen bees have started collecting pollen. This means they have chosen their nest sites and within a couple of weeks worker bees will start to emerge.

Bee with pollen

Bombus pratorum, Early Bumblebee






Frogs are back…..

We know when spring is coming when the frogs arrive back in the garden pond. Last year they were late (early March), but this year they are already back in force – first ones arrive earlier in the week.


Common Frog

There appears to be a little fewer than last year – about 100, compared to around 120 last year. They are not easy to count though so it is just an estimate!



I couldn’t resist sharing and re-sharing some bumblebee photos for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge from Tina on the theme “soft “. Bees have had a pretty tough year – the late, cold spring certainly did not help.  But I do love watching them. Providing food for bees from March right through till the first frosts in October is a great way to ensure you enjoy bees in your garden.



The current hits in my garden are oregano, comfrey, borage, poppies and runner beans. Lupins are popular earlier in the summer, as can be seen below. Even now the last remaining lupin flowers are being visited by carder bees.

Wildflowers, fruit trees and herbs are also vitally important food sources.


A frog in the hand….

Regular readers will remember we had plenty of frogs in the pond earlier in the year and lots of spawn. The tadpoles are now developing into little frogs. My youngest spotted a couple moving from the pond to the hedgerow.

A frog in the hand

A frog in the hand

They are so tiny. The fact that any of these creatures can make it to a full -sized adult frog is truly amazing. How big the world must seem to them!


A bird in the hand

Yesterday, this little wren accidentally got into the house.

Wren fledgling

Wren fledgling

Most of the doors and windows are open as we experience exceptionally warm days, with yesterday temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius. Normal May temperatures in the west of Ireland tend to be in the mid-high teens.

The wrens had converted last year’s swallow’s nest into their own nest and have been busy feeding the chicks the last couple of weeks. The young appear to have just fledged. This little fellow proved hard enough to catch! But my husband, a trained bird ringer, got him eventually.

We didn’t think it would wait around to be photographed, but either because of the shock of being caught, or the near-by presence of one of it’s parents (with beak full of food), it stayed long enough for me to get a couple of shots, before making a short, yet confident  flight to the beech hedge.

During lunch we watched both parents come and go with more food to the hedge.  The fledglings remained concealed though so we are not sure how many there are.


Wren fledgling

Wrens are among Ireland’s smallest birds. The female lay clutches of 5-8 eggs, and she alone will incubate them. They feed on insects and spiders. Both parents will help feed the young. For more information can check out Birdwatch Ireland’s Wren page.










Yellow – Monthly Meet Up Photo Challenge

Yellow is this month’s photo challenge from Wild Daffodil. At this time of year dandelions should be everywhere, but the cold spring means they are only just coming. Dandelions are a great source of pollen for bumblebees. So if your lawn is awash with yellow, think twice before you cut it.



Allow the dandelions to flower and you will be providing bees with an important food source.