Sunday 29 August 2021
Young white wagtail, Christophstal August 2021

Young white wagtail, Christophstal August 2021

White wagtail beside cow, Christophstal August 2021

White wagtail beside cow, Christophstal August 2021

The cows have been with us for the past couple of weeks and, as usual, they've brought a troop of white wagtails along with them. They risk life and limb hopping around the legs of the cows, presumably eating up any insects that the cows disturb.

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Here she is! After searching all summer I finally found a female wasp spider in the garden. This one was way up at the top of the garden - about 50m away from the place I found an egg sac last year - so I'm right in assuming that these are quite common around here. This one was really lucky as I'd just strimmed quite close to her. As expected, they do like our long grass bordering our strimmed paths.

Female wasp spider, Christophstal August 2021

Female wasp spider, Christophstal August 2021

Female wasp spider (underside), Christophstal August 2021

Female wasp spider (underside), Christophstal August 2021

Female wasp spider, Christophstal August 2021

Female wasp spider, Christophstal August 2021

Female wasp spider, Christophstal August 2021

Female wasp spider, Christophstal August 2021

Monday 23 August 2021
Common whitethroat, Christophstal August 2021

Common whitethroat, Christophstal August 2021

Common whitethroat, Christophstal August 2021

Common whitethroat, Christophstal August 2021

Grooming Common whitethroat, Christophstal August 2021

Grooming Common whitethroat, Christophstal August 2021

I spotted a common whitethroat through our kitchen window today so I rushed upstairs to get a photo. This individual stayed around for a while and was passive enough for me to open the window and get some decent photos. S/he was very interested in our thistle garden and was hopping around on the thistle stems presumably pecking off insects rather than eating the seeds. The photos though are of him/her in our hawthorn.

Saturday 21 August 2021

We had a wryneck in the garden this morning. I only managed this photo through a closed window. I spent the rest of the day clearing vegetation around all the ant nests in our garden to encourage him to stay. I was really surprised by how many ant nests we have in our front garden in particular. There are probably about 20 and some of them are quite large. There's a selection of red, yellow and black ants. What else could a wryneck ask for?

This young robin was on our bird table shortly after the wryneck visit. I'd guess this is a first year youngster. And we had a large warbler in our bird cherry tree eating the cherries. This was too big to be a chiffchaff or willow warbler and they mainly eat insects at this time of year, so I'm guessing this is a garden warbler.

We have our first deadly nightshade flower. Understated, but rather beautiful.

Not so beautiful - there have been a few of these flies flying around the house. Although I'd presumed that they were nasty, they're actually quite harmless. I was able to ID this as Prosena siberita as I got a photo when it landed on a window and I was able to get a photo of its underside. This is a nectar eater (although its larvae parasitize beetle larvae).

Wryneck, Christophstal August 2021

Wryneck, Christophstal August 2021

Young robin, Christophstal August 2021

Young robin, Christophstal August 2021

Garden warbler, Christophstal August 2021

Garden warbler, Christophstal August 2021

Garden warbler, Christophstal August 2021

Garden warbler, Christophstal August 2021

Deadly nightshade flower, Christophstal August 2021

Deadly nightshade flower, Christophstal August 2021

Deadly nightshade flower, Christophstal August 2021

Deadly nightshade flower, Christophstal August 2021

<em>Prosena siberita</em> (underside), Christophstal August 2021

Prosena siberita (underside), Christophstal August 2021

Tuesday 17 August 2021
Kleines Wiesenvögelchen, Christophstal August 2021

Kleines Wiesenvögelchen, Christophstal August 2021

Everything has gone back into stasis as it has turned cold and wet. This small heath was biding its time on our marjoram.

Sunday 15 August 2021

The thornapple has a third flower, so I took another photo today as it is so pretty.

We had a new bug for the garden too, Eurygaster testudinaria.

We had a lot of red-backed shrikes around the garden. There were 3 fledglings and an adult male and female. The young ones were obviously quite hot and were all sitting with their beaks open.

I have another new species for the garden, a beetle, Stictoleptura rubra. I thought I had a new hoverfly too, but this is a male Sphaerophoria scripta for which I've only previously taken a photograph of a female.

The remaining photos are of a couple of copper butterflies (small copper and sooty copper), an enormous garden spider, some weird bugs on one of our scabious plants, another small pearl-bordered fritillary, a high brown fritillary, and finishing up with a photo of our sunflowers with Christine looking up at one for scale.

Thornapple, Christophstal August 2021

Thornapple, Christophstal August 2021

<em>Eurygaster testudinaria</em>, Christophstal August 2021

Eurygaster testudinaria, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrikes, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrikes, Christophstal August 2021

Adult male and female red-backed shrikes, Christophstal August 2021

Adult male and female red-backed shrikes, Christophstal August 2021

Adult red-backed shrikes, Christophstal August 2021

Adult red-backed shrikes, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Male <em>Sphaerophoria scripta</em>, Christophstal August 2021

Male Sphaerophoria scripta, Christophstal August 2021

<em>Stictoleptura rubra</em>, Christophstal August 2021

Stictoleptura rubra, Christophstal August 2021

Small copper and sooty copper, Christophstal August 2021

Small copper and sooty copper, Christophstal August 2021

Garden spider, Christophstal August 2021

Garden spider, Christophstal August 2021

Garden spider, Christophstal August 2021

Garden spider, Christophstal August 2021

Weird bugs on wood scabious, Christophstal August 2021

Weird bugs on wood scabious, Christophstal August 2021

Small pearl-bordered fritillary, Christophstal August 2021

Small pearl-bordered fritillary, Christophstal August 2021

High-brown fritillary, Christophstal August 2021

High-brown fritillary, Christophstal August 2021

Sunflowers, Christophstal August 2021

Sunflowers, Christophstal August 2021

Saturday 14 August 2021
Millet perhaps, Christophstal August 2021

Millet perhaps, Christophstal August 2021

Crocosmia, Christophstal August 2021

Crocosmia, Christophstal August 2021

Thornapple, Christophstal August 2021

Thornapple, Christophstal August 2021

Thornapple, Christophstal August 2021

Thornapple, Christophstal August 2021

Belladonna, Christophstal August 2021

Belladonna, Christophstal August 2021

Belladonna flower, Christophstal August 2021

Belladonna flower, Christophstal August 2021

I took some photos of some of the plants growing in and around the garden today. There's a strange arable grass near the patio. I'm thinking this is millet.

We've got a very nice set of crocosmia plants in one of our beds.

And we've been growing some thornapples and belladonna plants in pots. The belladonna has just gone into a permanent place in our poison garden. We've now got to find some places for the remaining 50-odd plants that we have.

Friday 13 August 2021

This small pearl-bordered fritillary visited our marjoram today. This is the second generation this year.

Small pearl-bordered fritillary, Christophstal August 2021

Small pearl-bordered fritillary, Christophstal August 2021

Tuesday 10 August 2021
Red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Nightingale, Christophstal August 2021

Nightingale, Christophstal August 2021

Nightingale, Christophstal August 2021

Nightingale, Christophstal August 2021

Hygrocybe sp., Christophstal August 2021

Hygrocybe sp., Christophstal August 2021

<em>Hygrocybe</em> sp., Christophstal August 2021

Hygrocybe sp., Christophstal August 2021

A lot of the ant nests in our garden were erupting today and there were lots of birds around snapping the flying ants out of the air.

A male red-backed shrike was showing a couple of fledglings the ropes. This youngster is mashing an ant on the branches of our hawthorn.

Amongst all the other birds around today, this nightingale was a surprise as we've only ever seen them in spring until now. This one was swooping down from the fence around our bird table to peck at the ants outside one of our sheds and was then quickly shooting back under the privet hedge. These photos are taken through a window so they're a bit blurry, but there was no way this shy individual was going to let me open the window.

Out in the back garden, these bright red mushrooms have popped up. I don't think they can be identified to the species level - these go down as Hygrocybe sp. one of the small bright red waxcaps.

Sunday 8 August 2021

We were busy in the garden today between downpours. At the end of the day, I spent a few minutes watching for birds and was rewarded with a kingfisher, a male red-backed shrike and a hobby.

Kingfisher, Christophstal August 2021

Kingfisher, Christophstal August 2021

Red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Red-backed shrike, Christophstal August 2021

Hobby, Christophstal August 2021

Hobby, Christophstal August 2021

Hobby, Christophstal August 2021

Hobby, Christophstal August 2021

Saturday 7 August 2021
Fledgling black redstart, Christophstal August 2021

Fledgling black redstart, Christophstal August 2021

Mullein, Christophstal August 2021

Mullein, Christophstal August 2021

Snail, TBI, Christophstal August 2021

Snail, TBI, Christophstal August 2021

Snails, TBI, Christophstal August 2021

Snails, TBI, Christophstal August 2021

Snail, TBI, Christophstal August 2021

Snail, TBI, Christophstal August 2021

Snail, TBI, Christophstal August 2021

Snail, TBI, Christophstal August 2021

Another couple of black redstarts have successfully fledged. Here's a photo of one of them in the rain.

The mullein plant that has been growing in our dry stone wall has been putting on a great show for several weeks now and is still going strong.

Up on our maple stump, the sap smells quite alcoholic. There's usually a rose chafer on there drinking the sap, but today there were lots of these small snails. I think the second photo shows two different species, but as I've failed to identify them properly up until now, I've no real idea. Nearer the house, this interesting looking snail was sitting next to a roman snail. This one is quite distinctive, so I'll go to my snail books and come back to this entry if I manage to identify it.

Friday 6 August 2021

Yet another new beetle species for the garden. There were a lot of these small beetles around today. This is Neocrepidodera transversa.

<em>Neocrepidodera transversa</em>, Christophstal August 2021

Neocrepidodera transversa, Christophstal August 2021

Wednesday 4 August 2021
Garden Tiger, ex. larva Christophstal August 2021

Garden Tiger, ex. larva Christophstal August 2021

Garden Tiger, ex. larva Christophstal August 2021

Garden Tiger, ex. larva Christophstal August 2021

The garden tiger caterpillar I collected on the 17th July emerged today. Here are a couple of photos. This was a very compliant individual who let me reveal their hindwings.

Sunday 1 August 2021

While out on a run this morning, Christine spotted these final instar willowherb hawk-moth caterpillars on great willowherb in Friedrichstal. There were three in total. These are a real rarity in this area.

It was slightly more mundane in our garden with an angle shades caterpillar, various butterflies, including this small tortoiseshell, and a couple of Lycoperdon pyriforme puffballs amongst the ground ivy under our hazel tree.

Willowherb Hawk-moth Caterpillar, Friedrichstal August 2021

Willowherb Hawk-moth Caterpillar, Friedrichstal August 2021

Willowherb Hawk-moth Caterpillar, Friedrichstal August 2021

Willowherb Hawk-moth Caterpillar, Friedrichstal August 2021

Angle shades caterpillar, Christophstal August 2021

Angle shades caterpillar, Christophstal August 2021

Small tortoiseshell, Christophstal August 2021

Small tortoiseshell, Christophstal August 2021

<em>Lycoperdon pyriforme</em> puffball, Christophstal August 2021

Lycoperdon pyriforme puffball, Christophstal August 2021