Willughby’s Leafcutter Bee – New Garden Species (MLS)

Two in two days, and coincidentally this new species belongs in the same family as yesterdays Sharp-Tail Bee. It really does pay to go back over the hundreds of photographs digital photography allows you to take. This one totally bypassed us until now. Photographed on the 26th June 2021, another listed as Most Likely Species (MLS) this time on account of it being the most common of the potential species it could be.

26th June 2021

So welcome to the garden Willughby’s Leafcutter Bee. My Bee book suggests these guys do love a good bug Hotel, so hopefully when ours is finished (nearly there) we will see plenty more of these bees next summer.

DC 28/11/2021

Sharp-tailed Bee – New Garden Species (MLS)

Just going through some of this summers photographs and one bee I had thought was another Ashy Mining Bee I noticed had a strange bottom (or more accurately spines on tergites 5 and 6), this meant this was in fact a Sharp-tailed bee species. We think it’s possibly a Large Sharp-tailed Bee (Coelioxys conoidea) but its not really possible to tell. So for now will mark it as Most Likely Species in the species list, and welcome to the garden.

DC 27th November 2021

Chlorociboria aeruginascens or Green Elf Cup – New Garden Species. But should it be?

For the first time we have to consider what to do when we actively introduce a native species to the garden unintentionally.

In this case I was recently visiting a private woodland (with the owners permission) and I came back with a small branch I felt would look nice alongside the wetland/pond area we created. I should add that the woodland, suffering from ash dieback, was not lacking in dead, dying or decaying wood, either standing or fallen.

Anyway whilst placing the branch I noticed the presence of Green Elf Cup, an amazing looking species not seen in the garden before.

Our thinking on this is the same as the wildflower species we are attempting to introduce. We will record it as present in the garden. If it establishes itself (we record it next year onwards) then great, we have a new species. Ultimately any material brought into the garden could in theory be harbouring a stowaway species.

Hopefully it will be able to adapt to conditions outside of the woodland. I may now place it beneath the shrub line, but I gather it is frequently recorded in gardens. Indeed it is a widespread species. There is a similar species it could be but this is much rarer, Chlorociboria aeruginosa. For now we will assume we have this one correct as the Green Elf Cup and welcome to the garden!

DC 21/11/2021

Nigma Puella – New Garden Species

Whilst looking to get a positive ID on the Green Aphids on our hazel tree we came across this tiny little guy under the stereo microscope. It was found on the underside of a hazel leaf within its flat web structure. It was very sensitive to the microscopes light so we took a quick snap and put the fella back in the garden.

Not an especially well distributed species, mostly confirmed to the south of the country. But I suspect very under recorded due to its size. Welcome to the garden!

DC 20/11/2021

Time Lapse Function on Mobiles

Just had a little fun with the old time lapse function on my phone. Fortunate enough to have a tripod and a doofer to hold my phones camera over the eye piece of a viewing scope. Simply aimed it at the fence and got some rather good images (from a distance of about 18ft) of Starlings and a regular visiting wood pigeon we call Dustin, at our neighbours feeders.

In good weather next summer, without the threat of rain, this should make a useful addition to the kit needed to capture some better images of wildlife in action, especially those hard to sneak up on species (just don’t point it at the neighbours window!)

Reasonably cheap equipment if you discount the viewing scope (which I was fortunate to be gifted), although they are not as expensive as they once were. However you don’t necessarily need the scope, we tracked Curtis the Comma Butterflies progress and ultimate demise using just the tripod, phone holder and phone (see Article 4 on Article page).

DC 06/11/2021

Hawthorn Cuttings

Got bored today so thought, what the heck, lets get some hawthorn cuttings. So off I headed to the local nature reserve to get a few small cuttings. Back in the garden cuttings prepared (without rooting compound) in the normal way and here they are, some in pots and some in the ground. Basically wherever I could find a bit of space. I’ll keep you posted.

Box Tree Moth – New Garden Species

Well, new species for our garden, and not one currently in favour with many people. This is the Box Tree Moth. There really is a fair bit of information online for this species, but in short its only been on these shores for a decade or two and is proving to be a bit of a pest on various box species. I have a feeling this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this species in our garden and perhaps mistook it for a Clouded Border (see gallery). Anyway, welcome to the garden….I think!!

23rd September update – Just to note really that today we have seen two more of these guys, plus a couple more a couple of days ago. Clearly they are establishing well in the area.