Saturday, 25 July 2009

Views of the garden

Despite being a small, the garden has been full of life and has been an ideal opportunity to play with the macro setting on my camera:

A honey bee on the lavender

A pyrausta aurata moth - identified with the assistance of the excellent UKMoths website ( on the marjoram:

The buddleia has been attracting many butterflys, including a peacock:

A meadow brown:

And a painted lady butterfly:

Possibly part of the much documented influx from europe (

And a buff tailed bumblebee on the lavatera:

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Himalayan Balsam

Another introduced plant is Himalayan Balsam and like many of the water ways in the UK it is present in the river Ock.

However, unlike some parts of Abingdon, it hasn't fully taken over and there is still sufficient food and cover for the warblers, water voles and moorhens who make this stretch of the river their home.

There is lots of information on the internet about Himalayan Balsam, such as:

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Ragwort is a poisonous plant that is often found in heavily grazed areas, such as the rabbit warren near the old canal:

This is possibly Oxford Ragwort, a variety that 'escaped' from the Oxford Botanic Gardens ( in the 1700's and spread using the railways that were being constructed at the time.

Due to it's poisonous nature, it is a favourite of the cinnabar moth caterpillar:

Who use it's toxicity as a natural defence against predators.

Interesting (and well researched) information regarding the myths associated with Ragworth can be found at: - thanks Kate

Sunday, 12 July 2009


In the space of a few metres along the river, the lifecycle of a ladybird can be seen amongst the nettles:

From nymph:

To pupae:

To adult:

These ladybirds are the invasive harlequin ladybird (succinea form)- thanks to the excellent wild about britain forum with help with the identification.
These ladybirds are believed to be a threat to the UK native species and a survey of how they are spreading can be found at: - Where this small population has been recorded.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Sundays vole on film...

This is the film of Sunday's water vole. A bit wobbly and I doubt if Simon King needs to worry.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sundays Vole.....

At last it's been cool enough for an evening walk, and here are a few pictures of this evenings water vole:

I also have a film of it eating water-crowfoot, but I'll post that later in the week.