Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Archives

After last night's heavy rain, it was so wet under foot that Malcolm and I have had no walk today - except a short walk down to Malcolm's mum's house to check on the progress of her new kitchen. So, a few photos from the 'archive' will have to do for today. Firstly another picture of the Starlings which are so energetically in evidence at the moment. This one is showing the white spots on it's newly acquired plumage rather well. These spots will fade as the Winter goes on and the feathers begin to wear away before the Spring moult.
Much smaller and far less attractive (depending on your point of view I suppose), is the Harvestman which was found on our patio yesterday. It was struggling a little as it had lost one of it's legs - not devastating in itself as they can shed legs in self defence, but this one seemed to have other, less obvious problems too. There are several different species of Harvestman in Britain, this one is Leiobunum rotundum and not a very good-looking creature. Although it has no poison, fangs, web-spinning capabilities, it can protect itself by secreting a noxious substance from scent glands at the front of it's body, which repel other animals.
Another small creature seen in our garden a few days ago was somehow familiar to me. Although it was new to me, I couldn't help thinking I had seen something like it before. It looked like a small Lacewing, but it was brown in colour, not bright green. It turned out I was right, it was a Brown Lacewing (Micromus variegatus). A fierce predator of aphids (despite it's diminutive size), it is therefore a welcome visitor to anyone's garden.
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