The Messenger - Serving Gislingham, Mellis and the Thornhams

Nature Notes - May

Date: 1 June 2019

We’ve enjoyed some excellent butterfly spotting conditions recently and it’s
good to see so many fluttering about. Over the past month, I’ve added Green
Veined White, Holly Blue, Orange Tip and Comma to my list, all seen in the
garden. Further afield, in The Kings Wood, to the west of RAF Honington, I
spotted several Green Hairstreaks on Hawthorn. Unless they’re in flight, I
find it very difficult to spot Green Hairstreaks due to their smallish size and
colour. Jenny is much better at this than I am (she tells me!). It’s like looking
for a green needle in a green haystack! – but it’s very rewarding when you do
find one.

In the garden I’ve seen a large grass snake (60 cm) slithering around our pond - I hope it’s not after our pair of Common Newts, the male of which I spotted demonstrating how Newts blow bubbles! Also in the garden, we’ve seen evidence (poo!) of a Hedgehog, although the creature itself has remained elusive.

We sometimes hear of unusal sites for nests chosen by birds and I heard from a friend in Botesdale recently of not only an unsual site but a potentially dangerous one too – in a barbeque! Thankfully, the owner has suspended outdoor cooking operations until the baby Robins have fledged! This year we have a Blackbird nest on a fence rail, close to the back of our house, a nicely sheltered spot, and we find ourselves peering through binoculars to check on how things are going!

Still in Gislingham, Marion and Glyn have been playing host to a proud Mallard mum and her family – their photo scores 10/10 for cuteness! And Peter and Jan Adams report seeing Yellowhammers in their garden – I’m beginning to feel that I’m missing out! That said, I did spot a pair of Blackcaps taking a drink from our pond the other day.