Friday, 29 July 2011

Two shots of formic acid please

Just time for a walk along the riverside this afternoon, having spent most of the morning tidying up the garden. I was happy to see that my mining-bees Colletes succinctus have returned, with a few buzzing around the plants. It appears I now have two colonies of Common Garden Black Ant (Lasius niger) one in the front garden under the paving stones and one in the back in a big clay pot of garden pinks. I need to have a word with those in the front and tell them to stop coming into the garage. A quiet cheeping call made me turn around at on point to find a young Chiffchaff flicking around in the Honeysuckle. A lone Meadow Brown butterfly ventured into the garden which considering the complete lack of sun and cool breeze, was a bit surprising. I only noticed today but there were no Swifts over the house, have they gone already?
My walk along the river later gave me another six species of flower, bringing the total to 313 species I have seen this year in the area. The new species were

Greater Celandine
Japanese Knotweed
Water Forget-me-not
Reed Canary-grass
Creeping Yellow-cress

Creeping Yellow-cress

The Greater Celandine, which was along the Cong Burn just before the second bridge,  is the first I have seen around here. Though not native to the UK, it is a long-established introduction of roadsides, hedge banks and waste ground and so not rare but always nice to find a new plant on your patch. A juvenile Blackcap called and was seen briefly in the nearby bank side bushes.

Greater Celandine

Talking of ants, very nearby was a small colony of the Red Ant (Myrmica ruginodis), which aren't also called Red Stinging Ants for nothing, even the two I picked up for a better look gave me a shot of formic acid, bless them.

1 comment:

  1. Well done with the G Celandine, Keith. There`s a couple of plants near to me, and it`s the only place i`ve ever seen them.

    Regards Red Ants. I drew the attention of a couple this last week, while tidying my garden up. It doesn`t half smart a bit, when they bite.