Tag Archives: St. Ann’s


Thanks to Nic Cairns for some fine photos of Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)…



Goldfinches are lovely little birds, often seen in small flocks.  They are specialist feeders on seeds of plants such as thistles, dandelions and teasels – all plentiful on St.Anns Allotments, where Nic took these photos.



Another good bird pic from Nic Cairns…a Robin (Erithacus rubecula) photographed at St.Anns Allotments….


Thanks to Nic for his continued contributions.


I’ve featured Bee-flies before, and here’s another excellent close-up, from St.Anns Allotments….

IMG_0207bee flylr

It’s hard to identify the different species in flight, but this is almost certainly Bombylius major, by far the most common species, and one of only two likely to be seen in April.  Bee-flies are interesting insects, which mimic bees, and lay their eggs in the nests of solitary bees; their larvae then parasitise the growing bee larvae, gradually sucking out its internal fluids.  As illustrated in the photo, adult Bee-flies feed on nectar with their long proboscis.

Thanks to Nic Cairns for the photo.





Another great photo from St.Anns allotments, courtesy of Nic Cairns


These are tadpoles of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria), photographed massing in a warm part of a pond at Ecoworks Community Garden.  The tadpoles are still at an early developmental stage, as their external gills can clearly be seen in the photo.  These disappear soon as the tadpole develops a mouth.

Spring Butterflies

The recent warm spring weather has brought the butterflies out…..


Peacock feeding on Dandelion



Both the Peacock (Aglais io) and the Comma (Polygonia c-album) are amongst the relatively few British butterfly species that hibernate, and these will have been overwintering individuals recently emerging in the warm weather.

Thanks to Nic Cairns for the photos, taken at the St.Anns Allotments.

Frogs in Spring

Thanks to Nic Cairns for this springtime photo….

IMG_9926frog matesLR

Nic took the picture of Common Frogs (Rana temporaria) on the St.Ann’s Allotments.

Hazel flowers

Nic Cairns sent in some excellent close-ups of Hazel (Corylus avellana) in flower, taken at St.Ann’s Community Orchard.

Firstly, the male flowers (catkins), not yet fully open …..

IMG_9420hazel catkinLR

The distinctively-shaped buds and finely hairy twigs that characterise Hazel can be seen in this photo.

Nic also sent in an image of a spectacular (if tiny) female flower…

IMG_9427hazel maleLR

Thanks, as ever, to Nic for his contribution.

Dragonfly sex

A week or so ago, in one of the last unseasonably warm spells we had, I saw two dragonflies mating at the St.Ann’s allotments….

These dragonflies are demonstrating the “wheel” formation characteristic of mating Odonata, and not seen in any other insects.  They maintained the formation for several minutes, long enough to find a camera and take a photograph.

I think the species is Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum), or perhaps Ruddy Darter (S. sanguineum), I’m not certain exactly which.  Both are fairly commonly seen dragonflies.

More Hedgehog footage….

Last month, Nic Cairns sent in a video of a hedgehog on the St.Ann’s Allotments, captured on his wildlife camera.  The camera has recently yielded more interesting footage….

We don’t know if it’s the same hedgehog or not, but it’s good to have further evidence of the presence of hedgehogs on the site.

Southern Hawker Dragonfly

I’ve featured Dragonflies before, here and here.  Here’s another picture, but of a different species….


This is a female Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea), seen by Nic Cairns at Ecoworks Community Garden.  Thanks to Nic for the great photo.