Months; What to watch out for at the end of August

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Anonymous (not verified)
Months; What to watch out for at the end of August

I was very disappointed in the ragwort this year.   I don't have a problem with ragwort being poisonious, as most people don't eat it, and hardly anyone keeps ponies around here any more.   Anyway, the flowering was magnificent and I was looking forward to observing many of the 25 species of insect which use it as a feed plant.   But there was nothing:   no cinnibar moth caterpillars, no little red bugs, hardly any bees, no little black pollen beetles - only a load of blackfly with ants tending them earlier in the year.  

But it has been a very bad year for insects - hardly any butterflies, therefore hardly any caterpillars on my cabbages, the only aphids I have seen were on nettles.   Apparently the cold, damp spring was bad for them.   So what are the poor little blue tits eating and feeding their babies?

Damselflies and dragonflies have, however, been plentiful.    Lots of blue damselflies, some big brown dragonflies, several big blue dragonflies with big black spots on their wings, and today my husband saw a red one.    There are 40 species in all in the U.K., some of which can only be identified with a microscope.   They are one of the most primitive insects, and were around long before the dinosaurs.

And plenty of slugs.  Lots of big fat ones out now, during the day, including a beige one with spots.

Only two swallows in Moore's Meadow - shortage of insects to feed their babies?   And not many bats.    Pigeons, on the other hand, all over the place.   Did you know they can live for 30 years?