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Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Garden Observations in April, 2022

I am still in 'catch-up' mode and, with this post, I offer an account of some of my sightings in the garden during April of this year. Some of the winter visitors were still with us at the start of the month, but things soon started to change during the later part. Herewith, a few of the highlights.

Saturday, 2nd April

The Bramblings were still visiting, and on this day I photographed a male. This one was well into its breeding plumage.

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) (male) garden on 2nd April, 2022
Occasionally we get visits from Long-tailed Tits and are always delighted. Often it's small groups but sometimes, as on this occasion, we just have a single bird. When we do, we tend to refer to it as 'pathfinder' because, after such sightings, it is quite common for a group to arrive within an hour or two. Not on this occasion, however, as far as our observations were concerned. This one was outside my study window. It seemed to be collecting nesting material.

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) - garden on 2nd April, 2022

Sunday, 3rd April

The only remarkable thing this day was the small flock of 10 Goldfinch that visited. Goldfinch are daily visitors, but not usually in such numbers. This event was not, however, recorded on camera.

Magpie is a relatively reliable visitor these days, but I rarely photograph one. This day was an exception.

Magpie (Pica pica) - garden on 3rd April, 2022
Monday, 4th April

We had three Brambling visit this day. I did manage to get a record shot with all three in!

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) (2xmale, 1xfemale) garden on 4th April, 2022
Thursday, 8th April

Wanting to make the most of the continuing Brambling visits, I took this shot of a female of the species.

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) (female) garden on 8th April, 2022
A pair of Stock Dove have been regular visitors for a long while now, and I find them most agreeable.

Stock Dove (Columba oenas) - garden on 8th April, 2022
Saturday, 9th April

Excitement arrived this day in the form of a Lesser Redpoll. In recent years, garden sightings of this species have been very thin on the ground. Unfortunately, I only managed a 'feeder shot'

Lesser Redpoll (Acanthis cabaret) (female) - garden on 9th April, 2022
Sunday, 10th April

It was a fine sunny day and the Lesser Redpoll was back, but I didn't manage any photographic improvements. I was pleased, however, to get a few shots of an Orange-tip butterfly. The orange wing-tips denote this as a male - absent in the female of the species.

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) (male) - garden on 10th April, 2022
Thursday, 14th April

The moth trap went out this night. It only resulted in 13 moths of 10 species. A couple of the more attractive ones are shown below. The Waved Umber was not in the trap, but on the wall next to the trap, and I nearly missed seeing it as it blended in with the wall so well. I have added a second image of it to show it more clearly.

Waved Umber (Menophra abruptaria) (male) - from garden on 14th April, 2022

Purple Thorn (Selenia tetralunaria) (male) - from garden on 14th April, 2022

The Purple Thorn shot was taken when the moth flew up from the piece of green card that I was trying to photograph it on, and landed on the glass of the conservatory window - I think it makes for a rather nice shot!?

Saturday, 16th April

A common, and not very colourful, butterfly, but I think that this was probably my first of this species for the year (I don't keep butterfly records).

Small White (Pieris rapae) (male) - garden on 16th April, 2022
Wednesday, 20th April

No particular highlights this day other than unphotographed Holy Blue and Orange-tip butterflies in the garden, but I did take some photos of a Jackdaw that has become a daily visitor.

Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) - garden on 20th April, 2022
Thursday, 21st April

And a Jackdaw again the following day - a very smart-looking bird.

Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) - garden on 21st April, 2022
Sunday, 21st April

On this day, I did manage to photograph a visiting Holly Blue butterfly. This one, with the extensive black on the outer edges of the forewings, was a female.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) (female) - garden on 24th April, 2022
Friday, 29th April

I'd been neglecting the garden observations for much of the last couple of weeks in April, partly because I was getting out more often and partly because I was rather busy in the garden with things like pruning and fence-painting. On this day, however, I did sucessfully rush out into the garden to photograph a visiting Orange-tip. This one was, again, a male. This photo allows you to just detect the wonderful pattern on the underside of the wings, showing through the slightly translucent rear wings.

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) (male) - garden on 29th April, 2022
That night the moth trap went out, and only attracted five moths of three species, none of which were remarkble from a rarity point of view but I do find the Early Grey to be quite appealing, and the Brindled Beauty to be particularly attractive.

Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) - from garden on 29th April, 2022
Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria) (male) - from garden on 29th April, 2022

Saturday, 30th April

The month ended on a high when we had our first visit from a Fox for a very long time. I'm not very knowledgeable on Foxes, but it seems to me that this may be a female that has recently given birth.

Thus ends my account of some of our garden highlights for April.

At this point in time, I'm not sure when my next blog post will be, or what subject matter it might feature. There's quite a lot going on at the moment - most of it good!

In the meantime, take good care of yourselves and Nature - - - Richard


  1. Beautiful images as ever, Richard.

    1. Many thanks for your much-appreciated words of encouragement!

  2. Lovely video Richard. Great to see. Your garden continues to deliver some lovely customers which you catch nicely with the camera. Take care.

    1. This last week has been a real treat in the garden, Marc. Out of my tiny pond I've now had at least 28 Large Red Damselfly emerge. And there was me worrying that there might not be enough prey in there to support any at all. There have, unfortunately, been four which have failed to transform to adult without fatal failure.

      Best wishes - stay safe - - - Richard

  3. A wonderful range of winged creatures, Richard. I especially like the Magpie, a bird often maligned, but exceptionally handsome to my eyes, and a bird I always look forward to seeing when I am in its habitat. In Western Canada Pica hudsonicus, the kissing cousin of your Pica pica, is widespread, but is not found in southern Ontario unfortunately. Best wishes to you and Lindsay. David

    1. Sadly, David, we have recently experienced the worst side of the Magpie's behaviour, with a pair raiding the nest of Blackbirds in our garden. They are, nevertheless, still welcome. They do seem to maintain their plumage in pristine condition, and the irridescence (not shown in my shot above) is very special.

      Hoping that all is good at your end - stay safe - - - Richard

  4. Hi Richard! Lovely photos of great sightings.

    1. Thank you, Anne. Our garden is not tidy, but it is a source of great pleasure to us. Best wishes - - - Richard

  5. It appears Spring has visited the Pegler estate!

    Not only do you offer us a plethora of outstanding bird images, you treat us to a bevy of beautiful butterflies and moths! Once again, you prove that one person's "ordinary" may be another's "special". We become accustomed to the regulars in our own corner of the planet and then we see what's living on the other side of the world and we are astonished.

    Nature's diversity unites us all.

    Thank you for sharing your very special garden visitors, Richard!

    Gini and I hope you and Lindsay are well as we look forward to a brand new week.

    1. Spring really has visited our garden, Wally. Those damselflies have been emerging all week from my garden mini-pond. Bees are buzzing, moths are flying, and bats are after the moths! Found myself wondering if there's any possibility of catching a bat in flight on camera, but have come to the conclusion that my reactions these days are too slow! Mind you, I did impress our daughter recently by how I instantly swatted a wasp with my hand as it flew in through the open car window, and sent it straight out again!

      Lindsay and I have come to the conclusion that international travel is now permanently off the agenda, but Nature 'at home' has enough diversity to keep us entertained. We will, nevertheless, continue take great delight in seeing what nature can throw up in distant climes. And you're the man to keep that interest flowing!

      Best wishes to you and Gini - may your week be filled with joy and wonderment!

  6. Yes, brilliant blog Richard, especially the Brambling, in its summer garb, perfect.

    1. Thank you, Bob. Sadly, the Bramblings have gone now - hopefully, they'll be back next year.

      My very best wishes to you - - - Richard

  7. Hello Richard, wow again so much to see in this post. And all still from your garden. Keep them coming because that means nature is still going strong.
    Warm regards,

    1. I'll happily keep them coming for as long as I am able, Roos, but we are now entering the season when there is so much to see out and about that I'm spending less time at home looking out of my windows!!

      My very best wishes to you - stay safe - - - Richard

  8. Hello Richard
    when the fox is hungry, birdseed becomes a tasty snack... nice observations
    Greetings Frank

    1. The Fox will take the spilled bird seed, Frank, but what it is really trying to get is the cat food that I put out for the Hedgehogs!

      Stay safe - - - Richard

  9. Me gustaría poder tener a estos vecinos en el jardín, que envidia tengo!!! Richard enhorabuena por las fotos, me han gustado mucho. Un fuerte abrazo desde el norte de España.

    1. Hola Germán. Los visitantes de mi jardín son el resultado de muchos años de esfuerzo (¡y un gran costo en comida para pájaros!) para hacerlo atractivo para la vida silvestre.

      Me complace saber que disfrutó de las fotos, me anima a continuar.

      Mis mejores deseos desde una Inglaterra cálida y soleada - - - Richard


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