I wasn't out and about last weekend as Mum was readmitted to hospital following more surgery complications. However this weekend she was finally allowed home so I spent most of my time at hers. As always I had my camera, and three lenses, and my trail cam with me......you just never know what is going to turn up in her garden. A few weeks ago I found a Common Newt in her kitchen !
This morning however, as I was enjoying my morning cup of coffee whilst Mum was still resting, my eyes were wandering around the conservatory when I saw this.....
I took a couple of snaps on my iPhone for id purposes then got out the macro lens to get a closer look.....
It's a female Speckled bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima).
Fairly common in gardens and hedgerows where it feeds on leaves and flowers of a variety of plants. It's quite usual to see them during the day motionless on a windowsill or a plant stem or leaf and they are more active during dusk and dawn. They overwinter as eggs rather than adults.
Where this one came from is anyones guess, I still haven't fathomed out how the Common Newt got in.
Usually at this time of year the female has finished laying her eggs and has died off. However it has been so mild that this female is still hanging on.
We didn't want to put her outside as the frosts are sure to come soon, so we decided to leave her where she is. Plus she was quite high up and out of reach. Some of the later photos I took suggest she was trying to lay eggs on the glass, but even with binoculars I could see no eggs so we're just going to let her live out her last days in the relative comfort of the conservatory. There are plenty of plants in there should she wish to drop down for a feed.
Thank you to the facebook group 'Insects of Britain and Northern Ireland' for their id and advice.
and this is me below at one of the odd angles I had to get in to try and get a macro snap of her.....
As I had my trail cam with me I obviously set it up before going to bed last night. Something triggered it off three times but I got no images.
I don't think the trail cam is working properly, I didn't capture any video clips despite checking the settings. And I only got a few stills today despite seeing for myself the amount of birds that were present in front of the camera.
One of them was this male Chaffinch with the obvious signs of a disease which I think is viral papillomas. Not a lot can be done for these birds but I remember reading somewhere that cleaning the bird feeders on a regular basis helps. However, as Chaffinches are not usually found on bird feeders but rather more on the ground, I'm not sure how true this is.
Later this morning I positioned the trail cam in front of a peanut feeder and shallow water bowl that we've wedged on to a three pronged old tree stump. Again, despite seeing a lot of activity around the feeder and in the water bowl itself, the trail cam only managed to capture a couple of still photos and no video footage at all.
|Collared Dove 'selfie'|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker|
Before next weekend I need to have a proper look at the trail cam and fathom out where I am going wrong.
But it was nice to add something new to Mum's garden list - a Speckled Bush-cricket.